Updated: Apr 17, 2020
I do a lot of surgeries on old animals.
Not out of vanity... not to boast about it later "that I can do it".
Before I do these surgeries, I always discuss the risks involved with my clients. I make sure they know that the outcome may be bad - death can happen.
I hate it when people tell me that their pets are old and thus really do not need anymore medical attention.
I have a 14 year old cross breed dog (2010) that I love dearly. I do not think I can remain pleasant if someone dare to "advise" me that I should not bother with anymore medical protocols for him because "he is old and not many years left".
That's really offensive.
Imagine being told by a family doctor that your aged relative, who maybe old and sickly, does not have many years left so you should not be too bother about their health... because whatever money you spend on them will amount to nothing in the end.. or even just help them along and end their misery with a needle...
How well will you take this sort of advice?
I agree that some clinical cases are really beyond human intervention.
I agree that some of these cases should not be allowed to drag on aimlessly.
As a professional medical personnel, I am often asked this same question:
"He/She is so old.. do you think there is any hope in doing this?"
I practice veterinary science not to create miracles.
I do what I do because I know I can do it well, and if I do what I do well then there is hope.
Hope is what I give.
In my surgeries, I strive for minimum bleeding, I want my anaesthesia to be fast and clean, I want my patients to be warm and pain-free. Everytime.
Doing surgeries on old pets is time consuming and mentally straining, thus not many vets want to do them.
"The clinic does not earn enough for the trouble of it" someone once told me.
So how? Don't do it?
My dog is getting older as I write this. If he ever needs long term medication, a surgery, a costly blood test, even an MRI.. would I do it?
I cannot not do it.
It is not because I am a vet.. or whether I can afford it..
It is about not giving up hope.
As his owner, I am his only hope.