Keeping our eye on the target
Once the goal of therapy is defined, the feasibility of such therapy must be assessed. In many situations, the final choice
will represent a balance between the optimum therapy for the problem(s), the availability of optimum therapy and the type
of therapy our clients can or are willing to afford.
There must be no misunderstanding about what is wanted and what is given. In a symbolic way, we must determine whether our
clients want "a dog, a horse, a cow, a cat, etc.," or "this dog, this horse, this cow, this cat, etc.," while at the same
time being our patient's advocate.
Life is too precious for us to allow ourselves to become hardened about the welfare of patients that cannot speak for themselves.
How important are medical axioms? The bottom line is encompassed in this one:
"There are some patients we cannot help; there are none that we cannot harm (Axiom #6)."
Carl A. Osborne DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, is professor of medicine in the Department of Small Animal
Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota.