Is your treatment on target? - DVM
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Is your treatment on target?
Make sure you're taking aim before you implement therapeutic measures


Symptomatic treatment consists of therapy given to eliminate or suppress clinical signs. Examples include using antiemetics to control vomiting and glucocorticoids to control pruritus.

Palliative treatment consists of therapy chosen to suppress the clinical signs of patients with diseases for which the underlying cause cannot be cured and that are likely to be progressive.

Inappropriate therapy consists of therapy that is not needed by the patient or therapy for which the risks associated with it outweigh the probable benefits.

The choice of therapy should encompass knowledge of the patient's history of adverse drug events (e.g., rash, tremors, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea). To minimize adverse drug reactions, it is usually best to avoid unnecessary combinations of drugs.

Keeping your 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 among the optimum therapy for the problem or problems, the availability of the optimum therapy, the type of therapy clients can or are willing to afford and the ability and desire of the clients to comply with therapeutic recommendations. There should be no misunderstanding about what is wanted and what is given. In some circumstances, we must also determine clients' willingness to pursue treatment for their pets and advise them based on their pets' needs and their level of motivation. Once this information is obtained, with appropriate input from the client, follow-up plans should be devised to best monitor the patient's progress.

Dr. Osborne, 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.


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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