Should I feel disappointed?

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Should I feel disappointed?

This is a discussion on Should I feel disappointed? within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; My dog has had it rough the past few months. She?s 12. She had a tail amputation in May and then presented with a mystery ...

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Old 11-18-2017, 01:10 PM
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Should I feel disappointed?

My dog has had it rough the past few months. She?s 12. She had a tail amputation in May and then presented with a mystery illness this summer that an MRI confirmed to be spinal cancer.

We?ve been at the vet a lot. A LOT. And I really like my primary vet. With the mystery illness my dog was referred to a neurologist and she?s been under her care for a month.

My disappointment comes in the fact that I haven?t even heard from my primary vet. I?m sure the neurologist sent over the MRI results. She has to know she has cancer. She has to know it?s terminal. And not a word. No phone call or anything. Is this normal? I just feel like my dog has been under her care for several years now and she acts as if she cares about her. I just am disappointed she hasn?t called to check on her or anything. Maybe my expectations are just too high...? She?s my first dog so I?ve never been through this.
MorganE84 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2017, 08:10 PM
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That's a tough question as to whether you should be disappointed or not but I'd say you have fairly reasonable expectations of your vet otherwise you wouldn't wonder about it. I might call your vet and pick her brain a bit as to any suggestions she could offer to make things the best for your ailing buddy which I'm sorry to hear about. At least that way, you would know for certain if she is aware but I think you are right about her knowing already. I sometimes wonder, even though vets deal with this difficult side of pet ownership and their clients in tough times, if they ever become immune to the situation and can keep it completely professional without it effecting them. I think they are probably like most everybody else and come in all "varieties". I am not sure what the professional standards call for but I certainly understand exactly why you are wondering about the lack of communications. The last thing you need is more things on your mind with the situation you already have.

FWIW, the vets I have dealt with during these times were always more than willing and made themselves available to help me with the mechanics of administering any procedures with my dogs when they became terminally ill. But now that you mention it, I don't ever recall any of them just calling to see how my sick dog was.
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Old 11-20-2017, 07:41 PM
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First, I am sorry to hear about your dogs diagnosis. I know that the loss of a friend is difficult. I lost a dog to cancer a few years ago, but knowing the diagnosis gave me time to cherish every moment.

Second, I work for a veterinary clinic. I think what you are feeling is understandable but at the same time I think you are asking a lot of your vet. Your vet has lots of patients, and they probably spend a good part of their day rushing from one patient to another. They may get to sit down for lunch while finishing charts for half an hour if they are lucky. On a bad day they don't get to sit down to lunch at all. I don't doubt that your vet is sorry to hear about your dogs diagnosis. That said, they may not have the time in the day to sit down and express their sadness and talk to you. We have had wonderful pets, owned by fantastic people who have received a cancer diagnosis. This hits the doctors hard. The other day, the doctor I work with said she had gotten the pathology results in on a young dog with an aggressive cancer. The owners were stretched to even do the surgical removal of the lump, its highly unlikely that they can afford chemo. The doctors had cut the cost of the surgery so the owner could send the lump out for pathology to say in the owners budget. The doctor had put off calling the owner for two days because she wasn't ready to tell the owners yet and have that conversation.

Doctors are trained to process the emotional loss of a pet in different ways. It does affect them. I grew up in a veterinary practice. My father, a vet, is profoundly affected by euthanizing a pet. When we are alone in a euthanasia he always pats the dog or cat on the head and tells them he is sorry. I know its a hard euthanasia when he mentions it outside of work. If the pet is really special he buys a bottle of gin. While you may feel like you are alone, if your pet is a frequent flier at the veterinary hospital you are not alone.
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Bertiewooster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2017, 11:46 PM
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So sorry to hear about your dog, was wondering are you still talking with your vet is she/he still communicating with you?
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:14 AM
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Thanks for the responses, condolences, and perspectives. To clarify - my dog is under the care of the neurologist and I havent seen or talked to my primary vet since the diagnosis. My primary vet said she thought it was a knee injury but suggested I go to the neurologist to get her opinion. Thats how we left things with her.

I think Im going to continue to feel disappointment. We were in there all the time and now that shes terminally ill, I hear nothing.

And terminal illness is obviously beyond heartbreaking and the first few days after the diagnosis were rough - but weve made a conscious choice to choose joy. Im not wasting or ruining her final months crying all the time. Shes doing well on prednisone and has regained many of her functions. So, for the time being shes stable. Many people dont get this extra time with their loved ones.
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