When most owners are confronted with a sick pet, we hear terms like cancer, or liver failure, or neurologic disease. These all sound horrible, and we know in general trend that these types of conditions do not have good prognoses. We might even know that these may cause our pets to have pain and affect their quality of life, and these are things we must take into consideration.
Well, when we’re in vet school, we learn in excruciating detail just how these diseases affect our animals. Pathology is especially the big eye opener for disease processes and how certain conditions tend to come about. A lot of these cases tend to hit home, sometimes really hard. One day we learned about insulinoma, a common pancreatic cancer in ferrets. The day before, one of my classmates had euthanized her ferret because of insulinoma, and she had to sit through a lecture while the professor explained how the lack of sugar caused the brain to stop functioning, leading to seizures, all of which she had just been through with her own pet. Another classmate’s dog was euthanized last semester for pancreatitis, and then we learned about how it can cause systemic coagulation and hemorrhage and a lot of other gruesome side effects.
As I mentioned in a previous post, we unfortunately just had to euthanize my best friend of almost fourteen years and most faithful pal, my dog Belly. Not two days later we learned about first of all, how euthanasia works in step-by-step detail. Then, to makes things even happier, we learned about seizure drugs and how seizures affect the body (seizures being the reason we had to say goodbye to Belly). And that makes my point for today: sometimes ignorance is bliss. We love our pets, but sometimes we don’t want or need to know everything about how they come to leave this world. However, I am in veterinary school, and in order to help pets in the future, it is important that I take this knowledge and apply it for patients.