Thursday, February 6, 2014
CHANGES IN VETERINARY CARE
As Annie ages I've spent some time thinking about all the dogs I was lucky enough to have as part of my family before Annie came into my life. I've also spent time reflecting on the eleven years she's lived and found myself wondering exactly how much longer she'll be with us.
After her two cancer surgeries and her eye surgery, I also ruminate on what will be in store for her medically as she ages. That led me to remember what it was like in years past and how much veterinary medicine has changed over the decades that I've been a pet parent.
Originally, we were pet owners bringing our dogs and cats to the local veterinarian for vaccinations and illnesses. During the 1960s The Animal Medical Center was built at 62 Street and York Avenue in Manhattan becoming the 'go to' place for after hours medical emergencies. Artie and I spent two long evenings there when our Buster was bitten fending off a dog attack on Artie and when our puppy Roger decided to swallow a sock rather than relinquish it to us. Both emergencies had happy endings.
In those days a cancer diagnosis was a death sentence as most people could not afford treatment if any were available. We lost our Buster to lymphoma at just under six years of age. His diagnosis came at a late stage of the illness. We did what we could for him and he had a comfortable three months before his quality of life deteriorated to the point where we had no choice but to euthanize him.
By the end of the twentieth century holistic practices were a regular part of veterinary medicine. Brooklyn had more than one 24 hour veterinary emergency hospital; we no longer were forced to make long agonizing emergency trips to Manhattan. There is a 24/7 animal EMT.
Veterinary emergency routinely handles 24 hour emergency and critical care as well as specialists in Neurology, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Oncology, Cardiology, Internal Medicine and all types of surgery. Yes veterinary medicine has come a very long way.