A week ago Poochini had a urinary track infection, which required antibiotics to be crushed in his food twice a day. In the past several months, he has also been to the vet more than I have been to my primary physician over the past several years. Are we beginning to place the health of our pets at a higher priority than the medical care we seek for ourselves?
Apparently in 2005, over two billion dollars of American spending can be attributed to pet medications (1). Many households have made desperate financial sacrifices to ensure that their pets receive the best available healthcare, regardless of what that may entail (1). Some pets undergo several courses of chemotherapy because their owners are hesitant to put their cherished loved ones to sleep. New drug developments by pharmaceutical companies and subsequent approval by the Food and Drug Administration has enhanced the number of available pet medications currently in circulation (1).
I think we sometimes procrastinate when it comes to addressing our own health needs. Then suddenly when we think our pet might be ill, we are anxious to run our pet to the veterinarian immediately. In kindergarten, I also recall that putting our family dog to sleep proved almost as devastating as the loss of a close family friend!
Should pets undergo intensive treatments and medical interventions like chemotherapy or be put to sleep? Are our pets sometimes subjected to unnecessary suffering because of our selfish desires to prolong their lives as long as possible? Does the development of new pet medications significantly interfere with medical research for humans?
1. Donn, Jeff. "Americans increasingly medicating pets" Yahoo News. 11 Mar 2007.