The Only Locally-Owned Emergency and Specialty Hospital in Minnesota

Tips for Managing a Pet with a Chronic Illness

cat, exam, veterinary exam, chronic illnesses, veterinary, managing pet's chronic illness, veterinary chronic illnesses, Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota

Having a pet diagnosed with a chronic disease can be overwhelming.  The following are some tips to help navigate your pet’s chronic illness.   

1. Ask Questions

Make sure you understand the diagnosisSeek information from your veterinarian and staff so that you fully understand your pet’s disease process, expected treatmentand prognosisThe more you understand your pet’s condition the better able you will be to provide care. 

2. Establish Expectations

Ensure that you understand how your pet’s condition will be monitored, what improvement will look like, and what quality of life to anticipate for you and your pet. Many chronic illnesses that we treat are not cured but managed with long-term medications, diet changes, or other treatments. 

dog, diabetes, chronic illnesses, veterinary, managing pet's chronic illness, veterinary chronic illnesses, Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota

3. Be Honest

There is often more than one option for treatment of many chronic conditions. If you have financial concerns, medication concerns, quality of life, or scheduling concerns, discuss these with your care team. They will do their best to provide you with options that work best for your pet and your family.  

4. Medications

Make sure you understand your pet’s medications and their purpose. Having trouble administering the medication? Your vet may be able to find alternative formulations or provide tips to help you give the medication. If your pet is on multiple medications, ask your veterinarian to establish priority of which medications are most important in case medicating is difficult. Please let your care team know right away if you have concerns about side effects from medications. 

cat, pill, chronic illnesses, veterinary, managing pet's chronic illness, veterinary chronic illnesses, Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota

5. Track Progress

Keep a journal or calendar of your pet’s symptoms. If your pet has been sick for some time, it can be hard to subjectively evaluate the response to treatment. Keeping a daily journal can help to determine if there’s been improvement,  even if it’s subtle. A journal also helps to establish trends in the quality of life for your pet. Providing this information to your veterinarian at rechecks can be very helpful.  

6. Give Yourself Grace

Having a sick pet is extremely difficult. Having a chronically ill pet can be overwhelming! If you are struggling with your pet’s treatment or disease, seek support.  It is important to maintain a good quality of life not just for your pet, but for you and your family as well.   

chronic illnesses, veterinary, managing pet's chronic illness, veterinary chronic illnesses, Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota

We hope this information makes you feel more confident and assured in managing your pet’s chronic illness. If you have questions or concerns, contact your family veterinarian or ask for a referral to a board-certified veterinary specialist.

Learn more about Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota’s Internal Medicine Service here.  

IBD, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, veterinary Internal Medicine, pet health, board-certified veterinary internist, Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota, Minnesota veterinary specialists

                        

 

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

HAVE A NON-MEDICAL QUESTION? FOR MEDICAL QUESTIONS, PLEASE CALL US.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Font Resize
Contrast
Oakdale St. Paul Text Us