FEEDING TUBES — For Pets? — Can You Trust Your Vet ?

Readers of my blog will recall that I have railed against the use of feeding tubes (Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy PEG) in human patients at end of life.  For patients with end stage dementia or cancer it is clear: there is no benefit to the patient, their risk of aspiration pneumonia, or even to longevity.  There is perhaps a prolongation of "life" but it is an existence without dignity.

Now I find out from personal sources that veterinarians are placing feeding tubes in pets with end of life conditions such as cancer.

I find this appalling. 

Merely because a technology exists and CAN be done, doesn't mean it SHOULD be done.  And I would hate to believe that these income generating procedures are motivating factors as well.

In days past we would look to the compassionate methods of vets and their use of euthanasia when needed.

Of course I am not recommending " Kevorkianizing"  human beings.  But at least there was a sense of reducing suffering in cases where nothing more can be done. 

Perhaps vets should now learn from physicians who understand palliative care.  Perhaps animal Hospice is a more compassionate and reasonable approach for animal lovers who resist immediate euthanasia.

In any case, pet owners need to be aware of these troublesome trends in veterinary medicine.

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