Dealing with the elderly client who can no longer manage their pets care

01 Oct 2019

Wu, C.

In Practice Image

The dilemma

An elderly client brings in her 10-year-old cat, Holly, who is experiencing polydipsia and polyuria. Holly vomits during the consultation and appears lethargic. You recommend performing blood and urine tests to check for renal function and to rule out any metabolic or endocrine disorders. The client then raises her concern that, due to her age, caring for both herself and Holly is becoming too difficult. She is not sure whether she can manage the long-term treatment that Holly requires. She becomes very tearful and, although unsure of what to do, is considering euthanasia as an option. She asks what you would do if you were in her position. How might you respond?

Issues to consider

Under section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act (2006), owners have a responsibility to ensure that the welfare needs of an animal are met. Having brought Holly to...