Managing Chronic Conditions

In a perfect world, all diseases could be cured by a single dose of a medication or one course of antibiotics. While sometimes this is possible, most diseases require multiple treatments and many require long-term management, sometimes for the rest of your pet’s life. Medical conditions that cannot necessarily be “cured” are called “chronic diseases.” We can help you through these times, navigating costs and options to suit your circumstances. 

Some of the most common chronic diseases in animals include:

  • Arthritis and other orthopaedic conditions
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Hepatitis and other liver diseases
  • Skin allergies (atopy)
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Cushing’s and Addison’s Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Hyperthyroidism

With these conditions, multiple recheck appointments with your veterinarian may be needed to make sure that your pet is receiving the appropriate treatments. Over time, your pet may need more, less, or different medications to help them feel their best. Lab work may also need to be rechecked more often than an otherwise healthy pet since these conditions and their treatment can affect other organs in your pet’s body.  

There are multiple things that you and your veterinarian may discuss if your pet is diagnosed with a chronic disease, such as:

  • Creating realistic expectations for the long-term management of their condition
  • If the disease is progressive or will remain stable with treatment
  • Signs that their condition is getting worse
  • Creating a plan for how often rechecks are needed
  • Decreasing any negative side effects from the medications (such as increased appetite and thirst with steroids)
  • Increasing your pet’s quality of life
  • Balancing care with your financial circumstances

By getting your pet the appropriate care, they can often still live a comfortable and happy life for as long as is possible even with their disease.