Everyone on the veterinary team plays a part in communicating, implementing and supporting the recommendations for life stage-based care.
End-of-life (EOL) care and decisionmaking embody the critical final stage in a pet’s life and are as important and meaningful as the sum of the clinical care provided for all prior life stages. EOL care should focus on maximizing patient comfort and minimizing suffering while providing a collaborative and supportive partnership with the caregiver client.
Risk assessment variables when determining an individualized vaccination plan from the 2020 AAHA/AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines .
Updates to the 2017 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines .
In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic, and as emphasis on social distancing and sheltering-in-place continue to limit client and patient access to routine veterinary care, the following considerations have been developed to address vaccination protocols for dogs and cats seen in clinical practice.
The purpose of these guidelines is to provide practice teams with guidance for accurate diagnosis and optimal management of the canine and feline cancer patient. Because almost all pet owners have some acquaintance with cancer in their own lives, they will measure a veterinarian’s approach to managing an oncology case against their own experience. Perhaps to a greater degree than in other clinical situations, the client plays a prominent role in directing how a pet’s cancer is managed. For this reason, it is particularly important that veterinarians adopt an informed and systematic approach to managing an oncology case, including maintaining an active and empathetic dialogue with the owner in developing a treatment plan.
This paper provides a working framework for enhancing the well-being of senior pet dogs and cats. Approaches to screening the medical status of senior pets are described in detail, with particular emphasis on establishing baseline data in healthy animals, the testing of clinically ill animals, and assessing senior pets prior to anesthesia and surgery. The management of pain and distress and the application of hospice and palliative care are addressed. Advice on ways to approach euthanasia and dealing with end-of-life issues is also provided.
Vaccination is one of the easiest and most important ways to protect your dog’s health. Yet in this age of “overvaccination” scares and “Dr. Google,” some pet owners are hesitant to vaccinate their dogs—even when it’s in the best interest of their beloved pooch.
The decision to vaccinate, even with core vaccines, should be based on a risk-benefit assessment for each cat and for each vaccine antigen. Benefits of vaccination should be balanced against the risk of adverse events, likelihood of exposure, and disease severity. Every effort should be made to ensure that cats are healthy before vaccination. However, concurrent illness (including retroviral infections) does not necessarily preclude vaccination.
The guidelines are an update and extension of the AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines published in 2012. A noteworthy change from the earlier guidelines is the division of the dog’s lifespan into five stages (puppy, young adult, mature adult, senior, and end of life) instead of the previous six. This simplified grouping is consistent with how pet owners generally perceive their dog’s maturation and aging process and provides a readily understood basis for an evolving, lifelong healthcare strategy.