BOOKS: Making health decisions on behalf of our animal companions

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2006:

Making health decisions on behalf of our animal companions
by Shannon Fujimoto Nakaya, DVM

New World Library (14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949), 2005.
155 pages, paperback. $13.95.

Have you ever wondered how a veterinarian
feels when a someone rushes in with an animal and
screams for help, then expects an instant and
accurate diagnosis without giving any relevant
patient history?
Veterinarian Shannon Fujimoto Nakaya
emphasizes that, “Making health decisions on
behalf of our animal companion begins with
noticing when things are differentÅ ” She lists
questions that should be asked of a vet when
seeking a diagnosis. She notes that it is not
unreasonable to ask your vet to explain things in
terms that you understand, and also not
unreasonable to get a second opinion.

Many people have difficulty making
decisions when their animal is terminally ill.
Complications can include the ability of the
caretaker to pay for treatment, whether the
animal is responding to treatment, and how much
pain the animal may be suffering, perhaps
without showing unambiguous symptoms. Nakaya
leads readers through a step-by-step
decision-making process.
Nakaya shares her perspective on how to
make the vet’s job easier, the human/ animal
bond, healthy living for both humans and
animals, graceful aging, coping with death,
and the spiritual nature of animals.
Many scientists seem to lose their
compassion on their way through university and
managing a career. It is refreshing to encounter
a vet whose 20 years on the job has not
diminished her kindness and spirituality.
–Bev Pervan

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