Date: 2004-06-17 01:52:09 UTC
Subject: Re: Hilbert update (retained fetal characteristic formed auxiliary bladder causing blockage and bilateral hydronephrosis)
I have had a note from someone who wondered if what Hilbert and Sherman have gone through to heal is worth it for their quality of life.
No one has asked us questions which we had not already asked the vets, including this category of questions. We know that each of these two boys can have a chance for a marvelous quality of life if things work as hoped, and that each has a decent enough chance to actually try.
In Hilbert's case that would not be the situation for an old ferret or a weak one for some of the more extensive stuff done, but for a young and strong ferret like him if we can save his kidneys he will have a chance for further kidney healing. Hilbert has been happily kissing, exploring some aspects of his environs in the hospital as well as home, having happy visits, etc. Since it looks like things are working, if progress continues he has nothing but a happy life of increasing health to look forward to.
In Sherman's case if his IBD can be controlled (and so far it is markedly better controlled -- resulting in his strutting around and playing better than he has in months -- he also gets back his qulaity of life.
Asking those questions of te vets who know what is going on is part of care, so I think that in the vast majority of cases where a lot of care is being provided it can be very safely assumed that there have already been informed discussions about risk rates, quality of life, potential for healing for that specific individual, etc. After all, both the families and the vets who all care enough to try so hard will also care enough to weigh the options and investigate them well.
So, if anyone else has wondered if it is worth it. Yes. In their cases it gives them a chance for longer happy lives. Is it easy? No, not for anyone, but many things which are most worthwhile in life are not at all easy, at least for part of the effort.
I hope realizing that people who provide a lot of care are also highly likey to have carefully discussed the options and the myriad factors involved helps some folks here. It's best to not worry oneself into assuming over long distance the worst or wondering the worst when there is no need, and that includes usually not needing to question if family and vets have considered what is or is not worth it for the ferret himself or herself. Usually they have carefully done so already and in great detail.