Good Old Dog
The Faculty of The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
2010 / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Review by Kathy Parsons
As the owner/guardian/mom of an older Aussie mix, I was very interested in finding out what advice Good Old Dog has to offer. Over the years, I have subscribed to both the cat and dog newsletters from Tufts University, and always found the information to be practical and very helpful as well as very readable and easy to understand. Good Old Dog is all that and more. The twelve chapters are written by specialists in the various areas such as cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, orthopedics, and behavior. Each chapter contains several case studies to illustrate how various situations were treated and what the outcomes were. There are also sidebars with more in-depth information about a specific area and suggested resources for even more information. There are also lots of photos and diagrams.
The first three chapters are more general, and include information about “old” not being a condition, choosing the right diet for an older dog, and the five most common medical conditions of older dogs. Later chapters discuss the costs of keeping the quality of life good for an older pet, behavioral changes to watch out for, options for aiding a physically disabled dog, how to tell if a situation warrants a race to an emergency room, and end-of-life decisions. I read the book from cover to cover, but will keep it handy at all times a reference guide to use as needed.
As with all medical decisions, it is so helpful to have good information up front and to have thought about the many possibilities that can arise before having to make difficult decisions about the life (and death) of a beloved pet and the financial ramifications of going the extra mile as opposed to letting go before the pet is suffering needlessly. Excellent from the preface to the closing acknowledgements, I strongly recommend this book.
November 29, 2010
Barton Seaver and P.K. Newby, Sc.D., M.P.H.
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