What to do when there's no money to cure a pet

A new course at Charlottetown's Atlantic Veterinary College will teach students how to navigate the difficult decisions required when health care for a pet meets costs an owner can't afford.

Course creator Prof. Michelle Evason said the course will teach how to present a spectrum of possible treatments, from what might be considered the gold standard through less expensive options.

"Veterinarians can feel good about recommendations they make," said Evason.

"Pet owners don't have to feel bad when they come in and they may not have all the money in the world to pay for that pet."

The impetus for the course was a situation Evason encountered not long after she graduated from vet school. A family came in with a cat suffering from a blocked urinary tract, a treatable condition, but the family couldn't afford the treatment, so the cat was put down.

"I felt like all of my education was for nothing," she said.

Evason promised herself if she was ever in a teaching position she would help students learn to deal with those situations. She received a $50,000 grant from the Stanton Foundation to develop the course.

The course will be offered to third-year students, who will develop spectrum of care options for common conditions, as well as communication plans to help pet owners make informed choices.

More P.E.I. news