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VETERINARIANS are faced with treating an ever-growing number of pets that have chronic diseases (A. Tipold, personal communication). This may be due to a change in perception of a companion animal's role. Pets are increasingly becoming members of the family deserving of a similar level of medical care that human family members receive. This development has led to a heightened need for defined treatment strategies for chronic diseases. The primary aim of medical treatment is to cure, but most chronic diseases are not curable (eg, idiopathic epilepsy). In life-threatening situations, such as status epilepticus, life-saving acute interventions that cause severe adverse drug reactions are deemed acceptable; however, in chronic treatment the focus is different.
Overall, the primary aim when treating idiopathic epilepsy must be to reduce disease signs (eg, seizure control) or at least significantly reduce monthly seizure frequency (Bhatti and others 2015). However, dogs undergoing chronic treatment often experience adverse drug reactions leaving the dog and its owner with the negative affects of the chronic disease clinical signs as well as adverse drug reactions.
In people the term quality of life (QOL), or, more specifically, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), describes the combined impact of the disease and the treatment and is often measured by using patient-reported outcomes …
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