Tough questions for pet owners about money, life and loss

03/25/2013 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

Advances in veterinary medicine and pets' status as family members in many households mean people are willing to go to great lengths to treat illnesses in their animals and prolong their lives, but some observers say the trends raise important and tough questions about resources and the difficulty many people have with facing end-of-life issues -- for their pets and themselves. "Death is part of the cycle of life, and we have to accept that," said veterinarian Phillip Nelson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences.

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