Understand and describe what the problems are so that feasible options and acceptable outcomes can be clearly defined.
To make an informed decision about an animal’s care, you need to ensure that you have a detailed picture of the problems you are trying to solve/alleviate, and that you are aware of all of the options available to you to achieve this.
The important problems that you are trying to resolve are not always centred around curing the disease or condition. For example, in some animals, it may be more important to control pain and ensure they are comfortable. Here the problem we are solving is not the disease but rather one aspect of how it is presenting. You must clearly understand what your desired outcome or end goal is in order to accumulate the relevant information and formulate a comprehensive treatment strategy. Forming an end goal for treatment should be a discussion between you and the owners since the outcomes that are important to them might be different from what you assume them to be.
REMEMBER Always have clear outcomes in mind to help inform appropriate treatment plans. What is your end goal?