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Trends Digital Issue

February 2017

February 2017

The Trends digital archive contains digital editions of Trends magazine from November 2009 to December 2016. Issues published after December 2016 are available as PDFs.

The digital archive is available to all subscribers to Trends magazine.

Articles in this issue

Inside AAHA

Tracey Jensen, DVM, DABVP (C/F), CVA, writes about the need for dental care in pets and how dental pain often goes undiscovered or misdiagnosed due to a lack of awareness in both pet owners and veterinarians. Eighty-five percent of veterinary patients have detectable periodontal disease by the age of two. Dental care is an expanding area of service for most practices and presents a business opportunity that cannot be replicated online or at a big box store. Another article details AAHA’s transition to accreditation-focused membership by July 2018. This new model will allow AAHA to focus on accredited members and focus on the association’s long-term vision of a world in which all veterinary practices deliver the highest quality care available. AAHA’s five-point credo of excellence, positivity, change, innovation, and openness, round out the piece. In Bright Idea, dental tips from accredited practices, Bradley Animal Hospital, Drake Center for Veterinary Care, Stratham-Newfields Veterinary Hospital, NOVA Cat Clinic, Strawbridge Animal Care, Advanced Animal Care, Celtic Creatures Veterinary Clinic, and Cottage Lake Veterinary Hospital are shared for other members to benefit from these fun and useful tips.
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Notebook

Brief articles describing items and events of interest to veterinary professionals and pet owners: Dog Parker, a Brooklyn startup, is rolling out an additional 100 sidewalk dog houses after a successful eight-month pilot. The number of Latino pet owners is growing and this demographic will be indispensable to achieving market growth in the years ahead. The Pet Food Institute dispels many nutrition myths that bombard pet owners who are concerned about how diet impacts their pet’s health and wellbeing. A brief story of how Bella, a microchipped Maltese-Pomeranian mix, was reunited with her owners three years after she disappeared provides testimony to the power of this valuable procedure. A team of Texas A&M University researchers will be working to advance tissue chip research through a recently awarded $4.2 million grant by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Advancing Translation Sciences. This award will establish a state-of-the-art, tissue-chip-testing infrastructure, known as Texas A&M Tissue Chip Validation Center. A list of compassion fatigue symptoms from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) can help identify if it’s happening in your organization. Also, The 2016 Veterinary Economic Report is a four-part series that explores a variety of information about veterinary economics. Recent reports include a recap of the 2015 AVMA Economic Summit, which provides information and data about general economic conditions, the market for veterinary education, the market for veterinarians, the market for veterinary services, and workforce-capacity utilization. A recent 30-year study published in the journal Appetite links regular chocolate consumption with higher performance on multiple cognitive functions. The study says chocolate could also help protect against age-related memory decline.
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Parasite-Free-Pet DIY Marketing Campaigns: And Why Every Veterinary Practice Needs One

Feature article helps practices build awareness campaigns to educate clients about the dangers of parasites and what owners can do to protect their pets. The article includes a step-by-step action plan for what to consider when creating a campaign and how best to get the message out to clients. Pet owners now expect to receive targeted, relevant, and localized information from their veterinarians, and it is important for practices to deliver that information to their clients in the medium they prefer, such as social media, email communication, or direct mail. A five-point plan for creating a campaign gives practices actionable advice for how to get started and what to include in a campaign. Valuable information such as choosing key message points, resource selection, channels for distribution, and image dos and don’ts is provided. A calendar for monitoring results and distributing follow-up completes the plan.
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Striving for “Lexus” Dental Care: Today’s Scrimping Can Increase Long-Term Costs

This feature goes into extensive detail about pet dental care and the various levels of care, from “Kia” to “Lexus” and the benefits to pets, practices, and owners when pet dental care is prioritized. Dental care is a fairly new entry in the veterinary services industry, and the article provides key details for explaining to clients why dental care is important in today’s world. Proper dental care can prevent common issues like “doggy breath” but is also an important component in alleviating more severe conditions. The variety of options can also be confusing for clients: anesthesia free, basic-level with anesthesia, and higher-quality care. The article covers the particulars of each level. Details for the AAHA standards of care regarding dental services are woven into the article. How to train staff and best educate clients is covered as are basic equipment costs and maintenance.
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The Art in Animal Care Architecture: Creatively Merging Form and Function

Overview of important considerations when designing a veterinary practice. Whether building an entirely new facility or contemplating an addition, it is good to create a project program and get the assistance of an architectural firm that specializes in the design of animal care facilities. The article includes detailed interviews with two specialists from two firms: Warren Freedenfeld, cofounder of RFA Architects, and Sean McMurray, partner at Animal Arts Design. Both men discuss the importance of design that incorporates the needs of the practice, so it’s important to know what you will offer in terms of services. They also emphasize a review of the facility profit centers to maximize the usability of those areas to fully utilize their impact as revenue drivers. Areas such as surgical, pharmacy, lab, and treatment areas are key to a practice’s sustainability. Addressing the needs of pets is key and stress-reducing design is emphasized. Cat playrooms, minimizing corners, and including natural light are just a few ways that practice design can address the needs of pets and their humans. A list of recommended areas to consider is included and can serve as a place to begin for those contemplating any kind of expansion.
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Integrating Behavioral Health into Patient Visits: Untreated Problems Can Have Dire Consequences

Behavioral disorders affect pets more than physical conditions and practices need to incorporate behavioral questioning into their appointments in a standardized way. However, few veterinary schools have full clinical behavioral programs, so most graduating from veterinary schools don’t feel comfortable taking behavioral histories. Pet owners will often turn to media personalities and get advice that is outdated and punitive. It is important for veterinary professionals to get to the root of behavior issues and what may be contributing to them. Issues such as disease, dysfunction, and diminished senses can all contribute to behavior issues. They can also stem from genetically predisposed behavior or an adverse environment. Owner misconceptions about pet behavior are common. The two most common are when owners claim to observe guilt in pets and the out dated “alpha wolf” concept in dogs, where canine behavior is attributed to dominance. This is a damaging misconception that often leads to injury and abuse in dogs. This misconception actually produces more fear and anxiety in dogs. The myth is touted in the press and miseducated trainers. Ideally, a veterinarian can get an owner to see the dog’s or cat’s perspective and can assist with behavioral issues that way. Many behavioral issues can be corrected. It is important to teach owners how to read their pets correctly. In general, pet owners don’t fully understand how pets learn and get information. It is important to make sure that a trainer is nonjudgmental when owners admit to using punishment, and then steer them toward more humane methods. Behavior tracking, management, and wellness can be an important part of the client and veterinarian relationship.
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When All Roads Lead to Empathy: One Year In, the Fear Free Initiative Is Changing the Industry

Fear Free? celebrates one year in practice and nearly 6,000 registrations and 2,000 certifications. Fear Free founder Marty Becker, DVM, and the rest of the team launch a podcast to more widely communicate their plans for the year ahead. Their mission is to look after the emotional wellbeing of pets and to ensure that veterinary professionals have the knowledge and techniques available to deliver a high-quality and empathy-centered experience for both pets and their humans.
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Kennel and Boarding Safety Recommendations: Experts Offer Advice on Best Practices

Pet care and safety details for pet professional businesses such as kennels, veterinary facilities, daycares, dog walkers, groomers, and trainers resulting from a web conference hosted by Merck Animal Health. First expert Edward Dubovi spoke on canine infectious disease and how it spreads. Second expert Ronald Schultz spoke about AAHA guidelines and how vaccines are placed in three different categories: core, recommended, and not recommended. Core vaccines are canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus-2, canine adenovirus-2, and rabies. Vaccines in the noncore or optional category are those for viruses (canine parainfluenza and canine influenza virus—H3N8, H3N2); for bacteria (Bordetella bronchiseptica, Leptospira); and for Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi). Brenda Dines related a true story of respiratory disease outbreak in a shelter and how it was handled with clients and media. Michael Mayer shares how an outbreak of H3N2 affected his kennel and his commitment to transparent communication about it. Melissa Bourgeois related extensive protocols about sanitation, disinfecting, isolation, and quarantine. Carmen Rustenbeck talks about client communication procedures, both one-on-one and in social media. Lastly, Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton provides a thorough list of legal information and considerations for practices to protect themselves. Key recommendations close the article.
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In the Community: All Pets, After the Flood

Story of All Pets Animal Hospital and their heroic efforts to rescue pets after floods in Baton Rouge damaged several hospitals. They received donations from food and drug companies to treat and save pets who had been displaced by the floods, going above and beyond for pets and their people. Being able to provide shelter and safety in a time of crisis was hugely rewarding for the volunteers and staff at All Pets.
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