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Trends Digital Issue

June 2017

June 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.

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Articles in this issue

Inside AAHA

Darren Taul, DVM, weighs in on the importance of preventive care and covers effective ways to communicate with clients about getting compliance with this important behavior. Determining what matters most in the day-to-day life of a pet’s family is key to providing preventive care. Asking the right questions about your clients’ pets can help establish expectations and garner key insights for what kind of care is needed. A large percentage of pet owners will take their pets for preventive care as long as the reasons why are relevant to them and their pets’ needs. So, always be sure to determine the “why” when developing preventive care programs at your practice. It can be difficult to have conversations with clients about the cost of care, so set up conversations successfully by turning fearful thoughts into confident declarations. Nan Boss, DVM, has some really great tips in her book from AAHA Press, Educating Your Clients from A to Z, such as carefully planning responses for complaints. AAHA raised $3,514 for Nashville-based Nashville Cat Rescue during AAHA’s 2017 annual veterinary conference. Way to go!
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A new study shows that imagining future outcomes of an action may help decrease impulsivity without increasing willpower. Police dogs and other scent-detection dogs are becoming the latest victims of the opioid epidemic when they are exposed to deadly drugs in the line of duty. Veterinarians at the University of Illinois have created an open-access educational video to teach how to give naloxone (Narcan) to dogs in case of emergencies. A University of Alberta study has shown that babies of families with pets (primarily dogs) showed higher levels of two types of microbes, Ruminococcus and Oscillospira, associated with lower risks of allergic disease and obesity. The study builds on research that shows children who grow up with dogs have lower rates of asthma. A study from the University of Bristol shows that veterinarians who communicate in a paternalistic, directive style might have better outcomes with clients if they change their communication style to be more inclusive. The former style can feel disempowering to clients. Eating more servings of vegetables daily is associated with a lower incidence of psychological stress, particularly for women, according to research by University of Sydney scholars. Researchers at the University of Helsinki have uncovered the cause of acute respiratory distress (ARDS) in Dalmatian dogs. ARDS has an early onset, with puppies or young dogs experiencing difficulty in breathing that rapidly leads to death. A gene test will be made available as part of the MyDogDNA test (mydogdna.com). Feline hypertension may be underdiagnosed since routine blood pressure monitoring is performed infrequently in cats, and cats are notoriously susceptible to stress in the veterinary hospital. The International Society of Feline Medicine has published guidelines to help veterinarians manage and diagnose this condition better. The availability of veterinarians who offer holistic health approaches is not meeting the demand from pet owners. That’s according to an overview of the industry by PetLife Pharmaceuticals. People spending more on holistic health approaches for themselves is creating a desire for holistic health options for their pets. Penn Vet’s Shelter Medicine Program is now running a mobile unit that provides advanced care for shelter animals and at-risk pets in communities that lack access to veterinary care. Four major trends in the veterinary services industry are rapidly transforming it by expanding treatment options and boosting potential revenue growth: big data, wearables, premium technology, and stem cell therapy. Lisa Gunter, a doctoral candidate at Arizona State University, says a night away from a shelter can allow a potential adoptee’s stress levels to lower so that he can behave more naturally. This gives potential adopters a better view of the dog’s true personality.
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V.E.T.S. Making a Difference: Nonprofit Sends Equipment and Supplies to Hospitals in Need

Profile of the nonprofit organization Project V.E.T.S., which ships donated veterinary supplies, equipment, and technology to veterinary outposts all over the world, many in rural and isolated areas of developing nations such as Ape Action Africa and The Big Fix Uganda. Founded in 2009 by Candy Sayles-Brad, DVM, and based in Boulder, Colorado, Project V.E.T.S. redistributes donations globally to 92 nonprofits devoted to animal health. The warehouse where all donations are stored before being packaged and shipped is located on the property of the Gunbarrel Animal Hospital. The operation consists of two part-time employees and a half-dozen volunteers. All potential recipient organizations fill out an application to be considered for donations. Once accepted, they are required to fill out a grant support form every year thereafter listing the supplies they need and want. The organization accepts any and all donations and will fix equipment that is broken so they can send it out to someone who needs it and will use it. Hospitals from all over send donations, so it is a mutually beneficial relationship for Project V.E.T.S, the donors, and the recipients.
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When Rabies Hits Home: A Colorado Case Highlights the Tough Decisions and Realities of Rabies

Case study of Cholula, a five-month-old puppy bitten by a coyote in advance of receiving her rabies vaccination. The article goes into detail about the protocols that have to be followed in the event of exposure. Rabies is a deadly infectious disease for both animals and people. In cases of possible rabies exposure in unvaccinated pets or those with undocumented vaccination histories in Colorado, the options are euthanasia or quarantine for 120 days in a secure facility with rabies vaccinations on days 0, 21, and 60. The costs of quarantine can be prohibitive but some pet insurance plans can help with costs if it is deemed medically necessary. The article details rabies exposure outcomes for 2016 in Colorado, and the origins of the quarantine policy and protocols and the reasons why it is the recommended plan for exposed pets. Additionally, it’s crucial that veterinary staff practice personal safety when working with cases to prevent the possibility of infection themselves.
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Weight Management Guidelines Revisited: Task Force Members Offer Advice

In 2014, AAHA published its 2014 AAHA Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. This article covers the risks and problems associated with excess weight and how veterinary professionals can counsel clients to help their pets who have weight issues. Included in the discussion are formulas for calculating caloric intake and protein intake, as well as a checklist for staff to use with clients so that they can successfully monitor the success and challenges of the suggested weight loss or weight management program. An extensive list of issues that can impede or prevent weight loss is provided, along with actionable solutions.
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Diets for Preventive Health: Guidelines, Labels, and Communication

It is highly recommended that all staff members be on the same page when it comes to making dietary recommendations to clients for their pets. With the wealth of nutritional information available, it can often be difficult to educate every member of your team on how, when, and why dietary recommendations are made, but it is important to do so. The article details what constitutes an adequate diet, which is often unclear and should be specific to each animal’s needs. The “Circle of Nutrition” includes the pet’s age and health, his current diet, and feeding management factors. The article includes a couple of case study scenarios to contextualize the Circle of Nutrition approach so it can be successfully implemented in conversations with clients.
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Demystifying Website Analytics: Examining a Critical and Ignored Side of Practice Marketing

In this world of increased veterinary competition and new digital marketing abilities for practices, there’s one area that is simultaneously acknowledged as both critical and ignored: analytics. This article details the major questions that prevent practices from fully utilizing analytics and offers answers and solutions for how to use analytics to make better decisions and improve marketing results. Google Analytics is the most common tool used to measure online campaigns and the article includes a list of tips for getting started right away: check mobile traffic, know the whole story, don’t panic, maximize the top three pages of interaction, and set goals.
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“A Wonderful Career”: 6 Decades in Veterinary Medicine

After 58 years in the veterinary profession, Martin Fineman retired, and he details the highlights and changes he saw in his long career. His practice grew from just him in 1958 to an AAHA-accredited practice a few years later. There were long hours, many house calls, and emergencies in the middle of the night. He took on a partner, and when Fineman was ready to retire, his partner took over. He also talks about his postretirement gig and having to take the National Exam again at age 70. He worked in relief practice while in retirement in Nevada as well as working with the SPCA in Reno and volunteering with the Community Emergency Response Team. Now 83, Fineman is able to look back and say he was truly lucky to become a veterinarian.
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In the Community: A Client, a Car, and a Clinic That Cares

The staff at Cleveland Road Animal Hospitals truly admired the dedication of one of their clients, “Mr. Katz,” to his cats and also the stray cats he took care of in the neighborhood. When his car broke down and could not be repaired, he stated riding his bike to the practice to pick up food for the cats. The staff decided to pitch in and help him get a new car and contacted a local dealership. They presented the car to Mr. Katz on his birthday. His gratitude was overwhelming and he told the staff what they had done “was the best thing in my life.”
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