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Trends Digital Issue

March 2017

March 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

AAHA president Nancy Soares, VMD, reflects on the past year of change and achievement at AAHA with a change in membership structure, release of the 2016 AAHA/IAAHPC End-of-Life Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats, and new programs in the Publicity Toolbox. AAHA-Accredited hospital day is a day for celebration and accredited hospitals are reminded to update or input their information into the AAHA-Accredited Hospital Locator. Ideas for how practices can celebrate accredited hospital day are listed.
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Various short articles geared to current issues in the veterinary profession. Cyberbullying and how to manage the online reputation of your practice. Pets bring a sense of optimism and wellbeing in a mental health study out of the UK and published in BMC Psychiatry. National Institutes of Health awards a $1.5 million grant to North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine to combat hospital-acquired infections. The department is exploring new bacterial therapies to treat Clostridium difficile infections. Dogs, even young dogs, can develop gray hair in response to stress and anxiety. A study of 400 dogs found that dogs rated as anxious and impulsive showed increased muzzle grayness. WisCARES is an outreach partnership at the University of Wisconsin that provides basic veterinary medical care, housing support, and advocacy to pet owners. The Society of Human Resource Management provides a synopsis of the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime rule, which is under consideration for sweeping changes by the Department of Labor. The Veterinary Mental Health Professionals Group, comprised of two dozen members who deal with veterinarian wellbeing, have come together to provide a strong voice and relevant expertise in terms of the topic.
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Online Reviews: Opportunity or Disaster?

Detailed article about how veterinary practices can utilize online reviews to maximize their practice’s reputation and profitability. Begins with an overview of the world of online reviews and major sites such as Yelp and Facebook. It’s necessary to have online reviews as most customers now expect to see reviews and use reviews to help decide which businesses they will go to. A one-star increase in reviews can increase revenue anywhere from 5%–9%. Six key points for reputation management are provided, including understanding the review site, being objective, encouraging reviews, monitoring postings on review sites, responding to reviews, and increasing the number of positive reviews. The positive side to reviews is expanded upon as well as tips to manage online reviews, and middleware to help keep track or reviews and manage your online presence.
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Appetite for Discussion: Are You Missing Opportunities in Nutrition Education?

The hot new topic for pet owners is pet health and nutrition, with searches for “best cat food” and “best dog food” delivering about 50,000 Google searches a month. This presents both a challenge and opportunity for veterinarians and practice staff as most clients view them as the most credible resources for nutrition advice and information. The bad news is that most pet owners don’t recall what they are told in consultations about the impact of diet on their pet’s health. Key times to discuss pet nutrition are at the first visit (or when the pet is a puppy or kitten), during a visit for a health problem, and when a pet is transitioning into the geriatric stage. The importance of listening and problem solving nutrition issues with a pet owner is illustrated in the personal story of Sarah B. and her shar pei, Dim, who had an itching problem. Sarah worked with her vet to get Dim on a yeast-free food to stop his itching. A list of recommended resources closes out the article.
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Oncology Safety At-a-Glance

Infographic showing proper suiting for safe treatment when treating pets with cancer.
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Lights, Camera, Go Viral!: Why (and How) Your Veterinary Practice Should Use Video to Stand Out

Don’t let everyone else decide your practice’s brand. Video is an important component of social and online marketing and this article goes over the steps for creating a video campaign that will appeal to your customers. Clients no longer want to be sold to or marketed to, they want to engage with content that is relevant to them. And the stats for video are rising: 45% of people watch more than an 1 of video each week and 100 million hours of video are watched every day. Most telling is that four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. Tips for creating effective video include planning ahead, telling a story with emotional appeal, showing personality, and having a call to action. A clear strategy, involving staff, and supporting the in-practice experience with educational videos are great uses of these tools. Also make sure your videos are short and shareable; you can use an app to cut down on costs. Make sure that you have the legal rights to use any material that appears in your video, especially for commercial purposes.
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Communication Within the Veterinary Team, Part 1: Communication Challenges and Where They Come From

A look into communication challenges at veterinary practices. A 2014 study in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association looked in detail into the experiences of technicians and customer service representatives at veterinary practices. The survey reported that technicians have a high annual turnover rate that is higher than the mean for all jobs within the US. Surveys were conducted through Facebook and LinkedIn of more than 200 vet techs and more than 100 customer service representatives. Respondent demographics were mostly female, between 18–30 years old and based in the US. Communication challenges such as emotional outbursts from clients and lack of clarity around at-home care instructions were some of the issues listed and a series of responses from the surveys are provided for real-life feedback. This is part one of a two-part series.
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To Treat or Not to Treat?: Why Some Experts Say the Benefits of Small Treats Prior to Anesthesia Can Outweigh the Risks

The general wisdom of fasting pets before any procedure requiring sedation or anesthesia is being reconsidered in the veterinary industry. Veterinarians weigh in with their opinions and recommendations. Fear Free?–certified professionals have been administering treats to soothe and calm pets on a case-by-case basis, and many see the benefit in having a calm patient. While the risk of regurgitation is real, in some cases if it does occur, it can be more problematic if the animal has fasted. It’s a new way of thinking that may take some time to take hold.
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In the Community: A Heritage of Community Involvement

Brief article describing the activities of Heritage Pet Hospital in Rochester, New York, for their community involvement over the past two decades. In 2006, they were voted “Favorite Veterinary Practice” by Rochester’s Post Bulletin.
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