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Trends Digital Issue

October 2017

October 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

An article describes the value of veterinary technicians to practices and the value they bring to day-to-day operations. Pamela Nichols, DVM, recounts her early days as a technician and how that experience guided her hiring choices when she opened her own practice. Data analysis of dental training shows remarkable success of building awareness of periodontal disease in dogs and cats. More prevalent in adult animals than in juveniles, the study still showed a score of 17% of some stage of dental disease in canines less than two years old. A whopping 77% of felines aged three years and older have evidence of dental disease. An infographic at the end of the report provides compelling visuals for the study findings.
Page 11

Rise of the Technician Specialist: Techs Are Breaking New Ground

The role of the veterinary technician is often misunderstood. The job itself can be demanding and stressful, and often low paying. Many technicians are increasing their market value through specialization. It’s a long process that can take anywhere from five to seven years (including work experience), but has huge rewards in terms of increased confidence and opportunities in the life and career of a technician. Specialization requires hours of dedication and study with a rigorous test at the end. Technicians interviewed for the article called the process “grueling,” but not without rewards. A big benefit is that a specialization will indicate to potential employers your ability to complete vigorous coursework and your commitment to the profession. It is a way to make yourself stand out and help open doors for advancement as well as improve patient care. A list of academies closes out the article.
Page 16

2017 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines: Executive Summary

An executive summary of the 2017 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines. The 2017 guidelines offer extensive updates from the 2011 guidelines, including tables that summarize recommendations, internet links to regularly updated online resources, indications for antibody testing, and product information on immunotherapeutics. Canine vaccination has long been recognized as a key practice in preventing the spread of infectious disease, and the AAHA guidelines provide detailed information meant to support the implementation of effective, individualized protocols for the prevention of infectious diseases of dogs. Extensive tables for recommendations of core and noncore vaccines are included in the article.
Page 26

Shelter Medicine Practice: Spotlight on a New Board Specialty

Spotlight on shelter medicine practice, which is an emerging specialty that has been recently board certified. The first exam was administered in 2015. Qualifications are skills in the art and science of medicine and surgery as well as other areas such as preventive and wellness care, behavior, and public health. Veterinarians are excited about this new development, and the article goes into good detail on the differences and similarities between private practice and shelter medicine. Shelter medicine differs in that often, the patient will not have a previous history for the veterinarian to refer to, so he or she must develop keen powers of observation. Also, shelter medicine must place a greater emphasis on group health as opposed to private practice, which can focus on individual health and wellbeing. Shelter animals carry very different risk factors; three shelter animal success stories illustrate this point. Vet school admissions are hearing more applicants express an interest in shelter medicine as a specialty. This is expected to result in a surge in expertise, recognition, and interest that’s long overdue. The interest comes at a great time because communities are demanding more from their local shelters, and there is currently a shortage of skilled practitioners to meet the demand.
Page 38

Conventional, Alternative, and Raw Pet Diets: Get the Nutritional and Regulatory Facts

Extensive and detailed article about the various foods and diets available to pet owners for the most nutritionally sound diet for their pets. Pet food labels are explained as well as the terminology used for various diets along with the drawbacks and benefits of each. Suggestions for communication with pet owners and clients about the dangers of fad diets for pets are covered, as well as ways to educate clients on the dietary and nutritional needs of their pets and how best to meet them.
Page 45

Open Wide for Fear Free Dentistry: Having Protocols in Place Helps Relieve Anxiety

Dental care is necessary for pet health and doesn’t have to be frightening if you visit a veterinarian using Fear Free techniques to help keep your pet calm and relaxed throughout their treatment. Fear Free dentistry uses treats, pheromones, medications, and stress-reducing handling techniques to ensure that pets have as positive of an experience as possible. As for owners, they go one step further to ease the anxiety around procedural cost by thoroughly discussing price and payment plans as well as insurance options available. Preventive dentistry is crucial for pets’ wellbeing, and addressing all aspects of this important treatment is at the forefront of Fear Free’s approach.
Page 53

Your In-House Lab Needs a Human Touch for Optimal Performance

Having a lab coordinator is a smart move for most practices. Designating someone as the point person for running tests, submitting samples, and communicating with vendors about malfunctioning or broken equipment ensures that there is accountability for this critical area. Equipment needs to be maintained for the efficient and productive functioning of the hospital. The position of lab coordinator can be filled by one person devoting 10% of their weekly hours to the lab, or, for a larger practice, this position may have a larger hourly requirement. A job description and responsibilities for a lab coordinator are listed. Testimonials of practices who have implemented lab coordinators speak to the importance and benefits of this role.
Page 57

In the Community: Dogs Have Their Day

The 2017 South Florida Canine Film Festival was created as a fundraiser for homeless animals and rescue shelters in South Florida. Guests got to participate in a canine fashion show and a “Hollywoof Afterparty” at the event. Organizers plan to make this a semiannual event, with a feline film festival scheduled for 2018.
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