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Trends Digital Issue

September 2017

September 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

Caroline West Lubeck, DVM and AAHA board member discusses the need for practices to involve all staff members in establishing best practices and roles to play in situations that involve decisions and processes around end of life. She recommends reviewing and utilizing the resources created for all practices through the 2016 AAHA/IAAHPC End-of-Life Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. This resource details ways to make personalized end-of-life care plans, methods for having courageous conversations, lovely ways to support clients experiencing bereavement, and thoughtful ways to memorialize the loss of a pet. Additional article on how AAHA’s trusted financial resource, AAHA/VMG Chart of Accounts is now available for free online to the veterinary profession. The AAHA/VMG Chart of Accounts is the standard for classifying revenue, expense, and balance sheet accounts in small animal veterinary practice. Additionally, AAHA recommends that all accounting firms working with veterinary practices adopt the standardized codes. Lastly, a brief article discussing the Veterinary Management Series: Culture, HR, and Marketing, which is the latest offering in AAHA’s continuing education suite is included. The new program goes beyond a cursory overview to delve deep into management topics, from developing HR best practices to creating a winning—and manageable—digital marketing plan.
Page 12


Notebook starts with a brief article detailing how to encourage staff to make follow-up appointments for the benefit if clients, patients, and the practice overall. A list of five essential steps for preparing staff for the practice of forward booking is included. Next in Notebook is discussion of a new drug therapy trial being conducted by researchers at UMass and the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine that is hoped could possibly benefit human patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS.) Four dogs are currently part of the study. The study is ongoing. Another brief article details ten key points for succeeding in a job interview situation: nonverbal communication or “body language”, dressing appropriately, listening attentively, answering thoughtfully, acting professionally, and being confident. A good primer for those either needing a refresher on interview skills or going into the job market for the first time. The final story is about a surgery which successfully removed a 13 cm heartworm from Stormie, a Siamese cat presenting with lameness in a rear leg. The worm was successfully removed via surgery and is the first successfully documented surgical removal of a heartworm in a cat via the femoral artery. Cardiology resident Maureen Oldach who assisted with the surgery is preparing a case write-up for journal submission.
Page 17

The New Backyard Chicken

New FDA rules for antimicrobials in food animals took effect in January 2017. Prior to 2017, most antimicrobials used in food animals were available over the counter (OTC). Now they require a veterinarian’s prescription or veterinary feed directive (VFD). The article focuses on how these new rules affect owners of backyard chickens, which often hold the status of pets. A list of questions for veterinarians to consider as they prepare for queries from backyard chicken owners includes advice on who can provide information, the implications of treating chickens in your practice, and how to proceed. Resources for additional info are included. Additional discuss on beekeeping is included, as bees also fall under the under the new FDA guidelines as food animals. Interviews with three veterinarians who treat chickens are included as well as a glossary of terms and resource lists for both veterinarians and owners affected by these new rules.
Page 26

Pet Insurance Trends

Detailed article that goes in depth about the trends and influences affecting pet insurance. The number if insured pets is on the rise, with the industry itself seeing an expansion beyond just the accident only plans of the past. Most plans now include comprehensive illness and injury coverage. Insurance is now seen as part of responsible pet ownership, with millennials being a driving force behind this shift in attitude. Many plans are expanding beyond dogs and cats as well. The article concludes with some sound advice for how practitioners can effectively raise the issue of finances with clients. Recommending pet insurance is in the best interest of all concerned and the rise in people owning pets means there is a need for veterinarians to be able to talk about this resource with owners and clients.
Page 35

Get Smart

Annual growth in diagnostic testing grew over 7% from 2011 to 2016. This article discusses the impact and opportunities of that growth for practices. Diagnostic testing is often the key to early detection and effective treatment. A formula for calculating quality-of-care ratios is provided, as well as guidelines on proper equipment maintenance.
Page 41

Home Team

Pets react differently to noise than humans do and there are steps that practices can take to reduce stress and anxiety caused by noise in practices and hospitals. Though the most ideal approach is to build a facility with noise mitigation and reduction in mind, there are many steps that can be taken to reduce noise in existing facilities. This article lists several options, from music suggestions to noise absorbing building materials. Extensive research on the effects of noise and stress is included and a graph detailing the hearing levels of various animals illustrates the need for noise mitigation in effective caring strategies. The article concludes with a list of factors to consider from a pet perspective when assessing the noise levels in your facility.
Page 45

Client Centric

Lengthy article meant to educate and inform about the relatively new process of alkaline hydrolysis as an option in end-of-life choices alongside burial and flame cremation. The history of AH is covered, from its origins in 1888, to is expansion today for both human and animal use. More than 60 units are in use today in the US. The article goes on to detail what occurs during the process and includes a list of eight advantages of alkaine hydrolysis over more traditional end of life options. Some myths around AH are also discussed. Advice on selection an after-death service providers completes the discussion.
Page 50

Fear Free

Article detailing the benefits of Fear Free certification for practices, patients, and pet owners. A case study of Veterinary Medical Center of Fort Mill in Fort Mill, South Carolina goes into great detail about the transformation the practice underwent when they embraced the Fear Free practices and certification process. Employees were happier, pets were less stressed during treatments and owners were more likely to bring their pets back as a result.
Page 57

In the Community

Heartbreaking story of a puppy mill and large scale animal abuse case in Habersham County Georgia. Over 400 animals were found caged and injured in a puppy mill that had been operating for ten years. Cecily Nieh, owner of AAHA accredited Northeast Veterinary Hospital and experienced animal first-responder was called to scene to help. Two suspects have been charged and pled not guilty. The case was expected to go to trial in October of 2017.
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