The AAHA Helping Pets Fund is getting a helping hand from a TV celebrity.
An awareness of the inner workings of animal "blood sports," including dog fighting and cock fighting can help veterinarians identify the victims of these operations.
According to a recent poll, pet owners are more likely to obtain a new pet from an animal shelter or rescue than from a pet store or breeder.
With so many online classes available for veterinary technicians, it is no wonder that many boards and associations are accepting these courses as part of their continuing education (CE) requirements for re-licensure, re-certification or re-registration. For example, Louisiana this year decided that half of the total required CE for technicians (10 hours per fiscal year) can be online or self-help courses. North Carolina allows three hours (out of a required 12) of on online training each two-year renewal period. However, one state is actually moving away from online CE in an effort to increase the quality of technician education. Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians (CACVT) Executive Director Denise Mikita, MS, CVT, said CACVT’s certification committee meets every two years to evaluate the CE options in the state, and to decide what qualifies as CE.
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has released its new Nutritional Assessment Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. AAHA found through its compliance study that only 7 percent of pets that could benefit from a therapeutic food were actually on such a regimen. The compliance discrepancy along with the many factors considered in assessing the nutritional needs of healthy dogs or cats, as well as pets with one or more medical conditions, led to the development the AAHA Nutritional Assessment Guidelines. “Incorporating nutritional assessment into the routine examination protocol for every patient is important for maintaining optimal health, as well as their response to disease and injury,” said Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP, AAHA executive director. “The goal of the new guidelines is to provide a framework for the veterinary practice team to help make nutritional assessments and recommendations for their patients.”
With the economy still sluggish, one way to attract new clients and increase revenue is to integrate a groomer into your practice. In addition to the income from grooming itself, it may prompt impromptu wellness visits for patients. But it can also create some challenges. We asked Wendy Thompson, practice manager of The Parkway Veterinary Hospital in Lake Oswego, Ore., to talk about her experience with hiring and keeping a groomer in the practice.
A recent outbreak of canine influenza in Virginia has brought the virus into the spotlight again. And with the swine flu in the news, and the human flu season coming on, veterinarians should be prepared to field questions about canine influenza to help clients differentiate among various forms of flu. The canine influenza virus, H3N8, is highly contagious and spreads especially rapidly among dogs living in a confined space, such as a shelter or kennel. The virus was first identified in 2004 and is suspected to have originated as an equine virus, according to Colorado State University assistant professor of small animal medicine Kathy Lunn, BVMS, PhD, DACVIM.
Everyone has heard of Ace Ventura. But real pet detectives do exist, although there are only a handful operating in the United States. Well-trained pet detectives and their four-legged partners can literally sniff out a lost pet, sometimes in a matter of hours. At the annual conference of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in Seattle last week, two pet detectives gave a series of presentations on what they do and how they do it. Annalisa Berns and Landa Coldiron are certified Missing Animal Response (MAR) Technicians. The two women own their own companies, Pet Search and Rescue and Lost Pet Detection respectively. Berns and Coldiron use a variety of methods to track and search for lost pets, but their most important tools are their dogs.
Emergency and acute care are on the rise as clients try to save money by postponing care for ill pets, according to practice managers and owners who participated in a series of discussion groups on "Weathering the Recession" at the AAHA Yearly Conference last week. Veterinarians reported fewer visits but higher average transaction costs as a result of clients attempts to control spending on pet care. Practices’ individual economic situations varied, but many reported that people in their areas were fearful of losing their jobs and of spending money. Local layoffs from major employers had an impact on some practices. Not everyone was feeling a slowdown in business, but those who were described the various ways they are trying to get clients to stick with their practice.
The recession has affected veterinary practice revenues in the last half of 2008, but our sample estimates that this trend will not be as negative in the first half of 2009. For the last six months of 2008, half (50%) of the respondents reported that revenues were lower than during the first half of 2008, while less than a third (31%) saw an increase in revenues. Coincidentally, the average decrease in revenues was the same size as the average increase (9%), but unfortunately many more veterinarians reported decreases than increases. There were statistically significant differences in revenue declines across FTE categories. Of the practices that experienced decreases in revenue, the smallest practices (1.0 FTE) experienced greater decreases (12%) than did other practices. These data appear to be fairly accurate, with nearly nine out of ten (88%) veterinarians basing their responses on actual practice data instead of ‘gut feel.’