News

  • Friday, February 27, 2015 7:39 AM | Administrator Administrator (Administrator)

    AVMA has a peer assistance and wellness resource page now for depression, suicide prevention, etc. 

    Here is a good link

     

    https://www.avma.org/ProfessionalDevelopment/Personal/PeerAndWellness/Pages/default.aspx?utm_source=avma-at-work&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=gen

     

     

  • Tuesday, October 14, 2014 11:57 AM | Administrator Administrator (Administrator)
    From Veterinary team Brief 


    Carrie La Jeunesse, DVM, CT, CCFE, LaJeune Consulting, Fairfax, Virginia

    Shortly before my mother died, she flew from California to Washington State to visit with my family. During her stay, she fell and suffered a severe head trauma. While she was in the Intensive Care Unit, a palliative care doctor briefly became involved with her care. The compassion, understanding, and information that doctor provided my siblings, my mother, and me is emblematic of the type of end-of-life relationship building that not only offers critical support, but also fosters warm feelings toward caregivers long after a patient has died. The doctor sat with us, listened, reflected back, was honest with regard to realistic expectations, and then advocated for my mother’s care with goals of quality of life and comfort. Even after my mother’s death, the doctor holds the fondest spot in my heart of all my mother’s caretakers, despite the fact that she was not her primary physician.

    Build a Bond Before a Patient’s Death

    It does not matter how nice are your letters of condolence, how lovely the hand-rendered clay footprints, how quickly remains are returned to clients, or how kind your offers of tissues, tea, or time after a euthanasia. The time to establish a foundation of empathy and trust and form a true “team” approach with clients is when the patient is alive. When you level the inherently skewed playing field of veterinary “authority” over client, and decisions are made in partnership, best outcomes are more likely and warmer relationships have a better chance to develop.

    The time to establish a foundation of empathy and trust and form a true “team” approach with clients is when the patient is alive.

    Pay Attention to the Patient

    Compassionate care is delivered somewhat differently in veterinary than human medicine, but the principles are the same. When my older dog, Comma, was about to have her second knee surgery, I was anxious and a bit emotional, questioning the wisdom of another orthopedic procedure in an older dog with other medical problems. The surgeon, who was also a long-time professional friend, is probably one of the nicest people to have ever walked the face of this earth. Comma knows it. She loves him. Comma sat as close as she could, leaned against him, laid her head on his lap, and waited for his gentle hand to stroke her head and soft ears. My questions waited while they had their private little moment of “catching up” since her last visit. The genuine affection and “conversation” with Comma eased my angst. It was clear the surgeon genuinely cared about my dog, not just the technical aspects of surgery and the post-op recovery period. He showed that animals are beings deserving of kindness and compassion. As the pet owner, I needed to know that.

    Be Yourself

    Even when difficult news is delivered, one office visit with an emotionally intelligent practitioner can cement client–veterinarian loyalty. Several years ago, I referred (to the same surgical practice) a dear friend whose cat, Tilly, had an aggressive interscapular injection-site sarcoma. The news was not good. The veterinarian sat on the floor, snuggled Tilly, made up his own endearing nickname for the cat, and won my clients’ hearts through his honesty, expertise, and clear demonstration of caring for this cat, these people, and their shared bond. This veterinarian often sits on the floor with patients while he is speaking with clients. It is his styleundefineda true representation of who he isundefinedand this authenticity builds trust that encourages compliance with recommendations and long-term client loyalty.

    Even when difficult news is delivered, one office visit with an emotionally intelligent practitioner can cement client–veterinarian loyalty.

    Be Still and Listen

    According to researchers Kurtz, Silverman, and Draper, communication is one of 4 core competencies essential to an “affective medical interview.”1 Communication must be practiced and cultivated just as diligently as other “doctoring” skills. 

    In the examination room, following introductions or greetings, invite clients to share their stories and concerns around the “presenting complaint,” which will allow you to hear completely what the clients have to say. Depending on the circumstances, begin with questions such as, Can you share with me what your concerns are today? Then, be quiet. Do not interrupt. Do not ask clarifying questions. Actively listen. Make sure there are no barriers between you and the clients (eg, charts, examination tables, folded arms). Face the clients, sit at same level, and lean in a little to signal your full attention. Then, at a minimum, clarify that you understand what the clients are saying, answer their questions, and then reflect back what you heard to be the client’s concerns and questions to ensure your understanding is correct and the clients’ concerns and questions have been fully addressed.  Ask them if your understanding is correct so that they are comfortable correcting anything that may have been misinterpreted.
        
    Be authentic. Be compassionate. Be honest. Listen. The clients will remember these things, perhaps not consciously, but at a “heart” level, and they will likely feel a bond with you, even when you have euthanized their animal companions.


  • Tuesday, October 14, 2014 11:50 AM | Administrator Administrator (Administrator)

    From On The Floor at Dove

    Veterinary Survival Tip: Bad Smells & Gagging

    The best advice I've ever received for working/surviving at a veterinary hospital is:

    Whatever smelly lotion is available, put a dab/smear right under your nostrils to cover the hideous smell of __(fill in the blank)__.

    Lavender lotion saved me. And I don’t even like "smelly" things!

    Amy O'Daly demonstrating the trick of putting scented lotion under your nose to mask bad smells.

    Since I received this advice, I can help clean up HGE diarrhea, not have my mouth profusely water while talking to a client who is holding a dog that has necrotic flesh, and maybe not even notice when there's a deobstipation happening in ER.

    This advice has helped me tremendously and I pass it along whenever I get a chance. Sometimes, just sometimes I may offer up this advice after I've seen them actively gagging from smelling their own veterinary kryptonite. Sorry guys. Hopefully this blog helps spread the word!

    Share this post with anyone it might help in the future, and comment to share any other useful veterinary survivial tips you have! We can all use them.

    This has been a veterinary public service announcement. Thank you.

  • Tuesday, October 14, 2014 11:48 AM | Administrator Administrator (Administrator)

    From AAHA NewStat May 2014


    The nation's only canine bloodmobile, operated by the University of Pennsylvania's Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital for Small Animals, is proving that offering pet owners more convenience can lead to more blood donations from their dogs.

    According to Philly.com, the animal bloodmobile has been in operation since 1991 and works with more than 200 regular canine blood donors. Around 2001, the organization moved into a new vehicle that was donated by a couple whose golden retriever had been saved by transfusions at the hospital. 

    The bloodmobile visits locations such as veterinary hospitals and breed clubs on prearranged dates to collect blood two or three times a week, the school said on its website.

    In addition to making it more convenient for owners to have their dogs available for blood donations, the bloodmobile rewards owners with either a 40-pound bag or case of canned dog food during each donation, plus a free yearly blood workup. The bloodmobile specifies that dogs can donate blood every six weeks, and owners must make their dogs available to donate three to four times a year.

    To donate, dogs must undergo an initial 20-minute screening as well as meet certain criteria, including:

    • Weigh from 55 to 150 pounds
    • Be in excellent health and have all required shots
    • Be between the ages of 1 and 6, although dogs can stay in the program through age 8
    • Not be one of the few breeds the bloodmobile won't take blood from, such as pit bulls

    Dog owner Burke Meyers, whose dog Holly donates to the bloodmobile on an ongoing basis, explained to Philly.com why he chose to enroll Holly in the program and help other dogs in need of lifesaving blood.

    "We [humans] give blood and it doesn't hurt. It makes me feel proud that this can save so many animals," Meyers said.

  • Tuesday, October 14, 2014 11:43 AM | Administrator Administrator (Administrator)

    From AAHA NewStat May 2014


    Editor's note: This article was contributed by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP).

    The topical application to cats of flea control products marketed for dogs containing permethrins constitutes a major portion of feline toxicities reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. These incidents generally occur as either deliberate application of the product to a cat by an owner unaware of the dangers, or by the indirect exposure of cats to those products via such things as grooming of dogs on whom these products have recently been applied.

    The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has recently endorsed the International Society of Feline Medicine’s (ISFM) Protect Against Permethrin Poisoning Campaign.

    We need to encourage and educate pet owners to be extremely careful when applying any permethrin-containing products either on pets, or within the pet’s environment. Be sure to relay to only use treatments that are licensed for cats, as they do not contain a toxic level of permethrin as some canine spot-on treatments may contain.

    During canine veterinary visits, be sure to take a full pet history for the entire household. Ask the owner if they have cats in the household. For households with dogs and cats, educate owners to either use spot-on products that do not contain permethrin to avoid accidental exposure, or keep the pets apart until the dog’s treatment has dried.

    Since exposure to even small quantities of concentrated permethrin can cause severe and fatal poisoning in cats, pet owners who suspect their cat may have been exposed should seek veterinary attention immediately.  

    “Veterinary practices should be aware of the clinical signs of permethrin poisoning. It must be included in the differential for any cats presented for hypersalivation, anxiousness, muscle tremors, or seizures. Prompt treatment of such cases is necessary for the cat's survival,” says Gerry Beekman, DVM, AAFP Feline Welfare Committee.

    The AAFP has additional information including details on the Permethrin Poisoning Campaign as well as signs and symptoms.

    You can also educate pet owners by sharing or linking to the AAFP Permethrin Poisoning and Cats page.

    About the American Association of Feline Practitioners 

    The American Association of Feline Practitioners improves the health and welfare of cats by supporting high standards of practice, continuing education and scientific investigation. The AAFP has a long-standing reputation and track record in the veterinary community for facilitating high standards of practice and publishes guidelines for practice excellence which are available to veterinarians at the AAFP website. Over the years, the AAFP has encouraged veterinarians to continuously re-evaluate preconceived notions of practice strategies in an effort to advance the quality of feline medicine practiced. The Cat Friendly Practice program is the newest effort created to improve the treatment, handling and overall healthcare provided to cats. Its purpose is to equip veterinary practices with the tools, resources and information to elevate the standard of care provided to cats. Find more information at www.catvets.com.

  • Tuesday, October 14, 2014 11:30 AM | Administrator Administrator (Administrator)

    From AAHA NewStat August 2014


    A study published in theAug. 1 edition of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) looked at a small sampling of veterinary hospitals' use of electronic veterinary medical record (EVMR) systems. Despite the small sample size, the researchers came away with some big ideas about how the veterinary profession can better use EVMRs to improve animal health care.

    In the study, researchers surveyed 84 independent small animal veterinary practices in Massachusetts to learn about how these practices are using EVMRs, and discover perceived barriers to using EVMRs.

    They found that of the 82 practices that reported the type of medical record system they use, 17.1 percent used EVMRs only, 19.5 percent used paper records only, and 63.4 percent used a combination of both systems. Of those, large and medium-sized practices were significantly more likely to use EVMRs combined with paper records than were small practices, researchers reported. But when it came to only using EVMRs, small practices were similarly likely to do that compared to medium and large practices.

    Among the practices that only use paper records, researchers found many perceived barriers to adoption and use of electronic records. These included anticipated technological problems, reluctance to change, time constraints, and cost. 

    EVMR users missing key opportunities to improve health care

    According to the study, more than half of surveyed practices that used EVMRs only or in combination with paper records reported using them for business activities such as scheduling, automating client reminders, recording medical and surgical information, ensuring billing, automatic billing, providing cost estimates, reviewing veterinarian performance, and marketing. 

    Fewer than half of respondents using combined systems or EVMRs only reported using EVMRs for care credit, identifying EIDs, insurance, and research purposes. Additional uses reported by these groups included:


    • Interfacing with laboratory test results and email systems
    • Tracking clinical inventory
    • Storing diagnostic (radiographic, ultrasonographic, and endoscopic) images and videos
    • Accommodating patient discharge comments and client instructions
    • Communicating with referring veterinarians

    That a high percentage of respondents use their EVMRs for practice management purposes but less so for tracking and improving patient and population health "concerns us for several reasons," researchers wrote. 

    They pointed out that in human medicine, electronic medical records (EMR) "improve medical care and patient safety beyond the capacity of paper medical records to do so by reducing the number of medical errors associated with illegible handwriting, incorrect prescribing practices, and inappropriate use of tests and procedures. They can also be used to contribute to the early identification of emerging health problems and adverse health events."

    "These capabilities allow practitioners to tailor medical practice to the unique individuals or populations they serve by applying appropriate preventative medicine treatments and practices, identifying protocols effective for the reduction of adverse events and frequency and severity of disease, and practicing evidence-based medicine for the treatment of common diseases and conditions," researchers wrote.

    Recommendations for enhanced adoption and use of EVMRs

    Researchers said that in order to progress toward a better companion animal surveillance system for public health purposes, a growing goal within the animal health care world, there will need to be greater use of EVMRs. 

    They acknowledged that achieving enhanced adoption and use of EVMRs is no small task, and that it will take efforts from individual veterinarians, state boards, professional organizations such as the AVMA and AAHA, and public health-oriented institutions such as the CDC.

    As the usage of EVMRs evolves over time, researchers speculated that it could lead to linking between the systems of independent, stand-alone veterinary practices. The sharing of data from geographically disparate practices would enable monitoring and tracking patient health over large areas, leading to improved surveillance of diseases - particularly zoonotic diseases. 

    "The use of EMRs holds great promise for monitoring and improving the health of individual human and animal patients as well as human and animal populations," researchers wrote. "Independent veterinary medical practices have the potential to contribute to the veterinary medical profession's understanding of the natural history of and risk factors for diseases in animals, the effectiveness of treatments and procedures, and the prevention of modifiable diseases among animals and humans."

  • Tuesday, October 14, 2014 11:28 AM | Administrator Administrator (Administrator)

    From AAHA NewStat August 2014


    Editor's note: This article was contributed by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP).

    Feline house-soiling is one of the most common reasons why pet owners abandon or relinquish their cats. Unfortunately, these cats frequently end up in shelters where they are euthanized. The good news is that there are ways to prevent, manage, or resolve feline house-soiling behaviors. The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has just released a brochure, “Feline House-Soiling: Useful Information for Cat Owners,” which describes the causes, treatment, management, and prevention of house-soiling. Cat owner education is the key to resolving house-soiling behaviors.

    The AAFP’s brochure emphasizes that cats do not urinate or defecate outside their litter box due to spite or anger towards the owner, but because it’s physical, social, or medical needs are not being met. The brochure gives cat owners practical tips and information on: 

    • Four basic causes of house-soiling – Medical causes and problems, feline idiopathic cystitis, marking behaviors, and environmental and social factors.
    • Designing the optimal litter box – Number of litter boxes, location and placement of boxes, size of box, type of litter, and management of the box.
    • Removing marking triggers – Spay or neuter, restrict potential threats of other cats, and clean thoroughly and frequently.  
    • Meeting the environmental and social needs of the cat.

    It also reminds cat owners to contact their veterinary practice immediately if their cat is exhibiting house-soiling behavior.   


    “If you are experiencing feline house-soiling with your cat, please contact your veterinary practice. You should work with your veterinarian to identify the causative factors for the house-soiling behavior and effectively address those factors to cease or markedly decrease the unwanted behavior,” advises Hazel Carney, DVM, DABVP (Canine and Feline). 

    “Cat owners should be educated about the basic causes and ways to prevent or manage house-soiling behaviors. This brochure is a complete and comprehensive tool with the purpose to educate thus decreasing the number of cats being abandoned or relinquished due to these behaviors, and allowing more cats to live long, happy lives in their current households,” said Heather O’Steen, executive director of the AAFP.

    The AAFP would like to thank Ceva Animal Health for their sponsorship of this brochure and their commitment to help the veterinary community enhance the lives of cats.

    About the American Association of Feline Practitioners

    The American Association of Feline Practitioners improves the health and welfare of cats by supporting high standards of practice, continuing education and scientific investigation.

  • Tuesday, October 14, 2014 11:24 AM | Administrator Administrator (Administrator)

    From AAHA NewStat August 2014


    Just as American veterinarians have struggled with clients who are quick to consult "Dr. Google" before their own veterinarians, their British counterparts are dealing with many clients who flock to readily available online advice.

    The British Veterinary Association (BVA) surveyed 1,208 veterinarians - 689 of whom work with companion animals - to solicit their opinions about the impact of clients ranking Google higher than their veterinarians. A hefty 98 percent of survey respondents said they believe their clients change their behavior based on online research.

    Some respondents said they think that clients who consult Dr. Google before visiting a veterinarian are more likely to self-diagnose and treat pets, and that animals pay the price because their owners unnecessarily delay seeking professional veterinary care. 



    According to the BVA, one veterinarian related the story of a client who refused surgery for her dog "only to come back with the dog minutes later in a blind panic because the Internet had agreed with my advice." The same veterinarian lamented that some clients seem to think that a quick Google search is equal to a veterinary degree.

    The survey results align with 2011 Banfield Veterinary Care Usage Study findings revealing that 39 percent of pet owners in the United States turn to the Internet before contacting their veterinarians.

    Additional statistics uncovered by the BVA survey include:

    • 81 percent of respondents said they had clients who bring their pets in later than is advisable. Respondents pointed to financial issues, lack of understanding, and attempts to self-diagnose and treat pets as possible reasons.
    • 39 percent of veterinarians said clients' online research was unhelpful, 53 percent said it was equally helpful and unhelpful, and 6 percent found it more helpful than not.

    "It worries me to hear that so many people are relying on guesswork or unverified Internet sources for health advice for their pets," said Robin Hargreaves, BVSc, MRCVS, president of the British Veterinary Association. "While there is some useful information about pet behavior and health available online, particularly from the established animal charities, the best source of information for animal health concerns will always be your vet who knows your pet."

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