Empowering evidence-based preventive care
Why is preventive care so important?
- Industry experts and professionals agree that veterinary medicine must not only focus on unwell animals, but also preventive care.
- Adopting regular health checks for dogs and cats lets veterinarians and pet owners make confident decisions.
- Adding blood work to the wellness visit demonstrates an evidence-based approach that considers biological variation, and provides opportunity to detect underlying disease earlier.
What is the supporting evidence for preventive care?
There is increasing information in the current veterinary literature about the value of preventive care and the benefits of diagnostic testing. In addition to the recent AAHA big data study, a number of studies have been published that evidence the importance of combining diagnostics with patients’ history and physical exam.
Big data study - synopsis by Dr Graham Swinney BVSc (Hons), FANZCVS (Canine Medicine)
In a recent big data study by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), more than 250,000 patients from 5,016 clinics found a surprising number of significant changes to a patient’s health which warranted further investigation.
Dell'Osa study - synopsis by Dr Graham Swinney BVSc (Hons), FANZCVS (Canine Medicine)
The Dell’Osa study conducted in Australia (n = 531) investigated the prevalence of significant underlying disease. The results showed that 6.2% of apparently healthy dogs and 19.2% of apparently healthy cats had significant changes that required further investigation.
Hear firsthand from Dr. David Mason about preventive care in practice
What does preventive care look like in your practice?
Preventive Care is about creating a culture within the hospital of all staff understanding the benefits of being the patient advocate. Advocacy starts with regular health checks and an adherence to patient-centred, evidence-based standards of care.
How did you implement preventive care?
We introduced our Total Wellness Plan which incorporates all the things that patients need to keep healthy. By creating a structured system of preventive health care including written Standards of Care and our Total Wellness Plan we ensured that we are promoting the same message to our clients at each opportunity.
How has a preventive care culture benefited your practice?
Our staff enjoy looking after healthy pets, not just sick patients. Through our Total Wellness Plan patients visit our clinics more regularly and we are highly engaged with their owners. Our staff don't need to 'sell' the need for worming / heartworm prevention / vaccinations etc. or 6 monthly health checks as they are included within the plan. This gives our veterinary team extra time in consults to discuss the needs of the owners and their pet.
Why would you recommend practices partner with IDEXX?
IDEXX has a solid platform of industry leading pathology; both in-clinic equipment and laboratory services. Being able to do reliable and accurate in-clinic testing is a very powerful tool. This, coupled with VetConnect Plus gives us the ability to easily trend and track our patients' metabolic health, improving our ability to pick up on early disease.