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Natalie Marks, DVM, CVJ

Column:Fearless

Dr. Natalie Marks is an educator, consultant and practicing Chicago veterinarian. Dr. Marks is a leader within the Fear Free movement, was a member of the original Fear Free advisory board and is Fear Free Certified Elite.

Dr. Natalie Marks is an educator, consultant and practicing Chicago veterinarian. Dr. Marks is a leader within the Fear Free movement, was a member of the original Fear Free advisory board and is Fear Free Certified Elite.

emotional health

First Impressions

Fearless

Use the latest digital technology to get new pet owners to your curb or through your door and then coming back for more.

Pet adoptions have exploded. A Rover.com survey found that 60% of first-time pet owners had never been inside an animal hospital, which suggests an overwhelming number of people lack quite a bit of information about the physical and emotional health of their puppies and kittens. While the amount of education that veterinary professionals need to […]

senior pets

New Tricks for Old Dogs (and Cats)

Fearless

You can do plenty to make life more pleasant for senior pets in your clinic and their homes.

As of late, just about everyone I know is trying to invest in one of the world’s hottest industries — ours. And for a good reason. A recent Morgan Stanley report predicts that today’s $100 billion U.S. pet industry will explode to $275 billion by 2030. Among the reasons: the incredible upswing in new pet […]

needle

Take the Fear Out of Injections

Fearless

A series of small steps will pay off with a happier pet, a relieved client and stress-free return visits.

One of my clients used to joke that she did more shopping when she saw me at the veterinary hospital than she did at the grocery store or on Amazon. She’d buy food for all four of her pets, chronic medications, heartworm and flea/tick preventives, treats, toys, harnesses, toothbrushes, and even ID tags and collars. […]

orthopedic patient

The Orthopedic Patient

Fearless

A calm and cooperative animal is essential to the accurate diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal issues. Don’t rule out sedation.

Cortisol is a well-intentioned, very powerful hormone. It is a normal part of the physiological stress response when the body perceives something fearful or threatening. It initially acts as a strong anti-inflammatory and temporarily reduces the pain response when the body experiences an acutely painful episode. In veterinary patients with chronic pain, the cortisol release […]

trainer

Bond With a Pet Trainer

Fearless

An outside expert can meticulously answer many of the questions your clients pose and prepare pets to be willing participants in veterinary care.

Clients have asked me almost every conceivable pet behavior question over the past 20 years, including some that I never envisioned. And while at the beginning of my career I was always willing to spend lots of extra time with clients during an appointment, I soon found that to be exhausting, unsustainable and, later as […]

telemedicine

Assisting From Afar

Fearless

Telemedicine allows veterinarians to communicate with homebound clients, observe patients in a relaxed state and even suggest alterations to the pet’s environment.

I don’t think a single veterinary colleague of mine would disagree that 2020 has been one of the most challenging years professionally and personally. Abrupt changes to workflow, curbside appointments, the immediate need for instant digital communication and the exponential pet explosion involving many first-time owners have all occurred at once. The typically slow-to-change veterinary […]

dermatology

Take the fear out of dermatology

Fearless

You need to get the patient into the clinic, perform diagnostic tests in a nonthreatening manner, set client expectations and schedule follow-ups.

When I was in veterinary school, dermatology was one of my least favorite subjects. We didn’t have a lot of great options for an itchy dog except allergy shots and steroids. Many of my cases ended with frustrated pet owners because of the numerous medication side effects they saw at home. During my early days […]

home delivery

Made to order

Fearless

Maximize your home-delivery platform and online pharmacy to get clients the pet behavior products you trust and sell.

Living with a human or furry family member who is battling a chronic disease can be incredibly stressful. Living with a chronically anxious dog or cat can be just as difficult, and it’s a situation many veterinarians fail to recognize. Traditional solutions to pet behavior issues haven’t been consistently available during the pandemic because, in […]

team members

Plan B

Fearless

In the midst of crisis, turn fear and anxiety into clinic opportunities.

Asking my team members “How are you?” was difficult in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. The responses typically were accompanied by sagging shoulders and expressions of frustration, sadness or uncertainty. The pandemic waged war on our physical, emotional, and mental and financial health, but we continued to drag ourselves to work to fulfill our […]

pet pain

Team up to tackle pain

Fearless

Too many dogs and cats don’t receive needed relief. Hospital staff should use the power of observation and diagnostics to do what is best for the patient and to build client trust.

I wish the following statements were purely historical, but as shared by Dr. Michael Petty during a discussion of the business of pain management, they are being spoken in veterinary clinics today by some of our colleagues. “Pets don’t feel pain like we do.” “It will help my patients’ recovery if they feel some pain […]

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