My daughter, the veterinary student
As Brooke crossed the floor and headed up the stairs a few months ago, I was in a haze. I was awestruck that my daughter was about to receive her white coat, signifying her entry into the professional curriculum at the Carlsen College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University. When the college’s dean, Dr. […]
Find the sweet spot
Diagnosis of a diabetic pet is the first step in a long course of regulation, maintenance and ongoing care. What you do from the start can put the client’s mind at ease and ensure long-term compliance.
“Fuzzy has what? I thought only people got diabetes.” You have just gotten a patient history, performed a physical examination and started talking with your client about the diagnoses that concern you. The presentation of a polyuria, polydipsia, polyphagia and weight loss are pretty classic for a few conditions, but your knowledge and experience tell […]
Get to the heart of the matter
All the drugs you need to fight heartworm are at your disposal. Now it’s time to educate and advocate.
As a teenager and want-to-be veterinarian working in a metro New York practice, I watched as hundreds of Difil (microfilaria) tests were performed on dogs and thousands of Caricide (diethylcarbamazine) chewables were dispensed. I don’t remember if 100 percent compliance was achieved with testing or preventives. Fast forward 10 years and I was doing an […]
You can’t handle the tooth!
A gap exists between how we usually approach pet dental care and what we ultimately can achieve. The opportunities to improve patient health and boost practice revenue are huge.
You’ve read about it in this and other veterinary publications. You’ve heard about it from clinicians and consultants. And you might have learned about it in veterinary school. But the numbers do not support that you have accepted it. What is “it”? The huge patient care, client care and practice care opportunities that exist in […]
Keep some skin in the game
Your dermatologic recommendations and products might be only scratching the surface. Client education, stocking the right items and other approaches can make a big difference.
Numbers tell a story, so think about these facts: More than half of all pets are overweight. 85 percent of all pets over age 3 have some level of dental disease. 100 percent of pets have skin and therefore face the risk of a dermatologic disease. In light of the plethora of shampoos, conditioners, food […]
Give it your best shot
Compete with low-cost vaccination clinics by doing what they do or by building a better client relationship.
After graduating from veterinary school and entering a small animal practice as an associate, I recognized a change. One of the more common marketing approaches was to offer a free exam with paid vaccinations. The focus of my four years in veterinary school, the full physical exam, had been demeaned to a free service so […]
The missing link
Asking dog owners about any cats at home — forgotten felines number in the millions — promotes animal health and can help fill a practice’s appointment slots.
The animated television series “CatDog” was released in 1998 on Nickelodeon. If you never saw it, envision a species that is one-half smart, cunning cat and one-half happy-go-lucky dog. Today, the cartoon reflects many U.S. households in which both species happily co-exist while battling for the attention of their owners. However, unlike “CatDog,” who had […]
Reach out and touch someone
Focused marketing efforts can cure the ups and downs of seasonality.
Not too long ago, small animal veterinary medicine had a predictable seasonality. From a revenue and transactional standpoint, it looked like a bell-shaped curve — the peak usually in midsummer, the valley in winter and the curve heading up in spring and down in fall. That is no longer the case. Today, the curve looks […]
A dying breed?
Independent veterinarians can thrive in the face of growing corporate competition if they focus on people, processes and profits.
Some independent small animal veterinarians were stricken with panic in January when Banfield owner Mars Inc. announced that it would purchase hospital giant VCA Inc. What changed in the veterinary world between Jan. 9, when the $7.7 billion transaction was unveiled, and the day before? Nothing really, except Mars now owns more than 2,000 hospitals […]