Western Vet And Jen’s Pumpkin: Shared Concerns


Western Veterinary Conference Entrance

The Western Veterinary Conference is in full swing through tomorrow yet I can’t help thinking about Jennifer and Pumpkin, our latest profiled goodnewsforpets.com 10th Anniversary iPad winners.   That’s because Jennifer chose to donate to the ASPCA to help other pets, yet faced unique challenges of her own.  With all the emerging issues and one of the leading points of discussion —  why pet owners are visiting the veterinarian less often.

Bayer Animal Health, Brakke Consulting and the National Commission on Veterinary Economics (NCVEI), in a recent study, identified six root causes:
— the economic impact of the recession; fragmentation of veterinary services; consumers substituting Internet research for office visits; feline resistance; perception among pet owners that regular medical check-ups are not needed and the cost of care.
Several of these factors played into Jennifer’s experience, yet she ultimately adopted Pumpkin, a shelter cat, and knowning Jennifer will seek the level of veterinary care she can for her cat.  Several other winners had the same challenges.  Sure all these issues are on the table, but of most concern is that pet owners feel regular pet check ups are unneccessary.  Watch for more dialogue and hopefully ACTION about this topic from the veterinary profession — ALOT more.

Hill's Pet Nutrition Weight Reduction Kit

Also new at the conference was a new Product Showcase, and front and center was Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.’s Weight Reduction Kit, available through veterinarians.  An article in The Wall Street Journal “Personal Section” created some buzz.  The article cited yet another study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention with Banfield Pet Hospital.  Interesting stuff and more to come!

Another interesting topic back on the horizon is the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)’s impending release of updated vaccine guidelines.  The last canine guidelines were updated in 2006.   The organization releases guidelines on a wide variety of topics to help guide the latest best practices in veterinary medicine.  We don’t have an exact date as while they are compiled by experts in the field, they are now ensuring citations of the scientific literature to back up claims are in order.  The original guidelines which led from annual to every three year vaccinations created quite a stir in both the veterinary profession and for pet owners.  The categories of “core” and “noncore” were hotly debated.  the concept is there are certain vaccines (core) that all pets should receive and then other vaccines (noncore) depending on the pet and where they live.  Stay tuned for this one as well.   As much as I’ve learned about Jennifer as a caring pet owner, she and other pet lovers will be watching each and every one of these issues.

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