AAHA Trends Magazine

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Therapy With a Bite: Leeches offer promise to veterinary medicine

DONALD AND ANGELA DEMPSEY’S GERMAN SHEPHERD, BARON, was only 11 months old when he was diagnosed in 2012 with a skin lesion caused by a cutaneous pythiosis infection over his left hip. At that point, Angela Dempsey said, “We just wanted any treatments possible to heal Baron.” So when Baron’s veterinary team suggested leech therapy, the Florida-based couple didn’t hesitate to agree. After surgeries, medication, and therapies—including leech and hyperbaric chamber treatment—Baron is...

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Online Reviews: Opportunity or Disaster?

When you think of online reviews, Yelp.com may be the first thing that comes to mind. That’s probably because Yelp has 168 million monthly unique visitors and 108 million reviews. But Yelp is not the only online review site. There are online reviews posted on sites such as Google, Bing, Facebook, and CitySearch, as well as vertical sites like Open Table for restaurants and Amazon for products. Some businesses want nothing to do with these sites, certain that only negative comments...

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Talking About Diagnostic Testing

There’s little doubt among North American practices of the value of diagnostic testing as a tool for preventive care. While estimates vary by species, age, and study, there’s significant evidence that pets often have an underlying illness that can’t be seen on exam alone. Some widely published estimates claim that as many as 1 in 10 pets that appear healthy are found to have hard-to-detect diseases. The takeaway is that diagnostic testing as part of routine preventive care can help your...

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Virtual Reality

The veterinary field is realizing the benefits of the fast-growing technology that is virtual reality. Virtual reality offers an immersive simulation of a 3-D environment. It’s created using interactive software and hardware, and then controlled by body movement. Veterinary schools around the country are using virtual reality in a number of creative approaches, including clinical learning environments and exam administration. This story describes the uses of virtual reality at colleges across...

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Employee Development Made Easier

Employee development is a broad subject.  However, generally, its content falls into two camps.  The “soft” development of an employee is related to client and staff interactions, professional growth, and a host of other relationship-type skills.  The other part of the employee development equation includes “hard” systems and training, such as technical training, performance appraisal systems, and practice procedures that support employees and enable them to thrive.  Where...

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The 3 Cs of Cat Care

Of the estimated 85.8 million cats in United States households, many of them have either never seen a veterinarian or rarely see a veterinarian, due to the owner’s perception of medical needs, the difficulties of transporting and examining their pet, or personal financial concerns. These can be huge obstacles for a veterinary practice to overcome. How can your practice connect with cats in your community? How can you encourage feline veterinary visits? Just follow the simple 3 C’s to improve...

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Parasite-Free-Pet DIY Marketing Campaigns

Flea, tick, and heartworm season is around the corner. Is your practice—and are your clients—ready? The discussion with clients around preventive and early-detection measures for parasite control has changed from spring and summer to year-round in most practices. However, the coming of warmer weather signals a perfect time to remind clients of the danger parasites pose, keep the parasite conversation going, and increase your patients’ compliance. We dove into some of the latest parasite...

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Food for Thought

Once practice owners have educated clients, the most important aspect of pet nutrition, with their clients, the next issue is choosing what foods to stock. The majority of practices, if not all, have limited space for inventory, which may lead them to choose based on profitability, but that may not be the best choice. Download the PDF of Food for Thought

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Getting Around

Mobile veterinarian practices are continuing to grow, but the newly established practices rarely look like a fully mobile hospital. Most new mobile veterinarians more resemble doctors who made house calls in the early 20th century, carrying little more than a bag to their appointments. This old-school way of treating patients meets the modern reality of high veterinarian school debt and the rising costs of establishing a full service hospital while also allowing veterinarians to establish a...

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The Healing Power of Pets

Existing and emerging scientific data about the human-animal bond is changing the role of companion animals in society, which is creating opportunities for veterinarians – as well as heightened responsibility. Experts interviewed include Alan Beck, Sc.D., director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine; Edward Creagan, MD, FAAHPM, of Mayo Clinic; Steven Feldman, executive director of the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI)...

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