- A group called “Partners for Healthy Pets” is kicking off a campaign this month to promote more frequent vet visits by pet owners. The group is affiliated with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and boasts a long list of members/sponsors from the veterinary drug and pet healthcare industries.
- The campaign hopes to convince pet owners that regular vet visits are as important to their dog or cat as food and love. The target audience is women in their 30s and 40s with above average household incomes and above average spending on pet necessities and luxuries.
- The traditional veterinary community’s characterization of “preventive healthcare” is focused primarily on re-vaccinations, pest preventives, and other veterinary drugs and products. Holistic vets like Dr. Becker, on the other hand, view those things as potentially devastating to an animal’s health. Needless to say, the holistic veterinary community has a very different approach to preventing illness in pets.
- Dr. Becker and other proactive, holistically oriented vets focus on issues of nutrition, maintenance of the frame, immune system balance, and routine monitoring of organ function to manage the health of their patients.
- Truly effective preventive healthcare involves regular monitoring of a pet’s health status, and taking proactive steps as necessary to prevent the development of disease.
According to dvm360, “It’s no secret that veterinary clients don’t understand the value of preventive healthcare.”
This may be the case for clients of conventional vet practices, but the majority of pet owners in my proactive, integrative practice certainly understand the importance of regular wellness visits. In fact, my preference is to see younger, healthy animals twice a year, and older pets and those with chronic health conditions even more often.
‘Partners for Healthy Pets’ Campaigns to Promote More Frequent Vet Visits
To encourage more vet visits, a group called Partners for Healthy Pets (PHP) is waging a $5.5 million campaign to convince pet owners that visiting the vet regularly “is essential to responsible pet ownership” – and is “as important as food and love.”
If you’re wondering who is behind the campaign, this is from the PHP website:
"Partners for Healthy Pets is the face of the Partnership for Preventive Pet Healthcare™, a committee of the non-profit American Veterinary Medical Foundation that was created to ensure that pets receive the preventive healthcare they deserve through regular visits to a veterinarian. This alliance of more than 20 leading veterinary associations and animal health companies is committed to a vision of improved overall health for pets."
The list of members/sponsors reads like a who’s who of the veterinary drug industry and assorted pet healthcare companies.
The campaign was rolled out to veterinarians at the AVMA annual meeting in July. According to dvm360, the pet owners being targeted are “urban and suburban women ages 32 to 49 who already have a relationship with a veterinarian but who are not regularly seeking preventive care.” This demographic is being solicited for their $75,000+ household income and a willingness to spend 20 to 25 percent more than average on their pets.
The campaign kicks off this month and will run through 2014, so I imagine many of you will begin to see PHP advertisements encouraging preventive vet visits. You might also hear directly from your DVM, since veterinary practices can enroll in the program and receive information from PHP on how to promote the campaign at their clinics and on websites.
According to Dr. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the AVMA and chairman of PHP…
“This is an unprecedented opportunity for the veterinary care community. It’s a platform for all of us to communicate the importance of preventive care to pet owners, to enhance the relationships we share with them, and ultimately to deliver even higher quality preventive care.”
As a proactive, holistically oriented veterinarian, I’m certainly a huge advocate of preventive care for animals. However, preventive care in a holistic context is very different from what the vast majority of traditional vets consider it to be.
It’s clear from the Partners for Healthy Pets members/sponsors list where the conventional vet community focuses when it comes to preventive care for pets. It’s primarily about vaccines and chemical pest preventives, in a one-size-fits-all approach.
Why Yearly Vaccinations Should Never Be a Reason for Regular Vet Visits
Yearly re-vaccinations are unnecessary and dangerous and should never be used to promote annual veterinary visits. Even the latest canine vaccination guidelines, now two years old, no longer call for annual re-vaccinations. Unfortunately, veterinary compliance with the guidelines is not what it should be. It seems the majority of vets are still promoting annual re-vaccinations.
It saddens me that so many pet owners have been led to believe their dog’s or cat’s health revolves around yearly re-vaccinations.
In my practice, I tailor vaccine protocols to minimize risk and maximize protection, taking into account the breed, background, nutritional status and overall vitality of the pet. With healthy puppies, for example, I generally follow the protocol set by Dr. Ron Schultz. I give a single parvo and distemper vaccine at or before 12 weeks of age, and a second set after 14 weeks. I run a titer test two weeks after the last set and if the dog has been successfully immunized, she’s protected for life.
If titer tests on any pet no matter the age indicate vaccine levels are low, I recommend a booster for only the specific virus or viruses that titered low, and only for those to which the animal has a real risk of exposure.
I do not use or recommend combination vaccines (six to eight viruses in one shot), which is the traditional yearly booster.
Veterinary Wellness Exams Should Be a Review of the Status of Your Pet’s Health
In my opinion, more veterinarians could help pet owners understand the value of regular vet visits by rejecting the traditional notion of preventive healthcare (vaccines and other drugs) in favor of adopting a proactive approach to keeping their pet patients healthy. Being proactive means being focused on initiating change rather than simply reacting to events as they occur.
In my practice I use what I call the Three Pillars of Health as a proactive approach to wellness. These pillars form the foundation for your pet’s health, quality of life, and longevity. Pillar #1 is species-appropriate nutrition. The diet you feed your cat or dog should be balanced and biologically appropriate for a carnivore.
Pillar #2 is a sound, resilient frame. This aspect of your pet’s health involves maintenance of the musculoskeletal system and organs.
Pillar #3 is a balanced, functional immune system. The goal here is to keep your pet’s immune system in balance. It should protect against pathogens, but not be over-reactive to the point of creating allergies and other autoimmune conditions.
What Effective Preventive Healthcare Looks Like
One of the primary ways proactive vets like me keep on top of a patient’s health is by tracking blood work changes over time. Let’s say your cat’s kidney enzymes (BUN and creatinine) are climbing, but are still within normal reference ranges. A reactive vet will wait to see those enzyme levels climb above what’s considered normal before taking action. My approach is to pay attention to any change in those enzyme levels, and long before your kitty is diagnosed with chronic kidney failure, I will suggest lifestyle changes that can prevent the disease from developing.
Another way proactive vets manage their patients’ health is by regularly reviewing diet, supplement protocol, and exercise habits with pet parents. A dog’s or cat’s wellness and nutritional goals change yearly, and over the age of eight can require fine-tuning every four to six months. Cats, in particular, are very good at hiding illness and pain, so it’s not a good idea to wait until there seems to be a problem.
Your vet’s preventive healthcare goal should be to help your pet avoid preventable disease. Unnecessary vaccinations and other traditional chemical “preventions” will not ultimately achieve that goal, and can actually help create disease where none existed.
In addition, your vet shouldn’t wait around until your pet is sick or debilitated and then attempt to fix the problem. He or she should use your regularly scheduled wellness visits as an opportunity to check the status of your pet’s health and take proactive steps to prevent serious disease from taking hold.
This is the true essence of preventive healthcare, and I hope you’ll advocate for it with your own veterinarian.
September 15, 2013 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Holistic Pet Health, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | Dr. Becker, healthy pets, holistic veterinary community, Pet Healthcare, preventive petcare | 2 Comments
Glasgow, United Kingdom (Sept 10th, 2009)
The doors have opened on a new Small Animal Hospital at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, which is claimed to be Europe’s most advanced of it’s kind.
Costing around $25million and 10 years in the planning, the new hospital will see a host of services offered, including a diagnostic suite complete with both MRI and CT scanners, a radioactive iodine unit for cats, an underwater treadmill and a pain and rehabilitation center. All of the hospital’s services are centered around a central atrium which is lit with calming natural light from above.
The new hospital expects to attract more than 11,000 visits from across the UK every year. When pets first arrive at the hospital, they are assessed in one of the thirteen new consulting rooms. From here they can be moved to any one of a number of specialist areas, including a center for comparative oncology, a a unique pain and rehabilitation center with an underwater treadmill, and a diagnostic imaging suite complete with an MRI scanner and CT scanner. The MRI and CT scanners will allow for the diagnosis of neurological conditions such as slipped discs or brain tumors.
Professor Stuart Reid, Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, said: “The opening of new hospital is a step-change in the treatment of small animals. It represents the latest in care for pets and is the most advanced such facility in Europe. The patients we treat will still receive the best care available, but this will now be in the best surroundings available. With cutting edge facilities and capacity for training veterinarians at all stages of their career, the Faculty will be using the building as a flagship for its clinical provision.”
The center also has an important role as a training hospital, where approximately 120 veterinary students and 30 veterinary nursing students will shadow specialists trained in all aspects of veterinary medicine, surgery and nursing.
“We are immensely proud of our Small Animal Hospital and feel sure it will provide a world-class service for the pet owners of the UK,” Professor Reid concluded.
This news story is independently sourced and PetPeoplesPlace.com does not specifically endorse products or services offered by any company referenced in this article, or benefit from any association with any companies referenced.
Posted: Just One More Pet
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September 11, 2009 Posted by justonemorepet | animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Success Stories, Uncategorized, We Are All God's Creatures | Doggy MRI's, Europes's Most Advanced Animal Hospital, Glasgow, Kitty Cat Scans, pet cat scans, pet CT scanners, Pet Healthcare, pet MRI's, Small Animal Hospital at the University of Glasgow, underwater pet treadmill, United Kingdom | Leave a comment
When a pet gets sick, many owners will pay almost anything to be sure he gets better.
Fluffy and Fido tug at an owner’s heart. So we buy the highest quality pet food or a special formula depending on if he’s young or old or too chubby. Or, for the more holistic-minded, an owner might opt for an organic, vitamin-enriched dog or cat food.
And when a pet gets sick, many owners will pay almost anything to be sure he gets better, including chemotherapy for cancer, a kidney transplant or hip replacement surgery.
Humans have ancient relations with their animal companions. Burial evidence of cats as pets dates back over 8,000 years and for dogs about half that long. These early pets provided their masters with both companionship and survival skills such as hunting assistance, according to experts.
Over the years, as domesticated cats and dogs became increasingly docile, the pet-human relationship evolved. And while an animal’s survival instincts may have been compromised along the way – how many of our pets could actually support themselves in the wild? – there are some perks.
Today, with pets considered more like four-footed people, owners are laying out big bucks for such pet-pampering services as styling salons, doggie day camps, and massage therapy.
And modern pets are also reaping the benefits of human technological advances with more animals receiving medical treatments such as chemotherapy, organ transplants, radiation, CAT scans, MRIs, laser surgery, root canals and even braces.
And in the case of MRIs, “your dog or cat can get an MRI faster than us as humans,” Randy Valpy of Petplan Insurance told the Toronto Star.
According to the report, these increasingly advanced health care options for animals come at no small expense. A dog or cat can receive state of the art imaging, for example, for about $1,000 and radiation therapy for as much as $5,000. And if you want an ultrasound, prepare to pay from $400 to $800.
The Ontario Veterinary College’s Teaching Hospital at Guelph offers radiation therapy for dogs and cats with cancer. Treatment of an animal ranges from $500 to $5,000.
Depending on the severity of the condition, an owner can pay tens of thousands of dollars for a pet’s veterinary care. And as a result, more people are considering pet insurance as a means of protecting their animals – and their wallets.
“We’ve seen invoices that run from $10,000 to $30,000 to treat a variety of conditions,” said Peter Weinstein, medical director for Veterinary Pet Insurance in California. The company sold more than 360,000 pet insurance policies in 2005, vs. 157,000 in 2000.
And about 1,100 U.S. companies offer VPI’s pet insurance as an employee benefit, he added.
Depending on the plan, pet insurance in Canada can cost from $9.95 to $90 a month, with the average cost somewhere around $30. Many insurance companies, including Petplan, Petcare, and PC Financial Pet Insurance, offer potential customers online quotes for a range of coverage plans.
Sophisticated medical treatments and surgical techniques have undoubtedly boasted the life span of pets. “Thirty years ago in the U.S. the average age of a dog was 4 years; the average age of a cat was 3 years,” Bonnie Beaver, past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association told CNN.
Today, the average lifespan of a dog is between eight and 12 years, says Beaver.
Pet owners report ‘unconditional love’ as the main reason for Fido and Fluffy-fretting— to the tune of billions of dollars in North America each year.
Article By: Cynthia Ross Cravit – 50Plus.com
Posted: Just One More Pet
August 2, 2009 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | advanced pet health care, animal’s survival instincts, baby-boomer pet parents, Cat cat scans, Cat Ct Scans, Cats, doggie day camps, Doggy MRI's, dogs, domesticated cats, domesticated dogs, Fido. Fluffy, four legged kids, four-footed people, holistic minded pet parents, modern pets, MRI's, Ontario Veterinary College’s Teaching Hospital at Guelph, organic pet food, pampered pets, Pet Cancer, Pet Healthcare, pet insurance, pet massage therapy, Pet Parents, pet styling salons, pet-human relationships, pet-pampering, Pets, Puff, Spot, state of the art pet healthcare, vitamin-enriched cat food, vitamin-enriched dog food | 2 Comments
Innovations (in medicine) like birth control pills, cholesterol medication, robotic limbs, and many other things, would not have happened without the possibility of big profit, said Grace Marie Turner of the Galen Institute.
“I want companies to come up with cures for Parkinson’s, cures for cancer, cures for Alzheimer’s. Unless there is a reward for them to do that, we’re not going to have those new medicines,” she said.
Some of the best, most innovative treatments and most rapidly-delivered care happens through this pursuit of profit. Even in Canada, you’ll find one area where they offer easy access to cutting edge technology.
CT scans and MRIs, hip and knee replacements: available 24 hours a day and without a wait.
“If I see a patient that’s torn a cruciate ligament in that patient’s knee, we can generally have the patient scheduled for within probably a week,” said Canadian Dr. Terri Schiller.
But you have to bark or meow to get that kind of treatment. Schiller is a veterinarian and her practice makes a profit treating cats and dogs.
Want a CT scan in Canada? Private veterinary clinics said they can get a dog in the next day. For people, the waiting list is a month.
“Many clients will come here with their pets and as they’re leaving, it’s, ‘Next time, I get sick, I want to come here. I don’t want to go to the regular hospitals,'” said Schiller.
Posted: Just One More Pet
August 2, 2009 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, Political Change, Success Stories | Canada, Canadian Health Care, Canadian Vet Care, Cat Ct Scans, Cat Scans, Cats, cruciate ligament, doggie healthcare, doggy health care, Doggy MRI's, dogs, gone to the dogs, MRI's, no socialized animal healthcare, no socialized vet care, Pet Health, Pet Healthcare, pet hip and knee replacements, pet MRI's, Private veterinary clinics, veterinary medicine, Vets | 2 Comments
Daily Chart: Pet Theories About Health-Care Spending
This chart by Cato’s AEI’s Andrew Biggs has been snaking its way around the blogosphere for the past week:
And it’s gotten approving [update: and skeptical!] chirps from Megan McArdle, Tyler Cowen,Jim Manzi, Arnold Kling and Greg Mankiw and others, a good deal of whom parrot the old line about how this shows that “The reason that we spend more [on healthcare] than our grandparents did is not waste, fraud and abuse, but advances in medical technology and growth in incomes.” If it were waste, fraud and abuse, wouldn’t you see the difference in the animal market?
But let’s not flap about this too much. The chart is hounded by some fatal problems. John Schwenkler gently badgered me into trying to make a new version of this chart that deals with some of them, and I’ve been monkeying around with the data for the past couple of days. But, for reasons I’ll grouse about after the jump, I can’t reproduce a better version of this chart. (Scott Winship and Zubin Jelveh have ferreted out some of the missing data.) What I can do is graph the growth of pet food spending over the same period, and then list some of the reasons why the original chart doesn’t prove much at all. (And cut out the dumb animal puns.)
1. This data is drawn from the same source (the Consumer Expenditure Survey) as the original chart. The raw slope of the pet food spending line is actually higher than the raw slope of the veterinary spending line. The normalized slope of the veterinary care line is a bit higher, but both are higher than average economic growth over the same period. Does this mean there is something unique about the two health markets, or something unique about the two animal markets? Or neither? I have no idea.
2. As Schwenkler and Manzi and others have pointed out, the original chart does not have per capita data. But of course we only care about how much is being spent on health care per person or dog. If the population grows quickly, the overall level of spending will grow with it. (Incidentally, this is why I’m having trouble reproducing Biggs’ chart exactly: I can’t find the number of total pets per person in the country between 1984 and 2006. And, to be extra cautious about it, I’d also need to know something about how the population has changed — more ponies or parakeets or whatnot.)
3. Even if the chart made the same point on a per capita basis, I’m not sure why it would be surprising. You don’t really have insurance or adverse selection in the veterinary market. But you do have large information asymmetries (the vets know more), large demand uncertainties (the need for veterinary care springs up uncertainly), large supply constraints, and a whole series of new patent-protected treatments that can lead to market failures.
4. Even if none of the problems in # 3 turn out to exist, I’m not sure why the growth of veterinary spending is a point in favor of conservative theories about the growth of health-care spending. Two of the most commonly cited conservative reasons for the rise in health-care spending are (1) The tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance; and (2) malpractice liability, which is supposed to lead to defensive medicine and higher costs. But neither of those things happen in the veterinary market! If the original chart is correct, then are these things not really problems?
My overwhelming suspicion is that the chart does not tell us much that is useful about the market for medical care. I spoke with Andrew Biggs yesterday, and he very kindly shared his data from the expediture survey (which is not publicly available). He also cautioned against taking any of this too seriously. 700 words and two charts later, I agree.
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Source: the Atlantic – The Daily Dish
Posted: Just One More Pet
July 17, 2009 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | Animal Healthcare, holistic perspective of pets, holistic vets, natural pet remedies, Pet Health, Pet Health Care, pet health-care chart, Pet Health-Care Spending, Pet health-care spending chart, Pet Healthcare, Pets, Vet costs, Vets | 1 Comment
Save a Life…Adopt Just One More…Pet!
Everyday we read or hear another story about pets and other animals being abandoned in record numbers while at the same time we regularly hear about crazy new rules and laws being passed limiting the amount of pets that people may have, even down to one or two… or worse yet, none.
Nobody is promoting hoarding pets or animals, but at a time when there are more pets and animals of all types being abandoned or being taken to shelters already bursting at the seams, there is nothing crazier than legislating away the ability of willing adoptive families to take in just one more pet!!
Our goal is to raise awareness and help find homes for all pets and animals that need one by helping to match them with loving families and positive situations. Our goal is also to help fight the trend of unfavorable legislation and rules in an attempt to stop unnecessary Euthenization!!
“All over the world, major universities are researching the therapeutic value of pets in our society and the number of hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and mental institutions which are employing full-time pet therapists and animals is increasing daily.” ~ Betty White, American Actress, Animal Activist, and Author of Pet Love
So if you have the room in your home and the love in your heart… Adopt Just One More Pet or consider becoming a Foster parent for pets… Also check out: Little Critter: Just One More Pet
Photos By: Marion Algier – The UCLA Shutterbug
There is always room for Just One More Pet. So if you have room in your home and room in your heart… Adopt Just One More! If you live in an area that promotes unreasonable limitations on pets… fight the good fight and help change the rules and legislation…
Save the Life of Just One More…Animal!
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If you can adopt or foster just one more pet, you could be saving a life, while adding joy to your own! Our shelters are over-flowing… Please join the fight to make them all ‘NO-Kill’ facilities.
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Great Book for Children and Pet Lovers… And a Perfect Holiday GiftOne More Pet Emily loves animals so much that she can’t resist bringing them home. When a local farmer feels under the weather, she is only too eager to “feed the lambs, milk the cows and brush the rams.” The farmer is so grateful for Emily’s help that he gives her a giant egg... Can you guess what happens after that? The rhythmic verse begs to be read aloud, and the lively pictures will delight children as they watch Emily’s collection of pets get bigger and bigger.
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If You Were Stranded On An Island…A recent national survey revealed just how much Americans love their companion animals. When respondents were asked whether they’d like to spend life stranded on a deserted island with either their spouse or their pet, over 60% said they would prefer their dog or cat for companionship!
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