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Follow-Up
In addition to reviewing discharge appointments
of discussing future care, it is helpful to discuss reintroducing the patient to his/her home environment and housemates. Scheduling the next appointment before the client leaves, be it for a recheck evaluation, or for their semiannual or annual visit, encourages continuation of care. Especially useful in a first year of life program, it helps to lay the foundation for a culture of lifelong preventive healthcare.
Even with a motivated and educated client, the likelihood of a successful outcome depends on that client having
a relationship built on trust, communication and knowing that the clinic team cares. Follow-up phone calls are a very effective investment of time.
Facilitating Finances
The Bayer study showed that clients want costs spread out over time. Fear of large bills is another significant factor preventing owners from bringing their cats to
the clinic. Many practices have wellness plans. Check out the preventive healthcare protocols of Cat Healthy (cathealthy.ca) Directing clients toward pet health insurance that covers both preventive and accident/ illness before it is needed is sound medical advice. This can save lives that might otherwise be lost because of hesitation to seek care or a decision to euthanize a pet out of financial concerns.
SUMMARY
Educating clients about the subtle signs of illness, reducing stressful travel and clinic visits, following up with personalized care, improves compliance. Taking a household pet inventory allows us to discover an un- served pet population. Cat Healthy (cathealthy.ca) has many resources to help you. Focusing on these unmet needs gives us the opportunity to:
• Provide preventive healthcare
• Detect disease early when we can prevent or alleviate suffering and save expense
• Protect life and enhance welfare
• Build trust with our clients
• Increase clinic visits.
Your Singapore, the Tropical Garden City
REFERENCES AND RECOMMENDED READING
1. Buffington CAT. Cat Mastery – e book from iTunes
2. www.cathealthy.ca
3. www.catvets.com/cfp/cfp
4. AVMA. US pet ownership and demographics sourcebook. Schaumburg, Ill: AVMA, 2007.
5. Volk JO, Felsted KE, Thomas JG, et al. Executive summary of the Bayer veterinary care usage study. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2011;238:1275–1282.
6. Volk JO, Felsted KE, Thomas JG, et al. Executive summary of phase 2 of the Bayer veterinary care usage study. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2011;239(10):1311-1316.
7. The domestic cat: The biology of its behaviour. 2nd ed. Turner DC, Bateson P (eds.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
8. Crowell-Davis SL, Curtis TM, Knowles RJ. Social organization in the cat: a modern understanding. J Feline Med Surg 2004:6:19–28.
9. Hide Perch Go and Cat Sense: www.spca.bc.ca/welfare/professional- resources/catsense/
10. Gourkow N, Fraser D. The effect of housing and handling practices on the welfare, behaviour and selection of domestic cats (Felis sylvestris catus) by adopters in an animal shelter. Anim Welfare 2006;15:371-377.
11. Rodan I, Sundahl E, Carney H, et al. AAFP and ISFM feline-friendly handling guidelines. J Feline Med Surg 2011;13:364-375.
12. Ellis SL, Rodan I, Carney H, et al. AAFP and ISFM Feline Environmental Needs Guidelines J Feline Med Surg 2013 15: 219-230.
13. Lue TW, Pantenburg DP, Crawford PM. Impact of the owner-pet and client- veterinarian bond on the care that pets receive. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2008; 232:531-540.
14. Loftus L. The non-compliant client Vet Nursing J. 2012; 27:294-297.
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