Author Archives: Dr. Jack Stephens

8 Fall-Related Reasons Pets End Up at the Vet

A sick dog lays cuddled up under a blanket.

By veterinarians Dr. Marc and Dr. Fiona, for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats

Fall is in full swing, bringing a whole slew of new reasons pets are taken to the veterinarian’s office. Here are eight common fall-related reasons dogs and cats visit the vet.

1. Parvovirus

Some infectious diseases seem to have a seasonality to them, Parvo is one of them.  We tend to see an increase in Parvovirus infections this time of year in unvaccinated puppies.  Always make sure your pets are up to date on vaccines!

2. Allergies

Just like in people, the poor air quality, increased dust and pollen from changing seasons can trigger allergies in pets as well. While we occasionally see pets with respiratory symptoms, many will present with itchy skin and ear infections.

3. Arthritis

Cold weather can exacerbate some older pets’ achy joints.

4. Antifreeze ToxicityRead More…

Retention Marketing – Part 2

By: Peter Weinstein, DVM, MBA

In Part 1, we discussed the foundational aspects of marketing and more specifically of Retention Marketing including the need for multiple touches and why retaining your clients is a good business move. Now we’ll move on to the 3Rs of Retention Marketing. Before any client leaves your practice, one or more of the 3Rs of Retention Marketing must be documented. What are the 3Rs?

One: Recheck. Two: Recall. Three: Remind.

1. Recheck

Rechecks are the process of physically bringing the pet and pet parent back into your practice for a medical progress exam and evaluation of the status of a medical condition or post operatively. Or it includes a hands-on assessment of the pet to determine its health.

Rechecks are very common after skin cases or ear cases. For what other clinical conditions should a standardized recheck protocol exist? Corneal ulcers, bladder infections, post-operative soft tissue surgery, post-operative orthopedic surgery, after the start of chronic medication such as thyroid supplement, etc. Does your practice have a standardized recommendation for rechecks on the most common medical or surgical conditions that you do? If not, put this on your “to do list.” The doctors create the time frame for rechecks and all of the staff are responsible for implementing the program.

Rechecks should be given the message, we care so much about your pet that we want to make sure that the medical or surgical condition from which they suffer is improving, better, or cured before we can give a clean bill of health. The other message is that only a member of your professional healthcare team can truly assess the status of a medical condition. In other words, what looks good at home may still have a festering condition when examined more deeply.

Many clients perceive rechecks as simply a manner for practices to make more money unless you provide value and service associated with them. Thus, treat rechecks with the same importance you treat full physical examinations and let the client understand that value by explaining why they are so important. Remember it is the why that bonds clients not just the what.

If a recheck isn’t really needed, then at least one of the other Rs is.

2. RecallRead More…

Breed Guide: American Curl

An American BobtailDr. Fiona is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the American Curl

Weight: females 5-8lb, males 7-11lb

Points of conformation: Ears have rounded tips that curl back smoothly.  Moderate build with well muscled body and moderately length in the leg.

Coat: Flat, silky with long and short haired varieties accepted. Minimal undercoat.

Color: All colors and patterns accepted.

Grooming needs: Low grooming needs, low shedder.

Origin: Lakeland, CA USA

Behavior Traits: Even tempered and quiet.

Is an American Curl cat right for You?Read More…

7 Tips to Take Your Cat for a Walk

a kitten lays playful on the floorBy Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a cat insurance and dog insurance agency. 

Got a bold, confident, curious cat? You know the type – the feline who loves snooping in drawers, watching the happenings in your street from a window perch. He may gain a lot of mental and physical stimulation benefits from leashed walks with you.

Daily walks, when done safely, also help your cat maintain a healthy weight. And your indoor cat will benefit by having the opportunity to explore a varied environment.

Before having your cat join you for a walk in your backyard or neighborhood, consider these tips:Read More…

Breed Guide: Boston Terrier

A Boston TerrierDr. Fiona is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Boston Terrier

Height (to base of neck): 15-17″

Weight:  15-25lb

Color: Black, brindle or seal with white markings

Origin: United States

Coat: Short, fine flat glossy coat.

Life Expectancy: 13-14 years

Energy level: Moderate to high

Exercise needs: Moderate

Breed Nicknames: Boston

Is a Boston Terrier the Right Dog Breed for You?Read More…

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