The Pulse Of Veterinary Medicine
Vet-To-Vet Conversation With IDEXX
Given that thyroid disease is common, especially in older pets, and the clinical signs sometimes subtle, it’s typically recommended to include total T4 (TT4) in chemistry profiles for all cats greater than seven years of age and for dogs with any hint of hypothyroidism. Furthermore, patients receiving therapy for thyroid disease require frequent monitoring of TT4. No matter how you look at it, TT4 is a frequently run, essential test.
When an owner tells me their pet is sick, I assume it is sick. That may not seem revolutionary, but my point is that just because we don’t think the pet looks or acts sick, and because the patient history the pet owner provides doesn’t set off any particular warning signs, it doesn’t mean that patient hasn’t got something going on. And who would know better that a patient isn’t its normal self than its owner? After all, they’re living with that pet, and they know all their personality traits and habits. So when the owner says, “Max just isn’t himself,” I take their word for it—until I can prove otherwise. And I do that with diagnostics.
At the end of an appointment, when all is said and done, how much of what you said and did do you think most clients remember? All of it? Maybe half? Just a few highlights? Client education and communication can be especially challenging. There’s a lot going on during a visit, and clients are often stressed, worried, confused or distracted.
In my 30-year career as a credentialed veterinary technician, I have been in small animal and exotic practices, research, education, corporate medicine, leadership, management and consulting. I may have reached my ultimate dream position at the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), and it’s icing on the cake to be a part of the NAVC team as Senior Manager of Veterinary Technician Programs. Over those 30 years, I’ve learned a few things about the importance of education in veterinary practices.
Leptospirosis is found worldwide in both wild and domestic animals, but in small animal practice we are most concerned with this disease in our canine patients. The number of cases has been increasing worldwide, and this may be due to the increased urbanization and contact with wildlife hosts, such as raccoons, skunks, opossums and rodents. As a result, small-animal practitioners across the world are learning to be on the lookout for this infection more and more.