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AAHA releases preventive care protocol publication

“A focus on preventive care can give pets a greater chance at longer and healthier lives”

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The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has released a new publication, developed with the support of an educational grant from IDEXX—Promoting Preventive Care Protocols: Evidence, Enactment, and Economics.

“A focus on preventive care can give pets a greater chance at longer and healthier lives. Pet owners are more receptive than ever to engaging in conversations on preventive care and innovation in diagnostics, diets, and treatments,” said Janice Trumpeter, DVM, AAHA deputy CEO.

Preventive care exams remain a veterinary professional’s best chance to influence good outcomes throughout a pet’s lifetime, according to AAHA. Through these hands-on moments with patients and regular consultations with pet owners, practitioners can provide advice, preventive care services, and additional recommendations tailored to individual pets, the association said.

The new publication features results of various studies and concludes that regular health checks and screenings improve detection and allow for early therapeutic intervention. Notably, it includes findings from a landmark big-data analysis of preventive care profiles from IDEXX. Analysis from 268,817 patient samples across more than 5,000 North American veterinary practices revealed that veterinary professionals who screen pets regularly find significant results in all adult life stages that require further action.

The publication also includes a guide to help veterinary teams implement preventive care protocols and understand the value of client communication.

“Preventive care screenings are what we do to provide the best care for our patients and clients, but we did not always have the clinical data to validate this approach,” said Nancy Drumm, general manager of Capital Vets, a practice group with four AAHA-accredited hospitals. “Now we can confidently support our recommendations with extensive data as well as our own practice data. We hope this publication inspires other practices to adopt preventive care protocols, including bloodwork, for their patients.”

Promoting Preventive Care Protocols: Evidence, Enactment, and Economics is available with the September edition of Trends magazine or online at aaha.org/library.

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