A new Partnership for Preventive Pet Healthcare was announced today at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Convention in St. Louis. The partnership was created to address an increase in the prevalence of preventable pet health conditions.
The stated goal of the partnership is to provide guidance and ensure that veterinary visits lead to early detection and prevention to extend pets’ quality of life.
Despite a growing pet population, fewer pets are seen for routine veterinary exams, according to the AVMA. Experts agree that the exam decrease is linked to an increase in preventable and treatable illnesses in pets and say veterinarians could do more to communicate benefits of preventive healthcare.
"It is important that we recognize that, as a profession, we have to be better at educating pet owners regarding the importance of preventive care and of the unique role that veterinarians play in enhancing the relationship between pet owners and their best friends," said Michael Moyer, VMD, president of AAHA.
Initial plans of the partnership include creating tools for veterinarians to communicate the value of preventive care to pet owners. Educational and awareness initiatives directed toward pet owners are also planned with launch anticipated in 2012.
“People have a special relationship with their pets,” said Ron DeHaven, DVM, MBA, CEO for AVMA and chair of the partnership. “Visiting a veterinarian regularly and practicing active preventive healthcare is a great way to enhance that relationship.”
The partnership will be managed through an executive committee, board of directors and supported by various advisory councils.
Diabetes has increased 16 percent in cats and 32 percent in dogs,
Ear infections have increased 34 percent in cats and 9.4 percent in dogs,
Internal parasites have increased 13 percent in cats and 30 percent in dogs,
Dental disease affects almost 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats 3 and older
Members of the partnership include the AVMA, American Animal Hospital Association, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and animal health industry leaders including Abbott Animal Health, Banfield Pet Hospital, Bayer HealthCare LLC Animal Health Division, Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., Butler Schein Animal Health, Elanco Animal Health, Hill's Pet Nutrition, Merck Animal Health, Merial, MWI Veterinary Supply, Novartis Animal Health US Inc., Pfizer Animal Health and Veterinary Pet Insurance who have sponsored the initiative at various levels.
Visit the partnership website, PetHealthPartnership.org.