New Research Underscores Value Of Health Risk Assessments In Preventive Care For Pets
Practicing veterinarian’s first-hand experience supports enhanced client communication
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. August 6, 2014 –Practitioners identified “new health risks” in about one-third of dogs and cats according to a new clinical study from Zoetis.
The study was conducted using the Pet Wellness Report® (PWR), the first broadly available standardized health risk assessment (HRA) for veterinary medicine. In the study, pets that had been seen for an annual wellness visit 90 days previously were reexamined, this time with the HRA.
Health Risk Assessments Support Veterinary Preventive Care
Bob Lavan, MS, DVM, MPVM, DACVPM, associate director Outcomes Research Team, Zoetis, led the study of 563 companion animals (dogs and cats) that compared standard wellness office visits (history, physical exam, and limited laboratory screening) with medical findings and experiences with that same type of office visit but now including the PWR. The goal was to re-examine healthy dogs and cats that were previously seen in the past 90 days for their routine annual wellness visit. Findings include:
- “New health risks” identified by the attending veterinarian were noted in 36 percent of dogs (162/449) and 28 percent of cats (32/114).
- Top new health risks included:
- Dogs: Hypothyroid, Urinary Tract Infection, proteinuria, dental disease
- Cats: Renal disease, dental disease, hyperthyroid, eosinophilia and proteinuria.
- 86 percent of pet owners also indicated that they felt better informed about their pets’ health and 76 percent felt better able to discuss their pets’ healthcare with their veterinarian (agreed/strongly agreed).
- 81 percent of veterinarians indicated that the Pet Wellness Report HRA process is more valuable or very valuable to the pet owner when compared to the standard annual wellness visit.
Dr. Lavan reiterated that the study selected the healthiest of the healthy pets by bringing dogs and cats back for an examination 90 days after their annual wellness exam. Only animals that were found to be healthy at their annual wellness visit were eligible to be included in the current study. The high percentage of new health findings just 90 days after these pets were determined to be healthy reflects the importance of the health risk assessment process.
“By adding the PWR into their current wellness protocol, the data strongly suggests that the number of new health risks veterinarians could expect to see would be even higher,” Dr. Lavan said. “The inclusion of the PWR with each annual wellness visit provides additional insight into the pet’s health and improves owner satisfaction with the veterinarian and the annual examination process.” The study was presented for the first time at the American Animal Hospital Meeting in March 2015 and the complete study is available from Zoetis.
Health Risk Assessment Encourages Communication
Nick Mathias, DVM at Tipp City Veterinary Hospital in Tipp City, Ohio saw positive results after adopting the Pet Wellness Report with more than 1,500 clients in his practice.
In addition to the health risk assessment benefits, Dr. Mathias uses the PWR as a communication and education tool for pet owners. “The Pet Wellness Report has proven to be an effective conversation starter at our clinic,” he said. “The responses the clients provide in the PWR questionnaire open the door for a true two-way conversation. We can talk with clients about prevention as well as early detection and treatment of disease. It also allows us work with the client to develop a personalized wellness and lifelong care program for each pet we see.”
Dr. Mathias also noted that his clinic has incorporated the PWR into its protocol for annual wellness visits.
About the Pet Wellness Report
The Pet Wellness Report is a health risk assessment designed to complement the standard physical exam and pet history, to enhance veterinarians’ ability to obtain additional information around potential health risks or disease and facilitate communication with their clients. Results are delivered in an easy-to-understand report that is provided to the pet owner and also the veterinarian with the goal of enhancing pet owner education and encouraging greater engagement in a pet’s overall health. The Pet Wellness Report is part of Zoetis’ Lifelong Care Initiative. For more information on the PWR and full clinical trial results, veterinarians may contact their Zoetis sales representative, call 1-855-PWR-PETS (797-7387), or visit www.PetWellnessReport.com.
Zoetis (zō-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. In 2013, the company generated annual revenues of $4.6 billion. With approximately 9,800 employees worldwide at the beginning of 2014, Zoetis has a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 28 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120 countries. For more information, visit www.zoetis.com.
Zoetis is the proud sponsor with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services and the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Foundation of the mobile educational exhibit Animal Connections: Our Journey Together. Families visiting the exhibit will explore the vast bonds between people and animals and learn about the important role veterinarians play in protecting animal and human health.
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