The co-managed care of dogs with congestive heart failure

January 14, 2019
Bonnie Lefbom

'We're all in it together,' says this veterinary specialist.

Co-managed care-the multi-pronged approach to treating patients-can make a huge difference in the lives of dogs with congestive heart failure. This comes from Fetch dvm360 conference speaker Bonnie Lefbom, DVM, DACVIM (cardiology). She says to give the patient the best chance, you need to get a specialist in as soon as possible.

"Anything you can do to convey of the value of the co-management-trying to get a cardiologist involved in the case as early as you can get owner to do that-is going to create the best outcome for the patient," she says.

Dr. Lefbom says the effect for pets is profound: Small breed dogs live 75% longer with co-management. And there are benefits for the primary care veterinarian as well as this increased longevity translates to greater revenue over the life of the dog.

Another factor that she highlights in the process is simply making clients aware of cardiologists. Make clients aware that all these docs do is hearts.

"The specialist has that very narrow focus on just the one thing," Dr. Lefbom says.

She says that the most important thing specialists can do is to make the interaction easy. This includes systems and processes, the visit itself and the doctor's availability.

Watch the video for more.