Fecal testing compliance

Article

Merrimack, N.H. - Most DVMs would agree that fecal examination is an important part of any dog or cat wellness program.

MERRIMACK, N.H. — Most DVMs would agree that fecal examination is an important part of any dog or cat wellness program.

In order to improve compliance, Merrimack Veterinary Hospital in Merrimack, N.H. has implemented a five-step solution:

  • Mailed reminders recommend stool sample collection for wellness exams.

  • Wellness appointments are called one to two days prior, and the importance of stool sample collection and examination is stressed.

  • If no sample is brought (and if one cannot be collected), owners are given a small animated reminder card that can easily fit into a wallet or purse.

  • If still no fecal has been done within 2 weeks, the client is called and reminded one last time.

  • Finally, we require an annual fecal exam for all dogs, and an annual fecal or prophylactic deworming for all cats entering into our boarding, daycare or grooming facilities.

Dr. Dennis Chmiel, hospital director, has found that the combination of these efforts has resulted in a 50-percent increase in the number of fecal examinations performed in his hospital.

"I also especially want to emphasize the advantages of using an outside lab for doing these tests," Chmiel says. "Using them has allowed us to increase the number of tests done without incurring increased staffing costs. Additionally, the zinc sulfate centrifugation method has substantially improved our diagnostic yield and resulted in increasing internal parasite treatment revenue."

To view and use the small reminder cards given by Merrimack Veterinary Hospital to clients who forget to bring in a stool sample, go to www.vlg.us and click on "VLG in the News".

Tip from:

Dr. Dennis Chmiel

Hospital Director, Merrimack Veterinary Hospital

Merrimack, N.H.

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