Good vs. bad: What veterinary products made the list?


Of course you need to buy new equipment and products to keep up with advances in medicine and answer growing consumer demand. Sometimes you pick a winner and other times you don't.

According to the results from the 2012 Veterinary Economics Business Issues Survey, our respondents considered the following products their most and least favorite purchases—and one made both lists.

Most favorite

  • Radiography equipment
  • Ultrasound
  • In-house laboratory equipment

Least favorite

  • Radiography equipment
  • Tonometers
  • Dental equipment

To make sure your next purchase makes the list of favorites next year, we asked Dr. Fred Metzger, DABVP, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and owner of Metzger Animal Hospital in State College, Pa., for some tips to consider before you buy. Here they are:

Know your end goal. What exactly do you hope to accomplish with this new piece of equipment? If it isn’t going to improve the quality of medicine you can provide your patients, don’t get it. Period.

Determine who’s going to use it. Don’t purchase a piece of equipment that requires advanced instruction unless you’re dedicated to training. A lot of ultrasound equipment sits around because no one in the office knows how to use it.

Know what’s in it for you. Determine your Return on Investment (ROI). Make sure the equipment or product is going to be profitable enough to pay for itself. And don’t forget—you’ve got to sell your clients on it, too.

Don’t saturate the market. Know whether your geographic area is able to support the equipment, especially if it’s advanced technology. If three veterinarians in your area already have this piece of equipment, do you really need it?

Know your warranty. At some point the piece of equipment is going to break down and you need to know what to do when it does. Call colleagues who have used the product and get firsthand recommendations of the company, the equipment, and the repair warranty.

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