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Heartworm disease: The next step


Follow these "next steps" to make sure your veterinary team is prepared to discuss heartworm disease with clients and promote year-round prevention in dogs and cats.

Teaching clients about the risk of heartworm disease in dogs and cats and stressing the importance of preventives should be at the core of your parasite discussions with clients. Make sure your team is on board and ready to talk ticker health with pet owners by following these critical next steps:

1. Tackle tough talks. Some clients are still going to resist when you recommend yearly heartworm testing so make sure you’re ready to face reluctance head-on—and get every client on board with your recommendations. Review the facts about testing to give your pitch a boost.

2. Don’t forget felines. Heartworm disease in cats is life-threatening and there’s no curative treatment, so prevention is a must. Problem is, it can be a harder sell than pitching heartworm prevention for dogs. Prep your team with these communication strategies to make sure you’re ready to have the preventives talk with all of your cat clients.

3. Drive home the message. Everyone’s on social media these days, so why not take advantage of the opportunity to plug the importance of heartworm prevention after clients leave your clinic? Use these tweets and posts to get started.

4. Make it relatable. Some pet owners overestimate the cost of monthly prevention and think they can’t afford it. By giving them a better understanding of the cost of prevention versus the cost of treatment—and relating it to a common, everyday purchase—you’ll put it in perspective. The poster on page 11 breaks down the cost in a way every client can relate to. Print it out and post it in your practice.

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