How accessible options promote compliance
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In an interview with dvm360®, Angele Bice, DVM, shared the key takeaways from her session on heartworm disease and access to care at the 2023 Fetch dvm360® Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.1 Leaning on her experiences in shelter medicine and private practice, she emphasized the importance of educating clients about heartworm prevention and the need to address common misconceptions, while finding an option suitable for every client’s situation. Bice highlighted the fact that many pets leave veterinary practices without any prevention at all, or with insufficient prevention for a full 12 months. That’s why she said advocates for providing a variety of affordable options to ensure every pet is covered each month.
Offering a variety of affordable options for heartworm disease prevention is crucial for several reasons, Bice explained. First, it acknowledges the economic diversity among pet owners. Not all pet owners can afford the gold standard of care, and providing affordable alternatives ensures that more pets are protected against heartworm disease. Second, it encourages compliance. When pet owners can afford heartworm prevention medication, they are more likely to administer it consistently, reducing the risk of their pets contracting the disease. Finally, it alleviates the burden on veterinary teams who often have to deal with the consequences of untreated heartworm disease. By making prevention accessible and affordable, veterinary professionals can reduce the prevalence of heartworm disease and improve the overall health of the pet population, Bice said.
Bice expressed her hope that veterinary professionals will remember to provide a variety of options for clients to meet their diverse needs stating: “As long as we have options that meet the spectrum, from ‘all-in-one’ to ‘this is all we can do this month,’ we're going to be able to help all of our clients.”