Virginia is for veterinary products


Theyll tell you, Virginia is for lovers, but thats not what I saw in the exhibit hall at CVC Virginia Beach. Well, maybe lovers of veterinary products.

'Your pal cannot have surgery yet still deserves the best'

That's the message from the makers of the Hero Brace to dog owners (and the veterinarians supporting them) when it comes to dogs with torn cruciate ligaments that can't have surgery for medical or financial reasons. Ace Ortho Solutions, headquartered in Benkelman, Nebraska, communicates directly with veterinarians working with a painful dog and fabricates a custom brace for the suffering patient.

Highlights of the braces include under-sleeve suspension and plastic design that "does a better job of applying proper corrective forces to the joint" than fabric.

Braces are $799, with a free casting kit. Casting kits are $30 each for practice owners who want to keep them on hand.

Can you hear me now?

The answer may be, yes you can-even in your veterinary hospital's busy treatment area or action-packed reception area. The sales rep for Jive at CVC Virginia Beach talked up this phone system's "acoustic fencing," which uses an onboard speaker on the phone's base to recognize when you pick up a call. It works to filter out any background noises other than your voice. Sounds handy.

Another cool feature lets you use a Jive smartphone app to send texts from a personal smartphone and have it appear to come from your practice's main phone number-no more fear of texts back to the phone you need for calls from your kid's school.

You can buy or rent the VoIP phones, according to the sales rep. Monthly fees for Jive phone service range from $9.95 to $19.95 per line.


Hold it right there!

This is not a stickup. It's just a reminder that cats and dogs don't like skidding around on your exam room counters and scales. (Hey, those Fear Free folks call for that too!)

And Ezee Visit Pet Vet Mat has something for that. The paw-print-emblazoned mats (22-by-16-in, 36-by-23-in and 20-by-42-in for scales and lift tables) are made of an oilcloth top and antimicrobial, nonskid padded bottom. Wipe them down with sterilizing or cleaning agents, or hand- or machine-wash.

Cool story? The paw print in the company's logo and all over the mats themselves is from creator Chris Fricke's dog Utley, who made lots of trips to the veterinary practice while facing cancer. Utley hated those slippery tile floors and stainless steel exam tables. Want something different than Utley's paws? Talk to the company about a custom logo (VCA got one).

The smallest mat is $18.95; the two larger sizes are $22.95 each.

You're out!

The French made the bug-removing tool O'Tom and brought it to America as the Tick Twister. Ticks, begone!

The tick remover comes in two sizes for smaller and larger ticks and uses a simple technique: Sweep the plastic prong between the tick's engorged body and head, then slowly turn until the offending parasite pops out.

Unless you're a big fan of forceps or your fingernails, maybe give it a try? And pitch it to your clients if they're squeamish about getting rid of ticks off their family dogs.

If you're curious, you can see it in action on Youtube.

Scratching an itch in all 50 states

We wrote about Scratch after we saw this new smartphone-friendly payment plan for pet owners at WVC a few months ago. Since then, we've heard quite a few of you buzzing about the new player in helping clients pay. At the time, Scratch was live in a few states.

Now, Neil Stanga, VP of business development, says Scratch is in 10 states (Arizona, California, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming) and should be in 15 by the end of May. With applications moving in 45 states, the team at Scratch hope to be active in states covering roughly 75 percent of the pet-owning population in 30 to 45 days.

Basically, if Scratch isn't in your neck of the woods yet, it shouldn't be long.

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