Campaign Will Assist Veterinarians and Staff in Educating Pet Owners About Preventable Threats to Pets and the Importance of Twice-A-Year Wellness Exams
Fort Dodge Animal Health Will Assist Veterinarians in IntegratingTwice-A-Year Wellness Exam Protocols into Their Practices
National Pet Wellness Month Had Successful Initial Year; More Than 10,000 Clinics Participated; More Clinics to be Added in 2005
Las Vegas, Nev. (February 22, 2005) " Educating pet owners about preventable threats to pet health and the importance of twice-a-year pet wellness exams is the focus of the spring 2005 National Pet Wellness Month (NPWM) campaign sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Fort Dodge Animal Health. Details about the spring campaign, new efforts to assist veterinarians in integrating twice-a-year pet wellness exam protocols into their practices, and accomplishments from NPWM’s fall 2004 inaugural campaign, were announced today during a news conference at the Western Veterinary ConferenceTM in Las Vegas.
AVMA President Bonnie V. Beaver, DVM, said, “Disease prevention is as critical a part of today’s veterinary practice as is the treatment of illness. As our clients’ focus on pet health increases, the benefits of twice-a-year pet wellness exams become obvious. Through the AVMA’s partnership with Fort Dodge Animal Health, we have put in place an important program that fosters animal health, a stronger veterinarian-client relationship, and better informed consumers.”
Steve Dale, syndicated columnist and host of Chicago’s “Pet Central” radio show and Animal Planet Radio, said NPWM delivers an important message to pet owners about the importance of twice-a-year wellness exams, a message Dale has independently promoted over the years to his readers, listeners and viewers. “Since our pets can’t tell us when or where it hurts, an exam is the best way to discover potentially life-threatening illnesses and, since pets age much more quickly than we do, an exam every six months is a must,” said Dale. He added that NPWM benefits the entire veterinary industry and commended the AVMA and Fort Dodge Animal Health for “having the foresight and wisdom” to establish the program.
Commenting on the spring NPWM campaign, Stephen Jaffe, DVM, Fort Dodge Animal Health’s Director of Field Veterinary Services, said participating veterinary clinics will receive valuable tools to help educate clients about the various diseases threatening pets and the lifesaving benefits of disease prevention. “Know Your Pet’s Preventable Threats” tools include posters, client literature and clinic educational materials. The tools are designed to assist local veterinarians and staff in educating clients about pet health threats that begin to appear during the spring season and how twice-a-year pet wellness exams can help detect, treat and, ideally, prevent life-threatening illnesses and diseases before they occur.
“Spring is when disease-carrying mosquitoes, ticks and fleas start becoming active and a threat to pets,” said Dr. Jaffe. “Disease can also be contracted by exposure to wildlife, other pets and even standing water. Fortunately, pet owners can protect their pets from many common diseases by having their veterinarian thoroughly assess the pet’s exposure to environmental risks, conduct a wellness exam every six months and administer appropriate vaccinations.”
To assist veterinarians and clinic staff in refining risk assessment procedures and integrating twice-a-year wellness exam and modified vaccination protocols into their practice, Fort Dodge Animal Health is working with leading industry consultants to develop training modules, processes and hands-on educational tools. “Fort Dodge Animal Health’s ‘Responsible Healthcare for Pets’ program is being expanded in response to veterinarians’ requests for more support in educating themselves, their staff and pet owners to the new protocols,” said Dr. Jaffe. The new RHP program is expected to be available to clinics this spring.
The AVMA and Fort Dodge Animal Health also announced that the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI) will develop a new benchmarking tool and related data to support veterinarians when they decide to integrate twice-a-year pet wellness exams into their practices. NCVEI is a joint venture of the AVMA, the American Animal Hospital Association and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and is funded, in part, by Fort Dodge Animal Health. NCVEI has 38 free benchmarking tools, available at www.ncvei.org, addressing all aspects of veterinary practice ranging from pricing to operations.
The AVMA and Fort Dodge Animal Health reported more than 10,000 veterinary clinics, about 40% of all U.S. clinics, signed-up for the inaugural NPWM campaign in the fall of 2004. They also reported that the fall 2004 campaign achieved over 91,000,000 consumer impressions through a national publicity effort aimed at educating consumers about the pet aging process, the importance of twice-a-year pet wellness exams, and encouraging pet owners to contact their veterinarian for more information. In addition, the sponsors said the NPWM Web site " www.npwm.com " has been visited by thousands of consumers.
“Sign-up for the fall 2004 National Pet Wellness Month campaign far exceeded everyone’s expectation,” said Dr. Beaver. “And the overwhelmingly positive response we heard from veterinarians and clinic staff following the initial campaign strongly encouraged us to move forward with plans for this spring.”
According to Dr. Jaffe, veterinary clinics that signed up to participate in the fall 2004 NPWM campaign will automatically receive a free spring 2005 NPWM In-Clinic Education Kit, which will be mailed starting in March 2005. Clinics wishing to participate in NPWM and receive free educational materials can do so by:
- Visiting the NPWM Web site at www.avma.org or
- Sending an e-mail containing a contact name, clinic name, shipping address and telephone number t o email@example.com, or
- Visiting the Fort Dodge Animal Health booth at upcoming trade shows, or
- Contacting their Fort Dodge Animal Health representative.
Dr. Jaffe also said Fort Dodge Animal Health is once again sponsoring North Shore Animal League America’s (NSALA) 2005 Tour for Life and National Pet Adoptathon. “Fort Dodge Animal Health’s on-going affiliation and support of NSALA’s prestigious endeavor underscores our company’s commitment to pet healthcare, and complements the National Pet Wellness Month educational initiative,” said Dr. Jaffe. In conjunction with this year’s Tour, Fort Dodge Animal Health will sponsor free pet wellness checkups to be offered by local veterinarians at each of the Tour’s U. S. destinations. The Tour begins the first week in April and concludes with a worldwide Pet Adoptathon on April 30 and May 1, 2005.
About the sponsors
The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. More than 71,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of professional activities. AVMA members are dedicated to advancing the science and art of veterinary medicine including its relationship to public health and agriculture. Visit the AVMA Web site at www.avma.org to learn more about veterinary medicine, animal care, and to access up-to-date information on the association’s issues, policies and activities.
Fort Dodge Animal Health, a division of Wyeth (NYSE:WYE), is a leading manufacturer and distributor of animal health care products for the companion animal, equine, livestock, swine and poultry industries in North America and international markets. As a committed partner to veterinary practitioners, producers and pet owners worldwide, Fort Dodge is making a difference in the future of animal health through innovative research and product development that addresses current and emerging animal health needs. Key products include West Nile-Innovator® and the Innovator® combination vaccines, Duramune®Adult, the Fel-O-Vax® vaccine line, CYDECTIN® Pour-on, the PyramidTM vaccine line, QUEST® Gel and EtoGesic® tablets.