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Maintaining Year-Round Patient & Practice Health

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Maintaining Year-Round Patient & Practice Health

Sponsored by Merck Animal Health

In general, as the weather cools, business slows; in the last quarter of the year, practices are less likely to work at full capacity, and they typically make a significantly smaller portion of practice revenue.1,2

Simultaneously, although patients are at year-round risk for parasitic infestations (see “Cold Weather Flea & Tick Control”), compliance declines during cool or cold seasons, as pet owners are less likely to see the need for preventives when they perceive parasites to be scarce.3 This so-called “off-season” can be an opportunity to reinvest the team’s time into the health of patients and the practice to improve patient welfare and practice financial success.

The Patient Benefits of Improved Compliance

Veterinary practices develop flea and tick prevention protocols with the health of patients and their human families in mind. Fleas and ticks can act as vectors for many diseases—including bartonellosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and Lyme disease—that not only can cause significant morbidity and mortality among veterinary patients but also may be zoonotic. Although most veterinarians recommend year-round flea and tick control, purchasing data indicates that actual flea and tick prevention coverage is only 4 to 6 months out of the year.4 

Improving owner compliance is crucial for pet health as well as the health of other family members. Selecting treatment options that are convenient to administer—and remember—can enhance compliance, improve treatment success, and decrease long-term client expenses.5 

How to Improve Compliance with Convenience

Compliance improves when people must give or take medications less frequently; as the number of daily doses increases, compliance worsens.6 Traditional flea and tick preventives require monthly administration. In one study, although 62% of owners recalled receiving a recommendation for year-round prevention from their veterinarian, only 13% purchased enough medication to adhere to the recommendation.4 

Fluralaner’s 12-week dosing interval allows for decreased dosing frequency when compared with older generations of flea and tick preventives. Recent surveys suggest that owners find this more convenient (89%), prefer it over monthly preventives (89%), and are more likely to give the medication on time (65%), which results in fewer gaps in coverage (see Table).7 

Table

Pet Owner Favorability: Fluralaner vs Monthly Flea/Tick7

Characteristic % Respondents 
Overall preference to current product  89%
Convenience 89%
Timely dosing  65%

The Practice's Benefits of Improved Compliance

Optimizing preventive care compliance not only improves overall patient health but also supports the practice financially. With the right tools, any practice (large or small, in any location, in any economy) can grow.8 Examples from an AAHA compliance report show how even a 10% improvement in compliance can contribute to this practice growth.For example, a product like fluralaner, with evidence supporting that it helps drive client satisfaction as well as adherence for consistent flea and tick protection, may help healthcare teams significantly improve practice health year-round.7

When the practice performs well financially, there are resources available to invest in supporting team members and helping patients. An increased investment in team support can enhance team member buy-in, thus further promoting client education, patient welfare, and the economic health of the practice.

Conclusion

Optimizing compliance is not only financially favorable to the practice but also beneficial to patient health and client loyalty. As higher compliance has been directly linked to decreased dosing frequency and ease of administration, recommending a more convenient medication has high potential for ensuring successful parasite prevention. In this season of decreased parasite control compliance, now is the perfect time to be proactive about preventive care.

BRAVECTO® kills fleas and prevents flea infestations. BRAVECTO® Chew and BRAVECTO® Topical for Dogs kills ticks (black-legged tick, American dog tick, and brown dog tick) for 12 weeks and also kills lone star ticks for 8 weeks. BRAVECTO® Topical for Cats kills ticks (black-legged tick) for 12 weeks and American dog ticks for 8 weeks.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: BRAVECTO has not been shown to be effective for 12-weeks’ duration in puppies or kittens less than 6 months of age. BRAVECTO Chew: The most common adverse reactions recorded in clinical trials were vomiting, decreased appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, polydipsia, and flatulence. BRAVECTO is not effective against lone star ticks beyond 8 weeks of dosing. BRAVECTO Topical Solution for Dogs: The most common adverse reactions recorded in clinical trials were vomiting, hair loss, diarrhea, lethargy, decreased appetite, and moist dermatitis/rash. BRAVECTO is not effective against lone star ticks beyond 8 weeks of dosing. For topical use only. Avoid oral ingestion. Use caution in dogs with a history of seizures. Seizures have been reported in dogs receiving fluralaner, even in dogs without a history of seizures. BRAVECTO Topical Solution for Cats: The most common adverse reactions recorded in clinical trials were vomiting, itching, diarrhea, hair loss, decreased appetite, lethargy, and scabs/ulcerated lesions. BRAVECTO is not effective against American dog ticks beyond 8 weeks of dosing. For topical use only. Avoid oral ingestion. The safety of BRAVECTO has not been established in breeding, pregnant and lactating cats. Use with caution in cats with a history of neurologic abnormalities. Neurologic abnormalities have been reported in cats receiving BRAVECTO, even in cats without a history of neurologic abnormalities.

References

For global readers, a calculator to convert laboratory values, dosages, and other measurements to SI units can be found here.

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