Empowering the Feline Diabetes Discussion
A new industry tool can help improve communication regarding feline diabetes.
We all know that too many cats in the United States do not receive recurring veterinary wellness care. According to the AVMA Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook, in 2016, only 47.2% of cat owners brought their cats into a veterinary clinic for routine or preventive veterinary care.
The overarching perception of many cat owners could play a role in that statistic. Many cat owners believe the process of bringing their cat into a veterinary hospital is stressful and difficult for both the cat and themselves. Couple that with the lack of knowledge by many cat owners that their cat can develop what may be typically viewed as human-only diseases, like diabetes, the pet owner doesn’t have a reason to bring their cat into the veterinarian regularly. Diseases like diabetes are extremely treatable in the early stages of the disease.
I would be remiss in not mentioning the misconceptions from the other side of the exam table regarding the treatment of diabetes. Veterinarians may believe some combination of the following regarding diabetes:
- The disease process is complicated
- There will be an extensive effort by the veterinarian in terms of times and energy both in person and by phone during the initial stages of diagnosis and treatment
- The cat owner won’t treat or do the necessary testing
- The cat owner won’t give the injections on schedule and/or will fear hurting their cat
So how do you help your clients resolve less seemingly insurmountable predicament?
The AAFP has created a down-to-earth tool called the Diabetes Educational Toolkit that provides a resource for easy decision-making for the veterinarian, tips to manage the disease in today’s world, as well as, pet owner resources to help take the burden off your busy clients.
Dr. Apryl Steele, 2019 President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and CEO of the Dumb Friends League in Denver, added that the Toolkit “provides both veterinarians and pet owners with a quick and handy resource with solutions for real-life situations faced by diabetic cats, whether they are newly diagnosed or receiving treatment.” The Toolkit outlines strategies for diagnosis, treatment, importance of obesity management, possible remission, and the importance of establishing treatment goals with the cat owner.
Help your customers improve their communication regarding feline diabetes by alerting them to this exciting new tool. Help them to feel empowered to improve their relationships with their feline clientele and help them to see you as a trusted resource and strategic business partner focused on maintaining and growing their business.
For more information, visit catfriendly.com/diabetes