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What are the most common veterinary issues in your community? able to offer a "spectrum of care"?

  • 1.  What are the most common veterinary issues in your community? able to offer a "spectrum of care"?

    Maddie's Fund Staff
    Posted 10-06-2021 08:58 AM

    Provide a Spectrum of Care to Increase Veterinary Access to More Clients

    https://www.aspcapro.org/research/provide-spectrum-care-increase-veterinary-access-more-clients

    A 2018 survey by the Access to Veterinary Care Coalition found that 28% of pet owners experienced a barrier to veterinary care in the last 2 years, and 23% of pet owners were unable to provide preventive care for at least one of their pets. Combine that with Pets for Life data that approximately 17 million pets living in underserved communities have never seen a veterinarian, and the magnitude of the issue becomes clear.  

    Many veterinarians practice with the goal of providing the most technologically advanced and expensive treatment option which may or may not lead to the best possible outcome or longest survival. 



    What are the most common veterinary issues in your community?
    Are you able to offer a "spectrum of care" to alleviate barriers?
    #AccesstoCare
    #Medicine,SurgeryandSterilization
    #PetSupportServices*

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    Thank you all for all you do!

    Amber Freiwald
    Maddie's Fund
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  • 2.  RE: What are the most common veterinary issues in your community? able to offer a "spectrum of care"?

    Posted 10-06-2021 09:58 AM
    Hi @Amber Freiwald- so here at Memphis Animal Services, we try to make our medical assistance money goes as far as possible by working specifically with local veterinarians who understand our funds are not unlimited, and that the most expensive option may not always be possible. We refer people seeking help with medical care to these partner vets, and ask them to make the most economical choice possible that will still provide the pet quality of life.  So sometimes that may not be a surgical repair of a fracture, and may be an amputation instead.​ 

    The vast majority of our requests are for things like mass removals and biopsies, traumatic injuries, and parvo/ illness treatment.

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    Alexis Pugh
    Director, Memphis Animal Services
    www.memphisanimalservices.com

    Organizational Management
    & Pet Support Services Specialist
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  • 3.  RE: What are the most common veterinary issues in your community? able to offer a "spectrum of care"?

    Posted 10-08-2021 02:05 PM
    I have yet to find a community that has truly comprehensive coverage available for low-cost or free emergency care, or at least enough to meet demand. Many shelters, orgs, even private clinics are offering all that they can in this department, and that is hugely impactful. But when a true emergency strikes - hit by car, urinary or GI blockage, etc, and the quote is thousands of dollars - I don't know of a community where all pet owners of all incomes have access to care to avoid surrender or euthanasia. 

    I always thought if I had Bezos-money, this would be my next passion project...

    I'm also tagging @Donell Randolph to see if he'd talk about the amazing community clinics Oakland Animal Services is providing, including emergency care services.​

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    Monica Frenden-Tarant
    Maddie's® Director of Feline Lifesaving
    American Pets Alive!
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  • 4.  RE: What are the most common veterinary issues in your community? able to offer a "spectrum of care"?

    Posted 10-08-2021 02:26 PM
    I would like to see programs where it is possible to empower pet parents to provide some of the nursing after hours care themselves or to empower them to learn how to do some of the nursing care so that you could potentially provide a reduced rate if some of the care could be provided by them or their family members...  However, I feel that this is probably a pipe dream...

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    sara smalley
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  • 5.  RE: What are the most common veterinary issues in your community? able to offer a "spectrum of care"?

    Posted 10-11-2021 04:45 PM
    @sara smalley Yes!  Love this idea! While we always encourage Tripawds community members and Helpline callers to use clinics with 24-hour care, we know that isn't always possible for either financial or location reasons.

    When we tell a worried pre-amputation pet parent that managing the first 24-48 hours after amputation surgery isn't the easiest thing, but it is do-able when other options are not feasible as long as their working with their vet to do it. Usually, they are surprised to know they might actually be able to care for their new amputee so soon.  And after it's over, most new Tripawd parents agree that it was not an easy thing to do, but they are usually quite happy with the outcome.

    ​We would love to see a program like this!

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    Rene Agredano
    Tripawds
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  • 6.  RE: What are the most common veterinary issues in your community? able to offer a "spectrum of care"?

    Posted 10-11-2021 04:50 PM
    @Michael Blackwell I didn't know about the UT program, that sounds wonderful!  We are not medical providers, but have a hard time getting the word out about our direct assistance programs for amputee pets. We would love to find a way to get our name out there with more programs like AlignCare.  Thanks for mentioning it!​

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    Rene Agredano
    Tripawds
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  • 7.  RE: What are the most common veterinary issues in your community? able to offer a "spectrum of care"?

    Posted 10-12-2021 06:19 AM
    It certainly depends on what the condition and treatment is, but at APA!, we've had great success offering at-home parvo treatment. I think it's possible to train people (including fosters!) to do a whole lot we often assume they can't, or won't.

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    Monica Frenden-Tarant
    Maddie's® Director of Feline Lifesaving
    American Pets Alive!
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  • 8.  RE: What are the most common veterinary issues in your community? able to offer a "spectrum of care"?

    Posted 10-09-2021 08:35 AM
    Monica, you are right. Comprehensive care is lacking in all of our communities.

    In spite of the efforts of animal welfare organizations and veterinary service providers, there are significant gaps in service. The Program for Pet Health Equity at the University Tennessee has spent the past four years building and testing AlignCare, a system of healthcare to fill gaps in service. In building AlignCare, we considered ways to address the primary  barriers faced by underserved families, the capabilities and limitations of animal welfare organizations and veterinary service providers, and how to better align community resources and activities to improve access to veterinary care. Families enrolled in AlignCare are receiving comprehensive veterinary care.

    I encourage you and others to consider attending the 2021 Virtual Access to Veterinary Care Symposium, October 11 & 12, from 12:00 - 5:00 EST.  Attendees will learn about AlignCare and how the system worked in 8 test communities. We will also be sharing plans for expanding to interested communities.

    Our nation is too resourced to not be able to ensure access to healthcare for human and non-human family members. Through our collective and organized efforts, all pets and their people will have access to healthcare.

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    Michael J Blackwell, DVM, MPH, FNAP
    Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS (Ret.)
    Director, Program for Pet Health Equity
    Center for Behavioral Health Research
    https://pphe.utk.edu

    Access To Care Specialist
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  • 9.  RE: What are the most common veterinary issues in your community? able to offer a "spectrum of care"?

    Posted 10-06-2021 11:09 AM
    Veterinarians historically have had to modify a patient's treatment plan to be within the financial capability of the client.  In other words, while not being able to do all for the patient that is desired, still being able to help the patient to safeguard the quality of life. Yet two incongruent changes have developed over time: 1) stagnant average household income, with proportionately more families among the asset limited, income constrained, employed (ALICE), and 2) the increasing costs of providing veterinary care. Stated succinctly, the costs of delivering veterinary care are outpacing the ability to pay for the care.

    This is a systemic problem that requires more than the changing of patient treatment plans. Treatments plans are only one strategy we must utilize to improve access to veterinary care.  The barriers to veterinary care are almost never due to the patient, rather very much are human factors. We will improve access to veterinary as we address the human-related barriers. Controlling the costs of veterinary care is necessary but alone not sufficient, to ensure all pets have access to care.

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    Michael J Blackwell, DVM, MPH, FNAP
    Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS (Ret.)
    Director, Program for Pet Health Equity
    Center for Behavioral Health Research
    https://pphe.utk.edu

    Access To Care Specialist
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  • 10.  RE: What are the most common veterinary issues in your community? able to offer a "spectrum of care"?

    Posted 10-10-2021 09:22 AM
    I agree with Amber re her use of vets who understand what resources we have available. We too have narrowed down our use of certain practices who we trust to apply a spectrum of care. 

    I see a glimmer of hope. We have a new vet in town who was a vet tech at a practice we use. She came back voicing a desire to work with the under-resourced community. Yay! She had good teachers.

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    Augusta Farley
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