In an effort to increase preventive healthcare and owners’ involvement in their pet’s health, Zoetis, in partnership with Antech Diagnositcs, is offering a tool that combines a health risk assessment with comprehensive laboratory screening results in a Pet Wellness Report (PWR). The report, which is shared between veterinarian and pet owner, is designed to identify potential health risks earlier, when they are more manageable.
The Pet Wellness Report (click here to download a sample) is modeled on health risk assessment programs used in human medicine. It provides veterinarians with patient health and lifestyle information in such areas as osteoarthritis, kidney disease, nutrition, obesity, dental health, compliance with vaccinations and parasiticides, and general lifestyle information. This information is gathered through comprehensive laboratory screening tests and an online pet owner questionnaire. The results are gathered into a document that veterinarians and their clients can refer to together to make decisions about veterinary patient health.
Beverly L. Shaw, DVM, has used the tool with her patients at Sunbury Animal Hospital in Sunbury, Pa. “The Pet Wellness Report helps us offer better preventive care to our patients,” she says. “We find any hidden problems long before they show up on a physical exam. We found a number of UTIs, as well as some kidney problems that became symptomatic quickly. We also found some low-level liver issues, most of which we are not treating at this point, but at least we know to keep an eye on them. In general, we are able to head off problems and help these pets live longer, healthier lives.”
In preparation for the development and launch of the Pet Wellness Report, Zoetis performed a five-year study that looked at dogs presented for routine wellness visits. Investigators analyzed data from 7,827 dogs and found that more than 31 percent had laboratory panel abnormalities consistent with a range of health problems, including endocrinopathies, renal disease, hepatic disease, anemia and other conditions. A similar number of dogs were found to be at risk based on the accompanying health risk assessment questionnaire. These risks included lapses in compliance with heartworm preventive and signs of lameness and oral disease. Zoetis is currently conducting a review of cats presented for routine pet wellness visits, with results of that study expected in early 2014.
Zoetis says the Pet Wellness Report program will help shift the focus of veterinary care from treating illness to maintaining good health. “For many years, the paradigm in veterinary medicine was to preferentially focus on treating symptomatic illness,” says J. Michael McFarland, DVM, DABVP, group director of companion animal veterinary operations for the company. “Similar to a human health risk assessment, the Pet Wellness Report is designed to help veterinarians identify potential risks earlier so they can be prevented or managed before they significantly diminish pets’ quality of life or become life-threatening conditions. This tool also enables the pet owner to be a better advocate for their pet’s overall health.”
Antech leaders agree, adding that the program will provide quantitative data supporting the value of preventive care protocols. “The coupling of risk assessment, annual examinations and comprehensive laboratory screening will provide even more evidenced-based knowledge on the value of wellness programs,” says David Aucoin, DVM, Antech’s chief technology officer. For more information on the Pet Wellness Report, visit PetWellnessReport.com.