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WGN Radio Petcast: Report from North American Veterinary Conference


This WGN radio Petcast was recorded in January (2012) at the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, FL. Listen HERE (you may need to wait a few moments for the petcast to load).

Dr. Ron DeHaven is the executive vice president and CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and chair of the Partnership for Preventative Pet Healthcare. The big buzz at the conference is how pet visits to the veterinarian have declined. The result is that some totally preventable illnesses have becomemore common. That’s bad news for our pets, and our wallets. The good news is that there’s a plan to take action, which benefits pets and pet owners, and I am always honored to speak with the veterinary top dog.

It seems is an odd communication gap going on between veterinarians and pet owners, but why? Dr. Michael Paul, renowned veterinarian has some ideas. The relationship between client and veterinarian — even now remains more sacred than between medical doctors and human patients. But it’s apparently eroded some, and Dr. Paul talks about why. In part, he blames the competition — Dr. Google.

I think a part of the solution to assist pet owners is pet insurance. More people are taking advantage of this safety net. Howard Rubin, Trupanion Pet Insurance COO/CFO announces an exciting offering the company is making to service dogs and dogs who participate in animal assisted therapy.

Dr. Michele Caruso is positive clients benefit from pet insurance — at least when they choose the right pet insurance policy. No doubt, she says, pet lives are saved because now treatment may be afforded when otherwise euthanasia might have seemed the only option.

What does is take to raise a Guide Dog? Dr. Theresa DePorter is in the process of becoming a Boarded member of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. And while she “trains” for her Boards, she is training a guide dog named Ceva. The process is really interesting, and it’s a cool thing to do.

While veterinary visits have been on the decline for dogs, cats are really taking it on the chin — cats visit the veterinarian less than half as dogs. The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) announced that they are taking matters into their own paws by supporting, and accrediting Cat Friendly Practices. Dr. Elizabeth Colleran, president of AAFP explains.

Arguably the biggest obstacle to get the cat to the vet office is simply (or not so simply) getting the cat into a carrier. But wait — it can be done, and without a struggle, according to veterinary behaviorist Dr. Kersti Seksel.

We love our pets, even sometimes call them our furry children. But do we go too far? Veterinary behaviorist Dr. Debra Horwitz says our pets don’t benefit if we treat them like children. Dr. Horwitz and I also announce a project that I am working on with the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

I found him — the person who feels as passionately about enriching our pets’ environments as I feel, veterinary behaviorist Dr. Martin Godbout. Enriching the environment can make life more interesting for your pet, enhance your bond, and even prevent behavior problems and illness.

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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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