OBJECTIVE To assess the effects of in-person collaborative care by primary care veterinarians (pcDVMs) and board-certified veterinary cardiologists (BCVCs) on survival time of dogs after onset of congestive heart failure (CHF) and on associated revenue for the attending pcDVMs.
DESIGN Retrospective cohort study.
ANIMALS 26 small-breed dogs treated for naturally occurring CHF secondary to myxomatous mitral valve disease at a multilocation primary care veterinary hospital between 2008 and 2013.
PROCEDURES Electronic medical records were reviewed to identify dogs with confirmed CHF secondary to myxomatous mitral valve disease and collect information on patient care, survival time, and pcDVM revenue. Data were compared between dogs that received collaborative care from the pcDVM and a BCVC and dogs that received care from the pcDVM alone.
RESULTS Dogs that received collaborative care had a longer median survival time (254 days) than did dogs that received care from the pcDVM alone (146 days). A significant positive correlation was identified between pcDVM revenue and survival time for dogs that received collaborative care (ie, the longer the dog survived, the greater the pcDVM revenue generated from caring for that patient).
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings suggested that collaborative care provided to small-breed dogs with CHF by a BCVC and pcDVM could result in survival benefits for affected dogs and increased revenue for pcDVMs, compared with care provided by a pcDVM alone.