Access to veterinary care is critical for pet, human, and community health. However, inequities in how easily pet owners can access veterinary care may exacerbate health disparities in vulnerable populations. This research analyzed pet owners’ perceptions of access to veterinary care in order to understand how demographic characteristics and financial fragility predict perceived access to veterinary services.
This study utilized survey data (n = 750) from a larger cross-sectional survey of adults in the US conducted by the Tufts University Equity Research Group.
Survey data were collected in May and June of 2020 from a nationally representative group of pet owners via an online panel. Descriptive statistics, ANOVAs, and a sequential linear regression model were conducted in order to predict perceived access to veterinary care.
Results of a sequential linear regression model indicated that race or ethnicity, education, and financial fragility significantly predicted perceived ease of access to veterinary care (F[7,617] = 19.80; P < .001). Additionally, financial fragility was prevalent among most pet owners of almost all income brackets, highlighting the need for more research into the cost burden of veterinary care.
Future studies should focus on diverse sampling strategies that capture the experiences of minority pet owners in order to further understand issues of access in veterinary medicine.
To compare the outcome of canine pyometra surgeries performed at referral hospitals with those performed at community clinics (outpatient settings), and to evaluate factors that impact outcome.
133 client-owned dogs with pyometra treated with ovariohysterectomy (OHE) at 2 community clinics or 2 referral hospitals between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2019.
A retrospective electronic medical record search was used to identify eligible cases. Data about patient demographics and clinical characteristics were collected and analyzed for factors that could have impacted outcome.
Eighty-three dogs were treated at referral hospitals; 50 dogs were treated at community clinics. Survival to hospital discharge for all dogs was 97% (129/133) and did not differ between treatment facility type. Dogs treated at both types of facilities were similar in age, body weight, and clinical signs. Median duration between diagnosis and OHE was significantly shorter for dogs treated at referral hospitals (0 day; range, 0 to 0.7 days) versus community clinics (1.0 day; range, 0 to 14.0 days); however, delay was not related to survival to hospital discharge. Duration of hospitalization did not impact survival to hospital discharge nor survival for at least 1 week after surgery.
Results indicated that OHE for pyometra in dogs has a good outcome and that, although prompt surgical treatment remains a goal, in cases where limitations to performing surgery exist, a delay until surgery or discharging patients the same day is still associated with a high degree of success.