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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To understand the market dynamics of companion animal veterinary services through the simulation of willingness to pay and willingness to wait as consumer behavior attributes.

SAMPLES

Numerical distributions for the willingness to pay and willingness to wait of simulated potential clients of companion animal clinics.

PROCEDURES

Simulations were run by use of numerical distributions to create demand curves and analyze market dynamics across 2 market segments (price sensitive and price insensitive) and different price dispersion between clinics.

RESULTS

The simulations suggested that the profit-maximizing price of a full-service clinic created a natural segmentation of the companion animal veterinary market, with a majority of clients coming from the price-insensitive segment. The simulation of 2 clinics (full-service and low-cost) with 2 market segments showed an increase in the overall market for veterinary services when a low-cost clinic was present. In addition, the lower the price charged at the low-cost clinic, the greater the profits for the full-service clinic.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The presence of multiple prices for the same services, or price dispersion, in a market increases the overall market value and services more clients. Discouraging low-cost companion animal practices from entering the market decreases efficiency by leaving a population of pet owners unserved and ultimately reduces the overall market for veterinary services and the economic viability of veterinary practices.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Investigate long-term complications, survival times, general health and quality of life (QoL) outcomes, and longevity in female dogs and cats (bitches and queens, respectively) following hospital discharge after ovariohysterectomy (OHE) for pyometra.

ANIMALS

306 pet-owner–completed surveys and corresponding medical records for 234 bitches and 72 queens treated with OHE for pyometra at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Animal Hospital between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2019.

PROCEDURES

A telephone and online survey was conducted to gather data about pet owners’ perception of pet health and QoL following OHE for pyometra, and potential associations between survey results and medical record data were evaluated. Median survival time at a given age at OHE for pyometra was calculated with the use of maximum likelihood estimation of a survival-time regression model.

RESULTS

72 of the 121 (60%) eligible owners of queens and 234 of the 390 (60%) eligible owners of bitches completed the survey. Most owners reported that at the time of the survey, their pet’s health and QoL were better or the same as before pyometra. Reported health and QoL outcomes were similar for pets > 8 versus ≤ 8 years of age.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Our findings indicated that bitches and queens undergoing OHE for pyometra at older ages and without other severe health issues can expect to live their full life span. Veterinarians in private practice could expect similar outcomes.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

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.

ANIMALS

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.

PROCEDURES

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.

RESULTS

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.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

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.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

ABSTRACT

Friction can occur between veterinarians and their clients when they are not aligned on the goals of care for a pet and what constitutes the best outcome of a case. Veterinarians frequently concentrate on providing the diagnostic and treatment protocol that is perceived to result in the best medical outcome for their patient. Pet owners frequently consider a myriad of factors relating to the pet as well as how different diagnostic and treatment recommendations will affect individual family members and the family as a whole in both concrete and subjective terms. This misalignment can lead to veterinarians experiencing moral distress and families feeling guilt and shame about their pet’s care decisions. In this paper we examine the interdependencies of families and their pets and the factors that pet owners may consider in making care decisions. These factors, adapted from the concept of Family Quality of Life as used in the human health field, can be divided into three domains including pet-centric factors, family-centric factors, and external factors. By better understanding that there are a multitude of considerations that influence owners’ care decisions and communicating with owners in a nonjudgmental manner, veterinarians can more holistically support families, decrease their own moral distress, and arrive at diagnostic and treatment plans that represent the overall best approach for the family and the patient.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe findings, determine the rate of survival to hospital discharge, and identify prognostic indicators of poor outcomes for female cats (queens) with pyometra treated with ovariohysterectomy (OHE) in a nonspecialized setting.

ANIMALS

134 queens with pyometra diagnosed between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2019.

PROCEDURES

The medical records were retrospectively searched and data including patient history, clinical signs, blood work results, and outcome (survival to hospital discharge, length of hospitalization, and uterine rupture) were collected from medical records. Logistic regression models were used to assess potential predictors of outcomes.

RESULTS

Dehydration (69% [83/121]) and absolute neutrophilia (83% [52/63]) were commonly reported. The rate of survival to hospital discharge was 100% (126/126; 95% CI, 97% to 100%) for queens treated with OHE; 33% (41/126) were hospitalized ≥ 2 nights, and 4% (5/120) had uterine rupture. Queens with abnormal serum ionized calcium concentration or signs of depressed mentation had greater odds (OR of 4.64 and 2.26, respectively) of ≥ 2 nights’ hospitalization. Queens with high rectal temperature, closed pyometra, or heart murmur had greater odds (OR of 35.66, 17.37, or 16.06, respectively) of uterine rupture.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Our findings indicated that OHE for pyometra in queens was highly successful even when performed in a nonspecialty hospital with high-quality basic supportive care, and we believe most general practitioners who offer OHE could expect to see similar outcomes. With more general-practice veterinarians comfortable treating pyometra in their clinics, OHE for pyometra will be available to more pets, ultimately saving more lives.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the rate of survival to hospital discharge and identify indicators associated with poor outcomes among female dogs (bitches) with pyometra treated with ovariohysterectomy (OHE) in a nonspecialized setting.

ANIMALS

405 bitches diagnosed with pyometra at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Animal Hospital from January 1, 2017, to February 8, 2019.

PROCEDURES

For this retrospective study, medical records were searched and data collected including patient history, clinical signs, serum biochemical analyses results, and outcome (survival to hospital discharge, length of hospital stay, and uterine rupture). Logistic regression models were used to assess multivariable associations and identify potential predictive variables.

RESULTS

The rate of survival to hospital discharge for bitches with pyometra treated with OHE was 97% (394/405); 44% (174/394) stayed in the hospital ≥ 2 nights, and 3% (11/390) had a ruptured uterus. Bitches with a high BUN concentration or heart murmur had greater odds of death after OHE; however, the model had low predictive power. Those with uterine rupture, inappetence, high concentrations of BUN or serum creatinine, low PCV, or dehydration had greater odds of hospitalization ≥ 2 nights. There were no significant predictors of uterine rupture.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The rate of survival to hospital discharge was high for bitches with pyometra treated with OHE in a nonspecialized setting; therefore, general practitioners could expect similar outcomes. With this important procedure widely available in general practices, more pets can receive treatment for this life-threatening disease.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association