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Vet Matters – June issue

Novelist Henry James said that ‘summer’ ‘afternoon’ were the two most beautiful words in the English language. We are hoping that this issue contains enough good news to make it a summer afternoon for you wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Festivals, free CPD, tips to help you win at social media and more choices and support for food-allergy patients: it’s all here; fill your boots… Read Vet Matters June issue.

Did you Go Global?

At the end of April, Hill’s hosted a two-day global symposium online. It was a great event watched live by thousands of vets around the world. Now there’s a chance to watch the seminar sessions and gain almost 7 hours of valuable CPD time, by going to www.hillsglobalsymposium.com you can register and log on for free.

The site not only gives access to all the lectures – which are also available to view on You Tube – but there’s access to a commercial exhibition where you can find out more about Hill’s products.

The topics include a closer look at canine degenerative joint disease – questioning whether the primary disease process is degeneration or inflammation, the impact of obesity on the markers of inflammation and conservative, as well as nutritional, management of patients.

There are a few hours dedicated to practice management: for a flavour of the session on social media and some great tips, check out our article in this issue. Learn from lectures on empowering your practice, compliance and the impact of gender shifts in practice.

Day two of the seminar focusses on the feline, exploring the links between obesity and FLUTD with some real-life cases and an expert panel discussion.

Enjoy the atmosphere of a live event without the heavy rucksacks, the surprises that come from lunch in a box and the sometimes dubious peace and quiet of hotel rooms in cities with lively night life. As all the sessions are recorded you can stop and start them at will. As one practice on Twitter observed, the real-life event clashed with the new series of Game of Thrones; so now’s your chance to catch up on recordings of over 7 hours of the best CPD this side of Westeros at www.hillsglobalsymposium.com.

More Wonderful Webinars…

Wallis Simpson once memorably claimed, “You can never be too rich, too thin, or watch too many free webinars”. We think that being too thin is definitely a bad idea but we’ve sorted out the other two by providing some brilliant free webinars.

On Tuesday 23rd June at 3 pm David Prydie BVMS, CertSAO, CCRT, MRCVS will be speaking on ‘Gold Standard Care of the Arthritic Dog’, which will include information on multi modal therapy and mobility clinics. David’s special areas of interest are orthopaedics and rehabilitation. Your free registration is just a click away .

Then looking ahead, on Wednesday July 1st at 12 noon Nicola Ackerman BSc(Hons) RVN CertSAN CertVNECC VTS(Nutr) A1 V1 MBVNA will discuss ‘Dieting in the face of Disease’, addressing polypathology and weight loss, with some practical weight management strategies for obese pets. Nicola is the only veterinary nurse in the UK that holds the Veterinary Technician Speciality (VTS) in nutrition, has won numerous awards, is a published author and an international speaker. If you need some inspiration to deal with obese patients more effectively, this is the webinar to watch. Register for free here.

Don’t worry if you can’t watch on the day, as the events are recorded and registration allows you to access them anytime. Further webinars are planned, so book your place now to make sure you can access them all.

Eric is a social animal

Eric Garcia is a leading veterinary IT consultant and international speaker on the topic of social media. You can watch Eric’s lively and informative session from the Hill’s global symposium on YouTube and we really advise that you do, as it is sure to leave you feeling enthused about social media.

Eric presented lots of ideas in his presentation slot that can be implemented easily and straight away. Facebook is still the number one social media channel and practices should begin there. He made the point that despite increased emphasis on paid advertising, engaging content will still rank highly in users’ newsfeeds.

Eric’s top tips

· Create a photo album on Facebook with photos of all members of staff

· Create another with a photo-tour of the practice

· Ask your clients to say what their pet means to them – show your own pet and describe your feelings towards them

· Know that you can have these more meaningful conversations on social media compared to what might be possible during a consult lasting a few minutes

· Remember word of mouth is now happening on social media – it’s the same top referral source but occurring in a different place

· Selfies are the most popular posts on social media – even resulting in dopamine release!

· Use social media to tell YOUR story and your PATIENT’S story

Speaking about the global symposium Eric says, “Everyone was full of energy, asked questions, and most importantly they networked with one another and with the folks from Hill's.”

As a result of the positive feedback he had about his session Eric has produced a set of extended notes and examples of best practice for us on his website: http://www.simplydonetechsolutions.com/embracesocialmedia/. Do have a look and see if there is an idea there that could energise your social media practice.

If you would like to enjoy more of these events, whether live or recorded, do let us know on Twitter @hillsukdn or Facebook.

Hill’s support is more than skin-deep

Last issue we told you about the packaging change that’s affecting Prescription Diet™ z/d™ and d/d™. The new look should make it much clearer to clients the benefits of your feeding recommendation. Now we bring you news of more support from Hill’s.

As you now know z/d™ Ultra has now become z/d™ with z/d™ low allergen being discontinued. Now look out for a new introduction with z/d as a mini kibble, making it a great option for small and toy breed dogs with food allergies. Strict compliance can be difficult for owners of food-allergic dogs so the other innovation in the range will be new Hypoallergenic treats.

Moving forwards, we have some new leaflets that can be given to help owners understand their pet’s condition. Once clients are ready to accept your recommendation, additional leaflets help increase understanding of how nutrition can help and support the pet. This two-step recommendation process will improve levels of compliance within the practice.

Also, expect your Hill’s territory manager to have lots to share about weight management as Metabolic Plus becomes a focus. You may have seen some of our success stories in press. Don’t forget to share your good news with us on Facebook and Twitter, so we can celebrate your success too and encourage your clients to give a testimonial to help other pet owners at http://www.hillspet.co.uk/en-gb/weight-management/success-stories-dog.html

For more information on Hill’s products and support, contact your Hill’s Territory Manager.

Hill’s supports Pet Fit Club

Everyone who works in practice and certainly those at the PDSA, the UK’s leading vet charity, knows how much people love their pets. But sometimes pet owners just need a helping hand to make the right feeding and lifestyle decisions. And that's where you, Hill’s and Pet Fit Club come in.

Each year, a group of oversized dogs, cats and rabbits embark on a six-month diet and exercise programme, specially tailored by PDSA vets and nurses. These portly pets then battle it out to be crowned the Pet Fit Club’s top slimmer of the year.

Hill’s is the proud sponsor of Pet Fit Club, providing Prescription Diet™ Metabolic to help the PDSA’s patients lose the excess weight. With 50% of the pet population overweight, Hill’s feels passionately that pet weight management is something that desperately needs to be addressed. By supporting Pet Fit Club, not only can we help fight obesity, we can also raise awareness of a very important issue.

The PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report revealed that four-out-of-five veterinary professionals have seen an increase in pet obesity cases in the last two years. It’s an issue that clearly concerns you, with 80% of vets and vet nurses believing there will be more overweight pets than healthy weight pets in five years’ time. Worryingly, nearly half of pet owners surveyed are not aware it’s such a major issue.

This gap in understanding really needs to be addressed. We know that clear communication about healthy weight is high on your agenda and Hill’s with the PDSA are working hard to ensure that it’s attracting media interest too.

So far, PDSA Pet Fit Club has helped 63 dogs, 26 cats and 6 rabbits lose a total of 60 stone 6lb since its launch in 2005. For more information, visit www.petfitclub.org.uk.