What is in this article?:
- Treat Cattle Producerâ€™s Small Animals As Part Of The Family
- Family Matters
- Standards of Service
- Tips & Advice
Treating your practice as a ‘family practice’ can benefit both you and your clients.
Standards of Service
McClung says the changing atmosphere of small animal preventative control has caused a need for an increased offering of small animal services.
“Many practices had been dependent on the prescription sales of flea and heartworm control,” he says. “Now, with these products available over the counter, it’s impossible for the practitioner to make up that income without introducing new technology.”
For large and small animals, McClung began incorporating immunotherapy about eight years ago.
“With these organic-based products, we’ve been able to address many disorders,” McClung says. “We’ve been able to treat cancer without chemo. And we weren’t able to touch lymphangitis before, but now we have a protocol in place to clean up a whole flock.”
McClug’s clinic is also a stem cell surgical provider.
“We’ve used porcine-sourced stem cells to treat arthritis in dogs,” he says. “The newest generation of stem cell companies can propagate from 500,000 to 2 million stem cells from each harvest, which is enough to provide today’s treatments and bank for those in the future. This technology has taken dogs that were only able to bunny hop and have helped them chase the Frisbee. It’s helped to regrow new bone and cartilage.”
And, with the addition of a portable, digital X-ray system, they can provide an increased level of service during large and small animal visits, McClung says.
“We can do digital X-rays of a horse or bull on the farm, then go back to the office to see cats, dogs, turtles and snakes,” he says. “In today’s economy, in any business, you must constantly be on the growth curve.”
Staying on the cutting-edge of technology also allows McClung to provide a variety of services to his clients. And, he says, his clients appreciate that, too.
“It’s important for us to offer a broad variety of services, at least in our economic environment, for those who can’t afford to send their animals to a specialist,” McClung says. “We have learned how to do some fancy orthopedic surgeries on soft tissue. Last year, we removed 15 spleens. And we do many ACL repairs for probably a third of what they cost in Columbus or Cleveland. Our clients are happy with the results and have trust in us to accomplish these things.”
Developing trust and promoting services also help to generate small animal business from large animal clients.
Let it be Known
Many times, McClung says, the clinic itself can serve as great promotion. He says his large animal clients see the small animal services available when they stop by the clinic to pick up medications.
“They know their pets must be vaccinated for rabies and should be tested for heartworm,” he says. “And, I’m close enough with my clients that they know what we can do.”
Family members with favorite pets also drive small animal business from large animal clients, McClung says.
“If dad is into cows and mom has a dog, guess who gets taken care of—the dog,” he says. “Grandma may have a dingy, wiry-haired dog that she takes care of like her kid. That grandma’s dog is going to get care, too.”
Andersen views the “family approach” to his veterinary practice as he views his own growing family’s devotion to their wide assortment of pets. Animals are part of the family, and he strives to provide care for them all.
“We have our own dogs, cats, fish and birds, and I know something always comes up with our animals,” he says. “If I’m going to treat them, I’m going to treat everyone else’s, too.”
McClung believes providing an increased level of care is his way of sticking with the long-standing values of the veterinary field.
“We do things the way the past generation did,” he explains. “It doesn’t matter if you like doing every little thing. You get it done. Someone from our practice is always on call, and we seem to always be busy with emergency calls. We were trained to be committed, and we’re always helping someone.”
With one phone call, Andersen says, clients can get the help they need.
“They have one number to call, and they don’t have to keep a couple of numbers for their different vets,” he says. “When I’m out working at their place, it’s easy to take a look at another animal’s issue while I’m there. I feel like I can benefit them and provide better service for them. They can take care of it all with one phone call.”
By focusing on the whole family of their large animal clients, Andersen and McClung say their clients are pleased and their practices see the results in their bottom line. Really, what could be better?