Bob McClung, DVM, Tiffin, Ohio; and Erik Andersen, DVM, Nevada, Mo., say by treating a cattle producer’s small animals as part of the family, you can find increased revenue for your practice and increased satisfaction from your clients. They offer these tips on making the most of treating the whole family.

  1. Get the information. McClung says care reminder cards for farm cats and dogs are important. “When we do a herd check and take care of a cat or dog, we take down their information and make sure they get reminders, just like they do in town,” he says.
  2. Be mobile. By incorporating technology like the digital X-ray machine, McClung says, he can provide additional care for small animals at producers’ operations. “If they have a dog that’s hurt, we can take the X-ray machine to them to do the initial exam,” he says. “We can then ask them to bring the dog in for the next step of treatment. That helps us promote our small animal practice big time.”
  3. Educate. McClung says he and his clinic work to educate clients on health, both with large and small animals. “We work hard to teach the basics of what to watch out for, with large and small animals,” he says. “We can treat liver and kidney failure early, if it’s caught soon enough. We encourage them to get their hands on the animals and get to know the body condition score. We describe it in great detail.”
  4. Offer incentives. Andersen says he offers incentives for small animal procedures throughout the year. “For example, April is National Heartworm Month, so we offer discounts on flea, tick and heartworm products,” he says. “And in the spring, we offer reminders to our rodeo and horse show clients about keeping Coggins tests up to date.” Once a month, Andersen also offers spays and neuters at reduced costs for a local organization (Vernon County People for Pets, Inc.). “This is advertised on our website and theirs, and in the newspaper,” he says. “And on that one day, we will perform between 20 to 40 spays and neuters.”
  5. Be a listener. “If there’s something I can’t answer right away, I find the answer from someone who knows,” Andersen says. “This helps to develop trust with my clients, both large and small.”

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.