• Communications tools are needed to help achieve more meaningful outcomes in vector-borne disease prevention
  • The 13th CVBD® (Companion Vector-Borne Diseases) World Forum saw parasitologists, veterinary clinicians and epidemiology experts from around the world discuss vector-borne disease threats

In practice communications tools are an essential factor in helping manage vector-borne diseases in veterinary practice, debated an expert panel at the 13th CVBD® World Forum.

During the two-day forum, held in Windsor UK, low pet owner knowledge and poor adherence to regular preventative treatment for harmful vectors was identified as an important barrier to managing the global vector-borne disease burden.

With the role of the veterinarian being so important in overcoming this resistance, the forum argued that many vets may benefit from better communications tools to help facilitate more effective discussions regarding regular parasite prophylaxis with clients.

Driving the discussion within the forum was veterinarian Roeland Wessels, author of a published guide to communication strategies in veterinary practice.

“We were trained as veterinarians to be the engineer of the animal body, but not necessarily in how to communicate effectively with pet owners,” Roeland explained. “As dogs and cats play a hugely beneficial role throughout our lives we should support the pet owner to provide their beloved pet the best levels of protection to ensure a happy and healthy life, especially with regards to preventative medicine and the prevention of vector-borne diseases”.

Specifically regarding vecor-borne disease prevention, veterinarians are encouraged to engage in dialogues with their clients on tailor-made strategies to better the wellness of their pet, rather than viewing parasiticide recommendation as a commercial obligation.

Asking open questions and employing active listening techniques were suggested by Roeland as useful tools to help veterinarians begin to facilitate this discussion more effectively and achieve a better understanding of clients’ needs and barriers.

“Bayer is focused on ensuring the outputs of the CVBD® World Forum are meaningful for veterinarians in practical terms”, said Dr. Markus Edingloh, Head of Global Veterinary Scientific Affairs at Bayer Animal Health. “We will continue to support veterinarians with the resources to communicate with pet owners the importance of parasiticide products that reduce the risk of disease transmission, such as Seresto® and Advantix®.”

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