A disturbing e-mail arrived the other day: Hello, Dr. Bellows: I have a 5-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever that I have routinely cleaned her teeth (with enzyme toothpaste and a brush, recently using Sonicare). Despite all best efforts, she is building up tartar and I think may have a dark spot (cavity on a rear molar).
Ever wish pets could schedule their own appointments and bring themselves in for care? The key to stopping client-created stress is to see your clients for the different breeds they are—and adjust your approach accordingly.
Dr. X is running behind–again. But you don't want to interrupt him in front of the client. Here's an easy solution: Get him a pager. Shelly Hiemer, CVT, a technician at AMVET in Otsego, Minn., says her doctor chose to carry one so staff members could notify him when problems arise without interrupting. Then they developed a message system to indicate the degree of emergency. For example, if the team pages the doctor with number 33, he has 10 minutes to wrap up and get to the next client. Number 66 means he only has five minutes, and 99 means it's an emergency.
I frequently tout the goal of developing a womb-to-tomb relationship with our clients and their pets. At the core of our practice philosophy is the statement, "Focus on long-term relationships versus the short-term dollar."