Selling clients on parasite control isn’t sleazy—it’s a standard of care

Selling clients on parasite control isn’t sleazy—it’s a standard of care

We know: Parasite control talks can be boring. But this veterinary parasite expert resolved a family’s flea nightmare by not ducking the issue.
Dec 02, 2015

No veterinarian should feel guilty about selling or recommending parasite control to clients, says Michael Dryden, DVM, MS, PhD, a professor of veterinary parasitology at Kansas State University. Dryden appeared on a recent panel sponsored by Merck Animal Health to explore what’s holding the profession back in achieving more comprehensive parasite control.

Michael Dryden, DVM, MS, PhDDryden insisted in the white paper published after the panel that veterinarians shouldn’t X-ray clients’ wallets when they recommend parasite control.

Dryden shared one particular episode with a frustrated dog owner that brought this to life for him. Although the new client had visited three other veterinary practices in two years, he hadn’t been told to purchase flea and tick control for his three dogs because they’d assumed he couldn’t afford it.

This gap in client education had dire repercussions: The family experienced chronic infestations, the dogs suffered flea allergy dermatitis, and one of the client’s children had scarring from multiple flea bites.

Photo source: Getty ImagesAfter Dryden had a simple conversation with the client, the owner bought flea and tick control to address his family’s flea problem.

“If any medical recommendation you make is difficult, time-consuming or expensive, it’s never sufficient to just tell an owner to do it,” Dryden said. “You have to tell them why they have to do it.”

Want help with tackling this conversation? Check out how to communicate with these six client personalities about parasites.