A CPD seminar held by Novartis Animal Health has identified confusion amongst owners on when to worm their pets. Household pets and pets that venture outdoors should be wormed at different times and many owners either simply don’t bother or are unsure when and how to worm their pets.
Worming can build bonds between owners and pets and is integral for hygiene both for the owner and the pet, especially if the pet is part of a household with children.
Regular worming builds the bond between pets and people:
• Veterinary nurses and receptionists polled in a recent survey acknowledge that pet owners are still interested in learning about worming their pets
• Novartis Animal Health puts the subject of worming high up on the vet nurse and reception staff agenda with a series of CPD seminars covering the subjects of worm biology, customer psychology and animal behavioural science
• In the UK, pet owners only treat their animals an average of 2.5 times per year1, when the European Scientific Counsel Companion Animal Parasites (ESCCAP) normally recommend a minimum of four treatments annually (more depending on lifestyle and age).
Lack of ongoing owner education about correct worming regimes could be a health threat to pets and humans alike. This subject was top of the polls with a group of 250 veterinary nurses and receptionists who recently attended a series of CPD seminars organised by Novartis Animal Health.
While the majority of the delegates understood the necessity to advise owners to worm their puppies and kittens on a monthly basis, there is still some confusion around the frequency of worming for an indoor pet versus one that ventures outdoors, and worming requirements of the Pet Travel Scheme.
The session, covering worm biology and risk analysis, started with research from a scientific paper which interviewed 119 children aged 4-11 years old. The paper helped to highlight to attendees the importance of a correct worming regime to not only protect animals, but family members as well.
The research clearly highlights the close bond between children and animals:
• 48% of pets are allowed in children’s bedrooms
• 53% of children had their pet with them watching TV
• 40% of children looked to their pet if they were upset
• 98% of children cuddle their pet; and
• 80% of children kiss their pet.
“We needed some clear messages to help set the scene and reinforce the reasons why regular worming is important, not only to benefit the pet, but family members as well, particularly children,” explains Dr Matthew Jones, Manager of Companion Animal Veterinary Professional Services from Novartis Animal Health. “One of the significant statistics is that only 7% of children wash their hands after playing with their pets, therefore the importance of ensuring owners adopt regular worming regimes for their pets is paramount.”
The group concluded that misconceptions around when to worm, what for and how often need constant reinforcement in the practice environment. Workshop sessions looked at pet lifestyles and developing appropriate risk analyses for various categories whether discussing kittens and puppies, house cats and dogs, outdoor cats and dogs, pets living with children and those pets going abroad.
“The take home messages were clear and concise,” concludes Matthew Jones. “We need to keep pets and people healthy with responsible worming, and every pet is different and needs to be wormed to suit their lifestyle. Practice protocols will help to provide constant, consistent advice to pet owners and with owners still only worming their pets on average 2.5 times per year, there is clearly a need to increase worming compliance in line with industry guidelines of four times per year.”
Alongside the worming sessions, the seminars also covered customer psychology and animal behaviour with specialist Gwen Bailey.
For further details about the Vet Practice Academy and how Novartis Animal Health can help your practice develop and deliver‘tailored’ worming advice for pet owners, please contact your local Novartis Animal Health Territory Manager.
var _gaq = _gaq || ; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-24652790-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);