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Results of a survey to assess knowledge and expectations of veterinarians and their clients regarding heartworm preventives and vaccinations in dogs

New, J.C.; Reinemeyer, C.R.; Burr, J.H.; Kelch, W.J.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 211(4): 434-437

1997


ISSN/ISBN: 0003-1488
PMID: 9267503
Accession: 002946894

Objective: To determine the knowledge and expectations of veterinarians and clients regarding heartworm preventives and annual vaccinations for dogs. Design: Practitioner and client survey. Sample Population: 435 veterinarians and 1,805 clients. Procedure: A survey was mailed to veterinarians requesting information from them and their dog-owning clients on expectations and knowledge regarding heartworm preventives and annual vaccinations. Responses of veterinarians were compared with those of clients, and both were compared with label indications. Results: Expectations of veterinarians and clients regarding heartworm preventives were similar and usually were consistent with regulatory interpretation of label terms. Of clients purchasing heartworm preventives, 38% did not know that the medication was effective against intestinal nematodes. Veterinarians and clients would be unsatisfied with a product that reduced, but did not eliminate, all intestinal nematodes. Most clients knew that annual vaccinations included distemper virus, parvovirus, and rabies virus, but about half of them did not know that other antigens were in the vaccines. Clinical Implications: Effects of heartworm preventives and diseases for which dogs are annually vaccinated should be explained fully to clients.

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