This current issue of HCAVS presents four valuable scientific studies that will assist veterinarians to enrich or refresh their knowledge on subjects that are seldom given proper attention, especially in everyday practice.
The first study deals with a clinical diet in combination with a probiotic supplement in an effort to address gastrointestinal cases of dogs that would have responded to antibiotics. The study highlights the great importance of selecting a proper clinical diet for the management of various cases, a fact that science had foreseen early on and hence proceeded with the scientific planning and merchandising of diets. At the same time, supplementation of probiotics opened up a new chapter in the holistic clinical approach of various pathologies, steering away from the use or rather misuse of antibiotics.
The second study refers to the disorders of acid-base balance. This is a serious matter as regards achieving favourable results in cases of various disorders (especially in chronic, hospitalized patients), as well as attaining a successful outcome in a multitude of surgical procedures. However, one must take into account the specialized equipment needed to implement these measures, which it is not available in the majority of private practices/clinics. In such cases, the clinician must be well-equipped with a sound and detailed knowledge of pathological mechanisms and the necessary competence to interpret the variable clinical picture, and fully capitalise on personal experience and the electronic equipment available (!!).
The third and fourth studies concern the circumstantial analysis and interpretation of the erythrogram and leukogram. These studies uncover a new sphere of information for a number of pathological conditions that are overlooked or underestimated in everyday practice. Proper collection and handling of blood samples is essential. I would also add the importance of appropriate shipment packaging and sample analysis laboratory as not many private practices/clinics have the technical skills and equipment to accomplish such examinations.
These four valuable studies will undeniably satisfy the reader but at the same time they will not discourage the concerned professional from further retrospective reflection.
During the past 20 years (1990 – 2010), Companion Animal Medicine has followed an impressive upward trend bringing the Small Animal Veterinary Business model into our country. In this setting, a huge number of private clinics were planned and considerable amounts of money invested in facilities with specialized equipment seldom found in private clinics abroad, and inconsistent with the workload generated by the Greek market. At the same time, companies offered a variety of codes in drugs, supplements, equipment and animal foods, according to the demand of veterinarians and animal owners. The financial crisis in recent years has modified this environment. Companies reduced the number of codes and the “prescription drugs” of the past era were reinstituted forcing the veterinarian to recourse to the “human arsenal”. The owners do not appear to diminish the demand, but they seek quality facilities with the best possible price regardless of the fact that these two factors are incompatible. Internet and market research have evolved into cornerstones of consumption. Finally, the veterinarian, on the one hand, increases the quality and quantity of his investments, but on the other hand, he is entrapped by the financial climate that demands increasingly lower fees. These two opposing trends will inevitably lead to the collapse of the successful “Business” model. If we combine this with the illusion that the only way out for Greece is the development of an even more equipped though “weak” private practice, we will soon experience the return to the earlier reality of borderline survival rather than the hitherto extravagant reality.
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