These posters provide an accessible list of what you should expect from a wellness exam with our veterinary team. As an AAHA-accredited facility, we pride ourselves in offering the best standard of veterinary care. In order to provide this standard of excellent care, we highly recommend, at minimum, yearly exams with one of our veterinarians. Not only do these annual visits allow our veterinarians to monitor your pet’s health and well-being, but these visits are a mandatory component of maintaining a Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR).
In this post, we will address common questions about the importance of the yearly wellness exam with one of our veterinarians, and how you can help our veterinary team best understand and address your concerns for your furry family member. The information from this article is based on the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO) professional practice standard guidelines in regards to the Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR).
What is the Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR)?
The Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) is formed between a veterinarian, the patient (your pet), and the client (you). As the client, your responsibility in maintaining the VCPR begins with bringing your pet in to the hospital for a physical exam with a veterinarian. Speaking to the veterinary team about any concerns that you may have in regards to your pet’s care will best allow the veterinary team to treat your pet and address your concerns. It is your responsibility as a pet parent to follow the veterinarian’s recommendations in regards to treatment, or seek additional information or clarification if needed. The veterinarian is responsible for examining your pet, keeping a medical record of their care, addressing your concerns in accessible language, and providing treatment options with risks and benefits clearly outlined. It requires that a veterinarian performs a physical exam on your pet in-person, at least annually.
Why is the Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship Relationship (VCPR) required?
An up-to-date VCPR is required prior to a veterinarian recommending or prescribing any forms of medication or treatment, as required by law in Ontario, as per the Veterinarians Act. Not only does an up-to-date VCPR ensure that your veterinarian has the most relevant information in terms of your pet’s physical condition, it allows your veterinarian to provide an accurate treatment plan to best address Fluffy’s needs. If your pet is unwell, without an examination your veterinarian is unable to form a clear diagnostic picture and is unable to provide the best level of care for your pet.
How do I maintain a Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR)?
While telephone calls and emails allow the veterinary team to monitor your pet’s well-being at a distance, the VCPR is maintained through annual physical exams in-person with your veterinarian. Some pets who suffer from diseases such as cardiac heart failure may require more frequent visits which allow the veterinarian to make their best judgment in terms of your pet’s care, which is determined through physical examination, including listening to your pet’s heart and lungs.
My pet is healthy . . . Do I still need to maintain a Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR)?
The answer is yes! The reasoning behind the legal requirement to maintain the VCPR through annual physical exams with a veterinarian is to provide the best level of care for each and every pet. The key to maintaining good health is prevention. Examining your pet yearly allows the veterinarian to document any changes in your pet’s health and form the best plan to maintain good health for the future. With an up-to-date VCPR, your veterinarian can recommend a diet to address possible dental concerns, monitor your pet’s body condition to maintain a healthy weight, and address any possible behavioural issues. Your veterinarian can prescribe heartworm and parasite testing and prevention, administer vaccines against deadly diseases, and prescribe nutritional supplements. All of us at Beattie Pet Hospital Ancaster want to help your pets thrive, and the annual wellness exam is the framework that helps us to do so!
If your pet requires an annual wellness exam, please call us at 289-639-5540 and our client communications specialists will be happy to help you. We look forward to seeing you and your pets, and paving a future of good health and well-being through annual wellness exams!