Making Veterinary Design User Friendly

WYSIWYG. We’ve all seen the acronym – “What You See Is What You Get”

When building my first website I came across this term. After doing a Google search to discover its meaning, I thought, “Well, that’s software I can use!”

Today WYSIWYG can be applied to architectural design software, but not in the same regard as website development. More accurately, we now have the tools to provide you, our veterinary clients, a peek inside and outside the veterinary facilities we’re developing before they are built. True, the talented veterinary architect and staff could previously render their veterinary design concepts meticulously by hand, but this could be both laborious and time-consuming. These renditions were typically from a particular vantage point and were limiting. When the client asked, “but what does it look like from here?” We would often wave our hands and futilely attempt a word picture. Building Information Modeling or BIM has changed that.

As veterinary design professionals, we are always looking for software to make our job simpler and more productive. We are endlessly seeking the graphic holy grail to effectively communicate how our design concepts are resolving our veterinary client’s needs and desires. In all areas of our lives we’ve seen how digital technology can be transformative. We’ve watched software applications evolve from the floppy disc to instantly deliverable applications on our ‘smart’ devices. No other technological advance has changed and is in the process of changing the architecture profession more than BIM. It is transforming the way we deliver our services. In short, when used to its potential, our veterinary clients experience WYSIWYG in a profound and often beneficial way:

  • More complete and accurate project visualization.
  • A means of delivering multiple solutions quickly and effectively.
  • Parametric documentation that reduces errors and ultimately costs.
  • Assists in identifying possible conflicts that may arise during building construction.
  • Construction sequencing analysis and potentially shortened project schedules.
  • Assists owners in making informed decisions about the proposed project earlier in the design process.

One of the maxims in the construction world is that a project owner may ask for cheaper, faster and better, but will only be able to get two of the three. The evidence from projects constructed utilizing a BIM methodology indicates that it is possible to deliver completed projects that are completed faster, are less expensive, and of higher quality.

BIM does not design veterinary clinics, that will likely always have a human component, but it does help to enhance the collaborative relationship between veterinary architect and veterinary client by providing a means to effectively communicate design solutions through a 3-dimensional data-rich model. Though BIM is helping to close the communication gap, inspiration will always be required to envision solutions to our client’s challenges. The table napkin will remain one of our most cherished tools.

How to Tell If Veterinary Products Advertised on the Internet Are Good Or Not

I often get asked questions about whether products available for cats and dogs on the internet really work. Here is a sample of what my clients have asked me:

  • Will Tripsy help my cat’s kidney disease?
  • Are NZymes a good product or is this a money making scam?
  • Is there a natural cure for cancer? Nuvet wafers claim to be able to cure my dog of cancer.
  • Can I treat my dog’s arthritis with Sasha’s Blend?

Rather than tell you which products are good and which are scams I’d like to teach you a few things to look for to determine this for yourself:

One of the best ways to determine if a product is really effective is to look for clinical trials. If studies have been done to determine the effectiveness of the product then it likely has some merit. A great way to research whether studies have been done is to look the product up on www.scholar.google.com

This is a search engine which gives research information. I went to this site and tried the following searches:

  • “Tripsy for cats kidneys” – I got lots of results containing those words but none that specifically mention the product I was looking for. This is not a good sign.
  • “Sasha’s blend” – The first result was a clinical trial for this product which showed that it had merit in treating canine arthritis. This is good!

Unfortunately there are a lot of products advertised on the internet that take advantage of people’s desperation. We all want our pets to live long, healthy lives and are devastated when we get a diagnosis of cancer, kidney disease, liver disease or something else that is serious.

Another good resource is your veterinarian. Many vets will be willing to research a product that you are interested in. If they are a member of Veterinary Information Network they have access to all of the latest research on almost any product advertised online. If your vet does not want to research this for you, you can always ask an online vet to do the research and they will give you an unbiased opinion.

The best piece of advice I can give though is, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!!!”

Veterinary Products To Prevent Fleas On Dogs

Fleas on dogs can lead to tapeworms and various other diseases, so preventing fleas is essential for your pet to remain healthy. Fleas prefer conditions which are hot and humid and, therefore, in certain areas your pet may seem more prone to fleas. Your vet can always be consulted about veterinary products to prevent fleas on dogs. But there are several home remedies you can try out as well.

One of the best ways to prevent fleas on dogs is ensure that the environment your pet thrives in is healthy and clean. Fleas enjoy humid conditions, mostly during the summer months. So your pet’s environment should be assessed quite frequently.

Fleas on dogs can be prevented inside the house by vacuuming your house as much as possible and as frequently as possible. Play close attention and regularly check on cracks, corners, basements and crevices. Dispose regularly of the cleaner bags in your vacuum, since adult fleas are more likely to escape if you have not taken the trouble to clean the bags properly. Also, make certain that the friends your pet hangs around with are free from leas. While it might be fun to take your dog to the park, keep in mind that it is a feasting ground for fleas.

If your pet’s flea comb has fleas on it, use flea removal to remove the fleas and drown them in soapy water to completely eliminate them. Wash your pet’s bedding using warm soapy water on a weekly basis. This is one area for fleas to lay their eggs and larvae. Another way of getting rid of dog fleas is to keep your grass trimmed in order to increase the sunlight coming in as larvae is unable to survive when the area is hot and dry. Get rid of piles of debris occupying your yard or if there is any close to your house. Pets need to be bathed on a weekly basis, most often to get rid of fleas and keep them clean and healthy. If your pet is averse to bathing regularly, ensure that you speak to the vet about other alternatives to keep your pet clean.

If your pet shows signs of biting, excessive scratching on its lower back or tail area it is possible that there are raw patches on the animal. Veterinary products to prevent fleas on dogs include various treatments such as flea adulticide. This product is applied on your pet’s skin on a monthly basis. There is also a monthly pill that will prevent reproduction of fleas, but this medication does not actually kill adult fleas. Other veterinary products to prevent fleas on dogs are multipurpose products. These products not only control reproduction of fleas but it also prevents hookworms, heartworms, roundworms and whipworms. You can also consider using flea powders and flea collars.

Chemical flea products are also part of veterinary products to prevent fleas on dogs. These products are used to spray the surrounding environment and come in powder or spray form. Your veterinarian can best recommend which products to use and how best to use them.