Most veterinary practice owners and managers know the amount clients spend per clinic visit and are familiar with the alphabet
soup describing such transactions: Average Transaction Fee (ATF), Average Charge per Transaction (ACT), Average Transaction
Charge (ATC), Average Doctor Transaction (ADT), and numerous others. These metrics — and their trends over time — reveal the
health of your business. On the other hand, practices rarely examine the financial or economic impact of a particular condition
or disease. We are trained to think in terms of transactions rather than considering a bigger picture. However, an underestimated
financial benefit exists for any practice that produces satisfied clients who have pets with well-controlled diseases that
live longer lives. These clients have a renewed trust in and loyalty to the practice and are more likely to return there for
their pet's other wellness and medical needs.
Fritz Wood, CPA, CFP
The impact of managing a chronic disease
Consider the impact that management of just one common chronic disease can have on your practice's bottom line. How many canine
patients with hyperadrenocorticism did you identify and treat in the last 12 months? What's the incremental gross and net
income from treating and monitoring a dog with hyperadrenocorticism in the 12 months after detection, and how much impact
does your pricing have on a client's ability and willingness to treat the disease?
Cushing's disease is a chronic illness that is not cured, but rather managed throughout a pet's life. What's the annual financial
impact of managing patients with Cushing's syndrome on your practice? What's the long-term benefit to your practice of skillfully
managing a dog with Cushing's disease and having the owners happy that their dog's clinical signs have resolved?
A year in the life of Riley
Consider a case example such as Riley,* a 12-year-old spayed female beagle that weighs 27 lb (12.3 kg). Her owners have historically
taken good care of riley and followed their longtime veterinarian's advice. Riley presented with common clinical signs of
canine hyperadrenocorticism — polyuria and polydipsia, polyphagia, alopecia, and a pendulous abdomen.
Diagnosing canine hyperadrenocorticism can be fairly straightforward based on a dog's history, clinical signs, and results
of readily available diagnostic tests (see the previous Canine Cushing's Case Files in this series, 'Dali,' 'Princess,' and 'Mitch'). Examination and screening for other concurrent disease processes is also
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, VETORYL® CAPSULES (trilostane), the only FDA-approved drug indicated for medical treatment
of both pituitary- and adrenal-dependent hyperadrenocorticism in dogs, can be prescribed.