How to talk to clients about vaccines
Our new veterinary patients often are not current on the vaccines we recommend—and we live in an area teeming with wildlife and potential disease. Discussing vaccines can be confusing for clients, so I share information with them from a printed sheet listing our recommendations. We list the vaccines with a brief description of each disease we're trying to prevent, and break down the combination vaccines, such as DHLPP, so the client can see whether leptospirosis, for example, is covered by the vaccine.
While talking with the client, I compare the pet's vaccine history to our protocols. As we discuss, I check off the ones that are current, while writing "not covered" or "consider" beside the rest. This doesn't take a long time to do. I then leave the sheet with the client for further discussion with the doctor, in case he or she needs more information. Our pet owners appreciate taking part in the vaccination decision process rather than blindly accepting what's given. They also better understand exactly what vaccines are being administered, the diseases being prevented, and what their pets need.
—Jenny Caldarello, veterinary assistant