Veterinary client communication: Educate, educate, and educate some more

Veterinary client communication: Educate, educate, and educate some more

Sep 01, 2012
By staff

Q. How can we calm our clients' fears about ­radioiodine treatment?

Ciera Miller, CVT
When compared to medical, surgical, and dietary management of hyperthyroidism, radioiodine treatment is often the best choice for clients, says Ciera Miller, CVT, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and technician at Metzger Animal Hospital in State College, Pa. However, she says, clients may be wary of such a treatment and you need to be able to calm their worries.

"When suggesting radioiodine treatment, an easy way to introduce the idea is to educate the pet owner about its advantages," she says. "I usually start by listing the benefits owners will notice in their everyday lives with their pets—no daily pilling and no harmful side effects, which are often seen with thyroid medications and diets. And it's cost effective."

Then, Miller says, it's important to explain the process of the radioiodine treatment. "I explain that it is the only method that can truly cure thyroid conditions and tumors, and it is done entirely without anesthesia," she says. "The owners can also be assured that the treatment causes no tissue or organ damage."

After explaining the treatment process and its advantages, she also recommends using testimonials to help assure owners that they're making the best choice for their pet. "It's usually easier for a client to trust the opinion of someone who has had to make a similar decision for their pet's treatment," she says.