"When I saw his white blood cell count, I expected he'd have a fever or diarrhea."
These were the words of my veterinarian when she told me Pan's white blood cell count was low.
Looking at him, I didn't see a sick horse. His temperature, which I'd been monitoring for several days, was normal. Whenever my hand moved near my jacket pocket, his ears pricked in hopeful expectation that I'd slip him a treat.
Nope, nothing outwardly wrong with this animal's health.
Animal health is rampant with disease and illness, which gives an animal health copywriter (that would be me) lots of fodder to write about. All critters are afflicted, from pigs and chickens to beloved house pets. And just like in human medicine, veterinary medicine turns to diagnostics for answers.
But what happens when the patient's behavior contradicts what the science reports? What do veterinarians do when the test results are abnormal but the animal seems fine?
In Pan's case, he had a WBC (white blood cell) count that was low, as the results from his lab report below show.
But contrary to what my vet said about fever or diarrhea, he displayed no symptoms indicative of the low count. He didn't act sick at all.
We reran the test one week later, and the count, although still low, improved to 3.3.
These results presented a dilemma. A horse with such a low count might have something brewing. Pan might be risky to admit to Tufts Large Animal Hospital for his upcoming dental surgery.
After weighing all the facts – Pan's WBC test said something was wrong, but his demeanor spoke otherwise – my veterinarian had to consider the conflicting evidence and make a call.
She decided that his lack of fever and otherwise healthy behavior took precedence over his white blood cell count. Luckily, Tufts agreed with her, and Pan's surgery went as scheduled.
Unfortunately, this experience is not uncommon.
Symptoms and test results in veterinary medicine don't always go hand in hand to align neatly with a diagnosis. Much to the dismay of veterinarians and owners.
Scientific data always has a role in the veterinary diagnostic process, but it's never the be-all or end-all. Good vets listen to and observe their patients, knowing that sometimes the animal gives a better indication of what's going on in its body than the results of a lab test.
If you're a veterinarian, you're probably busy caring for patients, so thanks for taking the time to read this! If you want to grow your veterinary practice or animal health business by sharing helpful content or want to learn more about content marketing, contact me or call 508-277-4929.
Content -- you hear the term tossed around all the time. But what, exactly, is it?
I describe content as an umbrella term for articles, videos, photos, or audio that you can access online. You can share content through your website, email, and various social media platforms. Podcasts are another popular way to share content.
People love content, but not just any content, good content. And what makes content good? When the person who consumes it finds value.
Sharing content is an easy and inexpensive way for a veterinary practice to increase business and build a loyal client base.
Here’s an example: You email your clients an article about how to brush your pet’s teeth and the benefits of doing so.
This content, if well-written, provides them with knowledge about caring for their pet's teeth and gums. (I call this edu-marketing content; you can learn more about that here.) That knowledge is valuable for those pet parents because it helps them better care for their pet’s dental health.
Chances are there will be clients who have just had their pet’s teeth worked on -- cleaning and teeth removal is an expensive procedure. They’re likely looking for tips to avoid future costly dental care.
And what about those owners who’ve been worrying about their pet’s stinky breath? The article may prompt them to schedule an appointment. And still, others will view you positively because you’ve demonstrated that you care and want the best for their fur babies.
More appointments and nurtured goodwill for your veterinary practice. All achieved by sharing good content!
If you want to learn more about content and how it can help your veterinary practice or animal health business succeed, I'm happy to help; contact me here.
Suzanne Quigley - Copywriter