CAPC’s Strategic Vision is to see “Every Pet Tested, and Every Pet Protected.” CAPC’s Engagement Strategy is that “Parasites are Dynamic and Ever-Changing.” How do we take advantage of CAPC maps? CAPC maps are available at http://www.capcvet.org or http://www.petsandparasites.org. Through these sites, one can simply click the link on the home page to “visit the maps.” From there, navigating the maps is relatively simple. On the top left of the maps page, visitors will find the major categories under the first drop-down:
- Intestinal Parasites
- Tick Borne Disease Agents
- Viral Diseases
The next heading over gives you the sub-categories under a drop down:
- For Heartworm: Feline Heartworm Ab; Feline Heartworm Ag; Heartworm Canine
- For Intestinal Parasites: Roundworm; Hookworm; Whipworm; Giardia
- For Tick Borne Disease Agents: Lyme; Anaplasmosis; Ehrlichiosis
- For Viral Disease: FeLV; FIV (CAPC is the mapping expert and it is believed that immune compromised cats have more parasites, so CAPC is mapping them to see if the relationship shows up)
The following heading is for the species: Dog or Cat. On the right side, one can choose the year, the month of interest or the whole year. Lastly, the map will show you the Prevalence percentage, the total number of positive cases and the total number of tests CAPC can access.
The CAPC data is pulled from Antech and Idexx, and also some patient-side tests – if a practice is running Cornerstone, an Idexx Lab Suite and a Snap-Pro reader, these tests contribute to the maps. Even though CAPC does not have access to all tests run, due to the large number of tests, the prevalence percentages are very accurate.
Finally, the last but one of the most important items on the maps page is the green button to “Get Updates.” We highly recommend clicking on this! It will take you to a sign in page where you will set up an account with CAPC. (It will be necessary to choose your State, your county or counties of interest, and your parasites of interest. Save your profile and choices.) Now, CAPC will send you monthly updates of your parasites of interest.
This information is TIMELY, LOCAL ACCURATE AND MOTIVATING! It’s a show and tell explaining to pet owners the expanding risk of parasites in their region and the diseases they carry! This is a perfect conversation starter because it’s all happening in your clients’ backyards. It’s news you can use for client engagement.
Client engagement opportunities:
- Jump on your social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat), cite the data, educate on the parasites, the diseases, warn of the risks, and give the solutions.
- Use white boards in the reception area or even on the reception counter, with the number of cases for the disease/parasite of concern in your area. Use real data to educate clients, such as:
- “63 cases of Lyme last month! Today’s temperature is 46° and ticks are active — have you protected your pet? Ask us how!!”
- “103 cases of Heartworm last month! It only takes one mosquito! Let’s protect your pet — as us!”
- Print out the CAPC maps for the parasites of greatest concern in your area each month, post them in the exam rooms and use them as an educational conversation starter or reference.
- Use CAPC maps as screen savers — clients will see them in the exam room and they’re a great reminder for staff. Just use the Snipping program and save the picture, then set as the screen saver.
- When taking patient histories, ask for travel plans and if the client will be taking their pets. Reference CAPC maps to assess the risk to the patient at the travel destination, and better protect more pets.
- Look at the maps over time! There’s always a story to be told that can be relayed to clients. The movement of rescue and shelter animals; and the relocation of pets after natural disasters have led to the movement of parasites and diseases into areas that they have not historically been before. This is especially true for Heartworm which has moved into Colorado and the Northeast.
- LOW Prevalence does NOT mean NO Prevalence! If you don’t look (test), you won’t find. It only takes ONE mosquito to spread heartworm, ONE black-legged tick to spread Lyme. You don’t want that one pet with one of these devastating parasites or diseases to be one of your patients.