BSAVA PetSavers Old Age Pets project is looking for veterinary surgeons, vet nurses and vet physiotherapists who currently conduct, or have recently conducted, consultations on senior dog preventative healthcare treatment, to take part in a survey to help shape the development of a guidance tool to support the care of senior dogs.
BSAVA PetSavers is funding a major research project at the University of Liverpool, that will help vets and owners provide the best care for senior and geriatric dogs. The first part of the study comprised in-depth interviews where veterinary professionals were asked about the services currently provided to senior dogs and their owners regarding preventative healthcare, treatment, and advice. The owner interviews asked about experiences of living with and accessing veterinary care for senior dogs.
The analysis of the interviews identified several key themes, such as “just old age”, barriers to care (which for veterinary professionals comprised animal, owner, and veterinary factors, in addition to other issues such as level of insurance and COVID-19 restrictions), the owner caregiver burden, and trust in veterinarians.
The team’s postdoctoral researcher, Lisa Wallis said: “The interviews obtained rich qualitative data that captured the thoughts and feelings of the owners living with and caring for a senior dog. Their depth and detail encouraged people to expand on their individual experiences and open up new topic areas that we might not have initially considered.”
These themes have been used to develop online surveys for owners and veterinary professionals which will be used to validate the findings of the interviews and video/photo submissions in a quantitative way. The researchers are now looking for vets and vet nurses to complete the survey.
Dr Carri Westgarth said: “The veterinary survey focuses on the perceived barriers to care for senior dogs, end-of-life care including quality-of-life, and the potential design of the BSAVA PetSavers guidance tool. We would be grateful if any veterinary professional could take a few minutes from their day to help us with this project.”
The survey should only take around 20 to 25 minutes to complete and gives professionals the opportunity to have their say in the development of an important tool to help guide discussions with owners about senior dog care in practice. Survey participants have the opportunity to win an Amazon voucher.
The survey can be accessed online.