Does your vet meet the standard of veterinary excellence? Like all cats, we do not look forward to trips to the vet, but are confident when Mom Paula takes us to our vet at Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital that we are receiving the best care because our vet is among the 12-15% of veterinary practices in the United States and Canada who are AAHA accredited.
|Brulee resting on the examination table in a room designed for cats. Notice the Feliway diffuser plugged in.|
Mom Paula: Like many pet parents, I always get stressed when choosing the appropriate vet for my fur children. I remember during the sixteen years I had Sweet Praline having to depend on word-of-mouth recommendations when I'd move to a new town and never fully being satisfied with her vets. Even when she was seeing a "cats only" vet, there was still something missing. Prior to Truffle and Brulee coming to live with me, I began research on a new vet for my special fur children. I searched the Internet trying to locate a veterinary hospital that was less than 15 miles away. Once I identified a few hospitals, I began calling and sending emails to them asking to visit their hospital to tour the facilities and talk to staff. Only one veterinary hospital responded to my request and it was Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital. I shared the website of this hospital with Truffle and Brulee's first mom, Terri, to get her opinion because she was a vet tech. When she went to the website and saw the this hospital was accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), she immediately told me this was the best place to take the girls because not many veterinary hospitals were accredited. I did visit the facility prior to the girls coming to live with me and they spent over an hour with the tour and talking to me. I knew this was the right veterinary hospital to take my girls.
|Sign with AAHA logo at Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital|
Having worked with higher education the past 21 years, I know the importance of accreditation and the research behind organizations becoming accredited based on a set of high standards. I've been on both sides of accreditation (the university faculty member who had to prepare for accreditation and a member of the on-site review team who determined if an institution would receive accreditation). An accrediting body is made up of individuals who are experts in their field and have researched "the best" standards of excellence.
|Dr. Keisler examines Brulee in the scale because that is where she is comfortable. Notice the heating pad on the examination table for the cat examination rooms which have been implemented recently.|
I was surprised to learn that veterinarians aren't required to be accredited and that only 12-15% of the veterinary hospitals in the United States and Canada meet the strict standards of AAHA accreditation. Being accredited is voluntary for veterinary hospitals and some are never inspected by an outside organization until a complaint is lodged against them or something tragic happens. AAHA is the only veterinary association dedicated specifically to small animals. Veterinary hospitals spend months preparing for the on-site visits and must receive a total score across 900 standards that is high enough for accreditation. Not all hospitals who apply receive the accreditation. Once accredited, the veterinary hospital is re-evaluated every three years to make sure it is up-to-date on the most current thinking and methods related to pet care. Examine the graphic below to see some of the standards that set AAHA hospitals apart from the rest and what you can expect to find when visiting an AAHA-accredited hospital.
|Graphic provided by AAHA|
I'm lucky that Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital is AAHA accredited. They have a staff who obviously cares about my girls and they take the time to thoroughly examine Truffle and Brulee, answer my endless questions, and help me make important decision about their care. I'm also thankful that the South Carolina Veterinary Specialist and Emergency Care is AAHA-accredited. There are two ways to determine if your veterinary hospital is accredited:
- Look for the AAHA logo on the hospital's website or at the office
- Search the AAHA-accredited Hospital Locator for a hospital near you
|Dr. Hansche cuddling with Truffle and Brulee after their examination|
The veterinarians at Cherokee Trail veterinary clinic are amazing. There are a few who are more "cat focused" but I'd trust any of them to examine Truffle and Brulee. I feel more confident that the girls will get the best of care because the hospital has passed rigorous standards for accreditation and they've maintained this accreditation. The girls are becoming more relaxed when they visit Cherokee Trail because of the implementation of cat-friendly examination rooms that include:
- Scheduling appointments where cats can be taken into the examination area quickly and not stay in the waiting room too long.
- The examination rooms are placed away from all of the activity of the checkout area and waiting room.
- Feliway diffusers are in the examination rooms.
- A warming pad is placed on the examination table.
Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for writing this post. AAHA has generously offered to provide a $50 credit to an AAHA-accredited veterinary practice to one of my readers. AAHA is not responsible for the contents of this post. Sweet Purrfections only shares products and information we feel will be of interest to our readers.
While attending BlogPaws, I was lucky to be chosen to offer a $50 credit for an AAHA-accredited hospital of his/her choice for one of my lucky readers. No purchase necessary. The Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec), 18+ years old. Void where prohibited. . The giveaway ends July 24, 2016. Good luck!