Monday, July 18, 2016

Is Your Veterinary Hospital AAHA Accredited? Giveaway for $50 Towards Your Next Visit!

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:

  1. Look for the AAHA logo on the hospital's website or at the office
  2. 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.



Giveaway

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!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

41 comments:

  1. That is awesome you have a clinic you like and trust. Ours is okay (it's not AAHA accredited), but we'd love one that we were more enthusiastic about.

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  2. Your vet clinic sounds terrific. We've been going to our vet for all our lives and it's okay...though not AAHA accredited. The mom wishes it was. There is a clinic not far from us...maybe just a little farther than our current vet...that is AAHA accredited. The mom thought about checking it out, but changing vets is a hard thing to do.

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  3. Mom Peggy has been going to ours for 26 years now and since Minchie's dental in March, has not been too happy with them and is thinking of switching to a cats only clinic. However, neither are AAHA accredited.

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  4. We haven't gone to an AAHA accredited clinic, but then again most of our vets have been naturopathic vets and are members of the AVMA and the AHVMA. Their clinic is different in the way they handle things because of their viewpoints. Dr. Jackie was the most awesome vet we've ever had and we miss her so much--she's almost enough to make us want to move back to Seattle. Dr. Schacht is good here and we like him but he is not Dr. Jackie (but it may be that having lost the perfect that we loved so much we may not be giving him that much of a chance...)

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  5. I did a search and there a bunch near me, ones I'd love to take my cat to for a check up or if he has an issue.

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  6. The specialty practices we use are accredited and it sure shows too, it was a wonderful place...if we have to go there.

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  7. Ours is accredited, but I am still not thrilled that VCA owns it now. Great giveaway!

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  8. Believe it or not, the new all-feline practice that Pierre visited a couple months ago just announced their AAHA accreditation last week, so this is very exciting! They were already an AAFP Silver accredited Cat Friendly Practice, so they're now both. Paws up!

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  9. Yes, our vet has been an AAHA hospital for years. :)

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  10. After having the same vet for over 30 years, we've been moving our pets over to a new vet, but still use the interim vet for shots and things. Both vets are AAHA accredited, so this would really help. We lost three of our furbabies over the past 15 months (two from old age and one from a medical issue), but 11 days ago found a feral kitten that I'm bottle feeding and planning to keep. Winning this would help since the kitten is going to need a series of vet visits and shots. We're back up to three Treeing Walker Coonhounds and three cats (all rescues).

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  11. Fabulous post and YEPPER!! Our Vet is accredited by the AAHA! catchatwithcarenandcody

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  12. Yes, our vet is accredited with the AAHA

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  13. What a totally great blog! Thank you.

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  14. Our local animal hospital is AAHA accredited. There are several others in the area also. Thank you!

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  15. Yes, it is! My old one wasn't and they were terrible.

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  16. This is an issue I've struggled with a lot. When Bear had his tumor, I think the vet went above and beyond ... but they aren't accredited. I've had 30 years of experience with now too. The one year I lived elsewhere, I used the AAHA to find a new vet and I wasn't really all that pleased. Even more disappointing is that there aren't any 24 hour (or emergency) accredited vets in the area (the closest one is over 30 miles away). I'd really love the peace of mind knowing a vet's accredited, but at the same time I've also seen that accreditation doesn't ensure a good experience. I'm thinking that I might try to move to an accredited vet if I get a cat after Bear since it'll essentially be starting over with a history, etc. Then again, if Bear, who's already 10, develops a chronic or complicated condition, I might make the move a little early. The problem for most of us is that we have no standards of care or best practice to compare against. Another reason why accreditation gives some peace of mind.

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  17. Our current one is not but we've gone to AAHA accredited ones before.

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  18. You're so right, there is often "something missing" at Vet clinics. I love that AAHA provides guidelines and evaluations to help gain more consistency in the animal care industry. Great post!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  19. Wow - thanks for checking for us and letting us know we can enter! We LOVE our vet practice - AAHA accredited and a Cat Friendly Practice! We also get to see a fourth year vet student AND an experienced vet every time we go. We love it!

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  20. There aren't a whole lot of AAHA certified vets where I live. I do know of a couple though! It is great that AAHA is improving standards for veterinary hospitals.
    -Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

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  21. My Vet Clinic is part of the SPCA :)

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  22. Oh, that's so nice, I did not know that! In Belgium this doesn't exist!!

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  23. It's so important to find a vet and clinic that you and your pets are comfortable with. I've been very fortunate to have found that vet, someone who I've been taking my pets to for many years.
    Having a giveaway like this is a great way to assist pet owners.

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  24. There are a bunch near me, but our vet is not on the list.

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  25. I live in the UK so I assume the accreditation system is slightly different but the Vets we use is a small country practice but so lovely with Elsie. Nothing is too much trouble for any of the team there and they are always so professional.

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  26. My vet clinic is AAHA accredited, and I love their office and staff. It makes a big difference for me!

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  27. Great post. I wasn't that familiar with AAHA Accreditation. I checked and my vet is not, but I have been extremely happy with them over the last 14 + years. I know that finding a good vet is very hard.

    I expect to move in the next several years and I'm glad I know about this because it will help me choose a vet at that time.

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  28. I just checked — my vet is AAHA accredited! I didn't know that the percentage is so low. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!

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  29. My current vets are not AAHA accredited, so this is something for me to look into. Overall I'm pretty happy and confident with my vets and their office, but I should find out why they aren't accredited.

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  30. The accreditation, while voluntary should be adopted by every vet in the USA and every vet hospital acccredited should undertake never to declaw another cat. The AAHA is a ground breaking enterprise that has huge value so let us hope many more vets rise to its high standards - this can only reassure pet owners

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  31. Yay I love that it is open for Canada. I am about to switch vets for Kilo so the timing could not be better. I will definitely be looking for one with AAHA accreditation.

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  32. Our vet isn't AAHA accredited, but we think they are the BEST!

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  33. I had such a hard time finding a clinic I trust. I don't think ours is AAHA accredited, but ti definitely sounds like it's worth checking out.

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  34. I don't have an AAHA vet near us, but I know how important it is. I love that you showcased why for us in this post.

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  35. It's so much fun to read others post about AAHA! I feel so passionately about the care they provide. The pic of the DVM and your two cats is awesome as well. Those 900 standards are incredible and demonstrate how safe procedures are as a result.

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  36. Great post! I'm happy to share that our veterinary hospital does have its AAHA accreditation! Hurrah!

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  37. My local clinic is AAHA accredited. :)

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  38. no my vet is not on the list, but i am familiar with some that are in my area that are.

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  39. My vet is not and the nearest one is 34 miles away.

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