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May 15, 2015

Not a Dry Eye in the House? MSD Looks Closer to Prevent Canine Vision Loss

MSD Animal Health (known as Merck Animal Health in the United States and Canada) is launching a new campaign that veterinary practices can get involved in this summer. ‘Take a closer look’ encourages dog owners to have their pet checked for dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca). The condition causes progressive loss of vision unless detected and treated early; often this is before the pet owner even realises there is a problem. Practices can register to take part for free at www.ukvetsonline.co.uk from 1st June and help prevent pets from suffering pain, discomfort and even blindness.

Around 1 in every 22 dogs suffer from dry eye which in most cases is caused by destruction of the glands that produce tears needed to lubricate the surface of the eye. In the early stages, the pet’s eye surface may look dull but in many cases clients observe no changes at all. The ‘look closer’ campaign encourages dog owners to complete an online risk assessment and download a voucher for a free Schirmer tear test, which is diagnostic for dry eye, to take to their local vet practice.

Practices benefit from the additional footfall as well as the opportunity to make an early diagnosis which is essential for more successful treatment of the condition. Registration gives practices access to a free online CPD update on dry eye, as well as free Schirmer tear tests and a host of support material. Participating practices will also be listed in the ‘vet finder’ area of the mypetonline website and will be given extra help in the form of client emails, texts and postcards to raise awareness in their local area.

Informative videos will also be available explaining the condition and practices will be able to embed those in their websites and share the content on social media. There’s a fun quiz and prizes to win for pet owners visiting the dry eye pages on mypetonline. The summer campaign will open up to dog owners on 1st July and run right through to 31st August.

‘Take a closer look’ offers an exciting opportunity for practices to be proactive about identifying a condition that has a devastating impact on pets and their owners, with all the professional support that MSD can put behind a national awareness raising drive.

Zorica Agbaba, Optimmune® Marketing Manager says, “There can be few things more likely to bond a pet owner to a practice than the ability to save their pet’s sight. We know the vets and nurses are passionate about the health and welfare of the pets under their care and there is nothing more demoralising than the patient being presented after the condition has already progressed. The ‘Take a closer look’ campaign seeks to drive pet owners into practices at an early stage to help vets and nurses do what they do best – make pets’ lives better.”

Practices are encouraged to register early from 1st June to make sure they have all the materials in place to take full advantage of this important campaign. Register for free at www.ukvetsonline.co.uk