PD Pet Insurance stand at the NZVA conference

Experiencing the 2023 NZVA & NZVNA Conference


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Exhibiting at the NZVA & NZVNA Annual Conference was a highlight on the PD Insurance events calendar. There was plenty on offer in marking the 100-year celebration of the New Zealand Veterinary Association and key animal health and wellness issues were once again under the spotlight.

“The NZVA conference was an excellent opportunity for PD Insurance to stay updated on the latest developments, trends, and best practices in the veterinary industry. It allowed us to understand the needs, challenges, and expectations of veterinarians better, enabling us to tailor our pet insurance products and services accordingly.”

– Michelle Le Long, Chief Operating Officer at PD Insurance

In this article, PD shares some of the valuable insights gained at the 2023 NZVA & NZVNA conference. These range from breakthrough technology and treatments to current animal health and wellness concerns. Read more to find out.

A brachycephalic dog breed represents health concerns for animal health and wellness raised at the NZVA and NZVNA conference

Key animal health and wellness issues

Some of the key animal health and wellness issues today have been ongoing for some time. For example, brachycephaly, hereditary and congenital conditions, backyard breeding and caesareans (for dogs that ought not have been bred).

We found insightful the education provided around ethical breeding practices (e.g. to include health screening) and understanding how important it is to educate buyers on how to find ethical breeders. Brachycephaly is always of special interest too.

Brachycephalic breeds were a hot topic this year. I attended a seminar, called ‘What’s New in Brachycephalic Screening and Breeding that was interesting. Some sad breeding standards and practices have led to the current state of many of these breeds. The seminar by Dr. Jane Ladlow was truly enlightening and showed many problems can be readdressed through selective, well-informed breeding.

– PD Insurance Business Development Manager, Juliette Ransley

Dogs New Zealand is currently running a Respiratory Function Grading scheme for brachycephaly that is designed by Dr. Jane Ladlow. Read the PD Insurance interview with Dogs NZ Canine Health and Welfare Officer Rhea Hurley to see how this helps brachycephalic dog breeds have fewer health problems.

Be sure to also read our article on the attention WSAVA is currently paying to brachycephaly in dogs.

The fact that all the above issues have been highlighted at this year’s NZVA conference indicates the pet industry needs to focus greater attention on mitigating these.

NZVA & NZVNA conference on vet mental health

The 2023 NZVA & NZVNA conference also shone a light on vet mental health. Topics including business acumen in managing owner expectations were under the lens. The ongoing adaptation to changes to information, communication, science, and new medical treatments was also explored, along with coping with work-life balance.

Vets and vet nurses are renowned for having to work long hours dealing with sick and injured patients at all hours of the day. Over and above this, they’re not just dealing with animal patients but also with their owners’ expectations.

Unfortunately, several key issues make this weigh heavily on vets. Firstly, vet treatment is costly – like human medical treatment. Both require expensive equipment, hospital premises and highly trained staff.

The major difference, however, is that unlike human medical care, vet care costs aren’t subsidised.

Veterinary professionals frequently encounter situations where pet owners perceive high costs and may become distressed. In some instances, veterinarians are compelled to pursue unpaid invoices or, in more distressing scenarios, make tough decisions, such as euthanizing pets when owners decline life-saving treatments due to financial constraints.

As a response to this concern, an increasing number of veterinarians are advocating for pet insurance. These insurance plans can offer pet owners enhanced financial flexibility, enabling them to provide consent to vital treatments without undue financial burden.

For further insights on the issue of veterinary burnout, PD Insurance conducted an interview with Dr. Bronwen MacRae, Chief Health Officer at Royal Canin, on veterinary burnout.

New treatments for animal health and wellness

In addition to manning the PD Insurance stand, our Business Development Managers observed the large variety of innovative animal health and wellness treatments currently available.

“One of the biggest benefits of the NZVA & NZVNA conference is the opportunity to evaluate the pet industry from all perspectives (partners, suppliers, clinics, education etc) and identify your contribution and impact to each group as well as the domino effect it has on everyone else.”  

– PD Insurance Business Development Manager, Danielle Rutherford

Danielle remarked that “laser and light treatments providers were super popular and well received among attendees.”

Another of our BDMs, Jacqui, highlighted the advantages of the new light therapy, emphasizing its significant potential to accelerate wound healing.  Additionally, Juliette expressed the growing interests in nutraceuticals being backed with substantial scientific evidence supporting the efficacy.   

Read about the PD Business Development Managers to find out more about their backgrounds and which parts of the North and South Islands each one covers.

Celebrating the NZVA & NZVNA conference

Juliette expressed her delight in connecting with the heads/owners of veterinary clinics and vet nurses in a relaxed and informal setting, considering the experience to be highly valuable.

“This is our second attendance at the NZVA & NZVNA conference,”says Michelle Le Long, Chief Operating Officer at PD Insurance.

“The 2022 conference at the Hamilton was the first time many pet industry professionals had the opportunity to see one another in person after a lengthy two years of COVID and lockdowns and it was so exciting to see so many people! This year it’s also unique because it marks the 100-year celebration for the NZVA.”

“It was like a giant reunion! It was wonderful catching up with pet industry professionals I hadn’t seen for years. I had so many comments from vets who saw people they went to vet school with 30 years ago.
NZVA & NZVNA conference is a great space for people to share, brainstorm and discuss with like-minded people.

– PD Insurance Business Development Manager, Jacqui Whelan

NZVA conference pet insurance takeaways

According to Danielle, conversations with veterinarians,  vet nurses and other industry professionals regarding pet insurance highlighted an appetite to learn more about the benefits and advantages it can have for veterinary clinics.

“PD Insurance experienced very positive feedback. Lots of staff in clinics had our insurance for their own animals, which was fantastic. When asked why they picked PD the general feedback was the three simple and well-priced plans to pick from.”

– PD Insurance Business Development Manager, Jacqui Whelan

PD Insurance invites you to discover the advantages of pet insurance. Our business development managers are ready to provide in-person training sessions at your convenience. Moreover, your organisation stands to earn rewards for each referral that becomes an insured PD customer.  Visit our pet care programme to find out more

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