Owner Experience and Satisfaction in Treating a Dog Diagnosed With Hyperadrenocorticism or Hypothyroidism in Brazil--A Survey
K.P. Aptekmann1; A.M. Vargas2; D.D. Schwartz3
Support by Intervet, Schering-Plough Animal Health Company.
Hyperadrenocorticism and hypothyroidism need a continuous treatment and pets become dependent on their owners for the success of the treatment. It is important to evaluate owners' opinion in treating a pet to improve the management currently used based on survey information. Two surveys were developed and questionnaires were distributed by mail to the main veterinary clinic centers in São Paulo, Brazil. A total of 39 questionnaires of dogs with hyperadrenocorticism and 30 from hypothyroid dogs were completed by the owners. Statistical analyses were performed and descriptive data were reported. The results suggest that hyperadrenocorticism is a disease relatively easy to be treated, although it requires periodic evaluations and therapeutic monitoring. The majority of owners thought the treatment is expensive. The owners' satisfaction and the treatment outcome were satisfactory, although some of them believed the treatment makes the dog suffer or get hungry. The survey suggested that hypothyroid dogs show a good clinical response when treated with levothyroxine. The majority of owners report that the level of activity was the first clinical sign to improve. Owners considered an easy and inexpensive treatment and they were satisfied with the therapy outcome. Both of the surveys showed some owners feel more attached to the dog and think it was difficult to arrange care of dogs while they are away. The information obtained by the surveys is extremely important to improve the management of these diseases performed by veterinarians in order to increase the life expectance and the quality of life in companion animals.