Course Overview

The value of preventive care and early intervention in human and dental medicine has been well established and acknowledged by the general public. The veterinary profession has not been as effective in communicating this benefit to pet owners, which has contributed to a decade-long trend toward declining numbers of pet owner visits to veterinarians. Remarkably, these declining trends have occurred despite substantial growth in the pet dog and cat population in the United States, by over 36% in the 10 year period ending in 2006.

Recent market research has identified several reasons for the decrease in the use of veterinary services. These include proliferation of self-help pet care by owners who search for pet health information on the Internet instead of relying on a veterinarian, the difficulties associated with transporting cats to the veterinary clinic and resistance to examination or treatment. Most importantly, current data indicate that inadequate understanding by pet owners of the need for routine examination of their pets is a key client-driven factor for the declining of veterinary services. By providing a blueprint for preventive healthcare, the new Canine and Feline Preventive Healthcare Guidelines emphasize the importance of communicating future healthcare recommendations and setting client expectations for follow-up visits.

The AAHA-AVMA Preventive Healthcare Guidelines for Dogs and Cats were developed and produced by AAHA and the AVMA, and were funded by an educational support grant from the Partnership for Preventive Pet Healthcare. The Implementing the AAHA-AVMA Preventive Healthcare Guidelines for Dogs and Cats course was built through a collaborative effort between VetMedTeam, AAHA, the AVMA and the Partnership.

This free course is designed to help practices, and practice team members, become acquainted with the components of the guidelines and to help facilitate implementation. Every practice strives to provide the best care for their patients. Through this course, practice team members will understand how implementation of these guidelines can help to increase the level of preventive care provided to patients, leading to a stronger practice and improved delivery of quality veterinary medicine.

PLEASE NOTE:This course contains flash based Articulate presentations. iPhones and iPads are not natively flash compatible but if a flash compatible browser has been installed on the iPad the presentations will play correctly. This link Flash on iPads provides information on flash compatible browsers. The presentations may also be viewed on a Mac.


Continuing Education Credits

Course meets the requirements for 1 RACE hours of continuing education credit for veterinary technicians and veterinarians in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval. However, participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery.

This is an non-interactive online course that meets RACE requirements; program number 57-13577.


Course Focus and Learning Objectives

This course is appropriate for all members of the veterinary practice team.

After completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  • Restate the importance of the preventive healthcare guidelines
  • Utilize the guidelines as templates to develop individualized pet healthcare plans
  • Outline the components of a thorough senior cat physical examination and the right questions to ask owners
  • Define the meaning of SOAP
  • Differentiate between the significance of each SOAP segment and label components of the medical visit accordingly
  • Facilitate the consistency of medical recordkeeping by employing the SOAP methodology
  • Relate the importance of documentation
  • Demonstrate a more in-depth understanding of the medical considerations and elements of the recommendations contained within the Guidelines


Participation Access Parameters

VetMedTeam courses are asynchronous - they do not contain real time components. Participants log in at times convenient to personal schedules.

Participants do not need to complete the course in one sitting. However, participants who do not access the course for 30 consecutive days will be processed as incomplete. Any activity within the course will reset to the full 30 days time allotment.

Participants who are unable to complete a course may re-enroll at their convenience.



...The presentations were easy to follow and understand.

...I liked the explanation of all AAHA guidelines for prevention.

...the topics were interesting and made me think outside the box.

...I love talking to clients about preventative medicine, this course gave me more confidence and knowledge when speaking.

...I liked the fact that the course related to my field of study and included relevant information that i use regularly in my classes.

...I enjoyed all of the items.

...The possibility to do it in my own schedule, sometimes I have 5 minutes, sometimes I can sit for 30 minutes in a row.

...i liked everything it helped me better understand some of the stuff we are currently learning in school.


Course Completion Requirements

  • Examination: Students must pass the examination with a score of 80% or better

  • Course Survey: Students must submit the course survey

Completed students will have access to their documenting certificate online once both requirements are met.

Students who do not access the course for 30 consecutive days will be processed as incomplete. However, students may re-enroll at any time.


Course Author

Michael Paul, DVM



Price: FREE

Students who do not access the course for 30 consecutive days will be processed as incomplete. However, students may re-enroll at any time.



VetMedTeam 2014