By Deirdre Frey, VMD
In the evolving landscape of veterinary care, Vet At Your Door is proud to lead the way by our simple, yet revolutionary, approach that we call "Vet Med 3.0." Drawing parallels from Dr. Peter Attia's groundbreaking framework of Medicine 3.0, Vet Med 3.0 represents a paradigm shift in veterinary care, emphasizing a proactive, rather than reactive approach to maximize the length and quality of life for your beloved furry family members.
Understanding Medicine 3.0
To grasp the essence of Vet Med 3.0, it's crucial to understand the evolution of human medicine as outlined by Dr. Attia:
Medicine 1.0: This era was marked by a lack of scientific understanding, with treatments based largely on observation and conjecture (e.g. "The gods made him sick!").
Medicine 2.0 (late 19th century to current day): A significant leap forward, this period has utilized the scientific method and germ theory, leading to breakthroughs (such as antibiotics) in acute care and the management of infectious diseases. Better diagnostics such as x-ray, ultrasound, and MRI have also been created. While great at acute care, Medicine 2.0 often falls short in managing chronic conditions because it uses its tools reactively. Namely, only when symptoms or certain biomarkers become pronounced.
Medicine 3.0: A revolutionary shift to proactive healthcare. It emphasizes early detection and prevention, personalized treatment plans, and focuses on enhancing not just the lifespan but the healthspan of individuals.
What is Healthspan?
Essentially, healthspan is a measure of how well you live, not just how long. This concept emphasizes the importance of a fulfilling, high-quality life over mere longevity.
In our opinion, focusing on healthspan in veterinary medicine - or Vet Med 3.0 - is crucial because it extends beyond simply prolonging a pet's life. It emphasizes improving the quality of their life, ensuring they remain active, comfortable, and free from pain for as long as possible. This approach aims to maintain their well-being and happiness, not just their survival, allowing them to enjoy their time with their families to the fullest. By prioritizing healthspan, we can provide care that enriches the lives of pets, making their years not only longer but significantly better.
Real-World Application: The Case of Chronic Diseases
To bring home the point, let's look at an example from human medicine about how Medicine 2.0 and 3.0 are different.
Today, with Medicine 2.0, Type 2 diabetes in humans is managed reactively, particularly in the context of monitoring A1C levels. A1C tests measure a patient's average blood sugar level over the past two to three months. Typically, treatment or significant lifestyle changes are recommended only when A1C levels reach a threshold indicating pre-diabetes.
This approach ignores the period where blood sugar levels are gradually rising but not yet at pre-diabetic or diabetic levels. Medicine 3.0 tells us, however, that this early phase is absolutely critical, as intervening while levels are low means that full-blown diabetes can be delayed and many times, even stopped. Consequently, damage to a patient's body and resultant co-morbidities that would have occurred with Medicine 2.0 are greatly reduced, if not eliminated.
After all, once the A1C is at a pre-diabetic level, damage to one's body has already happened and susceptibility to other diseases (cancer, heart disease, cognitive disease, among others), and your chances of dying relative to a person without pre-diabetes, has already increased many-fold. Put simply, Medicine 2.0's reactivity often leads to missed opportunities for early prevention and management.
Similarly, in veterinary medicine, conditions like osteoarthritis, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, or diabetes can progress significantly before symptoms become apparent. Using Vet Med 3.0, we aim to change this Medicine 2.0 reactive approach by focusing on early detection and intervention, thereby enhancing and prolonging the quality of life for your pets.
Vet Med 3.0 at Vet At Your Door
At Vet At Your Door, we use Vet Med 3.0 in our approach to veterinary care by using the following measures:
Our One Team Approach: We have one doctor, one technician, and one client liaison dedicated to your pet's wellness care. The continuity of care, strong relationships built over time, and proactive adjustments based on deep familiarity with your pet create an unparalleled level of personalized and compassionate care.
Early Disease Screening: Regular blood work, with specific biomarkers, and diagnostics can help detect subclinical diseases before they cause symptoms. This way, we can take early action, before the disease process has caused significant damage to the body.
Serial Physical Exams: Consistent check-ups help to identify any physical changes or early signs of illness.
Using Telemedicine: By staying in touch more often, we can stay on top of any subtle changes or issues and act quickly.
Behavior Monitoring: Observing subtle behavioral trends can help uncover discomfort or illness. This is especially crucial since animals often hide their pain.
Utilizing Technologies and Therapies: Implementing advanced monitoring tools and modern non-invasive therapies such as cold laser therapy, alongside tried-and-true therapies like acupuncture and the benefits of western medicine can work together to maximize your pet's healthspan.
Personalized Health Plans: Each pet’s specific needs, lifestyle, and medical history help us craft an individualized care plan for each pet designed to maximize healthspan.
Client Education: We take time to inform pet owners about the importance of early detection and preventive measures. We believe this empowers you to play an active role in their pets' health.
Weight and Diet Monitoring: Regular weight monitoring can tell us a lot about your pet. Weight gain is important to catch early so we can prevent obesity-related diseases such as osteoarthritis and diabetes. Weight gain is also a potential flag of underlying conditions such as hypothyroidism. On the other side, subtle weight loss may be the first symptom of many diseases.
Building Relationships: Our unique home visit model allows us to observe pets in their natural environment, helping us detect subtle changes that might go unnoticed in a traditional clinic setting.
Using these tools together, we create a proactive approach to veterinary medicine.
Isn't Proactive Care Super Expensive?
When considering the costs of proactive veterinary care, it's crucial to consider this approach as a long-term investment in your pet's health. By conducting early evaluations and monitoring subtle health trends, proactive care can ultimately lead to reduced overall expenses throughout your pet's life. This is because early interventions can extend their healthspan and minimize the occurrence and severity of health issues.
With that said, we understand that financial constraints are a real concern for many pet owners. Our commitment is to offer a range of options that suit different budgets, working collaboratively to find the most effective yet financially viable solution for you and your pet. Our goal is to maximize your pet's healthspan within your financial means, ensuring both their well-being and your peace of mind.
A New Era in Veterinary Care
Vet At Your Door is proud to introduce the concept of Vet Med 3.0. Our goal is for every animal to live a life full of quality, energy, and joy, and when their time comes, to pass peacefully surrounded by love. By adopting a proactive approach, we're not just treating diseases; we're nurturing a healthy, happy life for every pet under our care.
Want to experience Vet Med 3.0?