Overview: November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month and MedVet ran a campaign on social media to engage and educate our audience about cancer in pets. Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology are unique life-saving services that MedVet hospitals offer to pets.
Goal: See a 15% increase from last month in Shares and Interactions. (Last month we had 8,074 Interactions and 1,464 Shares, so our goal is 9,286 Interactions and 1,683 Shares).
Results: We did not meet our goal. We had 3,428 Interactions and 501 Shares on our Facebook posts for this campaign. For comparison, our October campaign had 2,040 interactions and 850 Shares and was for only 10 days rather than 30 days like this campaign.
Our overall numbers were down for the month of November. All our Facebook posts had 6,334 Interactions and 1,168 Shares. Compared to October, overall we saw a 19% decrease in Interactions and Shares.
I think I underestimated how Share-worthy the Pet Cancer Awareness Month content was. I was surprised at how few Shares and Interactions Titan’s video received as well as some of the infographics. I think perhaps information on pet cancer is less “shareable” than information on keeping your pet safe over the holiday.
In the future, I’m going to prioritize Facebook content about pet owner safety information that’s holiday focused. My next campaign will be focused on the 12 Dangers of Christmas (it’s a veterinarian’s take on the classic 12 Days of Christmas, get it?)
Campaign Assets with screenshots of their posts:
Throughout the month, we also highlighted local patient stories on Facebook.
Before I created graphics for this campaign, I did some research about what other groups had posted. I was really inspired by the graphics that AAHA had created and shared.
So, I’m recently engaged and have been researching reception venues and attending wedding shows to get ideas. With my digital marketing knowledge, I can’t help but think that some of the vendors I’ve interacted with aren’t doing the best marketing they could. I want to take a moment to reflect on what I observe wedding vendors doing and what I think, from a digital marketing perspective, they ought to be doing.
Adjust your CTA for your audience
What they do: At wedding shows, most vendors seem to all have the call-to-action of “Buy Now!” For example, photo booth vendors told me how they were offering a discounted price, but only if I booked today. I was at the bridal show just to browse and to get ideas. I even told the photo booth vendor that I didn’t have a date yet, no venue, but he still gave me his brochure advertising his today-only-deal and wanted me to book him right then. No way, dude!
What they should do: Meet your customers where they are at. At wedding shows especially, switch your CTA to match brides who are in the awareness stage. Make your CTA “Subscribe to my email newsletter for wedding planning tips” or “follow me on Instagram to enter for a chance to win something” so you’re adding value to the bride, and you’re staying top of mind for when she’s ready to book. Maybe some brides are ready to book the photo booth that day, but you need to talk to her first and assume that every bride is in the awareness, not the decision-making stage of the marketing funnel. Measure the success of a bridal show by new website visitors, Instagram followers, and email subscribers, not by the amount of revenue made that day.
Meet in person as soon as possible
What they do: A lot of wedding vendors have a Contact Us page on their website and when someone fills that out, they email the bride back with more information and it becomes this back and forth email chain until eventually, someone stops responding.
What they should do: Immediately offer to meet the bride for coffee. Try to schedule an in-person meeting as soon as your schedules will allow. Vendors who I met in person, I felt a strong connection to and was extremely more likely to book with them. I felt loyal to them, I knew them, I trusted them and wanted to work with them.
For example, When I was looking for a wedding planner, I sent out several emails asking different planners for more information about their services. One of the planners emailed me back the next day asking to meet up for coffee, another planner asked to schedule a phone call, and the third asked me to fill out an online questionnaire. Guess which planner I ended up booking? The one I met in-person. You can’t underestimate the power of a face to face real conversation. I’m reading Sherry Turkle’s “Reclaiming Conversation” right now and her thesis is that young people are losing the ability to hold a conversation and that no amount of technology can replace the power of a face-to-face conversation. I may be young but hell no, I’m not going to sign on a contract with someone I haven’t met face-to-face. I need to meet you in person and feel a connection if I’m going to work with you on my wedding day.
No response from her means don’t send her any more emails
What they do: A bride requests information so the vendor emails the info to the bride. She asks a question, they respond over email. She doesn’t respond again. The vendor then sends her emails with additional pictures of the venue, additional information, additional dates, etc. These emails continue, once a week, if not more. Eventually, the bride marks the emails as spam, hurting the vendor’s email domain reputation.
What they should do: Listen to your customer. Respect their wishes if they don’t want to hear from you. If they don’t ask you any follow-up questions or request a tour, assume this means they are thinking about it. They’ll let you know if they have questions! You risk damaging your reputation and coming off as difficult to work with if you badger brides with continuous emails. It’s a delicate balance between one follow up email a week or two after your first email and then no follow up. I’d lean toward no follow-up, because from my perspective, no follow up will change my mind.
Don’t use scare tactics
What they do: At bridal shows, I hear vendors ask questions designed to spark fear and insecurity. “Do you know what you’re going to do for your first dance?” “When’s the big day?” “Where are you getting married?” “How will your guests remember your big day?” “Have you booked this yet? Time’s running out!” “Have you thought of what you’ll do with your wedding dress after your big day?” “Did you know fall is the busiest wedding season?” “Good luck choosing 10.10.2020!” Ack!
What they should do: Ask questions to get to know the bride, not scary questions that will only stress her out even more. Build a relationship with her. Don’t just talk to her like she’s a clueless pile of cash. I wanted to hear more vendors ask general simple questions like “Where are you with your wedding planning?” “How’s the wedding planning going?” This question allows me to volunteer the information I feel comfortable sharing and my answer doesn’t make me feel bad.
Acknowledge how you got my email address
What they do: After I attended my first wedding show, I suddenly got all these emails from vendors I had never heard of. No introduction, no explanation of how they got my email, just a cold hard sales pitch.
What they should do: Acknowledge that you got my email from the wedding show and tell me you’re adding me to your email newsletter. Give me the option to unsubscribe, front and center. In this age of increased data privacy and customers trusting brands and businesses less and less, be transparent with your customers about how you obtain your marketing data.
Follow up by email or phone
What they do: I talk to a vendor in person, we connect, I ask for a follow-up, they say they will, and then I never hear from them.
What they should do: Stay true to your word. Follow-up with a bride you connected with by email the next day. Remind her what you talked about, give her additional details, and thank her for her time. Do what you told her you were going to do and follow up by email when you say you will.
If you really want to knock it out of the park, try answering her email with a phone call. Depending on the bride, she could be impressed by your dedication and appreciate the ease of a phone call rather than a long email. I experienced this where I emailed a vendor with questions, he called me 15 minutes later to answer my questions and we ended up talking for 30 minutes and of course, I booked a tour.
One more note is that I’m always impressed by businesses in the wedding industry who treat their customers like human beings. I think the venue, The Henry Manor, did this best with their plain-text follow-up email to attendees of a bridal show. Note how in the second paragraph they state how they want to earn my business. That was so refreshing to read because it contrasted all the other wedding emails I’d received. I appreciated this down to earth email:
I hope you found this informative and hey, if you know of any wedding vendors in Columbus, I’m in the market!
I want to talk about the Halloween Pet Safety social media campaign I ran for MedVet. Campaign Goal: Increased brand awareness. Make sure MedVet is top of mind for pet owners in case their pet faces an after-hours medical emergency. We will measure the number of post shares.
Over October 20-31, our goal is to see a 15% increase in the number of Shares on all Facebook Pages
From September 20-30, 2019, we saw 286 total Shares on Facebook across all our Pages, so our goal was to see an increase of 43 shares, so we aim to see 329 Shares.
Campaign Results: On November 3, I looked at the analytics to see how many Shares across all our 24 Facebook Pages these Halloween Pet Safety posts had gotten.
I used HubSpot to schedule the posts and track the success of the campaign. In HubSpot, I marked each post related to this campaign “Halloween 2019” so I could easily pull a report only on posts for the campaign
We far exceed our goal of 329 Shares. We got 845 Shares!
Purpose: To use our emergency veterinary expertise to educate pet owners about the dangers of pets accidentally ingesting chocolate.
Our desired reaction from the campaign was for users to share the Facebook post with their friends and family. We also want them to remember the key idea that MedVet is open 24/7 in case of a pet emergency and provides expert
Opportunity: Become the trusted source for accurate and easy-to-share pet safety information on Facebook.
When: October 20-31 on MedVet’s 24 Facebook pages
Target audience: Pet owners and those who currently like a MedVet Facebook page
Tone: Knowledgable, expert, pet-loving
Even in small amounts, chocolate may cause serious health problems if ingested by your pet. Chocolate toxicity can
cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, heart failure, seizures, and in some cases even death.
While chocolate is a favorite treat of ours, it can be harmful, sometimes fatal, to our canine companions. With
Halloween right around the corner, please remember to keep all chocolate and other candy, such as raisins, sugar-free
candy, and sugar-free gum, safely out of reach of curious noses!
Dogs and cats are particularly sensitive to a chemical in chocolate, coffee and tea called theobromine. Theobromine is found in very high levels in bakers and dark chocolate. If a dog eats a lot or is a smaller dog, milk chocolates can
cause problems too. Be careful when you have chocolate in your home and keep your four-legged friends far away from Halloween baskets this year!
I renewed my certification in Google Analytics. I last took the test in 2017 so I was due for a refresher. I completed the Google Analytics Beginners course first then the Advanced course within Google’s Analytics Academy. I learned the most from using the demo account and being able to practice the concepts I was learning.
I’m excited to apply this knowledge to my organization’s Google Analytics.
In October, I wrote a blog post about foods pets should avoid eating. We’d found that on social media these pet-education posts, especially seasonally related perform very well. We didn’t have much fall-specific content so I set out to write this blog post.
What: Seasonal Pet Education Blog Post
Where: MedVet’s blog on their website and shared on all 25 hospital Facebook pages
When: Written and published in early October 2019
Why: The goal of the blog post is to build trust among pet owners that MedVet is leading specialty healthcare and is a trusted resouce during pet emergencies. We want to increase the amount of time people spend on our website so the CTA at the end of the blog post is to read similar pet education blog posts we’ve written.
When we shared this blog post on social media, our goal is to drive users to our website. Once they are on our website, we want them to learn more about MedVet and keep us top of mind for their pet’s emergency and specialty needs.
The blog post was reformatted and repurposed to become a print handout for each of our 24 hospitals. I only wrote the text, I didn’t design this. Our amazingly talented graphic designer, Ashten, designed this in Adobe InDesign.
Fall is such a festive season but it can be a bit of a tricky and scary time for pet-owners. How can I keep my dog safe this Halloween? What do I need to keep out of reach of my cat? MedVet’s team of board-certified veterinarians want to educate pet-owners about how to keep their dog and cat safe this fall.
Let’s play a game of Trick-or-Treat! Guess if the food listed is a treat that’s safe to give your pet or if it’s a trick, meaning something harmful you should not give to your pet.
(On the live blog post, these are hyperlinked to take you to the right spot on the page.)
If your pet eats a grape-flavored product (found in some pet products and synthetic grape-flavored medications) no need to worry, that’s not toxic. Most products are made with diluted grapes, not enough to cause any alarm.
Like with grapes, raisins are not safe for cats or dogs. Raisin toxicity can cause severe kidney damage leading to acute kidney failure with lack of urine production. If a pet has consumed raisins, they might show symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, foul breath, lethargy, or loss of appetite. Make sure to keep raisins in a sealed container in a locked drawer or pantry, out of reach of your cat or dog.
Both raw and cooked pumpkin is safe for dogs and cats. Pumpkin is a great source of fiber and can help relieve constipation and diarrhea. Adding a tablespoon of pure pureed pumpkin to a pet’s regular food can be beneficial for pets with upset stomachs. But, do not give your pet the leftover jack-o-lantern or the pumpkin stem, skin or pulp. Pumpkin stems and leaves are covered in little sharp hairs which can cause irritation in your dog’s mouth and intestinal tract.
Chocolate can be poisonous for both dogs and cats. Even in small amounts, chocolate can cause serious health problems if ingested by your pet. Chocolate toxicity can result in vomiting and diarrhea in addition to tremors, increased heart rate, heart failure, seizures, and in some cases, death. Generally darker chocolates are more dangerous than milk or white chocolates. Keep your trash out of reach of sniffing noses because chocolate candy wrappers can also be a serious hazard.
Sugar-free candies contain a chemical called xylitol, which is harmful to pets. This artificial sweetener is highly toxic to dogs and can cause low blood sugar and liver failure. Xylitol is found in some chewing gum, mints, baked goods, cereals, jellies, jam, pudding, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Always read the label carefully because you’d be surprised what products have xylitol in them. The effects of xylitol in cats are not fully understood so we recommend not giving your cats sugar-free candies.
Apples are an ideal snack for pets. Apples are a good source of antioxidants as well as Vitamins A and C. They are high in fiber, which can help with a dog’s digestion. They are great for overweight or geriatric pets who may have a lower metabolism. Make sure to remove the leaves, core and seeds from the apples because they can contain cyanide. Also be sure you’re using fresh apples. Consuming rotten apples can be harmful to dogs.
Trick or Treat
This answer is a bit more complicated. Must dogs absolutely love peanut butter. However, make sure the peanut butter doesn’t contain xylitol, which is a chemical that’s highly toxic to dogs. Look for unsalted peanut butter with no added sugars. Peanut butter can be a great treat, high in protein and healthy fats. Like with any treat, make sure to give peanut butter in moderation.
Leave the peanut butter for your dogs. Cats should not be given peanut butter. It’s not toxic to them but it doesn’t provide them any nutritional benefit. Your cat is a carnivore that wants to eat animal-based protein, not a plant-based protein, like peanut butter.
Make sure food in your kitchen is stored out of your pet’s reach. To discourage pets from exploring in the kitchen, don’t feed pets table scraps or allow them on the counter.
I attended the Together Digital national conference on Thursday and Friday. It was jam-packed with informative sessions, case studies, and panels. I got to hear from some of the most talented, motivated and compassionate women in the marketing industry. Part of what makes Together Digital so unique is that members commit to 12 Asks and 12 Gives each year. This can be anything from asking if anyone knows anyone at a company you want to work for all the way to giving members an audit of their LinkedIn profiles. When women ask for help and give support to one another, we can build each other up. The group has been instrumental in shaping my career.
There were so many awesome sessions to choose from at the conference, I found myself wishing I had a time-turner like Hermoine’s from Harry Potter. I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the key takeaways I learned from the conference.
Kickstart Your Organic SEO Strategy by Caitlin Boroden, Director of SEO, Catchweight
– SEO is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic. The three pillars of SEO: Technical SEO + Content + Digital PR (link building). I think of this as a pyramid with Technical SEO on the bottom.
– When you’re doing an SEO Audit it can feel overwhelming at the amount of stuff you need to fix. Conduct an Impact vs Effort analysis for when you have a laundry list of changes needed. This will help you map out what tasks are high impact- low effort, etc.
– Make sure to use smaller image sizes on the website so the page can load quickly.
– Be sure to fill in meta descriptions and alt text to help it be understood by Google. Each page should have H1 tags.
Creative ways to drive email conversions by Amanda Scarnechia Manager, CRM & Consumer Data of Scott’s Miracle-Gro
– If you don’t have the data, ask for it. Scott’s Miracle-Gro wanted to let their audience know about a new product they had for people with an irrigation system. They didn’t know who in their database had an irrigation system so they sent them a short one question survey in an email. Ask your audience a basic question.
– Write at a fifth-grade reading level or below. Average American reading level is about seventh grade.
– Apply the learnings from other departments. Maybe your paid social media team has already figured out what copy works for your audience and you could borrow that in your email campaign.
– Set the agenda. State here’s what we’re going to cover. Set the time for the topics. Email the agenda the day before.
– Talk about the bigger picture first before diving deep. Start with the big picture. Don’t just start in the middle. Give context and orient them.
– Help them make decisions. Using analogies to communicate complicated concepts in a way that’s commonly understood.
– Repeat their vision back to them, helps them feel understood and heard. Then say we have two options, here are our recommendations.
– Know your leader and how they want to be presented to.
Social Marketing & Media Case Study
– You can create buyer personas for each social media platform like a Facebook persona or Instagram persona.
– 78% of users who follow a brand on social will visit their physical store.
– Provide social media training during the onboarding process to teach posting best practices. Have your social team teach the sales team how to use social selling correctly. Provide content the sales team can share, teach them about a complete LinkedIn profile, educate them on what a Facebook business page looks like. Do a yearly audit of sales reps social profiles.
– Make social-first content. Reframe social media to be a business driver. A/B test to learn what your customers really want.
– Facebook is the best place to reach Moms. Moms are online for support and community.
– Bad social media goal: Grow your social media following. (That’s not specific nor timely.)
– Good social media goal: Increase purchases on our website from Instagram by twenty percent by the end of the year.
– In your social media photos, have a clear focal point. Make your product pop. Show the product in action. Show how to use the product, explain what it is. Product demos. Real customer highlights.
And that’s a highlight of some of the things I learned from the Together Digital National Conference in Columbus, Ohio on September 19-20, 2019.
I messed up at work today. It wasn’t a little whoopsie goof it was a big, ohmygosh-what-have-I-done moment. I am not proud of it at all. Heck, I’m really embarrassed about it. But, I want to challenge myself to take the high road, be mature, reflect and learn from it.
Earlier that morning, a colleague had asked to meet with me about the Contact Us form on the website. She asked if we could make some of the fields required or make some changes to it. I thought to myself, yeah that should be a simple fix. I’ve never messed with that form in our WordPress before and I knew nothing about it. But I was confident it wouldn’t be that hard and I would be able to figure it out. I log in to WordPress, find the form, make some changes, and send a test form to myself to double check the changes took effect. Nothing happens. I send another form. Still nothing comes through. Aw man.
I start to wonder what’s going on. I update the plugin in WordPress thinking maybe that was the problem. I go to lunch, come back and still neither of my test messages from the website have worked. The form is broken. I dig around WordPress and see a Deactivate button and I think that means “revert to a previous version of the plugin, like before I updated it.” I don’t think it means “delete all form data and all forms.” I press the big red button.
I realize that I’ve deleted our website forms and the past submission data. I’m horrified. How could I have done this? I dig through and realize the forms are not backed up anywhere, there’s been no internal record of what the forms were, which ones they were, or anything. I realize this is not something I can hide or fix myself.
I call my boss on the phone because she was driving out of town. She picks up the phone and asks “Is everything alright, Debbie?” and I say “No. I made a really big mistake and accidentally deleted the forms from the website. I was working too quickly and didn’t know what I was doing and now the Contact Us form is gone. I’ve called IT and am planning to tell the rest of the team.” My boss said things would be alright and told me what steps I needed to do next.
I think the younger Debbie would’ve waited to tell her boss until her boss somehow found out about it from another person. I think I would’ve been so ashamed, terrified and embarrassed, I would’ve scrambled to keep it a secret and try to fix it myself (which I could not do.) I think my younger self would’ve cried in the bathroom, thought about blaming someone else and called my parents for help. I don’t want to be that person.
I had to tell my boss’ boss and the Chief Information Officer what I’d done. I wanted to just crawl into a hole and not come out. How am I supposed to be this super adulting digital marketing pro when I made a huge effing preventable mistakes like this? This isn’t a typo, it’s a disappearance of part of the website.
I texted Nate and that helped calm me down a bit and remember I could get through this. He works as a software engineer and so was able to understand what had happened and brainstorm some solutions with me.
I called our website developer and spoke with them about what had happened. Dealing with the mistake took all afternoon.
Before I left for the day, I emailed my boss and her boss a recap of what had happened, what I’d done to try to fix it and questions I had. I of course apologized again for causing such a mess in the first place. I wanted to keep them informed and own up to what I’d done.
What helped me stay calm in a moment of personal crisis was remembering what I’d read in the book Ask a Manager. She talked about what to say to your manager when you make a mistake. I loved this book and took photos of my library book and saved them in a Google Doc.
The author Alison Green advises after you make a mistake, let your manager know immediately, explain clearly what happened and how it happened, take ownership and responsibility and explain how you’re going to make sure this never happens again.
I’m going to learn more about WordPress and until then I’m going to stick to the WYSIWYG editors and stay the heck out of the plugins or anything else I am not 110% confident in.
It’s exciting to travel to such a huge conference in the marketing industry. I’d wanted to go to Inbound someday and am thankful MedVet gave me this opportunity. I’m going to take so many notes to bring back to the team.
The kick-off welcome session tonight was by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of that book and movie you’ve heard of: Eat, Pray, Love. I admit I haven’t read any of her books or seen the movie with Julia Roberts. I started both and couldn’t finish. So, I was hesitant that I would not enjoy nor get anything out of her session. I didn’t have much to base that assumption on, I just pessimistically had a negative assumption.
But, she really inspired me. She spoke from her heart about how writing has always been her passion. She moved to New York City to fulfill her dream of being a writer but was working so many odd jobs to pay rent that she didn’t have time to write. She told this to a mentor and the mentor looked at her and stated:
“What are you willing to give up to pursue the life you’re pretending you want?”
She then asked her more questions to prove her point: “What’s your favorite TV show? What are you reading? How was brunch with your friends this weekend? What’s your next vacation?” She was indicating that if Liz had time for those things, then she had free time to write. It was a matter of prioritizing. She needed to make her dream of being a writer her number one priority.
Then Elizabeth Gilbert talked about Relaxing. She said that this word is underused and undervalued. When you Google “relaxing” she noted that images of hot stone massages are mostly what appears. If you’re waiting to relax once you’re rich, sorry but rich people are stressed too.
She described a friend she met who whenever someone asked him how he was that day he would respond with “It’s gonna be alright.” He wasn’t answering their question (in fact, he was creating a new question) but there was something relaxing about his demeanor. He kept his shoulders lowered, didn’t get fired up easily, and took time to listen to others. I admired that guy and after her talk noticed myself trying to bring down my shoulders, take a deep breath and relax.
She said that in a herd of horses, the alpha is a strong mare who keeps the other horses calm. When she is calm, that behavior spreads. She remains calm because nobody messes with her. The other horses know they must ask permission from before approaching. her. She doesn’t need approval from any other horses nor does she let their fears or worries affect her. It was quite a relatable message from the animal kingdom.
Going off of that, I loved most what she talked about when she said you need to figure out your priorities. Draw a circle around you and protect that.
She described a moment in her life when she found out her partner was terminally ill. She canceled speaking engagements, canceled appointments and flew home immediately. She looked in her email inbox and deleted all the nonimportant emails, even if they were unopen. She prioritized her partner.
Now, I’m not going to go that extreme, but it got me thinking about what my priorities are. My first thought was Nate, Emily, and my parents. The people I care most about in the world and who know me better than I know myself. Then I wanted to add in some non-human priorities like: Honesty, Writing, Humor, and Creativity. I know I want to live a life where I can have Nate, Emily, and my parents with me. I want to live a life where I can be myself, tell the truth in my writing, be goofy sometimes and try new out of the box ideas.
So not only did Elizabeth Gilbert totally prove wrong the assumption I had, she helped me think more about my priorities and what’s important to me right now. Thanks!
Last week I traveled for work to Chicago to support the opening of a brand-new state-of-the-art veterinary emergency hospital.
Another Marketing team member and I drove to different referral partners (this is what we call veterinary practices that refer patients to MedVet’s emergency and specialty hospitals) around Chicago. We told the staff about our new hospital opening up, explained the phone number was staying the same and how we were expanding our services.
I admit it was outside of my comfort zone a bit because I don’t usually have a lot of face-to-face interactions with veterinarians, practice managers or our referral partners. I prefer to stay behind-the-scenes as support, but I can certainly muster up the courage and extroverted side of my personality and talk to new people. I learned a lot from the team members I was with about how we speak about MedVet to referral partners and how MedVet is perceived by others.
We were able to take a tour of the new hospital in Chicago before it opened to the public and I was blown away by how large it is. I believe it’s 6,000 square feet. The old hospital was comprised of two different buildings with multiple floors so doctors and clients had to do a lot of walking up and down flights of stairs. This new hospital is all one floor, which I’m sure the staff is very excited about.
The day the new hospital opened, I set into action my digital marketing plan that I’d made with the Chicago Regional Marketing Director to update the hospital address across our digital channels. I updated our address on our:
Google My Business listing
Multiple spots on our website
Updating an address online is important but this felt more important than normal because the stakes were higher. We needed to ensure that no one accidentally drove to the old hospital, especially during an emergency with their pet.
As part of this plan to tell our audience about our Chicago hospital moving, I worked closely again with the Chicago Regional Marketing Director and the Marketing leadership to write a press release that was shared on our website and distributed through PR Newswire.
I posted on Facebook and LinkedIn. I wanted to take a moment to talk about how well those two posts did.
I wanted to add this blog post to my online portfolio, here. I worked with our MedVet marketing team to create this.
This piece of content started when I reached out to our resident content pro, marketing team member, Debra who is a veterinarian. She’s like our subject matter expert. I asked her if she could help me write a blog post about how ibuprofen can be toxic to dogs. I’d heard from friends and family that people were giving their dogs ibuprofen, intending for it to relieve their pain, but instead, realizing it can be harmful to dogs. Debra wrote up a draft, chock full of valuable information to pet owners. I made some edits to the post to try and make it more targeted to pet-owners, rephrasing some of the technical terms and using laymen’s terms. Then the post was also revised and edited by my boss and my boss’s boss.
I reached out to our marketing team to ask if anyone would be willing to photograph their dog next to a bottle of ibuprofen, for this blog post. Jenn sent me these awesome photos the very next day. She assured me the seal was still on the pill bottle, so no dogs were harmed in the making of these photos. I love using photos from our team rather than stock photography. It helps distinguishes our content and helps us be a thought leader.
Some commonly used medicines that are safe for humans are very toxic to pets. Ibuprofen is helpful to humans but harmful to dogs. Remember to always consult your family veterinarian before giving your pet any medicine, especially if it’s from your own medicine cabinet.
What is ibuprofen?
Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (commonly referred to as an NSAID- pronounced with the letter n-said). Ibuprofen is a popular and effective over-the-counter medication available to treat pain and inflammation in people.
What are other names of ibuprofen?
Human formulations of ibuprofen include: Motrin® (McNeil), Advil® (Whitehall-Robins), Haltran® (Lee Pharmaceutical), Midol® (Bayer), Menadol® (Rugby), PediaCare (Pharmacia & Upjohn), and various generic forms of ibuprofen.
What is ibuprofen toxicity?
For dogs, ibuprofen can easily exceed toxic levels. Ibuprofen has a narrow margin of safety in dogs. Signs of toxicosis can occur when as little as half a 200 mg pill is given to a 25 pound dog.The most common cause of ibuprofen toxicity is a well-meaning owner trying to alleviate pain in his dog. The owner administers a dose he thinks is adequate without knowing that it’s a toxic dose. The most common toxic effects are to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, kidneys or liver.
What are the signs of ibuprofen toxicity?
In as little as 12 hours, signs of toxicity can begin to appear. The initial toxic effect is bleeding stomach ulcers. In addition to ulcers, increasing doses of ibuprofen eventually lead to kidney failure and, if left untreated, can be fatal. Symptoms of ibuprofen toxicity in a dog may include not eating, vomiting, black tarry stools, abdominal pain, weakness, lethargy, increased thirst and increased urination. Signs can range from mild to severe.
How does a veterinarian diagnose ibuprofen toxicity?
Diagnosis of ibuprofen toxicity is generally based on a veterinarian performing a physical exam and obtaining a history of access or exposure to ibuprofen. Blood tests are done to determine the overall health of the dog. If ibuprofen was ingested, blood tests may reveal anemia from a bleeding ulcer or abnormalities secondary to kidney damage.
How is ibuprofen toxicity treated?
Treatment will depend on the dose ingested and clinical signs. Veterinary care can include hospitalization with continuous intravenous fluids for one to two days. All steroids and NSAIDs need to be discontinued immediately. Activated charcoal may be given if ingestion was recent (less than two hours). Blood transfusion can be recommended in dogs with severe anemia due to bleeding ulcers. Stomach protecting medications are commonly given.
How do you prevent ibuprofen toxicity?
The best preventive care is to give your dog medications only if directed by your veterinarian.
Call the Pet Poison Hotline at 855-764-7661 and your family veterinarian immediately if you think your dog or cat has ingested any ibuprofen. They will be able to provide life-saving advice and treatment for your pet.