2019, blog, Uncategorized, work, work sample, writing

Trick or Treat Blog Post for MedVet

Trick or Treat Raisins

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.

Who: MedVet

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.

A photo of my friend Becky's cat name Pumpkin
A photo of my friend Becky’s cat name Pumpkin (or as I called her, Plumpkin)

Trick-or-Treat: Test Your Knowledge of These Deadly or Delightful Foods for Your Pet

 

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.) 

Grapes

Trick or Treat?

 

Raisins

Trick or Treat?

 

Pumpkins

Trick or Treat?

 

Chocolate

Trick or Treat?

 

Sugar-free Candy

Trick or Treat?

 

Apples

Trick or Treat?

 

Peanut Butter

Trick or Treat?

Trick or Treat Apples

 

Answers:

 

Grapes

Trick

Even a small amount of grapes can cause a cat to show symptoms of lethargy, diarrhea, abdominal pain and decreased urination. It can even cause kidney failure in dogs and cats. Each pet reacts differently to grapes and the exact toxicity levels are unknown. We recommend avoiding grapes all together.

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.

 

Raisins

Trick

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.

 

Pumpkin

Treat

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

Trick

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 candy

Trick

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

Treat

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.

 

Peanut butter

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.

If you suspect your pet has eaten any of these Tricks, call your family veterinarian right away or find your nearest MedVet emergency hospital.

 

Additional Emergency Pet Care Articles that May Be of Interest 

 

 

2019, august, social media, Uncategorized, work, work sample

Sharing the news of MedVet Chicago’s brand-new hospital on Facebook and LinkedIn

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:

  • Facebook page
  • Yelp page
  • Google My Business listing
  • Apple Maps
  • 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.

We posted on the Chicago hospital’s Facebook page about the move and boy, did that post explode. I mean, it was a positive explosion of engagement.

chicago medvet hospital facebook
This Facebook post had the most engagement in MedVet’s history. I admit I wasn’t expecting this strong of a reaction from our Facebook audience to this news. I should’ve expected it because at Volunteers of America, I’d actually experienced something similar where a post about the grand opening of our new Pickerington thrift store has uncharacteristically high engagement. I learned that social media posts about new locations tend to go viral. 
page analytics facebook medvet chicago
You can see we gained 479-page likes in just one week; a huge increase from our normal growth. More importantly than the increase in page likes, we saw a 537% increase in Post Engagements.
facebook likes increase chicago medvet
Before this post, we had 4,624 likes. After the post, we has 5,099 page likes. That’s a 475 increase!
chicago medvet facebook likes
Showing the increase in Page Likes through a visual graph. 

 

We also shared the news of the new hospital on LinkedIn and again, our audience was very excited, resulting in high levels of engagement.

You can see the copy of the LinkedIn post is very similar to the Facebook post copy but we chose to use two images rather than just one.

Screen Shot 2019-08-31 at 1.26.12 PM
In our LinkedIn strategy, one of our goals is to gain more engagement in the form of comments so we were pleased to see six comments on this post where we usually only see 1-2 comments on a post. 

Screen Shot 2019-08-31 at 1.26.29 PM

linkedin analytics medvet
You can see here how this post had significantly higher engagement and impressions that our previous posts.

 

 

2019, blog, blog post, Uncategorized, work sample

A blog post I wrote for MedVet

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.

Here’s the blog post: 

 

Is Ibuprofen Toxic to Dogs?

The most common cause of ibuprofen toxicity is a well-meaning owner trying to alleviate pain in his dog.

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.

Ibuprofen in dogs eventually lead to kidney failure and, if left untreated, can be fatal.

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.

If your dog appears to be in pain, talk with your family veterinarian who may be able to prescribe you a dog-safe NSAID such as Dermaxx (also known as Deracoxib), Rimadyl (also known as Carprofen), or Previcox (also known as Firocoxib.)

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.

 

2019

Pet owners want to know how to keep their pet safe

Last week, I shared on MedVet’s Facebook pages this pet safety tip and frankly, I was surprised at how well the post did.

My boss emailed me suggesting I make a Facebook post about the potential pet danger of suffocation in potato chip bags. At first, I didn’t know what she was referring to, but after a little Googling, I quickly discovered that dogs can go digging through the trash, find a potato chip bag, stick their head inside looking for crumbs, and when they inhale the bag gets stuck on their neck, suffocating them. It was heartbreaking to learn that pets have died from something so easily preventable. So, I opened up Canva, and made this graphic:

I made this graphic in Canva
This post did great on our MedVet Columbus page. 199 shares!

This post showed me that pet owners want tips and information that they can share with their friends. They want posts that make them look like an intelligent and caring pet owner. This information helped influence my future content calendar.