Meet ShepherdAI: Your Virtual Aide in Diagnosing and Treating Patients

Thursday, Mar 14, 2024 by Cindy Barnes, DVM, CVMST
5 Min Read
Meet ShepherdAI: Your Virtual Aide in Diagnosing and Treating Patients

As a veterinarian, you know how challenging it can be to diagnose and treat a wide variety of patients every day, especially when complex or uncommon cases pop up. Imagine if you had a trusted virtual assistant by your side who could guide you through the process and provide you with instant, reliable, and relevant information. 

The good news is, now you do! Introducing ShepherdAI, Shepherd Veterinary Software’s new Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistant that works seamlessly inside your patients’ SOAPs. ShepherdAI was designed and tested by a team of AI and vet experts to aid you in making clinical decisions, thus saving you time and improving patient outcomes.

How ShepherdAI Works

ShepherdAI is a smart and interactive tool that uses natural language processing and machine learning to understand your veterinary queries and provide you with the best possible answers. Fueled by trusted veterinary sources, ShepherdAI can help you with various aspects of your clinical workflow, such as:

  • Reviewing the patient’s history and complaint: ShepherdAI uses the patient’s signalment and the subjective part of the SOAP to review the initial complaint, history, and current medication history.
  • Formulating differential diagnoses: Based on this information, ShepherdAI begins to formulate differential diagnoses and ranks them according to their likelihood.
  • Asking pertinent questions: ShepherdAI asks you relevant questions to help you narrow down the diagnoses and rule out other possibilities.
  • Providing explanations, recommendations, and instructions: ShepherdAI provides clear and concise explanations of diseases, medication dosing information, treatment recommendations, discharge instructions for clients, nutritional advice, behavioral support, preventative care information (including vaccine schedules and prevention protocols), and diagnostic interpretation help.

How ShepherdAI Helps Improve Veterinary Treatment Outcomes

ShepherdAI can assist you with various day-to-day scenarios and cases that you may encounter in your veterinary practice. 

Here are three examples of how you can use ShepherdAI to enhance your clinical skills and efficiency:

Example 1 - Dosage Calculation

Ask ShepherdAI for drug dosage protocols. For example, if you want to know the propofol dosage for a 31.2 kg Golden Retriever Mix patient, you can open the patient’s active SOAP and simply ask ShepherdAI: “How much propofol do I need for this patient?” ShepherdAI will reply with the following answer:

The dosage of propofol for anesthesia in dogs is typically based on the individual patient’s weight, health status, and the desired depth of anesthesia. The recommended dosage range for propofol in dogs is approximately 2-6 mg/kg IV for induction of anesthesia.

For the 31.2 kg Golden Retriever Mix patient in question, the propofol dosage would be calculated as follows:

- Minimum Dosage: 2 mg/kg x 31.2 kg = 62.4 mg

- Maximum Dosage: 6 mg/kg x 31.2 kg = 187.2 mg

Example 2 - Treatment Steps and Follow-up

Ask ShepherdAI for treatment steps following a diagnosis. For example, if you have diagnosed a gastrointestinal foreign body in a patient, you can ask ShepherdAI: “What should I do next?” ShepherdAI will reply with the following answer.

Once a foreign body has been diagnosed in a patient, the next steps typically involve immediate treatment to address the obstruction and prevent further complications. Here are the general steps to follow after diagnosing a foreign body:

  1. Stabilization: Ensure the patient is stable and address any immediate concerns such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, or shock if present.
  2. Surgical Consultation: In cases where the foreign body is causing an obstruction or is unable to pass through the gastrointestinal tract, surgical intervention may be necessary. Consult with a surgeon to discuss the need for surgery and the best approach for removal.
  3. Treatment Options: Depending on the location and nature of the foreign body, treatment options may include endoscopy for retrieval, medical management to help the foreign body pass, or surgical removal.
  4. Preoperative Care: If surgery is indicated, preoperative care should include fasting the patient, providing supportive care, and addressing any underlying conditions that may affect anesthesia or surgery.
  5. Surgical Removal: The foreign body will need to be surgically removed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will determine the best approach for removal based on the location and size of the foreign body.
  6. Postoperative Care: After surgery, postoperative care involves monitoring the patient closely for complications, providing pain management, and ensuring proper healing.
  7. Follow-up: Follow-up appointments will be necessary to monitor the patient’s recovery, assess for any complications, and adjust the treatment plan as needed.

It is crucial to act promptly and decisively when a foreign body is diagnosed to prevent serious complications such as intestinal perforation, peritonitis, or sepsis. Collaboration with a surgical specialist and diligent postoperative care are essential for the best outcome in cases of foreign body ingestion.

Example 3 - Reading Radiographs

Ask ShepherdAI for common radiographic signs to look for in a particular case. For example, if you want to know what radiographic signs to look for in a patient with diarrhea, you can ask ShepherdAI: “What are the common radiographic signs of diarrhea?” ShepherdAI will reply with the following answer:

Radiographic imaging can be a valuable tool in evaluating patients with diarrhea. While radiographs may not directly show diarrhea itself, they can reveal important findings associated with gastrointestinal issues. Common radiographic signs that may be seen in cases of diarrhea include:

1.Increased Gas Patterns: Dilated loops of intestines filled with gas can be seen on radiographs, indicating increased motility or gas production often seen in cases of diarrhea.

2.Fluid Levels: Radiographs may show fluid levels within the intestinal lumen, indicating fluid accumulation or secretion due to inflammation, infection, or osmotic imbalance.

3.Loss of Detail: Radiographs may show a loss of detail or contrast between the intestinal wall and the surrounding structures, indicating edema, thickening, or infiltration of the intestinal wall due to various causes of diarrhea.

4.Foreign Bodies: Radiographs may reveal the presence of foreign bodies within the gastrointestinal tract, which may cause mechanical obstruction, irritation, or perforation, leading to diarrhea.

5.Other Abnormalities: Radiographs may also show other abnormalities that may be associated with or cause diarrhea, such as masses, tumors, intussusception, volvulus, or displacement of the gastrointestinal organs.

Are you getting excited about the possibilities of streamlined care? We are, too! 

“Thrilled to announce ShepherdAI – our transformative tool for veterinarians. It streamlines workflows, enhances diagnostics, and bridges communication. Best of all, it’s available to our users at no additional cost. Experience the future of veterinary care!” - Lauren Jones, VMD, Veterinary Strategist at Shepherd Veterinary Software. 

How to Get Started with ShepherdAI

Learn more about how ShepherdAI can help improve patient outcomes and effectively treat the zebra in a herd of horses. If you’re an existing Shepherd user, simply open a patient’s SOAP and ask ShepherdAI a question today! 

Not using Shepherd yet? Schedule a demo today and test out ShepherdAI from your trial account. You can also click here to watch our demo video to see ShepherdAI in action and learn more about its features and benefits.

ShepherdAI is more than just a tool; it’s a partner that supports you and helps you deliver the best possible care to your patients. With ShepherdAI, you can save time, reduce errors, and increase confidence in your clinical decisions. ShepherdAI is the virtual aide that every veterinarian needs. Try it today and see the difference for yourself.

ShepherdAI has been thoroughly tested and checked by real humans (including veterinarians!) to validate the information it provides. While it does have limitations and won’t always get it right, it’s constantly improving. It is not a substitute for the expertise and clinical judgment of a qualified veterinarian. 

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