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Today's Veterinary News

The Latest News in Veterinary Medicine

The Latest News in Veterinary Medicine


Highlights: Feline-friendly nursing guidelines, GI diet for challenging cases, Merck vaccination campaign, new distributor for E.I. Medical Imaging, parasite predictions, Project Pet Slim Down, State of Pet Health report, VetWebsites’ webinars

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 3.39.42 PMBanfield Releases State Of Pet Health 2012 Report

May 1, 2012–Compiled by Banfield’s internal research team, medical data from 2 million dogs and nearly 430,000 cats cared for in Banfield’s 800 hospitals in 2011 were captured and analyzed in the State of Pet Health 2012 Report. The largest report of its kind, the report breaks down the data by these chronic diseases: overweight/obesity, arthritis, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and heart disease. In the past 5 years, chronic diseases have continued to increase, some at an alarming rate. Overweight and obesity increased 37% in dogs and 90% in cats, and arthritis increased 38% in dogs and 67% in cats. Chronic kidney disease, a common cause of death in cats, increased by 15% since 2007 and is nearly seven times more common in cats than in dogs. For more information about Banfield Pet Hospital visit banfield.com. To view and download the full State of Pet Health 2012 Report, visit stateofpethealth.com.

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 3.39.48 PMCareCredit Celebrates 25th Anniversary

May 7, 2012–As part of its 25th anniversary celebration, CareCredit (carecredit.com) is introducing new branding to better represent its key role in the lives of 20 million people and pets over the past 25 years, including the new tagline: Making care possible…today. When surveyed, clients who use CareCredit identified the company as “accessible,” “empowering,” and “helpful.” Their input resulted in a tagline that clearly communicates the company’s core philosophy and focus: making it easy for families and their pets to access the care they need, when they need it. In June, practices that accept CareCredit as a payment option will receive a complimentary, comprehensive kit of materials for their practice and clients, including exciting new client educational and display materials.

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 3.39.56 PMHomeAgain Reunites One Million Lost Pets

April 23, 2012–The HomeAgain Pet Recovery Service has reunited more than one million lost pets with their families through microchipping and pet recovery services since launching in 1996. Once enrolled in HomeAgain, offered by Merck Animal Health, a pet’s microchip is registered in the HomeAgain National Pet Recovery Database for its lifetime. Annual membership includes:


  • Pet recovery specialists always available at 1-888-HomeAgain
  • Lost Pet Alerts with a Lost Pet Poster sent to veterinary clinics, shelters, and volunteer pet rescuers
  • 24/7 pet recovery specialists
  • Travel expenses to $500 for pets found more than 500 miles from home.

HomeAgain memberships are renewable annually for a fee of $17.99. For more information, visit homeagain.com.

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 3.40.28 PMAlcyon Belux S.A. Joins E.I. Medical Imaging’s Distribution Network

April 2012–E.I. Medical Imaging, a worldwide leader in portable ultrasound systems for veterinary use, announced the addition of Alcyon Belux S.A. as the new authorized Ibex distributor in the Benelux region serving the Belgian, Dutch, and Luxembourg markets. Alcyon Belux S.A. (alcyonbelux.be) is well regarded as a leader and trusted partner committed to the veterinary industry. For further information, contact E.I. Medical Imaging at [email protected].

 Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 3.40.22 PMPurina Teams Up with New Ally in Fight Against Pet Obesity

April 27, 2012–To pave the way for happier, healthier pets, Nestlé Purina is teaming up with two-time beach volleyball gold medalist and pet enthusiast Misty May-Treanor. Project: Pet Slim Down from Purina (ProjectPet SlimDown.com) is an educational program that provides materials to help clinics set up a weight management program and direct pet owners to a supportive online community of other owners with overweight pets. Veterinary staff members can also undergo additional training to become Purina Certified Weight Coaches. The training program for coaches offers free continuing education credits. After certification, staff members gain access to additional tools for educating clients and promoting their clinic’s weight management services. Visit PurinaVeterinaryDiets.com/WeightCoach to learn more.



Preventing the Preventable: A Practitioner’s View of the 12.12.12 Campaign

May 2012–The 12.12.12 Campaign, launched by Merial (merial.com) and supported by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA, aahanet.org), is an industry-wide call to action for veterinary professionals to make 2012 the year in which more dogs (and cats) are protected against heartworm disease. Many veterinary professionals have taken the 12.12.12 pledge (see Join 12.12.12), with the count currently at more than 3000 pledges.

Today’s Veterinary Practice had the opportunity to interview Barbara Griffith, DVM, the practice owner of Griffith Veterinary Hospital in Whitmore Lake, Michigan, who has taken the 12.12.12 pledge and is using the campaign to bolster the number of both dogs and cats on year-round heartworm preventive in her practice.

Dr. Griffth, a solo practitioner in small animal practice who sees 150 to 200 patients per week, has been a proponent of year-round heartworm prevention for quite some time; 60% of the dogs in her practice and 35% of the cats were already on year-round prevention when she signed up for the 12.12.12 campaign at the 2012 NAVC Conference. As she says, “I was already implementing year-round heartworm prevention in my practice, but there is power in numbers and I wanted to show my support for this new initiative.”

Since taking the pledge, Dr. Griffith has already seen an increase in the numbers of patients on year-round heartworm prevention–a 20% increase in dogs and 5% increase in cats. She notes that the program incentives are very helpful in cementing a client’s decision to buy 12 months of prevention–Merial offers a $12 client rebate on every 12-pack of Heartgard sold and, along with AAHA, is providing pet owner resources, such as brochures, articles, and videos, to help clients understand the importance of heartworm prevention.

Dr. Griffith has been proactive in coming up with her own ideas to help promote heartworm prevention for her patients. Signs in the practice’s examination rooms compare the cost of heartworm prevention to heartworm treatment. In today’s economy, the math is plain and simple–an ounce of prevention costs less than a pound of cure. Especially since the “cure” (Immiticide) is not readily available, which is pointed out by another sign in the exam room.

Dr. Griffith feels that the program offers each essential element for a successful practice campaign–incentives and educational materials for the pet owners, incentives for the practice team (for each 12-pack sold, the employee receives a bonus from Merial), and a system that tracks the amount of 12 packs sold over the course of the campaign.

However, Dr. Griffith hits on the heart of the matter when she says, “We [veterinary practitioners] see so many unpreventable diseases; however, heartworm disease is different–it is preventable. All we have to do is get that prevention into pet owners’ hands.”

Join 12.12.12
The 12.12.12 program has 3 goals:
  1. Increase the number of dogs protected against heartworm disease by 12%.
  2. Administer 12 doses (year-round protection) of heartworm preventive to patients.
  3. Complete the first two goals in 2012.

Veterinarians and/or clinics that would like to participate can sign up at join121212.com and commit to the goal of placing 12 additional patients per month on year-round heartworm disease prevention.

ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge

April 17, 2012–After more than 600,000 votes in 12 days of online voting, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) revealed the 50 animal shelters participating in the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. The contestants’ goal is to save at least 300 more cats and dogs during the months of August, September, and October 2012 than during the same period last year. The ASPCA and Rachael Ray will award more than $500K in prize grants, including a $100K grand prize, to the shelters that achieve the greatest increase in lives saved during this three-month period. The ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge is a groundbreaking contest that challenges animal shelters to use innovative techniques to engage their communities in providing homes to shelter cats and dogs. For more information and to view the list of contestants, please visit aspca.org/100kchallenge.

The web address for Links Medical Products introducing their new medical-grade Manuka honey wound dressings was incorrectly stated in the last issue. The correct address is linksmed.com.

050612 news merckMerck Animal Health Announces Vaccination Campaign

April 27, 2012–Mutt and Kitty, spokes-pets for Merck Animal Health, formally launched their “Vote for Vaccination” campaign in the nation’s capital. The dog and cat duo will embark on a nationwide tour to advance Merck’s provaccination movement for pets. Running on behalf of veterinary and pet care professionals, the campaign is dedicated to educate pets and their owners about the importance of vaccination. “Many pets are not fully or regularly vaccinated, leaving millions unprotected and vulnerable to disease,” said Mutt. The pair will host a series of media events throughout the year, shaking paws along the campaign trail and raising awareness about the benefits of pet vaccinations. They will have a strong online presence with their own website (mypet.com), where veterinary clinics and their clientele can stay up to date about pet health. Organizers are inviting clinics to join the effort by registering as campaign headquarters.

050612 news cat ownersCat Owners Urged to Use Heartworm Preventives

April 23, 2012–According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) (petsandparasites.org), heartworm infections are forecasted to be particularly high this spring and summer. The CATalyst Council (catalystcouncil.org), a national initiative comprised of animal health and welfare organizations working on behalf of cats, is urging cat owners to ensure that their cats are on heartworm preventive medication to avoid a possibly deadly infection. While heartworms don’t attack a cat’s heart as they do in dogs, they do attack their lungs, which is a potentially fatal condition. Cat owners are urged to speak with their veterinarians about preventive medications for their cats so that they can protect their feline friends from potentially deadly heartworm infestations.

050612 news aafpAAFP and ISFM Release Feline-Friendly Nursing Care Guidelines

May 2012–The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) have released the Feline-Friendly Nursing Care Guidelines. “By looking at each section of the Guidelines, a clinic can begin to understand fear and stress from the cat’s perspective; make changes…that will decrease stress in exam rooms, perioperative areas and during hospitalization…and counsel owners on how to behave in the exam room so as to soothe their cats rather than contribute to stress,” stated co-chairs Drs. Hazel Carney and Susan Little. To view the Guidelines, visit catvets.com/guidelines.

050612 news hillsHill’s Launches Canine Food for Tough GI Cases

May 2012–Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s (HillsVet.com) new Prescription Diet i/d Low Fat GI Restore Canine food supports dogs with challenging gastrointestinal (GI) conditions, such as pancreatitis, hyperlipidemia, and protein-losing enteropathy. This food is designed for long-term feeding of adult dogs. The formula contains omega-3 fatty acids to help break the cycle of inflammation, prebiotic fiber to restore intestinal microbiota, and ginger to calm and soothe the GI tract.

050612 news webinarsVetWebsites.com Webinars

May 2012–VetWebsites (vetwebsites.com) is offering a free webinar entitled The 4 Biggest Online Marketing Secrets That Will Make–or Break–Your Practice. In this webinar, you will be brought up to speed on the biggest online marketing trends today as well as what your practice needs to make it in this changing technological landscape. With over 11 million searches for veterinarians online each month and over 96% of new clients searching online when looking for a veterinarian, this webinar will show you what you need to know to have a successful online presence and how to accomplish this effectively and with ease. The free webinar takes place on June 13 at 2 pm ET/11 am PT. Register at tinyurl.com/d5dejzk.

National Observances


  • American Humane Association’s Adopt-a-Cat Month
  • ASPCA’s Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month
  • National Zoo and Aquarium Month
  • Pet Appreciation Week, June 10–16
  • World Pet Memorial Day, June 12
  • Take Your Dog to Work Day, June 24


  • Pet Fire Safety Day, July 15

Courtesy American Veterinary Medical Association (avma.org/press/animalhealth/wellness_calendar.asp)