The Latest News in Veterinary Medicine
January 25, 2012–Pet Dental Health Month, celebrated every February, focuses on teaching pet owners that proper dental hygiene is just as important for their pets as it is for them. “Veterinarians report that periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed problem in dogs and cats,” says Dr. Larry Corry, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA; avma.org). “This can lead to painful infection of the mouth and, in severe cases, these infections can spread and become life-threatening conditions.” Visit petdental.com for news and resources on dental care as well as to order your free 2012 Dental Kit, which includes client reminder postcards, oral health pet owner guides, and fun giveaways.
Follow Today’s Veterinary Practice’s column, Practical Dentistry, to read about the latest in dental disease and therapy. This month’s article, Proper Therapy for Endodontic Disease, can be found here.
Veterinary Education Hit Hard by Financial Cuts
January 16, 2012–U.S. schools and colleges of veterinary medicine have been greatly affected by steep reductions in state appropriations to higher education, resulting in faculty cuts, tuition increases, and increased student debt. A joint economic summit, held by these institutions’ deans and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC; aavmc.org), was recently held in Orlando. “I think we need to fight to sustain and garner publicsupport, but we will also have to start looking at alternative funding and educational models if we want to maintain quality,” said Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, AAVMC president and dean of the Virginia–Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. In 2011, the AAVMC released Roadmap for Veterinary Medical Education in the 21st Century: Responsive, Collaborative, Flexible, which provides comprehensive recommendations regarding veterinary medication education. The report, compiled by the North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium (NAVMEC; navmec.org), is available at aavmc.org/roadmap
January 15, 2012–As part of its strategic mission to promote the human–animal bond, Ceva Animal Health (ceva.us) has partnered with Leaders Dogs for the Blind (leaderdog.org) to support a black female Labrador retriever puppy appropriately named “Ceva.” This is the first time in Leaders Dogs for the Blind’s 73-year history that the organization has connected with a companion animal pharmaceutical company to promote its life-changing programs. Ceva made her first public appearance at the NAVC Conference 2012 and as she proceeds through her 2 years of intense “leader dog” training, she will be wearing the Ceva Animal Health, Inc, Adaptil collar, which helps puppies and adult dogs adapt to challenging situations by using canine appeasing pheromones that mother dogs emit, providing a sense of wellbeing and reassurance. Follow Ceva’s progress at facebook.com/cevaleaderdog.
Survey & Study Results
January 2012–Recent data shows that the number of owned cats has far surpassed the number of owned dogs; however, feline visits still lag behind dogs visits, to the tune of about 50% less. However, two feline-focused organizations are working toward improving the approach of practices to this underserved population in veterinary medicine.
In 2011, CATalyst (catalystcouncil.org) launched its Cat Friendly Practice Makeover in 20 practices and the success of this program has led to CATalyst’s 2012 initiatives—to refine the program and reach a broader scope of practices as well as reach out to local communities to facilitate increased cat adoptions, decreased euthanasia, and lifetime veterinary care. CATalyst is also reporting on the 2011 study results in order to show the positive changes in veterinary practices that have adopted a feline friendly focus.
In addition, the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP; catvets.com) unveiled its new initiative, Cat Friendly Practice, at the NAVC Conference 2012. This program will encourage practices to become designated as a “Cat Friendly Practice” by following the strategies set forth by the AAFP to accommodate the distinct needs of cats. Practices interested in this program need to identify one member on staff that is an AAFP member and then they have access to the program components online.
This is only a brief overview of these recently launched feline friendly programs. Today’s Veterinary Practice will continue to follow their success during this “year of the cat.”
Enhancing Preventive Health Care
January 15, 2012–At the NAVC Conference 2012, the Partnership for Preventive Pet Healthcare presented data from a 2011 online survey of veterinary professionals. The results revealed that declining pet health care visits are recognized as a significant issue and veterinarians feel this is a result of the economy, owner reliance on the Internet, communication issues between veterinary professionals and owners, and lack of owner education. Based on the findings of this research as well as interviews with veterinary professionals and pet owners, the Partnership for Preventive Pet Healthcare is developing practical programs and tools that can be used quickly and easily to enhance the effectiveness of preventive care discussions and services. To learn more about the various tools available to practices, visit pethealthpartnership.org.
January 15, 2012–Merial (merial.com) recently announced that a new version of their PUREVAX Recombinant Leukemia Vaccine will be available in early spring 2012. This newest addition to the only nonadjuvanted line of feline vaccines in the U.S. allows the vaccine to be administered subcutaneously, features improved potency, and has a lower antigen concentration than the previous vaccine. PUREVAX Recombinant FeLV uses recombinant canarypox-vectored vaccine technology, which stimulates FeLV-specific cell-mediated immunity. For additional information, visit Merial’s website.
January 2012–Virbac Animal Health (virbacvet.com) has introduced two new products that make treating pets or administering preventive care a more pleasant process for all involved.
Virbac’s new C.E.T HEXTRA Premium Chews for Cats make it easier for clients to clean and protect their cats’ teeth between professional cleanings. Many clients feel it’s too difficult to clean their cats’ teeth at home but don’t realize that this practice prevents plaque and tartar build-up, reducing the risk of disease in their pets. HEXTRA chews are fish-flavored and formulated with an exclusive solution of chlorhexidine.
The other product, EASOTIC Otic Suspension (hydrocortisone aceponate, miconazole nitrate, gentamicin sulfate) for dogs features a simplified delivery system that includes a flexible nozzle that easily fits into and is gentle on canine ears. One press of the dispenser pump delivers an accurate, premeasured 1-mL dose that provides sufficient coverage of the ear canal, no matter what dog breed is being treated, and only needs to be administered for 5 days. For more information on either product, visit Virbac’s website.
January 12, 2012–ALLPRO Imaging (allproimaging.com) now offers the computed radiography system with the smallest footprint (< 1.9 square feet) for this type of system in the industry—the ScanX Ellipse Cassette-Fed Computed Radiography System for Veterinarians. The ScanX Ellipse is equipped with PACSmart Imaging Software, which includes many features that enable the user to enhance radiographic details, such as sharpen, enlarge, magnify, or invert the images on a computer. The images are stored in a native DICOM format, facilitating interface with practice management software, such as AVImark and ImproMed. To view a demonstration of the system, visit the ALLPRO Imaging website.
Deracoxib Now Approved for Postoperative Dental Pain
December 12, 2011—Deracoxib (DERAMAXX; ah.novartis.us) is now approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the control of postoperative pain and inflammation associated with dental surgery in dogs. It is the first nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in the U.S. to be labeled for this use. A recent study1 indicated that perioperative administration of deracoxib to dogs at the low dose of 1 to 2 mg/kg at least 1 H prior to surgery, and again for 2 more days, effectively managed the pain and inflammation association with dental surgery in dogs receiving butorphanol as a preanesthetic. DERAMAXX is also approved for:
- Control of postoperative orthopedic pain and inflammation
- Control of pain and inflammation associated with canine osteoarthritis.
1. Bienhoff S, Smith E, Roycroft L, Roberts E. Efficacy and safety of deracoxib for the control of postoperative pain and inflammation associated with dental surgery in dogs. Data on file. Novartis Animal Health US, Inc.