The Latest News in Veterinary Medicine
November is Pet Diabetes Awareness Month
November 2011—To coordinate with human Diabetes Awareness Month, November is also recognized as Pet Diabetes Awareness Month. The goal of this designation is to raise awareness of the disease and help pet owners recognize signs of diabetes in their pets and the treatment options available. To further this goal, Merck Animal Health (Merck.com) maintains the website petdiabetesmonth.com, which provides educational tools for owners and resources that veterinarians can distribute in their practices. These tools include a pet diabetes brochure, veterinarian visit checklist, specific information about diabetes in both dogs and cats, stories from owners who have diabetic pets, and FAQs, just to name a selection of the resources available.
What the Numbers Say
According to a recent survey conducted by Abbott Animal Health (abbott animalhealth.com), 35% of pet owners do not know their pets can develop diabetes. In addition, while some owners may realize that diabetes is an epidemic in humans, they don’t realize that it is also increasing in pets. The important message that veterinarians and the veterinary team need to convey to clients is that with early diagnosis, diabetes is a very manageable disease.
Read More about Diabetes
Today’s Veterinary Practice has covered 2 different aspects of diabetes therapy recently:
- In this issue, read Home Monitoring of Blood Glucose: Practical Tips for Incorporating It in Your Practice. This article focuses on working with owners to monitor their pets’ blood glucose at home, which can be a powerful tool to improve case outcome.
- In the September/October 2011 issue (available at todaysveterinary practice.com), the article Fundamentals for Today’s Insulin Therapy provides a comprehensive overview of insulin definitions, types, and administration. In addition, two tables detail insulin action and insulin administration.
Free Educational Webinar: Care of the Aging Cat
September 19, 2011—The American Association of Feline Practitioners (catvets.com) has developed a set of general practice guidelines for the care of the aging cat. Together with VetMedTeam (vetmedteam.com), they have upgraded these guidelines into a free educational webinar that will help train every member of the practice team on feline senior care. The Feline Senior Care Guidelines address a broad range of issues including medical, behavioral, and lifestyle considerations, which will assist veterinarians and the practice team in delivering consistent high-quality care to older cats while ensuring optimal quality of life. The webinar can be accessed at vetmedteam.com/class.aspx?id=268&CourseScheduleId=2365. For all AAFP Practice Guidelines, visit catvets.com/professionals/guidelines/publications.
Good Samaritan Program Offers Preventive Pet Care
September 23, 2011—Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine (vet.purdue.edu) is founding the Good Samaritan Program, with help from a generous gift provided by Elanco Companion Animal Health (elanco.com). The goal of this program is to provide preventive and nonemergency treatment for animals whose owners reside in and around Marion County, Indiana, and cannot afford veterinary care due to financial hardship. It also offers fourth-year veterinary and veterinary technician students the opportunity to continue their education through hands-on learning opportunities. “Through the Good Samaritan Program, Marion County residents in need can continue to see a veterinarian for their pets’…veterinary care,” explained Cathy Martin, Elanco’s director of marketing. “They won’t need to choose between food, medication, or veterinary care.”
ASPCA Community Engagement Award
November 11, 2011—The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has announced 3 finalists in its $25,000 Community Engagement Award: Humane Society of South Mississippi, Gulfport, Mississippi; Humane Society of Greater Savannah, Savannah, Georgia; and Austin Pets Alive!, Austin, Texas. The Community Engagement Award is part of the 2011 ASPCA $100K Challenge, a 3-month competition where 49 shelters work to increase lives saved in order to win $300K in prize grants. The winning shelter for this award will be selected by the ASPCA Grants Committee based on the number of people the contestant engaged during the contest and the breadth of ways the community helped save homeless animals. For more information about the contest, please visit challenge.aspcapro.org.
Drive Nutrition Sweepstakes = Smart Cars
October & November 2011—Hill’s Pet Nutrition (hillsvet.com) Drive Nutrition Sweepstakes has announced the 3 national winners of a new Smart Car—Kelly Kline (left) of Neffsville Veterinary Clinic, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Nakia Ritchie of Saline County Animal Clinic, Benton, Arkansas; and Brandy Higginbotham of Animal Medical Center, Lubbock, Texas. The sweepstakes required veterinary technicians to complete Hill’s activities, such as attending a Practical Nutrition in-clinic seminar, calling the Hill’s Veterinary Consultation Service, answering educational nutrition trivia questions, and participating in a veterinary technician lunch at a conference. The winners were randomly selected from 587,000 participants.
Season of Suppers Pet Food Drive
November 11, 2011—This November and December, Banfield Charitable Trust, a pet advocacy nonprofit, hopes to collect more than 70,000 pounds of pet food for their national pet food drive, Season of Suppers, which provides this food to pets of homebound seniors, the unemployed, and the disabled. The nationwide network of 780 Banfield Pet Hospitals serve as hubs for pet food drop offs—through December 31, bags and cans of both cat and dog food can be donated at any Banfield Pet Hospital, most of which are located inside PetSmart. To find the closest Banfield Pet Hospital, use the hospital locator on banfield.com.
Nestle/Purina PetCare Gastrointestinal Survey
October 31, 2011—In order to better understand the incidence, frequency, and factors of gastrointestinal (GI) issues as well as actions taken to resolve those conditions, Nestle Purina PetCare conducted a nationwide, 12-month survey with pet owners. The findings included the following:
- Vomiting and diarrhea topped the list of GI problems in pets, followed by excessive gas in dogs and inappetence in cats.
- Many pets experienced more than 1 type of GI problem over the 12-month period.
- Overall, inappetence was the most concerning problems to owners as well as the condition with the longest duration.
- GI conditions appear to be linked with pet care changes, such as dietary changes/indiscretion, medications, and changes in the home atmosphere.
- Most owners treated GI conditions with food/dietary changes. However, 1/5 of owners did not take action at all and a majority did not consult a veterinarian about the condition(s).
Exclusive Online Portal for Veterinary Community
October 13, 2011—Elanco Companion Animal Health (elanco.com) has launched its new online portal, ElancoVet.com. This portal, which is intended for veterinarians and veterinary health care staff members, features the latest updates and technical information, including product labels and fact sheets, regarding Elanco’s companion animal health care products in one convenient location. In addition, portal benefits include:
• Disease state information
• Resources for improving and maintaining a healthy veterinary practice
• Communication aids for stronger client relationships
• Technical FAQs from fellow veterinarians.
In addition, the Elanco Professional Education & Training (PET) Program, which provides a resource for the veterinary community to learn about the latest developments in veterinary medicine while providing CE credit, is accessible through the portal.
Updates to Heartworm Prevention Smart Phone App
November 17, 2011—Last year Merial (merial.com) launched the HEARTGARD iPhone Dose Reminder app. Due to the success of the application, Merial is introducing the same app for Android users and an updated app for iPhones. The new and updated features allow pet owners to set individual reminders for each dog, share accounts between phones, use the phone’s camera to assign pictures to reminders, and add custom dog barks to reminders. In addition, the app directs owners to call their veterinarians when it’s time for refills. The Android version can be downloaded via the Android Market online or on the phone; the iPhone version can be downloaded through iTunes or the App Store on the phone.
Newest Version of Practice Software Available
October 19, 2011—ImproMed, LLC, a Butler Schein Animal Health Company (butlerschein.com), has released Infinity Version 5.0, which offers enhanced security, desktop, and document features. Since it was first introduced, Infinity has brought veterinary practice management to a new level with industry-leading innovations and advancements. Version 5.0 provides a user-friendly navigation main menu screen, streamlined security configuration, and standardized client and patient notes, just to mention a few of the updates. Customers interested in upgrading should contact ImproMed’s customer support department at 800-925-7171 or [email protected]