Chronic conditions, especially obesity, are on the rise across the United States over the past five years, according to the newly released 2012 State of Pet Health Report from Banfield.

According to the Banfield report, overweight and obesity, arthritis, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and heart disease are all on the rise.

"Over the past five years, many chronic conditions have continued to increase, in some instances, at an alarming rate," Banfield Chief Medical Officer Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, wrote in the report.

The research reflects a dramatic increase in reports of overweight and obese pets. According to the report, overweight and obese pets have increased by 37 percent (dogs) and 90 percent (cats) since 2007.

As a part of its report, Banfield surveyed both dog and cat owners about their perceptions of veterinary care and their pets’ health.

Of the pet owners surveyed, 76 percent of dog owners and 69 percent of cat owners said they believe their pet is just the right weight. ...more
The Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine is expecting to see a loss of 30 to 40 percent of its professors over the next 10 years, according to the Cornell Daily Sun. ...more
Job creation continues a steady rise, according to new data from Gallup released in April.

Job creation experienced the largest one-month jump in March since 2008, spurring U.S. job market conditions to their best level since August 2008.

Gallup’s Job Creation Index, measured at +18 in March, up from +14 in February. The four-percentage-point increase is the largest one-month jump in the index since 2008.

The March Job Creation Index shows that 35 percent of U.S. adult works say their employers are hiring and expanding the size of their workforces, while 17 percent say their employers are letting workers go and reducing the size of the workforces. The Midwest leads in net new hiring (strong hiring coupled with relatively low layoffs or firing), followed closely by the South. The East and West lag behind, due mostly to lower hiring. ...more
About two-thirds of students surveyed in a recent campus climate survey report that underrepresented veterinary medical students receive high to very high levels of support from their schools. ...more
Clinics that make an effort to increase the feline friendliness of their practices can expect to see a small increase in cat visits as well as revenue from those visits, according to results from a CATalyst pilot program. The program, called the Cat Friendly Practice Makeover, was a pilot program organized by CATalyst Council, a national initiative comprised of animal health and welfare organizations working on behalf of cats. Seventeen practices participated in the pilot initiative; of those 17, data from 16 of those practices was used in survey results.

CATalyst Council released the results of its pilot program at the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) Feb. 20, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Participating practices showed a 2.6 percent increase in year-on-year cat visits, while non-participating clinics showed a decrease of 2 percent in cat visits during the same period of time.

The program, which started about a year and a half ago, was designed to increase feline visits and prepare hospitals to provide exceptional service when receiving feline-owning clients. ...more
Hospital managers and administrators outperformed inflation, but worked longer hours in 2011, according to new survey results from the Veterinary Hospital Manager’s Association (VHMA). ...more
Negative advertising, not competition, is the chief complaint of veterinarians who faced off against Internet pharmacy Pet Med Express at the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC) in Orlando, Fla.

NAVC hosted a panel Jan. 15, 2012 during which Pet Med Express representatives listened to feedback from veterinarians on the topic of Internet pharmacies.

Months of controversy

Pet Med Express, also known as 1-800-Pet-Meds, approached NAVC in September and asked to become an exhibitor and sponsor of the conference.

Doralee Donaldson, DVM, a practitioner in Alabama, initiated a petition to protest the Internet pharmacy’s presence at the conference. Within a couple of days, the petition had approximately 200 names. In the petition, Donaldson and her supporters asked that Pet Med Express leave the conference, referring to its "illegal and unethical practices", and referring to it as an "unscrupulous company". ...more
As practices close out their books for 2011 and look to the coming new year, Trends Today is taking a look at the top veterinary issues in 2011 and predicting what topics will impact practices in 2012. From online pharmacies to preventive healthcare, practices will need to stay vigilant in the coming year.

Here are the top trends we’re predicting for 2012:

1. Expanding online pharmacies and big box retailers: We’ve already seen how Internet pharmacies are offering pet owners low cost pet medications without having to go to the veterinarian. Now big box retailers are getting into it too, with Target selling veterinary products and Walmart offering generic human-labeled medications for pets.   H.R. 1406, the Fairness to Pet Owners Act, is a Walmart-backed bill that would require veterinarians to write prescriptions that pet owners can take elsewhere to fill. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has already spoken out against the bill, as have numerous other veterinarians who maintain that the proposed legislation is burdensome and unnecessary. The pending legislation has those in the industry wondering whether veterinary pharmacies may be going the way of prescription contacts and lenses. ...more
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