Jun
10
2009
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved two new drugs this week that are the first of their kind for treating specific conditions in animals. On June 3, the FDA approved the first cancer drug therapy for dogs, and on June 9, the agency gave the green light to a hyperthyroidism drug for cats.

The feline hyperthyroidism drug, Felimazole (methimazole), is manufactured by U.K.-based drug maker Dechra, and is the first drug approved by the FDA for treating this condition in cats. Methimazole is an antithyroid drug that blocks the creation of thyroid hormones.

According to an FDA news release, Felimazole was tested in field studies in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is administered orally in initial doses of 2.5 mg per animal every 12 hours. ...more
May
27
2009
Alabama is the last state in the union with a state law requiring annual rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats, but that is most likely about to change.

The existing law requires owners of dogs and cats to vaccinate their pets against rabies “when said animal reaches three months of age and annually thereafter.”

Under the proposed rule, known as SB 469, revaccinations would be required “when the animal reaches three months of age and subsequently in accordance with the intervals specified in the vaccines license.” The new rule would also require ferrets to be vaccinated for rabies.

Gov. Bob Riley is expected to sign SB 469 into law, since the measure was approved by the Alabama Legislature, 101-0, on May 14. ...more
May
27
2009
As part of its increased scrutiny of spot-on flea and tick products, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency met with product manufacturers on May 5, an agency spokesman said, though no action has been taken yet. The agency also confirmed that an original list of products under scrutiny was updated to make the list include all registered products.

“We received a request from the industry to remove the original list of products because it was incomplete and therefore misleading,” said EPA Press Officer Dale Kemery. “Once we were able to develop a complete list of products we returned the list to the Web site.” ...more
May
13
2009
Testing for canine deafness is a desirable diagnostic for dog owners and breeders, but the cost for veterinary clinics can be prohibitive. A study on a different, less costly test could pave the way for practices to perform this test in-house.

The currently accepted method for diagnosing deafness in dogs is the brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) test, which detects electrical activity in the cochlea and auditory pathways. However, the equipment required for the test is expensive and testing sites are limited. ...more
May
13
2009
Legislation geared toward improving the lives of companion animals is moving through the legislative process in several states.

Washington and Ohio are advancing bills that would help protect pets in domestic violence cases by granting custody of pets to victims, or including pets in different types of protection orders. In Vermont, a bill is awaiting the governor’s signature that would add an aversive agent to a common product that is deadly to animals. ...more
Apr
29
2009
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is meeting next week with manufacturers of spot-on flea and tick control products, three weeks after the agency issued an advisory about the safety of some of those products.

An advisory on the EPA website dated April 16 said the agency has seen a “sharp increase” in the incidence of adverse effects from spot-on pesticides. As a result, the agency is “intensifying its evaluation of whether further restrictions on the use of these products are necessary to better protect pets.” The EPA is also careful to note that “a cause and effect relationship between these products and any individual adverse reaction or incident has not been confirmed.” ...more
Apr
29
2009
UPDATE: FTC grants 3-month extension on Red Flags rule enforcement

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced April 30 that it would push back its enforcement deadline for the identity-theft-related Red Flags rule until Aug. 1. This information became available after NEWStat’s press time.

Read more on the extension here.

On May 1, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will begin enforcement of the new “Red Flags” Rule. The rule applies to certain types of businesses – including many veterinary practices - and is designed to help detect and stop identity theft.

Does your practice need to comply with the rule? The key to the answer lies in two points: If you are a “creditor,” and you have “covered accounts” as defined by the rule, then your practice must comply.

According to the FTC rule, the term “creditor” includes “businesses or organizations that regularly defer payment for goods or services or provide goods or services and bill customers later.” Accepting credit cards as payment does not necessarily qualify you as a creditor, but if you allow clients to pay off their bills over time, or if you bill clients after services are performed, then you are a creditor. ...more
Apr
15
2009
Texas lawmakers are considering a new “dangerous and vicious dog” bill, but Texas veterinary professionals are opposed to the measure.

The bill makes several changes to the state’s existing law regarding dangerous dogs, including the addition of the word “vicious.” Dogs defined as vicious under the bill would need to be registered, insured for at least $100,000 against potential damages from an attack, and restrained or confined at all times.

H.B. 1982 defines a “vicious dog” as a dog that is capable of inflicting serious injury or death due to its “physical nature and vicious propensity;” is highly aggressive and “appears to a reasonable person to be able to escape from the enclosure,” or behaves in a manner such that the owner or another person believes it will attack.

Texas A&M University professor Bonnie Beaver, DVM, MS, DACVB, said the changes do not improve the original law, and the Texas VMA is opposed to the legislation. ...more
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