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Weekly News Roundup 12/4 to 12/10

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Study finds strong correlation between revenue and annual visits per patient

Visits per patient in a year correlates more strongly with practice revenue than the more commonly used metric of average client transaction, according to new research presented at the 2020 AVMA Economic Summit. The study compared the number of visits per patient over a 12-month period to the average client transaction at 1,894 companion-animal hospitals in 47 states in 2019. The study found that practices that have lower transaction costs at each visit tend to have more visits. When combined with the finding that high visit numbers correlate more strongly with high yearly revenue than the average client transaction, it suggests that having patients visit more often makes up for any small decrease in revenue from each visit. . . . more

What’s killing killer whales? New report identifies threats

Pathology reports on more than 50 killer whales stranded over nearly a decade in the northeast Pacific and Hawaii show that orcas face a variety of mortal threats—many stemming from human interactions. A new study that analyzed the reports indicates that understanding and being aware of each threat is critical for managing and conserving killer whale populations. It also presents a baseline understanding of orca health. Of 52 whales stranded between 2004 and 2013, causes of death were determined for 42%. One calf died from sepsis following a halibut hook injury. Another starved from a congenital facial deformity. Two whales died from the blunt force trauma of vessel strikes. Additional causes of death include infectious disease and nutritional deficiencies. . . . more

19.2 million pets live in households at risk of eviction or foreclosure due to pandemic

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) released new data today showing that more than 19.2 million pets in the US live in households that are behind on their rent or mortgage payments, placing them at risk of eventual eviction or foreclosure as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. This includes more than 9.8 million dogs and cats living in rental homes and 9.4 million dogs and cats living in owned homes. In addition, the ASPCA estimates that more than 4.2 million pets in the US are likely to enter poverty as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, raising the total number of animals living in poverty with their owners to more than 24.4 million dogs, cats, horses, and other animals. . . . more

Texas A&M offering new canine cancer screening test

Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS) has introduced a cost-effective oncology test veterinarians across North America can use for early cancer detection in canine patients. Developed by Belgium-based epigenetics company Volition, the proprietary Nu.Q Vet Cancer Screening Test uses a simple blood test to detect early markers of cancer. At 100% specificity, the test has been shown to detect 74% of lymphomas and 89% of hemangiosarcomas. “Unlike in humans, where routine cancer screening is relatively commonplace, there are few tests for animals,” said Heather Wilson-Robles, DVM, DACVIM (oncology), a CVMBS professor who helped develop the screening. “We are changing this.” . . . more

New air travel rules for emotional-support animals

Last week, the US Department of Transportation issued a ruling that features huge changes to the rules concerning flying with an emotional-support animal. The ruling, which takes effect in the new year, addresses issues such as what constitutes a service animal and allows airlines to require special forms attesting to a service animal’s health, behavior, and training. . . . more

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