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Weekly News Roundup 1/15 to 1/21

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New Texas Tech school of veterinary medicine on track for fall

As each day passes in the new year, the Texas Tech University (TTU) School of Veterinary Medicine gets closer and closer to its inaugural fall semester of classes. Construction is well underway at what will be the new TTU School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo, and the project is expected to be on time for the start of this year’s fall semester in August. The first class is expected to have 60 students, primarily from Texas. The school’s senior associate dean of academic and student affairs, John Dascanio, VMD, DACT, DABVP (Equine), said that number is expected to eventually grow to 80 and then top off around 100 students. . . . more

Meet Bourbon, the American Kennel Club Best in Show winner

Last month, Bourbon the whippet left the 2020 American Kennel Club (AKC) National Championship with a career-capping victory: Best in Show under judge James Moses at the AKC’s flagship show, held December 12 and 13 in Orlando, Florida. The show, which is the largest in the country, aired on ABC on January 17—its first time on network television. Though her name predisposes her to a galaxy of libation-induced puns, Pinnacle Kentucky Bourbon (her full show name) has a soberingly impressive show record: With 108 career Bests in Show, she was the nation’s top hound for two years straight, and the number-two dog in the country last year. . . . more

Expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion in veterinary nursing is focus of new scholarship

PetDesk, a client-engagement software company, is teaming up with the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in veterinary nursing through a new scholarship program for Purdue veterinary nursing students. The PetDesk Equity in Veterinary Nursing Scholarship is being funded through a five-year pledge totaling $48,000. The first installment of $8,000 was received at the end of 2020 and will fund four scholarships of $2,000 each—one for each year of the four-year bachelor’s in veterinary nursing degree program. . . . more

Smart vaccine app quick to curb rabies threat in African cities

More people could be protected from life-threatening rabies thanks to an agile approach to dog vaccination using smartphone technology to spot areas of low vaccination coverage in real time. Veterinarians used a smartphone app to help them halve the time it takes to complete dog vaccination programs in the Malawian city of Blantyre. The custom-made app lets them quickly spot areas with low inoculation rates in real time, allowing them to inoculate more dogs more quickly. Researchers predict that more than one million people globally will die from rabies between 2020 and 2035 if dog vaccination rates—coupled with treatment immediately following a bite—do not increase. . . . more

Top obesity-related pet health insurance claims revealed

With people spending more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many pets have garnered extra treats, leading to some extra pounds. While more pets may be pudgy now, the health issues related to obesity in pets have long concerned veterinarians, according to officials from Nationwide, a provider of pet insurance. Data from Nationwide shows that claims for conditions linked to or made worse by obesity increased for the ninth straight year. Over a recent 12-month period, obesity-related claims accounted for 20% of Nationwide members’ pet insurance claims, totaling more than $90 million in veterinary expenses, according to officials. . . . more

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