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April 24, 2012

Got drugs? Get rid of them this weekend

As a part of its national take-back initiative, the DEA is hosting another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 28, 2012 to encourage the safe disposal of unwanted drugs.

March 20, 2012

"Every pet, every time", Nutrition Alliance urges

On the five year anniversary of the melamine pet food recall that led to sickness and death in thousands of animals, veterinarians are emphasizing the importance of nutrition and its affect on the health of pets. "The 2007 recalls were devastating to the pets and the people it affected," said Kate Knutson, DVM, AAHA president-elect. "Nutrition is the single most important environmental influencer we have on our pets." Knutson and a team of veterinarians emphasized the importance of nutrition to consumer and veterinarian alike at a press conference held by the Pet Nutrition Alliance at the AAHA Yearly Conference in Denver, Colo. The Alliance highlighted the message of "every pet, every time," referring to the idea that every pet receive a nutritional assessment every time it comes to the clinic. The Alliance recommends asking clients what their healthcare goals are for their pet, and working with clients to communicate the importance of good nutrition.

March 20, 2012

State of Industry reveals glimmers of hope, opportunity

Though the veterinary industry is seeing glimmers of economic hope, there is still plenty of opportunity for improvement, according to the American Animal Hospital Association’s (AAHA) State of the Industry Report. The third annual report, presented at the opening session of the 2012 AAHA Yealy Conference in Denver, Colo., reviewed data from recent years and identified industry trends. The data reflected total patient and revenue trends for the veterinary channel, and looked at U.S. economic trends and their correlation with the veterinary industry. The data covered over 4,500 practices, 13 million active pet owners and 20 million pets. Hiring by private businesses may be on the rise, as reported by Trends Today in March. Recent data showed that January increased by 173,000 jobs, while February increased by 216,000, beating the projection of 208.000. "Private businesses tend to be hiring more, so things might be looking a little bit better," said Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, executive director of AAHA. Things are also looking up on the consumer side. "Monthly real discretionary retail sales dollars trends have been improving during 2010 and are positive during every month during 2011," Cavanaugh revealed.

March 13, 2012

Pfizer may spin off animal health

Pfizer CEO Ian Read is considering spinning off the Pfizer Animal Health unit rather than selling it, according to a news report from Reuters.

February 14, 2012

Dog bite raises discussion on canine behavior

A Feb. 8 incident that left a Colorado morning news anchor hospitalized and sent a Mastiff to animal control is raising discussion about canine aggression and how to interpret dog behavior. The Argentine Mastiff bit Kyle Dyer, a morning news anchor, on the face as she was doing a story about the dog’s rescue from an icy pond by a firefighter the day before. Dyer was taken to the hospital and the dog impounded at the Denver Animal Shelter. The owner was cited for failure to have his dog on a leash when the dog fell into the pond, and for failure to have a vaccinated dog. Dyer was bitten as she bent her face down to nuzzle the dog’s head. Debra Horwitz, DVM, animal behavior specialist and former president of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, presented her insights on canine aggression in "Understanding Canine Aggression" at the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC) in Orlando, Fla., in January. Aggressive behavior such as biting or growling, Horwitz said, is a normal part of a dog’s repertoire, and is used as a tool to change a circumstance. "Most aggression is motivated by fear and anxiety, not dominance," Horwitz explained.

February 14, 2012

Cornell CVM to undergo $22 million expansion

The Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine will undergo a $22 million expansion in summer 2013 to better accommodate an increase in graduating students by 2016 or 2017.

February 07, 2012

Novartis ships limited Animal Health products

Animal Health products that were already manufactured prior to a December Novartis facility shutdown will be distributed to veterinarians throughout the United States and Canada, Novartis recently announced. The company is not yet back to full production, but announced Feb. 2, 2012 that it would resume shipments of previously-manufactured veterinary products ready for distribution from its Lincoln, Neb. facility. Novartis said in a news release that the decision to resume distribution of the already-manufactured products was reached following consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Rick Lloyd, General Manager of Novartis Animal Health in North America, said that the products stored in company warehouses when product sales stopped in December due to the facility shutdown have resumed shipping to veterinarians in the United States and Canada.

February 07, 2012

"Fat pet" gap continues to grow

New study declares big pets are getting bigger, revealing that over half of the dogs and cats in the United States are overweight.

January 31, 2012

Clomicalm mixup warning from Novartis

Novartis is warning customers that broken or incorrect tablets may be found in bottles of Clomicalm as a result of packaging issues at a Novartis manufacturing facility in Lincoln, Neb. Clomicalm is a drug designed to alleviate canine separation anxiety. Though Novartis says it has not received any reports where a patient discovered a product mix-up, it sent a letter to doctors Jan. 25, 2012 recommending that proper precautions be taken to avoid dispensing mis-packaged drugs. Novartis is encouraging doctors to open each bottle of Clomicalm and look for tablets that are broken or incorrect in color, shape or size before dispensing any medications. "Inform your clients who have already received Clomicalm to examine tablets and refrain from administering any that are questionable in color, shape or size; and to contact Novartis Animal Health to discuss product return of affected bottles," Novartis wrote to doctors. Novartis also gave veterinarians a Dear Valued customer letter to distribute throughout clinics and to affected pet owners, recommending that clinics include the notice in any newsletters they send out. "Keep records of communication with pet owners in patient files," Novartis advised doctors. The drug maker requested that doctors complete and return a Response Card to show that they had read and understood the recommendations from Novartis, and that doctors had discussed them with their clients.

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