Companion News for April 16

BI nationwide challenge to protect more dogs from heartworm disease

The prevalence of heartworm disease has been spreading across the United States for almost 20 years. Boehringer Ingelheim is encouraging the entire veterinary community to break this trend by 2020. Watch this Spark! spotlight story to learn how—and why—you should get involved.

Royal Canin launches podcast for veterinarians

Royal Canin announced the launch of a new podcast series, “Vet Talk with Royal Canin,” to address a wide variety of topics of interest for veterinarians and veterinary clinics. The podcast features discussions with some of the industry’s top veterinarians and aims to create a dialogue to help veterinarians address the issues they face every day. Vet Talk with Royal Canin provides discussions, including tips, about the most common challenges veterinarians face. Vet Talk with Royal Canin is available at and on iTunesGoogle PlaySpotify, and Stitcher.

Survey: Pet owners trending toward smaller dogs

The United Veterinary Services Association (UVSA) has released results of the first of three surveys from Packaged Facts on consumer expectations related to the purchase of veterinary services and products. According to the results, there is a trend toward smaller rather than larger dogs. Among survey respondents who had recently acquired a new dog, a third (32%) adopted small dogs of 8‐24 lbs. Medium‐ and large‐sized dogs (based on adult dog size) each accounted for about a fourth of new pet dogs, with toy‐ or giant‐sized dogs at the extremes accounting for single‐digit shares. These surveys are being supported by sponsorship from UVSA members MWI Animal Health, Covetrus, Boehringer Ingelheim, Vet‐Advantage Magazine‐NAVC and Animalytix. For more information, go to

U.S. sales of fresh pet food are soaring

According to the Associated Press, U.S. pet owners are increasingly feeding fresh food to their dogs and cats. Some order pre-proportioned meals of meat and vegetables or frozen raw meat online. Others find them in refrigerators at big retailers like Walmart. Proponents say fresh foods preserve nutrients better than canned or dried ones, mimic ancestral diets and improve pets’ health. But some veterinarians question the trend. Read more.

Vet diagnostic lab receives Antimicrobial Stewardship Award

According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, the New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory was recently recognized by the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services and is receiving the New Hampshire Antimicrobial Stewardship Award for efforts to reduce antibiotic resistance by rapidly identifying infections in animals and performing other diagnostic tests. As part of the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station at UNH, the lab in 2017 sharply reduced the time it takes to identify infections after acquiring Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight (MALDI-TOF) instrumentation, a sophisticated type of mass spectrometry.

Veterinary association formed so that “independent ownership of practices remains a viable and rewarding option”

JAVMA News recently reported on a veterinary association created to counter corporate influence. The Independent Veterinary Practitioners Association was created with a mission of providing programs and services that promote the independent ownership of veterinary practices, promote the business success of veterinarian members, and preserve the professional independence of veterinarians, according to IVPA founder Dr. Don Woodman. “Our vision is a world in which independent veterinary practitioners can acquire, own, and manage veterinary hospitals so that independent ownership of practices remains a viable and rewarding option, and where veterinarians remain at the center of leadership throughout the veterinary profession,” explained Dr. Woodman, owner of a small animal practice in Safety Harbor, Florida. Established in the spring of 2017, the IVPA is in the process of incorporating as a 501(c)(6) organization. The current membership consists of nearly 180 veterinarians plus 20 paraprofessionals and four veterinary students. Association leadership is negotiating with potential partners to provide members with management services and employee benefits, negotiate cost savings on supplies, and develop exclusive e-commerce solutions to compete with online pharmacies, according to Dr. Woodman. Read more.

Wisdom Health to launch 2020 pet census

Aligning with the upcoming 2020 United States Census, pet genetics company Wisdom Health announced its own 2020 United States Pet Census. This parallel population survey seeks to provide insights into the lives of the nation’s cats and dogs, asking owners about a variety of factors, including their pets’ size, breed, activity levels and overall lifestyle to better understand the lives of American pets. The 2020 census is a follow-up to the National Mutt Census that Wisdom, formerly Mars Veterinary, conducted in 2010.