Companion News for April 30

2019 CAPC forecast: Heartworm will be higher, Lyme will continue to spread

Heartworm incidences will be higher than average, especially in areas of the Southeast United States, and the forecast for Lyme disease is for a continued spread in the Atlantic Coast and Midwest, according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) annual 2019 parasite forecast. CAPC released the 2019 forecast and corresponding 30-day forecast maps to alert pet owners of pending outbreaks. According to CAPC, the risk of acquiring heartworm disease in 2019 is very real due to the expansive nature of the disease. This increase in heartworm prevalence can be attributed to weather and the transportation of companion animals from one area of the country to another. More information can be found at 30-Day Parasite Forecast Maps at

Vetoquinol launches generic carprofen chewable to treat osteoarthritis in dogs

Vetoquinol USA announced the launch of its newest product called Flexprofen™, a generic, beef-flavored chewable tablet that contains carprofen, which is the most widely-used and clinically-proven non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) used in veterinary medicine. The product is high-quality and comparable to the leading brand name carprofen chewables that address symptoms of pain and inflammation typically associated with osteoarthritis, according to a release. Flexprofen™ can also be used to treat dogs with postoperative pain resulting from soft tissue and orthopedic surgeries

Aratana Therapeutics to be acquired by Elanco Animal Health

Aratana Therapeutics announced it has signed an agreement to be acquired by Elanco Animal Health, its global collaboration partner on GALLIPRANT® (grapiprant tablets). In conjunction with the transaction, Elanco also announced the formation of a commercial team dedicated to the veterinary specialty business. Aratana’s field force has demonstrated the ability to technically communicate with veterinarians on pet therapeutics and if the proposed agreement is consummated, the Aratana field force would transition into this commercial team.

Study: Cats allowed to roam freely outdoors more likely to have parasitic infections

An Auburn University study on viruses spread by cats showed that cats allowed to roam freely outdoors are 2.77 times more likely to have parasitic infections than indoor-only cats. The study, “Who let the cats out: A meta-analysis on risk of parasitic infection in indoor versus outdoor domestic cats (Felis Catus),” appeared in the April 17 Biology Letters scientific journal and has been covered by major outlets such as The New York Times. “Cats are an underappreciated reservoir of infectious pathogens, and we saw a useful dichotomy in cat ownership—free-roaming outdoor access vs indoor-only—that we thought is important to quantify,” said Kayleigh Chalkowski, a doctoral student in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, led the study.

Researchers investigate levels of methylmercury in dog food diets

According to AAHA NEWStat, the most common way people and pets in the United States are exposed to mercury is by eating fish containing methylmercury, a highly toxic organic compound formed when mercury combines with carbon. Salmon contains some of the highest levels of methylmercury of any fish species. In a recent study published in Topics in Companion Animal Medicine, researchers at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), investigated levels of methylmercury in a small sampling of 24 commercial dog food diets. Of the 24 diets tested, half contained some kind of salmon product (e.g., salmon, salmon meal, and salmon oil), 12 of the diets were wet and 12 were dry. This study marks the first time methylmercury has been tested in commercial dog diets. Researchers detected low concentrations of total mercury in 3 of the 24 diets, and only one of those contained a detectable level of methylmercury. “The concentrations detected are unlikely to pose a risk to healthy adult dogs,” said lead author Rae Sires, DVM, a nutrition resident at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. “These results should be reassuring to dog owners.”

AAHA names BabelBark vet-to-pet healthcare monitoring provider

BabelBark, Inc., a pet-related application software developer, announced that it has been selected as the exclusive provider to the American Animal Hospital Association’s more than 4,426 accredited hospitals across Canada and the United States for vet-to-pet healthcare monitoring and communication applications and services. “As the only association to accredit animal hospitals, AAHA adheres to an elevated and strict level of standards in selecting partners to recommend and endorse,” the company said in a release. “BabelVet and the BabelBark family of services, is the only digital application and software platform designed to bring everyone in a pet’s life together into one ecosystem, to better manage pet care — from pet parents, pet businesses and shelters to veterinary clinics and trainers. Each caregiver has access to share notes and observations with the pet owner and veterinarian.”

Trupanion and Rayne Clinical Nutrition announce partnership

Trupanion pet insurance and Rayne Clinical Nutrition announced a new partnership. “We’re eager to understand if feeding a high quality diet will have a better health outcome for a pet,” said Darryl Rawlings, Trupanion’s CEO. “We want to ensure that pets’ nutritional requirements are being met for longer healthier lives,” said Rayne CEO John Phelps.

Southern Veterinary Partners now in 12 states

Southern Veterinary Partners announced it has expanded its footprint and moved into two new states with the acquisitions of Glade Valley Animal Hospital in Frederick, Maryland and Lyndon Animal Clinic in Louisville, Kentucky. With these additions, Southern Veterinary Partners (SVP) now has 79 animal hospitals across 12 states from Texas to Maryland.