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Feburary 20th, 2018


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  • USDA raises forecast for red meat and poultry production
  • Lead Edge Capital invests in GlobalVetLINK
  • Syngenta acquires innovator of satellite imagery
  • USCA wants clarity on definition of beef
  • Missouri Dairy farmers report improved milk production for cows housed in compost bedded pack barns

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  • Pentobarbital in canned dog food prompts action
  • Researchers see link in high incidence of injury in equine practice with lack of learning principles
  • VetPartners membership now at 270
  • Chewy to hire additional 400 workers for customer-service center
  • Mars Petcare partners with MediSapiens
  • Study: Overall symptoms of PTSD are lower among war veterans with service dogs
  • VIP Petcare launches campaign to raise awareness of heartworm testing
  • APPA celebrates 60th anniversary
  • White paper, online tool designed to give practices insight into communication gaps
  • Ohio entrepreneur discusses founding pet ambulance service
  • SAFE Medical Giveaways at Western Veterinary Conference

Read Full Companion Stories


  • Merck launches REVALOR®-XH

Read Full Product Stories


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Vet-Advantage Industry Calendar: February 2018  

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Featured Resource Update - Bovie Animal Health

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Quote of the Week

“You have to be able to accept failure to get better.” – Lebron James

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USDA raises forecast for red meat and poultry production
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), in the latest “World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates” (WASDE) report, once again raised the 2018 forecast for total red meat and poultry production, but only slightly. Broiler production numbers were increased, more than offsetting lower beef, pork and turkey production, USDA said. The beef production forecast was reduced from the previous month's WASDE figure, as expectations for lower second-half beef production more than offset higher first-half beef production. USDA said the NASS “Cattle” report, released Jan. 31, estimated that the U.S. cattle inventory continued to increase for the fourth consecutive year, but the report also indicated that fewer cattle were being held outside feedlots. The number of cattle placed on feed in the first part of 2018 is expected to be lower, resulting in fewer marketings and smaller beef production in the second half of the year.

Lead Edge Capital invests in GlobalVetLINK
GlobalVetLINK (GVL®) announced a significant investment led by Lead Edge Capital. The GVL platform connects animal health stakeholders to simplify regulatory compliance by offering real-time, web-based solutions to improve animal wellness and safety. According to a release, in the past 24 months, GlobalVetLINK has experienced unprecedented growth and is on a continued upswing – due to a pressing need for technology-based solutions for regulatory compliance within the animal health industry, and GlobalVetLINK’s dedicated investment to its infrastructure and SaaS platform. This growing demand for technology-based solutions in agriculture and animal health markets makes GVL optimally poised for continued growth.  

Syngenta acquires innovator of satellite imagery
Syngenta announced it has acquired FarmShots, Inc., a North Carolina-based innovator of high-resolution satellite imagery that detects plant health by analyzing absorbed light from field images, according to an AgriMarketing report. This service was developed to help farmers, agronomists and retailers quickly and accurately spot field issues caused by planter skips, emergence, insect feeding, poor plant nutrition, crop diseases, weeds, other pests and environmental damage. With this capability, FarmShots enables growers and their trusted advisers to reduce field scouting by as much as 90 percent and helps them focus on areas of need.

USCA wants clarity on definition of beef
According to a news release in Hoosier Ag Today, the United States Cattlemen’s Association wants the Department of Agriculture to clarify the definition of beef. USCA submitted a petition to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service asking the agency for rulemaking on beef labeling to clarify for consumers what is beef derived from cattle and “beef” products created in a laboratory. USCA Presider Kenny Graner says: “U.S. cattle producers take pride in developing the highest quality, and safest, beef in the world, and labels must clearly distinguish that difference.”

Missouri Dairy farmers report improved milk production for cows housed in compost bedded pack barns
According to a Dairy Herd Management report, southwestern Missouri dairy farmers find that cows housed in compost bedded pack barns are healthy, happy and produce more milk, says University of Missouri Extension dairy specialist Ted Probert. Bedded pack barns are structures used to house livestock by continually adding new bedding to the living area. Large, open-air bedded barns provide comfortable resting and walking areas instead of individual stalls and concrete alleyways typically used in freestall operations. With a compost bedded pack barn, Mountain Grove dairy producer David Gray says he has seen improved milk production of 15-18 pounds daily per cow since building his 60-by-140-foot pack barn in 2014. His entire 78-cow Holstein herd has access to the barn. Read more at:

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Pentobarbital in canned dog food prompts action
According to CNN, a drug used to euthanize animals has been found in canned dog food, prompting the manufacturer to voluntarily withdraw some products. Low levels of pentobarbital were detected in cans of Gravy Train dog food produced by the J.M. Smucker Co., the FDA reported Feb. 16. Pentobarbital is most commonly used as a sedative, anesthetic or to euthanize animals. "Pets that eat pet food containing pentobarbital can experience drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, nystagmus (eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner) and inability to stand. Consuming high levels of pentobarbital can cause coma and death," the FDA said. A preliminary evaluation of Gravy Train samples indicated that the low levels found were unlikely to pose a health risk to pets. "However, any detection of pentobarbital in pet food is a violation of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Simply put, pentobarbital should not be in pet food," the agency said. Also affected were selected varieties of Kibbles ‘N Bits, Ol’ Roy Strips and Skippy Premium chunks and strips.

Researchers see link in high incidence of injury in equine practice with lack of learning principles
According to, in recent years, researchers have identified a possible link between veterinarians’ limited understanding of learning principles and the high incidence of injury in equine practice. So, to help practitioners reduce fear and problem behaviors and promote positive veterinary care, Robin Foster, PhD, CAAB, CHBC, described behavior modification techniques based on principles of equine learning at the 2017 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention. The benefits of incorporating learning principles into equine practice are many: It can lower veterinary costs (e.g., less sedation, fewer visits to get the job done), promote positive care, eliminate problem behaviors, improve equine welfare, and reduce risk of human injury. And it all starts with addressing the source of procedural aversions: fear. “Fear and anxiety are the root cause of behavior problems with veterinary care, including not standing still for examination; barging or pushing; refusing to enter the exam room, stocks, or trailer; bolting or pulling away when led; being head-shy; and biting, kicking, striking, and rearing,” said Foster. Read more at:

VetPartners membership now at 270
According to a Today’s Veterinary Business report, VetPartners has grown by 22 members, to a total of 270 veterinary business specialists, the nonprofit organization reported Feb. 14. The inductions took place at VetPartners’ annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. “We’re proud that VetPartners continues to attract talented industry professionals,” said President Jeff Thoren, DVM, PCC, BCC. “It speaks to the power of our collaborative community and the passion our members have to work together for the good of the veterinary profession.” Also serving on VetPartners’ newly appointed board are: Nancy Dewitz (vice president); Camala Bailey, CPA, CVA (treasurer); Gina Fortunato (secretary); Bruce Truman, MBA (immediate past president); Debbie Boone, CVPM; Bill Schroeder; and Pamela Stevenson, CVPM (directors).

Chewy to hire additional 400 workers for customer-service center
According to GlobalPETS, online pet retailer Chewy already has hired 1,000 workers for its new 24-hour, 7-day-a-week, customer-service center in Hollywood, Florida — and it plans to hire another 400 within the next six months. Chewy, which was acquired by PetSmart in May 2016 for about $3.35 billion, is now one of the largest private employers in Hollywood, alongside the Diplomat Resort & Spa and FirstService Residential property management company. The e-commerce company’s decision to open its customer service center in Hollywood was a boost to city’s economy, said Hollywood Mayor Josh Lev.

Mars Petcare partners with MediSapiens
Mars Petcare has partnered with MediSapiens, a leading developer and provider of genomic, biomedical and health data solutions, to foster new developments in precision healthcare for companion animals, according to a release. The partnership follows Mars Petcare's acquisition of Genoscoper Laboratories, a long time partner of MediSapiens. MediSapiens has for several years developed and maintained a comprehensive and integrated sample management, bioinformatics data analysis and result reporting system for MyDogDNA, the world's leading dog genetic testing service that provides pet owners, breeders and veterinarians with valuable information on genetic traits and diseases. These developments, aimed at accelerating discovery of genetic health markers and promoting better health for companion animals, will be continued under the new partnership. "Our dedication is on human and animal health, and this partnership is a major step forward for us", stated Marko Kuisma, the Chief Commercial Officer of MediSapiens. "We see tremendous opportunities in bringing the latest technologies for precision healthcare and discovery to Mars Petcare. Their dedication to targeted, preventative and individualized care is admirable, as well as their reach within the animal health community."

Study: Overall symptoms of PTSD are lower among war veterans with service dogs
A preliminary study led by researchers in the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine has shown that overall symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are lower among war veterans with service dogs. The pilot study was co-funded by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and Bayer Animal Health, according to a release. The study was led by Maggie O'Haire, assistant professor of human-animal interaction, with the help of K9s For Warriors, an accredited non-profit organization that provides veterans with service dogs. The pilot research project provides scientific evidence of mental health benefits experienced by veterans with PTSD who have service dogs. "We found that the group of veterans with service dogs had significantly lower levels of PTSD symptomology than those who did not have a service dog," O'Haire says. "They also had lower levels of depression, lower anxiety and increased social participation, meaning a willingness to leave their house and go engage with society in different activities." The study is published in the February issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

VIP Petcare launches campaign to raise awareness of heartworm testing
According to a Pet Business report, VIP Petcare launched a campaign to emphasize the importance of heartworm testing during the months of February and March, which is the peak heartworm season. This campaign is designed to increase awareness of heartworm and tick-borne diseases in the United States. It aims to educate pet owners about the threat of infection, and provide tools and tips to keep pets safe all year round. VIP Petcare offers a Heartworm/Lyme Combo test that is a blood screening for heartworm disease, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. For the small percentage of pets that test positive for these diseases, VIP Petcare gives recommendations for proper treatment and future prevention in order to increase the pets’ chances for recovery and a longer, healthier life.

APPA celebrates 60th anniversary
According to a Pet Business article, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) president and CEO Bob Vetere proudly announced that 2018 marks the 60th anniversary for the Association. APPA, along with the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), which will be celebrating 50 years in the industry, will host the 14th annual Global Pet Expo, which takes place March 21-23, 2018 in Orlando, Fla. The Associations will officially commemorate these major milestones at Global Pet Expo.

White paper, online tool designed to give practices insight into communication gaps
According to an AAHA NEWStat article, a white paper titled “The Opportunity,” offers an exclusive, online, easy-to-use survey tool, also called The Opportunity, that is designed to give practices a customized insight into the communication gaps between clients and their healthcare team regarding preventive healthcare. The paper includes comprehensive data analysis and encourages practices to look in the mirror and sign up for the survey to identify their practices' communication gaps. Then, practices are encouraged to develop a team member into their “practice champion” using the Champion’s Workbook (offered by Veterinary Hospital Managers Association and National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America) to have their practice utilize the gap-closing Partners for Healthy Pets (PHP) tools available on the PHP website.

Ohio entrepreneur discusses founding pet ambulance service
A recent article profiled an Ohio pet ambulance service. When Squad FiftyOne founder Yalanda Medina launched Squad FiftyOne pet ambulance in April 2016 (she named it after a reference in her favorite childhood TV show Emergency!), it was the first pet triage and transport service in Ohio. She grew her business by word of mouth and now has three vehicles and five employees to respond to about 35 calls a week, mostly non-emergency, in Cuyahoga and surrounding counties. She helps people hoist 150-pound dogs that can't walk and catch anxious cats that don't want to go to the vet. She transports pets to critical care facilities and routine veterinary appointments, including patients undergoing chemo, who have arthritis, or need physical therapy. She also picks up pets that have died, often to DeJohn Pet Center in Willoughby Hills. "People call us for all kinds of things," she said. Read more at:

SAFE Medical Giveaways at Western Veterinary Conference
See SAFE Medical at Booth #4621 to receive a free Exam Otoscope with a qualifying purchase plus daily drawings for Starbucks gift cards and bottles of our new revenue producing dog shampoo. SAFE Medical offers the best veterinary exam and surgical LED lights from Burton, Waldmann and Heine – and top brand otoscopes, stethoscopes, scales, loupes, headlights and office/surgical exam furniture.

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products to watch

Merck launches REVALOR®-XH
Merck Animal Health announced the expansion of its portfolio of cattle implants with the introduction of REVALOR®-XH (trenbolone acetate and estradiol). REVALOR-XH features the same active ingredients as REVALOR-XS – the leading cattle industry implant – but is formulated specifically for use in feedyard heifers, according to a report in Bovine Veterinarian. Performance-based implants, such as REVALOR-XH, provide marketing flexibility, while maintaining excellent feedyard performance and improving margin. Additionally, REVALOR-XH and REVALOR-XS help producers who may struggle with re-implanting challenges, such as weather events that delay re-implanting or result in increased maintenance costs and stressor exposure.


Pat Malone’s sales tip of the week

Rights "The nut cases also have rights. That's what makes this country so great and so incredibly confusing."

Patrick Malone is a Business Advisor and Leadership Mentor and can be reached at 706 835 1308 or


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