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November 21st, 2017


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  • Fear Free and Ceva Animal Health launch veterinary practice certification in April 2018
  • Submissions open for the 2018 VETTY Awards
  • New study focuses on dog bite prevention
  • Survey examines Millenials’ love of pets
  • Focused Ultrasound Foundation launches Veterinary Program
  • Petco acquires subscription service company
  • Petplan renews agreement with AARP
  • Nearly 27,000 shelter pets find homes during PetSmart Charities’ November National Adoption Weekend

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  • Ag analyst: U.S. cow herd still growing
  • Amazon, Whole Foods lower meat prices
  • USDA gives conditional approval for first DNA bird flu vaccine
  • CDC links Salmonella to dairy cattle from Wisconsin
  • Merck Animal Health announces increase in funding for Veterinary Student Scholarship Program

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Quote of the Week

"One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak." – G.K. Chesterton

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Fear Free and Ceva Animal Health launch veterinary practice certification in April 2018
Thanks to a partnership with Ceva Animal Health, Fear FreeSM practice certification will be offered to qualifying veterinary hospitals starting in April 2018, according to a release. Launched in 2016, more than 20,000 professionals have enrolled in the Fear Free training and certification program so far, and interest in practice certification has been equally high. “Fear Free is excited to leverage Ceva’s existing talent of highly-qualified, educated, and passionate veterinarians for practice certification,” said Dr. Marty Becker, founder and CEO of Fear Free. “This collaboration will allow Fear Free to offer a larger number of certification visits, with a highly trained team, at affordable rates to hospitals.” Veterinary professionals can visit to sign up and begin Fear Free Certification.

Submissions open for the 2018 VETTY Awards
The NAVC announced that the 2018 VETTY Awards, the only marketing competition dedicated to celebrating North America’s animal health advertising, promotion and education efforts, is now accepting submissions at The NAVC introduced “The VETTYs” in 2016 to honor the year’s most creative marketing for products and services sold to or through veterinary practices. According to NAVC CEO Thomas M. Bohn, MBA, CAE, The VETTYs are a reflection of the growing sophistication and success of animal health marketing. “Animal health marketing is a specialized skill, and one that deserves a spotlight of its very own,” said Bohn. “Each year, Americans spend almost $70 billion on their pets, and much of that comes from products and services provided at veterinary practices.” The 2018 VETTYs will begin accepting early entries through December 15, 2017. All entries must appear between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 and be live campaigns, no specs or proposals will be accepted.

New study focuses on dog bite prevention
More than 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs each year, most commonly children, and many by family pets. How can parents reduce the risk? By teaching kids not to do things that scare the dog, according to a new study on dog bite prevention that was recently highlighted by AAHA NEWStat. In the online survey of 402 German parents, researchers found that, unexpectedly, dog owners were less likely to recognize signs of fear in their dogs during a dog-child interaction than non-dog owners. Researchers say that parents seem to trust their dog not to act aggressively with their child independently of the context of the interaction. Which means that even if they see a whining dog actively trying to avoid the hand of an overly excited two-year-old, parents may not step in. It may seem obvious that kids don’t know better, but even adults have problems interpreting their dog’s body language. Read more at:

Survey examines Millenials’ love of pets
According to a Trupanion Inc., survey highlighted by Today’s Veterinary Business, Millennials love their “fur babies” so much that 43 percent use the term for their pet and two-thirds occasionally make home-prepared meals for the animal. The survey of 1,250 U.S. and Canadian pet owners also found that 12 percent of Millennials have chosen their four-legged companion over a romantic partner. “The aim of this study was to take a comprehensive look at how pet owners express their relationship with their cats and dogs,” said Margi Tooth, chief marketing officer at Trupanion, a Seattle pet health insurer. “Our research shows that pet owners today are placing an extra emphasis on the comfort, health and well-being of their cats and dogs. Among other findings in Trupanion’s TruPoll: 40 percent of millennials moved into a new home or apartment because of a more pet-friendly environment; 57 percent of household “fur babies” are allowed on the owner’s pet; 13 percent of millennials deliver a home-cooked meal for their pet every day. The survey whitepaper is available at

Focused Ultrasound Foundation launches Veterinary Program
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation has launched a veterinary program to study focused ultrasound therapies for the treatment of animals, according to a release. The initiative enables veterinary researchers to test state-of-the-art therapies in their patients, while collecting data necessary to accelerate the adoption of the technology for human applications. “Veterinary medicine can lag behind human medicine, leaving veterinarians frustrated with the lack of options for their patients,” says Foundation Veterinary Program Director Kelsie Timbie, PhD. “Our goal with this program is to create a win-win scenario for all involved. Veterinarians will have new, innovative therapies to offer clients, and insights gained in dogs and cats will help inform clinical trial design in humans.” The goal of this research program is to offer a variety of benefits over traditional therapies in animals, including faster recovery times, a reduced risk of infection, and no aggravating stitches to chew. Focused ultrasound is an effective way to treat inaccessible areas, as well as incompletely treated or recurrent tumors. Tumors can be treated in a single session, whereas radiation treatments require multiple visits and substantial time away from home.

Petco acquires subscription service company
According to Pet Product News, Petco has acquired PupBox, a puppy- and life stage-focused subscription service company that delivers customized products and training information to new puppy and dog owners based on their pet's current stage of development and physical characteristics. Alongside the acquisition, and just in time for the season of gifting, Petco and PupBox have launched the first PupBox Holiday Box, a festive bundle of toys, treats and holiday training tips.

Petplan renews agreement with AARP
Petplan pet insurance announced a new three-year extension to its relationship with AARP as a pet insurance provider, helping thousands of Americans save money on pet health care. Under the agreement, AARP members will receive exclusive special offers, discounted rates and other benefits. The most significant perk AARP members receive via the relationship is up to a 10% online discount on their monthly premiums. Other benefits include: complete coverage for new illnesses and unexpected injuries; freedom to use any veterinarian in North America; a dedicated 24/7 customer service team. For more information, visit

Nearly 27,000 shelter pets find homes during PetSmart Charities’ November National Adoption Weekend
According to a Pet Age report, nearly 27,000 shelter pets found their forever homes at PetSmart Charities’ November National Adoption Weekend, held at PetSmart stores across North America November 10-12 – making it the most successful November National Adoption Weekend since PetSmart began its in-store adoption program in 1994 and its second-best to date. While often referred to as National Adoption “Weekend,” the adoption efforts spanned the entire week of November 6-12, with the vast majority of pets (approximately 90 percent) being adopted Friday through Sunday. A grand total of 26,823 lives were saved – representing a 17 percent increase over the previous November event.

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Ag analyst: U.S. cow herd still growing
An analyst with Rabo AgriFinance says the U.S. cattle herd is still expanding, according to Brownfield Ag News. Don Close says up to 1 million cows could be added to the U.S. cattle herd over the next two years. “With cow numbers peaking in 2018-2019, we don’t think we’ll see the peak in U.S. beef production numbers until 2020-2021 as the offspring of those cows work their way through the system,” he says. He tells Brownfield although the industry has been expanding slowly, U.S. cattle numbers should stay above 30 million head, which he says is encouraging news for the industry. “That will enable us to hold a production level that will support all the infrastructure of the feed yard structure and our packing structure to hold the U.S. industry together,” he says. 

Amazon, Whole Foods lower meat prices
According to MEAT+POULTRY, Amazon announced additional price reductions on groceries and holiday staples at Whole Foods Market stores. Select organic and no antibiotic turkeys will be sold at reduced prices of $3.49 per lb. and $2.49 per lb., respectively. Amazon Prime members will save even more on organic turkeys sold at $2.99 per lb. and no antibiotics turkeys for $1.99 per lb. Whole Foods Market will offer lower prices on Value Pack boneless skinless chicken breasts, organic and no antibiotic. Customers also will find reduced prices on natural and organic products including organic chicken and vegetable broths from Pacific Foods, organic eggs and milk from Organic Valley, Applegate Hot Dogs and Fage brand yogurt. “These are the latest new lower prices in our ongoing integration and innovation with Amazon, and we’re just getting started,” John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.

USDA gives conditional approval for first DNA bird flu vaccine
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, two companies developed a DNA bird flu vaccine for chickens that recently became the first such vaccine licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Benchmark Biolabs, an AgriLabs subsidiary, and Nature Technology Corporation announced recently that the vaccine had received conditional approval from the USDA. It is the first DNA vaccine approved in the United States for influenza for veterinary use, and among the first DNA vaccines approved here for food animals.

CDC links Salmonella to dairy cattle from Wisconsin
According to Drover’s CattleNetwork, an outbreak of a multi-drug resistant Heidelberg strain of Salmonella has affected 54 people in 15 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The ongoing outbreak has progressed for some time, with associated illnesses dating back to January 2015. Since the last update on August 2, 2017, the CDC has reported eight new cases in humans in six states. Eighteen of the human cases in this outbreak, or 33%, are children under the age of five years. The outbreak appears to have originated with dairy calves from Wisconsin. Of 54 patients CDC investigators have interviewed, 63% reported contact with dairy calves or cattle. Ongoing surveillance in veterinary diagnostic laboratories meanwhile, has found calves in several states with sickness associated with the outbreak strains of multidrug resistant Salmonella Heidelberg. ‎Animal-health officials currently are working to trace the origin of calves associated with the most recent human cases.

Merck Animal Health announces increase in funding for Veterinary Student Scholarship Program
Merck Animal Health (MAH) has announced an increase of $115,000 in funding for its Veterinary Student Scholarship Program, according an AVMA report. The program will provide $300,000 in scholarships to outstanding second- and third-year veterinary students in the 2017-18 academic year. This increased funding will support an additional 22 scholarships for students focusing on companion animals in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. "These students are our future visionaries and will become the leaders of the veterinary profession," said Dr. Norman Stewart, D.V.M., livestock technical services manager for Merck Animal Health. "Through this program, we are reinforcing our long-standing commitment to education, personal development and the science of healthier animals. It also allows us to help support the cost of veterinary education, as well as recognize and celebrate the next generation of leaders." Visit the AVMF website, for application forms and more information.

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Merck Animal Health announces appointments 
Merck Animal Health announced Kathleen Heaney, D.V.M., has been named Executive Director of Technical Services the company’s recently formed U.S. Companion Animal and Equine Team. In her new role, Dr. Heaney will oversee the team’s technical services and pharmacovigilance groups. She initially joined the company in 2010 and most recently served as Director of Companion Animal Technical Services. With more than 20 years of experience in antiparasitic, anesthetic and bone biology research and development, Dr. Heaney has contributed to the launch of several notable animal health products, including SCALIBOR® (deltamethrin), ACTIVYL® (indoxacarb) and Bravecto® (fluralaner). She first worked in general veterinary practice for seven years before joining American Cyanamid Company and later Fort Dodge Animal Health, which was the beginning of her career in animal health pharmaceutical research and development.
Merck also announced that Rick Sibbel, D.V.M., has been named Executive Director of Technical Services for the company’s recently formed U.S. Food Animal Team. In his new role, Dr. Sibbel oversees the technical services and pharmacovigilance groups for the company’s ruminants, swine and poultry businesses. With more than 35 years of experience in veterinary medicine, Dr. Sibbel has helped bring more than 20 vaccines the livestock and poultry markets. He played leading roles in the development and launch of the first genetically engineered pseudo rabies vaccine, the first influenza vaccine for swine and the first viral-vectored vaccine for poultry. He held previous roles at the company including Director of U.S. Beef Cattle Technical Services and Global Ruminant Technical Services Group Director.

Phibro Animal Health announces Gerald Carlson retirement, Larry Miller promotion
Phibro Animal Health announced that Gerald Carlson, Chief Operating Officer, will retire after 14 years with Phibro, effective July 1, 2016. Jack Bendheim, Phibro’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer commented, “During his tenure, Jerry played a critical role in Phibro’s business success. He was instrumental to Phibro’s strategic direction and the growth of our business, programs and people. We greatly appreciate his contributions to shaping the organization.” Carlson will continue as a member of the Board of Directors. Effective July 1, 2016, Larry Miller will be promoted to Chief Operating Officer.

Online VFD module designed to help producers and veterinarians
According to a Dairy Herd Management report, striving to provide the most up-to-date information on upcoming changes in regulations related to the Veterinary Feed Directive, the Beef Cattle Institute (BCI) at Kansas State University is offering a new online resource – for free. The BCI partnered with animal health experts Mike Apley of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Brian Lubbers of the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, to create an online informational module that answers frequently asked questions regarding the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Changes to the regulations as a result of the directive are scheduled to take place Jan. 1, 2017. According to Lubbers, K-State has been heavily involved with face-to-face meetings regarding the VFD, but the online modules will give producers and veterinarians an opportunity to gain foundational knowledge on their own time. The free informational modules for beef producers and veterinarians can be found at

World Pork Expo will host pork professionals from around the world
The World Pork Expo offers innovation, networking and education as more than 20,000 pork producers and ag professionals from across the world convene June 8-10 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Presented by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), Expo showcases the world’s largest pork-specific trade show, educational seminars, national youth swine shows, open shows and sales, as well as tasty grilled pork and more. Producers, exhibitors and media from approximately 48 countries are expected to attend the 2016 event. “For anyone interested in pork production, World Pork Expo offers a well-rounded experience. There are seminars where you can hear about the latest research, shop the trade show to see what’s new, and network with fellow pork producers,” says John Weber, NPPC president and pork producer from Dysart, Iowa. “Expo is a great place to re-charge your engine and return home with new ideas.”

Inventory up, prices down for wholesale eggs
Feedstuffs magazine reported and AgriMarketing highlighted that the national shell egg inventory reported May 23 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture was 1.349 million cases, a 1.2% increase from the prior week and 24.9% greater than the five-year average for the period. At 347,600 cases, Urner Barry analyst Brian Moscogiuri said stock inventories advanced just slightly week over week and were up 27.7% in relation to the five-year picture. Total shell egg inventories were 1.697 million cases, up 1% from the prior period and 25.4% more than the five-year average. “Wholesale shell egg prices continued to slide last week, hitting lows (not seen) since 2006,” Moscogiuri noted. “Supplies are available at a number of plants, and sellers are struggling to find an interested party. Retail business has slowed as features shift toward grilling items ahead of Memorial Day. Export buyers have also pulled out of the marketplace. Further processors are taking advantage of current conditions, purchasing eggs once destined for the graded channel at deep discounts.”

Trichomoniasis diagnosed in 13 South Dakota herds
According to a report by the S.D. Animal Industry Board in The Daily Republic, 13 South Dakota beef herds have been diagnosed with the Trichomoniasis foetus (trich) infection since December 2015, including one herd in Gregory County. Trichomoniasis is transmitted between cows and bulls during breeding activity. Once established in the female reproductive tract, trich causes an inflammatory reaction leading to abortion. Cows may eventually clear the infection or may remain carrier animals. There is no treatment for infected bulls. Producers are often unaware of the problem until the disease is well established in a herd. Signs that the disease may be present in a herd include a high number of open cows or the presence of many late-calving cows, which result from the early term abortions and then rebreeding of the cows. Producers are encouraged to consult with their veterinarians for more information regarding the risk of trich in their herd.


Pat Malone’s sales tip of the week

Leadership - "Sometimes if you want to see a change for the better, you must take things into your own hands."

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


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