TUESDAY • July 12, 2022
Dear Veterinary Student, While understanding that the clinical and scientific education you are receiving now is your primary focus, this weekly publication is designed to supplement your education by providing information that helps you learn about the business of veterinary medicine, the emerging technologies that will shape the future of veterinary practice, the ever-changing regulatory environment and more. It features commentary from Terry Sheehan, an industry consultant with a keen eye for trends affecting the animal health industry. We hope this newsletter helps you prepare for your career in veterinary medicine. The Veterinary Student Insider is delivered at no charge, and we encourage you to share it with your peers! To subscribe, click here.

How support staff can help practices improve efficiency

Support staff can play an important role helping veterinary hospitals maximize efficiency and revenue, Casey Lorge writes this week.

Technicians at Pitman Animal Hospital, where Casey is participating in the by Suveto Summer Hospital Immersion Program (SHIP), perform many critical tasks. But, Casey writes, there's room for them to do more.

Pitman's support staff can play a bigger part in client interaction, analyzing patient samples and performing certain hospital tasks, Casey says: "By identifying all of the areas where technicians could be utilized instead of doctors, this will increase profit of the hospital as well as job satisfaction for all members of the team."

> Read more of this article here.

Also: Congratulations to Taylor Irish, who won last week's SHIP trivia contest. Taylor, a member of Texas A&M's class of 2025, correctly answered that the startup SpotItEarly is using dogs' keen sense of smell to detect cancer.


Large dogs have a higher risk of getting cancer than smaller dogs, Nationwide finds
Large dogs, whether they’re mixed-breed or purebred, have a higher risk of getting cancer than smaller dogs, according to a new white paper from Nationwide. It’s the latest in the pet insurer’s series on canine cancer, part of a larger research series based on analysis of claims from 1.6 million dogs. The pattern—smaller dogs have the lowest cancer risk, medium-sized have a higher risk, and large dogs have the highest—was found across cancer types, including bone and lymphatic cancers. The trend holds when age is factored in. This week’s Fountain Report will feature an interview with Dr. Jules Benson, Nationwide’s chief veterinary officer, on the new white paper and the company’s plans to use this data to create educational tools that promote early disease detection.

Commentary from Terry Sheehan: Another example of the potential future value of data-mining from emerging data sources. Insurance companies’ files and new genomic databases have been well-discussed in recent Fountain Reports.

> Read more of this article here.

FDA releases guidance on safe production of animal food
The FDA announced the release of finalized guidance to help animal food production facilities develop a food safety plan to prevent or significantly minimize hazards that could cause illness or injury to people or animals. The document provides guidance on how to recognize potentially hazardous agents in processing and other animal food operations; ways to identify and implement preventive controls for hazards; components of preventive control management and verification; and recordkeeping requirements associated with the food safety plan and its implementation. The new guidance was finalized after receiving stakeholder comments on a draft released in 2018.

TS: This guidance was multiple years in development and was finally released last week. By following the link, it can be read online or downloaded.

> Read more of this article here.

New document offers guidance to help veterinarians prevent antimicrobial resistance
The American Animal Hospital Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners published joint Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines for veterinarians. According to the announcement, the guidelines “present evidence-guided strategies that veterinarians and their teams can use in choosing appropriate antimicrobial therapy to best serve their patients and minimize the development of antimicrobial resistance.” The document recommends veterinarians practice effective preventive medicine and keep vaccinations updated; use alternatives to oral antibiotics such as bathing, sprays or ointments; and consider “watchful waiting” to observe whether a condition truly needs antibiotics or if patients can clear it on their own.

TS: AAHA recommendations on antibiotics are available at the link and can be downloaded.

> Read more of this article here.

Bond Vet launches lecture series for veterinary nurses and assistants
The veterinary clinic chain Bond Vet is launching TechTalks, a mentorship and educational program for veterinary nurses and assistants.

The lecture series will feature licensed and often specialized technicians with extensive experience, according to the announcement.

“TechTalks was launched to provide our support team with a fun and collaborative environment to build relationships and empower themselves with continuing education knowledge,” said Kara Shaffer, a licensed veterinary technician and operations senior associate at Bond Vet.

> Read more of this article here.

Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine receives accreditation renewal, with improvements planned
The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine’s accreditation status has been renewed by the AVMA’s Council on Education following a review in October. The council in the review noted that certain facilities will require improvements to maintain and advance the program’s quality. Going forward, the college must provide specific reporting on progress of the design, funding and construction of the proposed expansion of its small animal veterinary teaching hospital; progress of construction of the indoor arena at the equine medical center; and progress of the laboratory renovation and other upgrades in the isolation facility at the equine medical center. The AVMA requires accredited veterinary colleges to undergo review every seven years.

> Read more of this article here.

Social values play a big role in whether people will eat gene-edited food, study shows
Whether or not a person is willing to eat gene-edited foods depends largely on their social values, according to new research from Iowa State University. “Food industry experts tend to have the mindset that people make decisions about food based on the cost, appearance, taste and nutritional content. But our study shows that when you have a new technology that people are not familiar with, other factors play a much bigger role, especially people’s social and ethical values, and whether they trust government and industry to protect them,” said Iowa State professor David Peters. According to the research, people who are more willing to eat raw or processed gene-edited foods generally view science and technology as a primary means to solve society’s problems. They place a high level of trust in government food regulators and the agriculture biotechnology industry, and they also tend to be relatively young.

> Read more of this article here.


Smithfield Foods agrees to pay $42 million to settle pork price-fixing lawsuit
Smithfield Foods has agreed to pay restaurants and caterers $42 million to settle a lawsuit accusing the meat producer of conspiring to inflate pork prices. This will likely add to concerns about how lack of competition in the industry affects meat prices, CBS News reports. Restaurant companies had sued Smithfield and other meat processors that together control more than 70% of pork production, accusing them of coordinating to limit the supply of hogs and inflate prices between 2009 and this year. The new settlement is awaiting approval by a federal judge. The lawsuit remains pending against other major pork producers including Hormel, Tyson Foods, Seaboard Foods and Triumph Foods, as well as the Agri Stats database company they allegedly used to share confidential information about price, capacity and demand.

> Read more of this article here.


New canine sedative from Dechra minimizes cardiovascular side effects, company says
Dechra has introduced Zenalpha (medetomidine and vatinoxan hydrochlorides injection) for use as a sedative and analgesic in dogs to facilitate clinical exams, clinical procedures and minor surgical procedures. “Current canine sedatives carry some concern for cardiac function while the patient is sedated. Zenalpha’s innovative combination of medetomidine and vatinoxan addresses one of those key concerns about patient safety during sedation by minimizing cardiovascular side effects,” said Dr. Nancy Zimmerman, group business development director at Dechra.

> Read more of this article here.

Terry Sheehan is currently the CEO of Aniconsilia, LLC an animal health industry only consulting firm he founded in 2009. Prior to the founding of Aniconsilia, Terry had a 30+ year career in the animal health industry with a strong record of achievement in sales, marketing, and commercial operations. Terry held positions of increasing responsibility and leadership in all segments of Animal Health Sales, Marketing, Business Development and Commercial Operations.
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