Weekly companion animal news: June 5, 2023

Social support is key for canine health, study finds

Social support, in the form of other people and other dogs, is important for canine health, researchers at the University of Washington found in a new study. The researchers analyzed data from the Dog Aging Project, a database of 25,000 dogs compiled through a partnership of more than a dozen institutions around the country. Factors of social support, such as living with other dogs, were associated with better canine health when controlling for age and weight, they found. At the same time, financial and household adversity were associated with poor health and lower mobility.

Nearly 100 antimicrobial products will no longer be OTC after June 11

Nearly 100 veterinary products that until now have been designated over-the-counter will require a prescription after June 11, the VIN News Service reports. These products are the last 4% of “medically important” antimicrobials federal regulators are placing limits on in order to slow pathogens’ evolution toward drug resistance. The other 96% of medically important animal drugs have been brought under veterinary oversight over the past decade, according to the FDA. Most of the products in the latest round are for food animals. Some are labeled for use in food and companion animals, and two are specific to companion animals.

Study aims to find links between environmental toxins and canine lymphoma

A new Morris Animal Foundation-funded study will look for links between environmental toxins and the development of lymphoma in dogs. The goal of the study, led by researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is to improve early detection and prevention of the disease. Dr. Lauren Trepanier will lead the study team, which will analyze blood and urine samples from 60 Golden Retriever Lifetime Study participants diagnosed with lymphoma.

FDA’s new expanded conditional drug approval program could mean more treatments for cats and dogs

The FDA’s early May approval of Varenzin-CA1 (molidustat oral suspension) for cats with chronic kidney disease was the first approval for a feline drug under the agency’s new expanded conditional approval policy. This means cats that have chronic kidney disease can receive the treatment while the agency is still collecting full data on efficacy. Under the FDA’s guidance for industry #261, issued in 2021, drugs may be eligible for conditional approval if they treat serious or life-threatening diseases or meet a need in human or animal health and are difficult to study. Initial approval lasts a year, and it can be renewed up to four times. If the drug hasn’t been fully approved by the five-year mark, it can no longer be marketed or sold. Several canine drugs have already received conditional approval under the new program. The American Animal Hospital Association reports.

As it launches a $50 million fundraising round, Anivive targets animal diseases that don’t yet have treatments

After introducing its canine lymphoma treatment, Anivive Lifesciences now wants to create an antifungal vaccine targeting valley fever in dogs. Once it’s developed the canine treatment, the company plans to repurpose the product for human use. It also has plans for other pet-targeted treatments. “The No. 1 criteria for us is that there’s not an existing approved treatment for it,” said CEO Dylan Balsz. “We really wanted to zero in on these deadly diseases that didn’t have any options for veterinarians.” The company this week launched an outside fundraising campaign targeting $50 million in investments. This would double Anivive’s total fundraising after its founders and board members internally pooled together initial funding, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports.

Why the U.K. luxury pet market is booming

The luxury pet market is showing itself to be resilient amid high inflation, with U.K. pet owners spending almost 500 pounds ($620) a year on luxury items for their pets, data from MoneySuperMarket shows. These items include things like designer clothing, luxury beds and gourmet treats. Brands looking to succeed in the market could follow trends in human and baby products to see where the pet market is headed, said Kimberley Howard, a cultural analyst at market research agency Verve. Rising pet ownership, particularly with the pandemic, is one factor in the popularity of luxury products. Social media influencers also have an impact, said Jenny Tsai, founder and CEO of WeArisma. Forbes has more.

Lyon College selects Dr. Eleanor Green as founding dean of veterinary school

Former Texas A&M veterinary dean Dr. Eleanor Green has been selected as the founding dean of Lyon College’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Green is senior adviser/consultant for Animal Policy Group and vice president of Iron Horse Consulting & Iron Horse Farm LLC. She’s a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in large animal internal medicine. She’s also a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners certified in equine practice.

SoundByte: Sileo from Zoetis

Sileo is the first FDA-approved treatment for canine noise aversion, according to manufacturer Zoetis. It can be administered at home and has a quick onset of action, the company says. Read the SoundByte in Veterinary Advantage for more.