Weekly companion animal news: January 10, 2022

Pet food shortages worry Florida cat owners and rescuers

Florida cat owners face pet food shortages that are not only frustrating but are also becoming concerning, Fox 13 reports. “Fortunately, in our building, we’ve stocked up for the next few months,” said Lon Savini, director at the Tampa Bay Humane Society. “But all that’s really out there right now is shreds and bits.” Savini said the shortages make it difficult to rescue and adopt animals. Cat owners and rescue volunteers say the problem isn’t just at big box stores. One shopper reported that a box of the cat food she normally buys typically costs $15, but that rose to $26 on Amazon. The supply shortages are difficult for cat owners, since their pets are often picky eaters whose stomachs can’t always handle changes in food. Amid the shortages, the Humane Society offers food to pet owners. One owner has resorted to making food for the cats she cares for. In Kansas, some pet owners have found independent stores can help them access the food they need as large manufacturers face disruptions, KSHB reports.

Why pet health insurance is becoming more popular in employee benefits packages

As employers try to figure out how to attract team members, many are adding pet insurance to their benefits packages, LendEDU reports. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, nearly 9% of organizations reported offering pet health insurance as a voluntary benefit in 2016, a 5% increase from 2011. One in three Fortune 500 companies offers some level of pet insurance coverage to employees, and more are moving in that direction. They’re drawing on employees’ close relationships with their pets. “Pet insurance offers a way for employers to recognize and salute that bond employees have with their household pets, and show that they care about the same things employees do,” according to LendEDU.

BluePearl offers associates 12 free mental health sessions a year

BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital announced a new mental health care benefit for its more than 7,000 associates nationwide. BluePearl now offers associates and eligible family members access to 12 free mental health or coaching sessions per year through Lyra Health. Through the offering, associates can book sessions with a therapist or coach, in-person or via video chat.

PetMedix and Zoetis announce monoclonal antibody collaboration

PetMedix announced a collaboration with Zoetis to develop novel, fully species-specific companion animal monoclonal antibody therapeutics using PetMedix’s proprietary technology. “As part of the collaboration, PetMedix will undertake discovery activities against a number of key targets, and Zoetis has an exclusive option to develop and bring these therapies to market,” according to the announcement. Zoetis has brought three novel monoclonal antibody therapies to market already.

FDA approves Simparica Trio for prevention of Lyme disease in dogs

Zoetis announced the FDA has approved Simparica Trio for the prevention of Lyme disease in dogs, adding a new label indication for the parasite medication. The medication, approved for dogs eight weeks of age and older weighing at least 2.8 pounds, “is the first and only combination product demonstrated to prevent infections that may cause Lyme disease by killing deer or black-legged ticks,” according to the announcement. Simparica Trio (sarolaner, moxidectin and pyrantel chewable tablets) was previously approved for protection against heartworm disease, ticks and fleas, and roundworms and hookworms. “Now with FDA approval for the prevention of Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease) infections by killing deer ticks, Simparica Trio can deliver the comprehensive protection that every dog deserves,” the announcement said.

Encore Vet Group names Lance Sprinkle president and CEO

Encore Vet Group announced Lance Sprinkle has been named president and CEO of the veterinary hospital group, replacing now former CEO Ted Sprinkle, who’s taking an executive chairman role. Lance Sprinkle has spent the last 20 years in corporate veterinary leadership roles, according to the announcement. “Lance’s deep experience in veterinary finance and operations positions Encore to continue to grow quickly and strategically in the years to come, and his unwavering commitment to culture and mentorship will ensure that practices continue to thrive as part of the Encore family,” the announcement said.

Dechra acquires Isoflurane and Sevoflurane anesthetics

Dechra has acquired the veterinary-approved inhalant anesthetics Isoflurane and Sevoflurane from Halocarbon Life Sciences. “These products are utilized daily in veterinary hospitals and complement our current sedative and anesthetic product range,” said Dechra North America President Mike Eldred. “We are excited to continue to grow and expand our veterinary surgical suite and anesthetic portfolio and offer high-quality products to the veterinary community.” Dechra plans to launch the products in the first quarter of 2022.