Weekly companion animal news: January 23, 2023

Banfield report highlights the role of big data in veterinary medicine

Banfield has published its 2023 Veterinary Emerging Topics report, which focuses on the impact of big data in veterinary medicine. The report presents examples of how Banfield uses data, for example to develop standards to make anesthetic procedures safer for pets, to facilitate early detection of renal disease and to study antimicrobial usage. According to the company, the insights it gains with data collected from more than 3 million pet visits each year can be applied across the veterinary profession. “In animal health, big data can help to identify high-risk populations, model epidemiological processes, monitor trends and detect emerging threats,” the report says. “Data collected longitudinally and at regular intervals over the patient’s lifespan are ideal to inform our understanding of health and disease in both pets and people.” The report was produced by Banfield and NAVC, publisher of Veterinary Advantage.

NAVTA releases 2022 results from veterinary technician demographic survey


The average U.S. veterinary technician earns 25% more now than in 2016, according to the 2022 demographic survey from the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. The report, released last week, contains data on wages and hours, student debt, employee benefits, job satisfaction and wellness, preferred titles and credentials, utilization, and the top issues affecting the veterinary technology profession.

Petco Love awards grant to University of Florida to train veterinarians in shelter medicine

A new grant from Petco Love will allow six veterinarians to become skilled in shelter animal care through an accelerated internship program at the University of Florida. The $510,000 grant to the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Shelter Medicine Program is meant to address an increasing shortage of shelter medicine veterinarians. “Tough times for both the veterinary profession and animal welfare organizations are colliding to roll back progress in animal welfare,” said Dr. Julie Levy, a professor in the program. “This fast-track immersive training will prepare highly skilled and resilient veterinarians who are equipped and motivated to step into high-impact careers in shelter medicine.”

Nationwide announces spectrum of care initiatives

Nationwide last week announced new initiatives to encourage the pet health industry to embrace a spectrum of care approach to veterinary medicine. A new website, spectrum-of-care.com, will feature communication tools and resources for veterinary teams. The pet insurer last year introduced the $25,000 Nationwide Spectrum of Care Scholarship, which will be awarded annually to selected students enrolled in the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Spectrum of Care career area emphasis.

PetSmart Charities commits $100 million over five years to expand access to pet care

PetSmart Charities has committed $100 million over the next five years to help increase access to pet care in the United States. The organization estimates it would cost more than $20 billion each year to bridge the gap for pets in need of care at standard veterinary prices. “Through PetSmart Charities’ commitment, we plan to invest further in our partners and build new alliances to innovate solutions across the entire system—while also funding long-term solutions already in place such as low-cost vet clinics and veterinary student scholarships,” said Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities.

HABRI and Pet Partners award grant to Purdue University for research on human-dog interaction

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute and Pet Partners announced that Purdue University will receive a grant for a research project on the impact of human-dog interaction on human brain activity. Researchers will use Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) to measure neural responses correlating with human-dog interaction and potential factors that influence responses, according to the announcement in dvm360.

Trupanion surpasses $2 billion paid out in pet insurance claims

Trupanion announced it has paid out more than $2 billion in veterinary invoices, with its insured pets visiting veterinarians more than 8.5 million times to date. The company reached $1 billion paid out in veterinary invoices in 2020, a milestone achieved over 20 years. Since then, its insured pet population has grown to more than 800,000, according to the announcement.

What are the must-see veterinary conferences of 2023?

Galaxy Vets has compiled a roundup of what it says are the most interesting and valuable veterinary conferences, shows and continuing education opportunities for veterinary professionals, students and industry members. The list includes a breakdown of dates, locations, prices, target audiences and a short description of each event.