Weekly companion animal news: March 25, 2024

New guidelines offer advice on leptospirosis treatment and prevention

Leptospirosis continues to be prevalent in dogs, including in small-breed dogs from urban areas, puppies as young as 11 weeks of age, geriatric dogs, dogs in rural areas and dogs that have been inadequately vaccinated, according to the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine’s revised consensus statement on leptospirosis. As such, ACVIM has updated its guidance and now recommends all dogs be vaccinated for leptospirosis annually rather than every three years. The ACVIM statement touches on clinical and laboratory criteria to confirm leptospirosis in a dog; treatment options, including antimicrobial and extracorporeal kidney support therapies; supportive care; and prognosis. There is also guidance on vaccine protocols and public health implications, such as protecting veterinary staff from Leptospira infection, the AVMA reports.

AKC names French bulldog most popular U.S. dog for second year in a row


Statistics released by the American Kennel Club show the French bulldog was the most popular dog breed in the United States in 2023 for the second year in a row. The breed beat out about 200 others, with the AKC saying it registered close to 98,500 in 2023, NPR reports. Other breeds in the top five spots were Labradors, golden retrievers, German shepherds and poodles. While the AKC statistics are a relatively limited assessment of popularity, French bulldogs have seen a rapid rise in popularity in recent years, with registrations increasing more than 1,000% since 2012. The breed in 2022 overtook the Labrador retriever at No. 1 on the AKC ranking.

Volition and Fujifilm Vet Systems launch Nu.Q Vet Cancer Test in Japan

VolitionRx Limited has agreed to a supply agreement with Fujifilm Vet Systems Co. Ltd., a veterinary diagnostic laboratory service, to launch the Nu.Q Vet Cancer Test to veterinarians in Japan. According to the announcement, Volition’s supply agreement enables Fujifilm Vet Systems to sell and perform cancer screening services for dogs using the Nu.Q test throughout its network of central reference laboratories in Japan. Volition calls the test “an accessible and affordable screening tool for dogs to aid in early cancer detection.”

Banfield Foundation impact report highlights $3.3 million granted in 2023 to improve access to care

Banfield Foundation, the charitable arm of Banfield Pet Hospital, released its 2023 annual impact report detailing how $3.3 million in grants from the organization helped mobilize veterinary care, deploy veterinary teams and enable disaster relief. In 2023, the foundation focused on deploying resources, teams and money to enable free preventive care, including spay and neuter surgeries, in under-resourced communities across the country, especially in inner cities and Native Nations where access to care and transportation is a limiting factor. Some of this care was delivered through the donation of six mobile veterinary units to nonprofit partners, totaling more than $750,000 in support. In addition to the vehicles, the foundation funded vaccines and medical supplies in support of community-based clinics utilizing the new mobile units across Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, Maui and Navajo Nation. More than 121,000 pets received comprehensive preventive care, according to the announcement.

ASPCA report: USDA failed to act in 90% of animal welfare violations at commercial dog facilities in FY 2023

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals released a report analyzing the USDA’s inspections of Animal Welfare Act-licensed facilities, documented violations and enforcement actions against violators for the 2023 fiscal year. Based on the ASPCA’s analysis of USDA data, federal inspectors documented over 1,000 violations for commercial dog dealers at more than 400 facilities but only addressed four of the dog dealers. Additionally, violation history had no impact on a facility’s ability to have its license renewed by the USDA, so all dog dealers who wanted to be relicensed were, including problematic dealers with consistent violations, according to the organization. “The Animal Welfare Act sets minimal welfare requirements for animals in commercial facilities, including dogs in puppy mills, yet the USDA has continually failed to enforce those requirements,” said Robert Hensley, an ASPCA legal counsel.

Veterinary consolidator CVS expands further into Australia

Corporate consolidator CVS Group is rapidly growing its presence in Australia after acquiring 13 of the country’s veterinary clinics—a sign that ownership concentration in that country’s veterinary profession is moving toward the higher levels already seen in the United Kingdom and the United States, the VIN News Service reports. The British company, which owns around 500 practices, mostly in the United Kingdom, first entered Australia in July, when it acquired four general practices there with a combined six practice sites. By the end of December, it had grown its presence to 13 practices at 15 sites in cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, all acquired for a combined 103.8 million Australian dollars ($67.8 million). CVS said it expects to acquire another 10-plus practices in Australia by June 30, the end of its financial year.

EPA inspector general report casts doubt on agency’s clearance of Seresto flea collars, EPA defends decision

A recent report released by the Office of the Inspector General of the Environmental Protection Agency says the EPA, which regulates pesticides, including over-the-counter parasite control products for pets, has failed to determine whether Seresto flea and tick collars pose an unreasonable risk to pet health, the VIN News Service reports. It enumerates a list of shortcomings in standards and procedures at the agency that need to be fixed to improve its regulation of pet pesticide products. The EPA rebutted the OIG top-line conclusion, saying it has determined Seresto collars meet the standards of no unreasonable adverse effects when used as directed based on an extensive multi-year re-evaluation released in July.

Petco offers health tips for pets adopted during the pandemic

Puppies and kittens adopted during the pandemic are now entering adulthood and pets adopted as adults are approaching their senior years, prompting Petco to share veterinarian-recommended tips for supporting pets through life-stage transitions. “Across nutrition, activity level, veterinary care and more, puppies and kittens have very different needs from adult pets, and their needs change again as they become seniors,” said Petco’s chief veterinarian, Whitney Miller. Miller recommends vaccines and regular checkups through all life stages. Pet owners also should stay on top of their pets’ changing nutritional needs as they age. Petco offers additional advice in its announcement.

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