Weekly companion animal news: November 21, 2022

In new report, Mars finds improvements in wellbeing among pet owners compared to non-pet owners

Four in 10 pet owners reported an overall improvement in their mental (38%) or physical (41%) wellbeing over the last three years, nearly doubling the rate of non-pet owners at 23%, according to a new report from Mars. “Pets for Better Wellbeing,” Mars Petcare’s fourth annual report, analyzes the impact of pet ownership on mental and physical wellbeing and examines potential hurdles people face getting pets. Among those survey respondents considering a pet, 66% said they’re concerned about affordability, 47% were concerned about being away for work or travel, and 42% were concerned about finding pet-friendly housing.

Veterinary practices prepare as amoxicillin shortage hits North America

Veterinarians are gearing up amid supply interruptions of liquid amoxicillin, the VIN News Service reports. Much of North America faces a shortage of amoxicillin in addition to other prescription drugs, and the antibiotic has reportedly recently become difficult to find in U.S. and Canadian retail pharmacies. While tablets are still readily available, the antibiotic’s powder form, dissolved in water to create a suspension administered orally, often is better suited to children and animals such as cats, dogs and birds. The FDA said multiple generic drug manufacturers reported limited supplies of the oral powder.

AVMA seeks candidates for president, vice president and other positions

The AVMA is seeking candidates for president-elect and vice president, as well as for two seats on the board of directors. The association is also accepting nominations or applications for other volunteer positions. President-elect candidates would run for the association year that begins summer 2024 and ends summer 2025. Vice president-elect candidates would run for the 2024-2026 years. More details on those positions, the board positions and others, including a Council on Education member to represent private clinical practice, are in the announcement from the AVMA.

Purina Nutrition Center opens at Texas Tech

Texas Tech University last week celebrated the grand opening of the Purina Nutrition Center. The center “allows us to provide even greater level of excellence of care at our school,” said Guy Lonergan, dean of the veterinary school. “It also serves as an important educational asset for our students as they learn various nutritional strategies in disease management and health promotion.” The center is expected to help advance nutritional care for dogs and cats housed on campus, according to ABC 7.

Tool allows veterinary practices to calculate carbon emissions

The British Veterinary Association announced the launch of what it says is the first “veterinary carbon calculator,” developed for veterinary teams to calculate their practice’s carbon emissions. The tool, developed by Vet Sustain in partnership with Investors in the Environment, breaks down carbon emissions into various elements of business activity such as utilities, travel and veterinary care waste. Once a baseline carbon footprint has been calculated, practices can set a baseline and track measurable progress.

Banfield grant provides scholarship funding for Humane Society’s Rural Area Veterinary Services program

Banfield Foundation has awarded a grant to the Humane Society of the United States’ Rural Area Veterinary Services program to create its first-ever Field Clinic Travel Scholarship providing funding for veterinary students, veterinary technicians and veterinary technician students, and veterinary assistants participating in RAVS field teaching clinics in 2023. The RAVS program has no tuition or participation fees, but participants are responsible for personal travel costs. The new scholarship program is intended to support training and mentorship of underrepresented students and professionals and those for whom cost is a barrier to participation.

Nutramax sponsors second annual Christian Veterinary Mission conference

Nutramax this month sponsored the second annual Christian Veterinary Mission conference, welcoming more than 750 guests to Tennessee. With a theme of “A Different Way to CE,” attendees chose from more than 50 sessions and earned up to 14 RACE-approved continuing education credits.

Feline infectious peritonitis lacks legal treatment in the United States without FDA approval for promising drugs

Despite several promising developments, no legal treatment for feline infectious peritonitis exists in the United States. This leaves veterinarians to direct clients to illegal groups that acquire expensive drugs from China, Dr. Emily Singler writes. But even full approval for certain drugs in humans—such as remdesivir, which is conditionally approved for emergency use to treat COVID-19 in people—could allow for extra-label use in veterinary medicine, Singler writes for the American Animal Hospital Association.