Weekly companion animal news: October 3, 2022

Mars Veterinary Health announces new initiatives to strengthen hospital-client relationships

Mars Veterinary Health announced the formation of an industry-wide working group aimed at strengthening the relationship between veterinary teams and pet owners. The working group will convene in the coming months to create a list of shared expectations and responsibilities that the profession and pet owners “can leverage to further a mutual understanding and respect toward one another,” according to the announcement. The group includes Mars Veterinary Health and its subsidiary practice groups, the AVMA and others. Banfield has also teamed up with the AVMA to expand access to the association’s online reputation management resources to the entire profession, free of charge.

Galaxy Vets invites veterinary professionals to participate in burnout survey

Galaxy Vets has launched its third annual burnout survey, inviting the veterinary community to participate. The study aims to track the burnout rate among veterinary professionals and find insights on major factors driving professional fulfillment or contributing to work exhaustion and interpersonal disengagement. “This year, we want to analyze the relationship between work culture, compensation and burnout,” said Galaxy Vets CEO Dr. Ivan Zak. “We will also take a closer look at how euthanasia procedures impact the mental well-being of veterinary teams, especially when it is performed for economic or convenience reasons.” The anonymous survey is available online.

Under threat of shelling, volunteers work to save Ukraine’s animals

As the war in Ukraine stretches into its seventh month, thousands of individuals, nonprofits and soldiers are trying to help animals caught in the conflict, NPR reports. “The war is affecting animals just as it is affecting humans,” said Petya Petrova, who has been working to evacuate animals from areas of Ukraine under attack. “[Animals] are tired, they are stressed, and the prolonged distress is causing sickness and disease.” Irina Ponomarenko, director of a large animal shelter in Dnipro, in eastern Ukraine, said the facility now houses mostly pets people were forced to abandon. Arriving animals are often sick or injured “because there are no animal clinics in the east any longer,” she said. At the Feldman Ecopark in Kharkiv, as many as five people and nearly 100 animals have died in attacks or as a result of the conflict as of April, according to news reports.

Zoetis announces U.S. commercial launch of Solensia to treat feline OA pain

Zoetis announced Solensia (frunevetmab injection) is now available to veterinary practices across the United States. Solensia, administered as a monthly injection by a veterinarian, is the first and only FDA-approved monoclonal antibody treatment for the control of pain associated with feline osteoarthritis, according to Zoetis. The FDA approved the drug in January.

Boehringer Ingelheim relaunches rabies prevention program with donation of nearly 100,000 vaccines

Boehringer Ingelheim announced it’s donating nearly 100,000 doses of rabies vaccines for dogs, to be used on tribal lands and in underserved communities across the United States. The donation is part of the company’s relaunched Shots for Good program. The program was launched in 2019 but was suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic.

U.K. report finds growing salmonella detections in raw pet food

Detections of salmonella in raw meat-based pet food in the United Kingdom have reached their highest-ever level, according to a report. The country’s Animal and Plant Health Agency in 2021 found 295 isolations of salmonella in pet food intended to be fed raw. Positive tests from these products have increased in recent years, and this is the highest count yet, Food Safety News reports. “Contaminated raw meat pet food, which does not undergo any heat treatment to deactivate pathogens, may therefore represent a potential source of infection to both the dogs consuming it and the people who handle it, especially if insufficient hygiene measures are adopted,” the APHA report said.

A New York animal shelter explains its high kill rate

An upstate New York animal shelter says its nearly 90% kill rate is due to its policy of taking every pet brought in, and it wants a national advocacy group to stop trying to help. The St. Lawrence Valley SPCA took in 1,210 animals in 2019 and euthanized 1,072, nearly nine out of ten, according to the shelter’s most recent available data. Best Friends Animal Society, which promotes no-kill animal rescue, says the St. Lawrence Valley SPCA is responsible for 20% of unnecessary shelter deaths in New York. But according to the shelter board’s president, it has a high kill rate because it doesn’t turn pets away. It rejected an offer to help from Best Friends Animal Society and accused the organization of harassment when the group persisted. WWNY reports.

Florida county considers ban on retail pet rabbit sales as Humane Society sees influx

Florida’s Hillsborough County is considering a ban on retail pet rabbit sales as the local Humane Society deals with a large influx of the animals. New rules could include banning retail sales of rabbits unless the animals are sterilized and come from a shelter or rescue group. This would follow the county ordinance governing retail sales of cats and dogs, the Tampa Bay Times reports. It comes after data showed a public education campaign during the Easter season failed to diminish the number of rabbits surrendered to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. The Humane Society took in 155 rabbits in the first six months of this year and turned away 54 more. It expects to take in 300 rabbits this year, up from 264 last year.