WITH THE ANNOUNCEMENT that Walmart will add veterinary clinics to six of its stores in the Dallas area, what will happen to your friendly neighborhood vet clinic?
It appears the big box giant – like specialty big-boxer Petco and the vet practice chains – has come to the same conclusion reached years ago: that the vet business is where the legal, cosmetic surgery, eye surgery dental and now other medical industries were not long ago. That is, on the verge of explosive growth, for those smart enough to seize the day. A handful of veterinary practices will strike it rich, making millions of dollars when they come out of the marketing dark ages and begin to aggressively promote their practices using the same tactics that attorneys, doctors and dentists began using a few decades ago.
Back then, advertising among those so-called professionals was viewed as an unethical taboo by the “old guard.” That was until a few practices started doing it anyway and saw their billings fly off the charts. Others soon followed, and the marketing bug hit other professional practices. Now all kinds of medical practices are jumping on the bandwagon, including specialists in modalities like stem cells, which are either just beginning to garner acceptance by insurance companies.
But vets have been painfully slow to come to the marketing table – far slower than their human practitioner counterparts. As a result, most veterinary practices are stuck at a level of mediocrity and financial stagnation that frustrates the owners.
Walmart – of all companies – has seen the light of exceptional opportunity and is piloting a program that, if successful, will undoubtedly spread to many of its stores all over the country. If successful and expanded, the Walmart experiment could prove disastrous for the neighborhood veterinarian. Some will go out of business. Others will find it difficult to hire associate vets as Walmart brings its attractive pay and benefits package to the table. Downward pressure on pricing will also hurt practices that do survive in the face of this new competition.
Of course, many will argue the Walmarts, Petcos and chains will never be able to provide the level of comprehensive, experienced and expert care to pets that “a real veterinarian” can. And they’ll be right. But what difference will that make as the big boxes rake in the big dollars and “the real vets” starve?
On the upside, perhaps the entrance of Walmart into the vet market will serve as a wake-up call to smart veterinarians who finally see the dormant potential in their own industry and their own practices. Forward looking vets who see both the pros and cons of this near-future reality and take steps to exploit the opportunity will be able to insulate themselves against the big box invasion, while gaining substantial competitive advantages in the short term. And again, the smart, aggressive vets will literally get rich.
Following the tragic loss last December of the Zoo's white-handed gibbon Nikko after 32 years, zookeepers and staff are comforted by the arrival of this pair and the hope they will create a larger family of their own soon.
Oakland Zoo happily welcomes new white-handed gibbon pair, Mei (female, age 8) and Rainer (male, age 5). Mei comes from Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Nebraska where she was separated from her troop due to social conflicts. Rainer comes to Oakland Zoo from Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo in Gainesville, FL and is at the perfect age to leave his troop and start a new one of his own.
They are acclimating and seem to be enjoying their new habitat very much after spending a required quarantine period at Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital. Veterinary staff had reported that Mei and Rainer got along very well upon their first introduction. They quickly began singing 'duets' together several times a day. Gibbons mate for life, and once bonded sing 'duets' as a demonstration of their bond. They also sing as a territorial marker, indicating they've accepted their new home on Gibbon Island.
Oakland Zoo's Animal Care Staff have worked through a multi-step process to support the gibbons' adaptation to their new surroundings. After completing their quarantine period at the Vet Hospital, they were moved into their night house to begin training sessions with zookeepers; to reinforce bond-building with each other, and their zookeepers, and also to aid in ongoing voluntary health-checks.
They were then given access to an adjoining outdoor 'Gibbon Patio' or as zookeepers call it, a 'Gatio'. Once acclimated, they were ready for release yesterday into their new home on 'Gibbon Island', where guests can now see the pair daily.
Mei and Rainer were "matched" as a good breeding pair by the gibbon Species Survival Plan (SSP), but the veterinary staff is administering birth control for now. Currently, Mei is contracepted to help the gibbons focus on bonding with one another and adapting to their new environment. SSP was developed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (which Oakland Zoo is accredited by) to help ensure the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied AZA population.
Gibbons are native to tropical forests that are suffering from large-scale deforestation for plantation development of palm-oil. Mei and Rainer will serve as ambassadors at the Zoo for the palm oil crisis. "This popular oil is used in many of our everyday products, making the choice ours. We can all be Taking Action for Wildlife superheroes by choosing wisely," says Amy Gotliffe, Director of Conservation at Oakland Zoo.
A new list from SafeWise identifies the “Most (and Least) Pet-Friendly States in America” for 2019.
The ranking provides “a bird’s eye view at the number of anti-abuse laws, veterinarians, and no-kill shelters in each state,” according to SafeWise, a review site for security systems. It also factors in pet-friendly restaurants, hotels and activities.
At the top of the list is Oregon, which has “thousands of pet-friendly properties to visit, strict anti-abuse laws, and lots of no-kill shelters where you can meet new friends.”
Maine, which claimed the top spot in 2018, slid to No. 3. Colorado is No. 2, and California and Washington round out the top five at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.
The list of least pet-friendly states is based on factors such as lack of pet-friendly establishments and lax protection laws.
Iowa holds the No. 1 spot on that list, followed by Missouri, Wyoming, New York and Mississippi.
The lists rely on data from sources such as the Bureau of Labor, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, BringFido.com and the nOkill Network.
Brachycephalic breeds are getting more and more popularity these days and you probably think they are cute too. These breeds include the Pekinese, Pug, French Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Boston Terrier and more. It is important for people and future owners to know that behind that cute and irresistible look, these dogs have quite few health problems.
The reason for the health problems
If you look closely at the anatomy of their head, you will notice they have flat face and their skull is wide. This seems like their skull has been compressed and even in some dogs the nose can be unapparent.
This confrontation can cause problems in three main systems: the respiratory system, the skin and the eyes.
The most noticeable problem for these dogs is the breathing. Have you ever noticed how a pug breathes? Or more accurate, how they fight for a breath sometimes? Have you ever heard them snoring and thought it was so adorable? Well, for them personally it isn’t. It is like you having stuck nose and having difficult time breathing.
BUAOS - Brachycephalic Upper Airway Obstructive Syndrome
The name of the respiratory disorders in brachycephalic dogs is Brachycephalic Upper Airway Obstructive Syndrome. What actually happened is that the skull and the space inside the skull got smaller, however the soft tissues, most importantly the soft palate, the tongue remained the same size. This is what causes the breathing problems in brachycephalic breeds.
Problems of the skin
You have probably noticed by now that these breeds have folded skin on their faces. These folds are the best place for yeasts and bacteria to grow and you guessed it- they cause infections and skin inflammations. The folds are formed because of the excessive skin covering the face.
Problems of the eyes
It is well known that brachycephalic breeds are more prone to eye problems than other dogs, just because of their skull anatomy. Their eyeballs protrude significantly, compared to other breeds, and this is because their eye sockets are too shallow. This results in more frequent eye traumas, dry eyes, ulcers.
World Trade Center (WTC) responders with prostate cancer showed signs that exposure to dust from the World Trade Center site had activated chronic inflammation in their prostates, which may have contributed to their cancer, according to a study by Mount Sinai researchers in Molecular Cancer Research.
Inflammation has long been considered an important factor in prostate cancer progression. Researchers looked at the inflammatory and immune systems of World Trade Center responders to help prevent new prostate cancer cases in that group and to understand how other large-scale environmental exposures to multiple carcinogens may develop into cancer.
This is the first study of people who were exposed to the WTC dust and who subsequently developed prostate cancer. This research and further study of the expression of genes and pathways in other patients whose environmental exposures caused inflammation could lead to clinical trials that offer anti-inflammatory or immune-targeted therapies in similar cases.
"World Trade Center responders show an overall increase in cancer incidence, and specifically of certain cancer types such as prostate cancer," said Emanuela Taioli, MD, PhD, Director of the Institute for Translational Epidemiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Associate Director for Population Science at The Tisch Cancer Institute.
This work pairs data from first responders and from a study of rats exposed to actual dust from Ground Zero. The dust samples, which contain metals and organic compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyl, are unique because they are the only existing samples taken on September 11, 2001. All other dust samples were collected after a significant storm on September 14, 2001.
Both the human and rat prostate cancer tissues show an increase in cells that indicate inflammation, specifically immune cells called T helper cells. Studies of the rat tissue and prostate cancer tissue samples taken from responders indicated to the Mount Sinai researchers that chronic inflammation started occurring in the prostate after exposure to the World Trade Center dust, and that inflammation may have contributed to prostate cancer.
"Several years ago, I saw a first responder in his 40s who began having symptoms of prostatitis, a painful condition that involves inflammation of the prostate, soon after exposure to the World Trade Center dust," said William Oh, MD, Chief of the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Deputy Director at The Tisch Cancer Institute. "He ultimately developed a high-grade prostate cancer several years later. It suggested to me that there might be a link between his exposure and cancer, but I knew that I would need to examine it systematically."
Advocates of the One Health model focus on how veterinary medicine can positively impact other areas of health and vice versa. A new study from the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) gives credence to this idea. It found that regularly testing dogs for tick-borne illness can help predict where humans are at risk of Lyme disease.
The study quantifies the association between canine seroprevalence for Borrelia burgdorferi and human incidence of Lyme disease, according to a release from CAPC. As seroprevalence for B. burgdorferi in dogs increases, human incidence of Lyme disease also rises.
Using data from dogs is less expensive and logistically challenging than monitoring Lyme disease rates in people, the release states. Canine seroprevalence monitoring is active and data are reported monthly at the county, state and national levels. In contrast, human Lyme disease surveillance is conducted passively, and it’s difficult to gather contemporary data, researchers say.
“Unlike human medicine, veterinarians are fortunate to have the advances and commonality of annual testing and vaccination for Lyme disease in dogs,” said Karen Fling, DVM, president of East Lake Veterinary Hospital in Dallas, Texas.
Human risk of exposure now extends beyond the traditional realm of the northeastern United States. States that include mostly high-incidence areas (10 cases or more per 100,000 humans) include Minnesota, Wisconsin and Virginia. Bordering states with some areas considered high-incidence include Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, West Virginia and North Carolina, according to the release.
They’ve always been your best friend, but now a new nationwide survey has found owners largely consider dogs to be part of the family.
Sponsored by SpotOn Virtual Smart Fence, the survey asked 1,500 dog owners about their pet parent habits and behaviors.
The survey found:
- 98 percent of dog owners consider their dogs to be members of the family;
- 50 percent of dog owners say their dog sleeps in a family member’s bed, while an additional 32 percent have their dogs sleep in a family member’s bedroom; and
- 60 percent of Northeast dog owners saying they cuddle their pet at night, compared to 49 percent of respondents from other regions.
According to the survey’s results indicate there are opportunities for businesses and public spaces to meet the needs of the growing population of dog owners:
- 48 percent rely on parks and recreation for outdoor activities with their dog;
- 71 percent of dog owners in the New York metropolitan area note they have access to amenities such as dog parks, outdoor areas, and dog-friendly stores and eateries;
- 86 percent of dog owners feel welcome at the homes of friends and family with their pets;
- 37 percent say it is too inconvenient to travel with their dogs and have skipped a trip because of the difficulty; and
A medley of contributing factors can lead to obesity in horses: overfeeding, sedentary lifestyle, genetics, and hormonal imbalances. Management of obesity involves evaluating every component of the diet and removing superfluous calories.
Once concentrated sources of calories, such as traditional feeds, are eliminated from the diet, forage sources must be scrutinized. “Not all forages are nutritionally identical, so caloric density becomes important when choosing hay for certain horses, including those that are too heavy,” said Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a nutrition advisor at Kentucky Equine Research.
Late-maturity hay should take the place of leafy, early-maturity hay, for example, as it generally has a lower energy content. In the same vein, for stubbornly obese horses, pasture intake must be strictly controlled or eliminated entirely. “Turnout is still important and can be achieved through the use of a drylot or grazing muzzle, which slows consumption considerably,” Whitehouse said.
How much forage should be fed to a horse? For healthy horses in moderate body condition on an all-forage diet, feeding 2% of body weight will generally maintain weight. Using this as a guideline, a 1,200-lb (550-kg) horse would be fed about 24 lb (11 kg) of forage per day. For obese horses resisting weight loss, however, this amount of forage might be too much, according to Whitehouse.
In these instances, under the supervision of a veterinarian and nutritionist, a revised ration should be employed, with hay or hay substitute fed at 1.5% of current body weight. “When forage is restricted to this extent, it is important to have a fairly accurate body weight of the horse and a reliable method to weigh the ration. This ensures consistent feeding from day to day,” Whitehouse said.
After eight weeks or so on this diet, if the needle has not moved on the scale or has moved minimally, the feeding rate can be dropped further, to 1.25% of body weight. Under most circumstances, horses should not be fed less than this daily. Horses maintained on all-forage rations should be supplemented with a well-formulated vitamin and mineral supplement. This will ensure horses receive all of the nutrients necessary for optimal health.
Dropping forage intake can induce problems in certain horses, so care should be taken to protect the gastrointestinal tract as well as possible, so proven gastrointestinal support should be offered in the form of stomach and hindgut buffers.
SynergyLabs, a manufacturer of specialty pet products, has selected Burke County, NC, as the location for a new company that will create 237 jobs.
The enterprise will invest $11.2 million to ramp up a new manufacturing plant in Hildebran, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced.
“North Carolina offers high-tech manufacturers like SynergyLabs the right ingredients for success, from our skilled workers to our transportation networks,” said Cooper. “We are excited to see this infusion of jobs in Burke County, and will continue to work to bring jobs and economic growth to our state’s rural communities.”
SynergyLabs, with headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is a “concept-to-shelf” manufacturer of more than 150 branded and private brand products for pets. The company sells and distributes products across pet-specialty, veterinary, grocery, farm-and-feed, mass-merchandisers and big-box channels in over 50 countries worldwide. The company’s pet merchandise lines include grooming aids, stain and odor products, training aids, flea and tick controls and nutritional supplements.
“Pets are family too, and we are committed to providing pet parents with world-class products that deliver the same high levels of quality they’d provide other family members,” said Richard Ticktin, founder and CEO of SynergyLabs. “North Carolina’s reputation for manufacturing excellence gives us complete confidence we’ll be able expand our operations while maintaining the high standards our customers have come to expect.”
The average salary for all the new positions will reach $40,568.
A flesh-eating bacteria has migrated into the Delaware Bay between Delaware and New Jersey, drawn north by the warmer waters of climate change, doctors say. Five cases of infection occurred in 2017 and 2018 along the Delaware Bay, compared to one infection with the devastating bacteria in the eight years prior, researchers said.
The infections resulted in one death and multiple rounds of surgery to save the other patients. One had all his limbs removed at the elbows and knees due to severe bacterial infection, said Dr. Katherine Doktor, an infectious disease specialist at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J.
"In order to stop the infection, the person needs antibiotics and they need to be taken to the OR [operating room] quickly so any infected tissue can be removed, so it doesn't spread further," she said. But Doktor added that the bacteria tends to strike hardest at people with pre-existing health problems like liver disease, diabetes, kidney failure or a compromised immune system.
"Just going to the beach or going to the bay is not going to make you sick," she said. "These people usually have a cut and the infected water gets into the cut, or they eat raw seafood that's infected." Vibrio bacteria cause an estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the United States each year, with most infections in May through October when water temperatures are warm, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One in five people with this type of infection die, sometimes within days of becoming ill, the CDC warns. Because the bacteria thrive in warmer, salty water, it's usually found mostly in southern waters, Doktor said. But cases of Vibrio infection began showing up in emergency rooms along the Delaware Bay a few years back, Doktor and her colleagues reported June 18 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Four of the cases involved middle-aged or older men who had been crabbing in the bay or eating crabs taken from the bay, the doctors said. The fifth case involved a man who worked at a seafood restaurant in New Jersey.
Wound infections affecting a person's limbs occur through breaks in the skin, while eating tainted seafood can cause intestinal and bloodstream infections, the researchers said. Large blood blisters start popping up at sites where skin cells are dying off, Doktor explained.
It's not just in the United States that Vibrio is migrating northward, Doktor said. In Europe, infections with the bacteria have extended as far north as Norway. Doktor advised that shellfish lovers should exercise caution when having a seafood meal, especially if they have a health condition that compromises their body's ability to stave off infection.
Named for its tapered mouth, the hawksbill turtle feeds mainly on sponges, which helps maintain the health of coral reefs. Its beautiful shell—amber-colored and streaked, with overlapping bony plates—made it a target of exploitation. In the last 100 years, millions of hawksbills have been killed for the tortoiseshell markets. Trade is now illegal.
They are Critically Endangered and found throughout the world's tropical oceans, predominantly in coral reefs
The Humane Society of the United States announces the winners of the 33nrd annual Genesis Awards. The awards honor news and entertainment media for outstanding reporting and creative portrayals of animal protection issues in 2018. The winners, across the 15 award categories, include Universal Pictures’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, syndicated TV’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show, HBO’s Sesame Street, Netflix’s Dogs, Animal Planet’s Amanda to the Rescue and The Dog Bowl, Hallmark’s 2018 American Rescue Dog Show, CBS-TV’s 60 Minutes, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Huffington Post.
“The expanding presence of animal protection issues in popular culture and major media is one of the greatest signs of hope for those of us involved in day to day advocacy for animals. We’re not only grateful for this coverage and recognition; we’re inspired by it,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the winner of Best Feature Film for drawing implicit parallels between the film’s imperiled dinosaurs and the real world exploitation and trafficking of animals. Best Talk Show is awarded to The Ellen DeGeneres Show for multiple segments that highlight the ongoing importance of the gorilla conservation work of Ellen’s life-long hero, Dian Fossey. Sesame Street picks up Best Children’s Programming for Kitty Kindness, a delightful guide to caring for a lost cat and all things feline that informs and entertains in quintessential Sesame Street style.
In the world of documentaries, two films share Best Feature Documentary: Eating Animals for exploring the impact of factory-farming on animals and the environment, and Love & Bananas –An Elephant Story for spotlighting the plight of Asian elephants. Netflix’s Dogs garners Best Documentary Series for Bravo, Zeus, a moving portrait of a Syrian refugee’s unbreakable bond with his canine best friend. While the Brigitte Bardot International Best Documentary Feature awardees are STROOP – Journey into the Rhino Horn War, a sweeping examination of the complex web of corruption and cultural traditions fueling rhino slaughter, and Yo Galgo, which exposes the inhumane breeding and treatment of the galgo, Spain’s once prized sporting dog.
The power of the human-companion animal bond and the life-saving work of animal rescue and pet adoption are celebrated by three of this year’s award-winners: Amanda to the Rescue for Best Reality Series; with the joint honors for Best TV Special going to The 2018 American Rescue Dog Show and The Dog Bowl, a salute to senior dogs and the rewards that come from adopting them.
In news media, 60 Minutes wins Best National TV Newsmagazine for its report on the ecological benefits of the thriving wolf population in Yellowstone Park. The New York Times and Huffington Post are awarded for their coverage of the booming US market in giraffe parts, and the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board is recognized for its position on farm animal protection issues.
COMPLETE LIST OF THE HSUS’ 33RD GENESIS AWARD WINNERS
OUTSTANDING FEATURE FILM
OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY FILM
Eating Animals – Big Star Pictures
Love & Bananas – An Elephant Story – STARZ
OUTSTANDING TALK SHOW
The Ellen DeGeneres Show – Syndicated
OUTSTANDING CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMING
Sesame Street “Kitty Kindness” – HBO
OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY SERIES
Dogs: “Bravo, Zeus” – Netflix
OUTSTANDING REALITY SERIES
Amanda to the Rescue: Wildfire Puppy Rescue – Animal Planet
OUTSTANDING TV SPECIAL
The 2018 American Rescue Dog Show – Hallmark Channel
The Dog Bowl – Animal Planet
OUTSTANDING NATIONAL TV NEWSMAGAZINE
60 Minutes – The Wolves of Yellowstone – CBS-TV
OUTSTANDING LOCAL NEWS SERIES
Fox 31 Denver KDVR-TV - SeaQuest pet store investigation
WEWS-TV News, Cleveland – USDA redaction of puppy mill inspections
WJLA News, Maryland - Kitten lab investigation
WJW Fox 8, Ohio - Puppy Mill Investigation/USDA redactions
OUTSTANDING FEATURE ARTICLE
The New York Times - “Giraffe Part Sales are Booming in the U.S, and it’s legal” Writer: Karen Weintraub
Los Angeles Times – “Yes on Proposition 12. Let’s get rid of cages for hens for real” and “The Farm Bill doesn’t need amendment that helps let chickens be treated cruelly”
Huffington Post – “Giraffe Pillows and Bible Covers: New Report Details Booming Trade in U.S.” Writer: Nick Visser
Earth Touch News Network – “Lobos in Limbo: The Halting Recovery of the Mexican Wolf” Writer: Amy Mathews Amos
ABOVE AND BEYOND AWARD
NBC4 (Los Angeles) – Life Connected – Canine on Call
KRON4 TV San Francisco – Bear rescue
Brigitte Bardot International
OUTSTANDING INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM
STROOP – Journey into the Rhino Horn War – SDBFilms
Yo Galgo – Skinny Dog Films
OUTSTANDING INTERNATIONAL TV SERIES
Carte Blanche – Illegal Chicken Abattoirs – M-Net
Carte Blanche – Follow the Guns – M-Net