January 15, 2014

Cancer is a leading cause of death in dogs and cats—particularly now that more pets are living long enough to develop the disease. At the same time, more pets are receiving treatment for cancer, and those treatments are improving, according to experts in the field of companion animal oncology. Here, a handful of the many veterinarians who treat or study cancer in pets discuss their work and share their optimism about progress in the fight against the disease.


The AVMA is advocating for veterinarian involvement in the distribution of pet foods that make health claims. The Executive Board approved that position in November as well as voted to adopt or modify policies on a variety of subjects including pet microchips, pet health insurance, and aquaculture regulation.


The Food and Drug Administration is giving drug companies three years to end the use of many antimicrobials to promote livestock growth or similarly improve production. Although agency officials said they are asking that pharmaceutical companies voluntarily eliminate such uses of antimicrobials that are deemed important for human medicine, they announced in December that they will consider regulatory action against companies that do not comply. With pharmaceutical industry cooperation, antimicrobials considered important for human medicine could be administered to livestock only to treat, control, or prevent a specific disease, and would be distributed only through prescriptions or veterinary feed directives, the latter of which are similar to prescriptions.