Industry Initiatives

Educating clients through Pet Diabetes Month
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Fewer than half the 2,300 pet owners surveyed recently by Intervet Inc. realize that dogs and cats can develop diabetes, but almost all said that if it were diagnosed in their pet, they would take on added responsibilities to ensure its health.

Intervet hopes to increase awareness of diabetes in dogs and cats and to advance veterinarian-client dialogue by declaring November as Pet Diabetes Month, in conjunction with American Diabetes Month.

The company is offering veterinarians tools for their clients that provide information about prevalence, risk factors, diagnosis, and management and treatment options. Veterinarians can visit to order the free materials.

"The general lack of awareness and concern, coupled with an increase in the prevalence of the disease among cats and dogs, means now is the time to help educate pet owners about all aspects of diabetes," said Dr. Travis Meredith, companion animal product manager.

Nearly all respondents in the survey stated that if diabetes were diagnosed in their pet, adjusting its diet would be an actionable, convenient treatment option. More than 70 percent would administer daily medication or adjust a pet's exercise routine.

Delivering Meals On Wheels—to pets


Senior recipients of Meals On Wheels who have companion animals may receive pet food in addition to their own meals this holiday season.

Banfield, The Pet Hospital, and the Meals On Wheels Association of America have partnered to launch "Season of Suppers, a Pet Food Drive for Pets in Need." The pet food drive will kick off Nov. 1 and continue through the year. The sponsors hope to collect more than a million pounds of pet food in Banfield hospitals.

After realizing that, like their owners, the pets of many seniors who receive Meals On Wheels also need nutritious food, MOWAA created "We All Love Our Pets," an initiative that seeks to unite Meals On Wheels programs across the country that are providing pet food. Although many Meals On Wheels programs have their own pet food services, the Banfield/MOWAA partnership is national in scope.

Throughout the Season of Suppers campaign, Banfield hospitals not only will encourage and collect pet food donations but also monetary contributions for MOWAA/WALOP, striving to raise $100,000 for the new program. In addition, the hospitals will help connect people interested in volunteering with their local Meals On Wheels programs.

Campaign reaches out to pets affected by disasters


Merial launched the "Paws to Save Pets" campaign in August. To continue their support of disaster relief for pets in need, the company will donate up to $500,000 each to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation and the Foundation. Donations from the campaign will be used for products, services, and shelters to help pets displaced or injured in upcoming disasters.

The 2006 campaign will build on the success of the 2005 "Race to Save Pets," which raised in excess of $1 million in cash and millions more in products for pets affected by natural disasters, including hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Some 3,000 veterinary clinics participated.

"Last year's 'Race to Save Pets' was able to help more than 17,000 animals and reunite approximately 3,200 pets with their owners," said Dr. Roger Wakelin, head of U.S. Companion Animal Veterinary Services, Merial.

Each participating clinic will be equipped with a "Paws to Save Pets" kit to help veterinarians convey how their clients can assist animals in need through this campaign. Veterinarians can talk with their Merial representative about implementing the program and find additional information, including a list of states eligible to participate in the coupon portion of the program, at


Simple device enhances health of arthritic dogs


Twenty percent of adult dogs are afflicted with osteoarthritis, estimates Novartis Animal Health US Inc., and many more are considered at high risk of developing the condition. Novartis is helping veterinarians to get senior dogs and those with osteoarthritis up and playing again.

The company's "Steps to Play More" initiative revolves around a pedometer calibrated for dogs that can help motivate exercise by way of owners who monitor their pet's daily activity. Novartis cited a June 15, 2005 JAVMA report on use of pedometers to measure physical activity in dogs. The results suggested that pedometers can measure physical activity in dogs with reasonable accuracy.

A supply of free pedometers was sent to each of 4,000 U.S. veterinary practices for distribution to owners with arthritic or at-risk dogs. Other veterinarians interested in participating can contact a company representative or Novartis professional services at (800) 637-0281.

With advice from their veterinarians, owners can use the pedometers to track the daily activity level of their dogs and record the number of steps online at The pedometer and online tracker provide a week-to-week gauge of the dog's progress.


Dental resource book available


A dental resource for veterinarians and veterinary staff is now available in its fifth edition. The "Smile Book V" addresses dental protocols from start to finish and offers guidance for implementing the American Animal Hospital Association Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats.

This resource was produced through a grant from Merial.

The AAHA dental guidelines recommend a six-step dental cleaning, starting with an oral evaluation. In addition to a step-by-step guide for veterinarians on providing a complete dental cleaning, the book includes a glossary of equipment, recommendations regarding anesthesia, and tips for completing dental records.

"The AAHA dental guidelines stress the importance of complete dental care, and 'The Smile Book V' is the handbook veterinarians should use to put the guidelines into action," said Dr. Jan Bellows, who is a diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College and the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and author of the book.

"Both new and seasoned practitioners can benefit from the book's fresh perspective on dental care."

Veterinarians interested in receiving a free copy should ask their Merial sales representative for more information.