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November 15, 2021

In Short

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Kansas State developing hotline support for food animal toxicology

Researchers at Kansas State University hope to partner with a poison control hotline and together aid food animal veterinarians who encounter unfamiliar toxicology problems.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing Kansas State’s College of Veterinary Medicine with $248,000 toward a program that could help answer those calls. Dr. Steve Ensley, who is a clinical veterinary toxicologist at the veterinary college, said in October that he was in talks with a national animal poison control hotline about a partnership.

Under the current proposal, he said, the existing hotline’s operators would field calls from veterinarians and help as many as possible. Those who would need additional help could be connected with toxicology experts such as Dr. Ensley and several others at Kansas State and Iowa State University who have agreed to participate in the project.

An announcement from Kansas State indicates toxicology researchers at the university already receive multiple inquiries daily related to food animals, mostly from veterinarians. The hotline project is part of a broader program intended to help veterinarians recognize and address toxicology problems in food animal species, especially cattle, pigs, and small ruminants.

The program also will provide additional toxicology training resources to veterinarians, veterinary students, and veterinary technicians, according to the announcement.

Veterinary student scholarship programs accepting applications

Applications for the Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Program will be available starting Nov. 15.

Marco Animal Health is partnering with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation to offer $5,000 scholarships to second- and third-year veterinary students in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean.

AVMF logo

Thirty-seven scholarships will be awarded to students focusing on companion animal or equine medicine, and 17 to students working toward a career in food animal or aquatic animal medicine.

Applications are due by Dec. 31. The application form will be available at the AVMF website.

In addition, the AVMA and AVMF are announcing the application period for the Second Opportunity Summer Research Scholarship program, which opens Oct. 8. The scholarship program is intended to provide support for currently enrolled veterinary students who have previously conducted a summer research project and are seeking to gain a second summer of research experience.

Five students will receive $6,000 each: a $5,000 stipend to perform a second research project and $1,000 to cover travel expenses to the symposium, which will take place at the University of Minnesota.

Students should complete the application form and submit it to their veterinary college by Jan. 11. Officials at each college will select one applicant to nominate. The AVMA Council on Research will then select the five recipients from among the colleges’ nominees.

Scholarship applicants for both programs will be notified in March.

PetSmart offering online veterinary pharmacy

Retail giant PetSmart has entered the online veterinary prescription market with the launch of The Pharmacy at PetSmart, a “one-stop online destination” for pet and livestock medications.

PetSmart is competing against other big-name brands, including Chewy and Walmart, for a share of an online market that the market research company Research and Markets valued at $1.7 billion in 2020.

A wide range of veterinary drugs are sold on The Pharmacy at PetSmart site, according to a Sept. 20 press release from PetSmart. Customers enter relevant animal and veterinary information on the site, then check out while PetSmart handles prescription verification.

Allivet, an online veterinary pharmacy licensed in all 50 states, fills and ships the medication orders made on the PetSmart pharmacy site.

PetSmart operates roughly 1,650 pet stores in the United States and Canada as well as more than 200 in-store dog and cat boarding facilities.

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