Ken Niedziela

Our strange new world

When I last addressed readers of Today’s Veterinary Business, an “outbreak” of the “novel coronavirus” was underway. Trupanion was asking its Seattle employees to work from home as a precaution, Cornell University preemptively forbade large events, forcing the cancellation of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association symposium, and the parent AVMA was inviting people to […]

San Diego

AVMA calls off 2020 convention due to COVID-19

Executives say the decision “wasn’t easy to make” but was “the right one.”

For only the third time in history, the American Veterinary Medical Association has canceled its annual convention, this time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event had been scheduled for July 31 to Aug. 4 in downtown San Diego. The cancellation was announced May 1 in a letter from AVMA President John Howe, DVM; board […]

Pumpkin pet insurance

Zoetis launches Pumpkin pet insurance

Policyholders who choose preventive care coverage will receive a Zoetis parasiticide directly from the company.

The $1.5 billion-a-year U.S. pet health insurance market has a new player: Zoetis Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of animal drugs and vaccines. Zoetis’ insurance subsidiary, Pumpkin, is competing against more than a dozen providers, from industry leader Nationwide to upstarts Spot and Prudent Pet. One feature that sets Pumpkin apart is Preventive Essentials, a […]

Veterinary Virtual Care Association

Advocacy group sees a bright future for remote care

The Veterinary Virtual Care Association wants to take telemedicine to the next level — and beyond.

The Veterinary Virtual Care Association wants to do for veterinary medicine what the 27-year-old American Telemedicine Association has accomplished in human medicine. That is, as the ATA says, “change the way the world thinks about health care.” The newly established veterinary organization aims to make virtual care — a term encompassing telemedicine, teletriage and everything […]

It’s a work in progress

You might think that conditions have improved two years after the release of the first Merck Animal Health Veterinary Wellbeing Study, which discovered troubling rates of psychological distress among U.S. veterinarians. You’d be wrong. The results of a 2020 follow-up survey revealed that 9% of veterinarians are suffering with their well-being, the same rate as […]


AAHA suspends on-site accreditation visits

Other than cancellation of a seminar and a meeting, major veterinary associations are open for business during the coronavirus scare.

Veterinary practices awaiting an accreditation visit from the American Animal Hospital Association will hear from someone remotely rather than meet in-person during the COVID-19 outbreak. “For the time being, AAHA will be limiting air travel and conducting virtual rather than in-person practice evaluations,” the organization reported on its website. “Expect to hear from your member […]


VCA stops elective declaw surgeries nationwide

Nearly 900 VCA hospitals join sister companies Banfield and BluePearl in forbidding most onychectomies.

Elective declaw surgery is now banned at all 875 VCA Animal Hospitals across the United States. The policy change, which went into effect this month, follows similar moves at 1,050 Banfield Pet Hospitals and 80 BluePearl practices. All three companies are owned by Mars Inc. “At Mars Veterinary Health, we believe every pet deserves a […]

Michael Cavanaugh

AAHA’s chief executive is leaving in June

The hospital accreditation organization will replace longtime CEO Michael Cavanaugh.

The American Animal Hospital Association, which accredits up to 15% of veterinary clinics in the United States and Canada, is looking to replace Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP (emeritus), who will step down June 30 after 10 years as CEO. The Lakewood, Colorado, association credited Dr. Cavanaugh with a multitude of achievements, among them overseeing the […]

Stopgap employers

Say you’re an associate veterinarian living in Kentucky who would love to spend a winter working and snowboarding in Colorado. Or you’re a Minnesota practitioner tired of February ice fishing and you long for a working vacation in South Florida. Or perhaps you like your current job but need a second paycheck. Companies like Holiday […]


AVMA formally discourages declawing of cats

The House of Delegates approves language respecting “the veterinarian’s right to use professional judgment.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association has revised its policy on cat declaws, opting to discourage the procedure rather than rely on client education as a way to shed light on other options. The updated policy was approved by 84% of the House of Delegates after a 90-minute floor discussion during a meeting in Chicago. Some […] Protection Status