Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
Dr. Michael Topper takes over as AVMA president
Michael J. Topper, DVM, Ph.D., DACVP, assumed the role of president of the American Veterinary Medical Association in late July during the organization’s convention in Indianapolis.Dr. Topper, a recently retired veterinary pathologist living in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, will serve as president for one year.
He has held numerous leadership roles. They include representing the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association on the AVMA House of Delegates from 2007 to 2016 and serving on the House Advisory Committee for six years, culminating as chairman in 2015.
Dr. Topper’s successor in July 2018 will be John de Jong, DVM, of Weston, Massachusetts, whom the House of Delegates named president-elect.
Dr. de Jong owns Boston Mobile Veterinary Clinic and Newton Animal Hospital. He founded the low-cost spay/neuter clinic at Merwin Memorial Clinic. He is a past president of the Massachusetts and New England veterinary medical associations and the American Association of Housecall Veterinarians. He serves on the board of advisers for the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.In other AVMA news:
- The 2019-20 president is expected to be either Indiana veterinarian Angela Demaree, DVM, MPH, a major in the U.S. Army Reserves, or Minnesota mixed-animal practitioner John Howe, DVM. The House of Delegates will choose the president-elect during the group’s 2018 convention in Denver.•
- Michael L. Whitehair, DVM, a large animal veterinarian from Abilene, Kan., was elected chairman of the AVMA board of directors. Dr. Whitehair, who previously served as vice chairman, succeeds Mark Helfat, DVM. Dr. Whitehair also will chair the Board of Governors.
Zoetis completes acquisition of Nexvet Biopharma
Zoetis Inc. on July 31 completed the acquisition of Nexvet Biopharma, an Irish biologic therapeutics company developing monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies for companion animals.
The acquisition, first announced April 13, strengthens Zoetis’ pipeline of solutions for chronic pain management in dogs and cats, the Parsippany, New Jersey, company reported. Under the terms of the transaction, Nexvet shareholders will receive $6.72 per share, representing an aggregate equity valuation of approximately $85 million.
“The acquisition demonstrates our determination to lead the animal health industry in the development and commercialization of monoclonal antibody therapies in areas of high medical need,” said Alejandro Bernal, DVM, MS, MBA, an executive vice president and group president a Zoetis.
Judy Korman named CBO at Assisi
Judy Korman, VMD, MBA, has joined New York-based Assisi Animal Health as chief business officer.
Dr. Korman will spearhead Assisi’s efforts in business and product development. She becomes the third clinician on the Assisi team, joining clinical studies manager Deirdre Chiaramonte, DVM, DACVIM, CCRT, CVA, and customer service manager Michelle Graziano, a veterinary technician.
Dr. Korman is a dog agility enthusiast, competing in national events with her Stabyhoun, a Shetland sheepdog and an Australian Koolie. Assisi makes products that use targeted pulsed electromagnetic field (tPEMF) technology for the treatment of orthopedic injuries, degenerative neurological issues, post-surgical pain and swelling, inflammation and wounds.
Experts discuss Lone Star tick population
Leading experts in human allergy, parasitology and entomology discussed the Lone Star tick, its geographic spread and the zoonotic diseases it can transmit during a panel discussion at the American Veterinary Medical Association’s annual convention.
Scott P. Commins, MD, Ph.D., an allergist at the University of North Carolina; Brian Herrin, DVM, Ph.D., DACVM, a postdoctoral researcher at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Animal Health; and Thomas Mather, Ph.D., a professor of entomology and director of the TickEncounter Resource Center at the University of Rhode Island, presented a review of the diseases transmitted by the Lone Star tick. They noted that the parasite is being found in new areas of the United States.
Dr. Herrin emphasized that as the Lone Star tick expands into new territories, more people and their pets may be exposed to tick-borne illness. Dr. Commins is one of the allergists who identified the connection between the Lone Star tick and the alpha-gal allergy in humans in a highly cited 2011 study. Dr. Mather, often referred to as “Tick Guy,” and who has raised more than $16 million to support his tick-borne disease research and outreach, wrapped up the session by presenting “Five Things Every Veterinarian Should Know About Lone Star Ticks.”
Survey: People underestimate pet homelessness
U.S. pet owners significantly underestimate the pet homelessness issue, according to a survey commissioned by PetSmart Charities and conducted by Wakefield Research. When asked for their thoughts on the approximate number of pets that enter shelters each year in North America, 84 percent of respondents said they believed the answer was less than 1 million. The actual number is closer to 6.5 million annually, which 2 percent of the respondents chose. The good news is that adoption is widely recognized as a solution to the pet homelessness. Ninety-six percent of those surveyed agreed that more pets would be rescued if people received more information on how to adopt a pet.
“This survey demonstrates the continuing need to educate current and prospective pet parents about how easy it is to adopt a pet, and the difference adoption can make to this issue that is so widespread across the U.S.,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities.
12 people receive post-exposure rabies treatment
North Georgia Health District officials announced that 12 people in northwest Georgia were getting post-exposure rabies treatment due to contact with domestic animals that have tested positive for the disease.
Over a two-week period, Chattanooga, Tenn.-based WTVC reported, two puppies and a kitten were confirmed to have rabies. All three pets were too young to get the rabies vaccine, WTVC reported.
Vet Online Supply launches cannabis CBD line
San Diego-based Vet Online Supply Inc. is now selling its own cannabis products for pets in addition to its legacy veterinarian supplies line. The newest products are Pet Drops and Pet Treats. CBD, or cannabidiol, Pet Drops are formulated to help with arthritis, compromised immune systems, stress responses, aggression and digestive issues, the company reported. “Our new products are high-grade CBD and lab-tested with maximum performance using 5mg dosages and liquid drops for the best results,” company spokesman Matt Scott said. “The pet market is changing and CBD has gained acceptability. The presence and regulatory role of the endocannabinoid system in all animals has been confirmed by scientific studies.”
FDA approves pain drug for food animals
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Banamine Transdermal (flunixin transdermal solution) for the control of pain associated with foot rot and the control of pyrexia associated with bovine respiratory disease.Banamine Transdermal, produced by Merck Animal Health, is the first new animal drug approved in the United States for controlling pain in cattle. Foot rot is a painful disease of the foot in which the interdigital surface becomes irritated, inflamed and starts to decay. Affected cattle can become lame, and the disease can affect deeper structures of the foot and leg if not treated.
Although other therapies are available for treating foot rot, there had been no approved drug to control the pain associated with this disease.