Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
Mars Agrees to $1.3 Billion Purchase of Heska
Mars Inc., whose properties include the Banfield, VCA and BluePearl hospital chains, plans to acquire veterinary diagnostics equipment manufacturer Heska Corp. for $1.3 billion. “The transaction price represents … a premium of approximately 23% over Heska’s closing stock price as of March 31, 2023,” the companies reported. Colorado-based Heska would become part of Mars Petcare, a division of privately owned Mars. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2023.
Walmart Offers Nationwide Pet Insurance
Nationwide is partnering with Walmart to sell pet health insurance through the big-box retailer’s website. “Visitors to the pet care section of Walmart.com may explore Nationwide’s pet protection products, purchase a policy and learn about healthy pet ownership through curated content,” the insurer reported. Nationwide policyholders already receive preferred pricing on pet prescriptions at 4,700 Walmart pharmacies and 566 Sam’s Club pharmacies.
BI Helps Rehome Shelter Pets
Greater Good Charities has transported more than 8,800 at-risk shelter pets from the South to new homes on the East Coast and in the West in collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health and The Animal Rescue Site. The number, achieved over two years, includes more than 900 asymptomatic heartworm-positive dogs. The third year of the Good Flights program kicked off April 3 with the transport of more than 100 shelter pets from New Orleans to the East Coast.
Michigan State Chooses Interim Dean
Dr. Douglas Freeman, the former dean at the University of Saskatchewan Western College of Veterinary Medicine, was named interim dean of the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, pending board of trustees approval. He would succeed Dr. Birgit Puschner, who served from September 2018 to March 2023.
WSAVA Seeks Award Nominees
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association is accepting nominations for its Companion Animal Welfare, Future Leader, Global Meritorious Service, Global Scientific Achievement and One Health awards. Nominations are due by May 8 at bit.ly/40Wxp1p. Award recipients will be honored during the WSAVA World Congress, scheduled for Sept. 27 to 29 in Lisbon, Portugal.
Black Veterinarians Group to Meet in New Orleans
The third National Association for Black Veterinarians Conference is set for June 8 to 10 in New Orleans. “The conference will provide sessions to support in-practice veterinarians with clinical businesses, such as the importance of business planning, implementation, assessing growth, and management,” the organization stated. “In addition, it will include several notable speakers, research presentations and speakers on diversity and inclusion.” Details are at nabvonline.org.
Embrace Powers Claims Platform With AI
Embrace Pet Insurance launched Apollo, an artificial-intelligence platform designed to automate routine claim processes such as document handling, data extraction and claim adjudication. “The platform, which was built completely in-house, is over 75% faster than Embrace’s standard claims processing method,” according to the company.
AAFP Schedules Online Conference
“Spring Into Feline Medicine,” an American Association of Feline Practitioners online conference featuring live presentations, will take place April 30, May 10 and May 20. Attendees can earn up to 13.5 RACE-approved continuing education credits. Learn more at catvets.com/sfm2023.
Elanco Feline Diabetes Drug Is Available
Elanco Animal Health began shipping Bexacat (bexagliflozin tablets), an oral treatment formulated to improve glycemic control in cats with diabetes mellitus. The drug earned U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in December 2022.
The Vets Debuts in Raleigh, North Carolina
The Vets, a provider of at-home veterinary care, expanded into Raleigh, North Carolina, its second location in the state and 16th market overall. Through June 30, Raleigh clients get $50 off their first appointment.