Amid the flurry of CE sessions and special symposiums, several companies announced new products and services for veterinarians during the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC) this week in Orlando. Here are the highlights.
Bayer HealthCare: Flea and tick preventive. Bayer announced the launch of Seresto, a flea and tick preventive for both dogs and cats administered via collar over an eight-month period. The collar gives pet owners the same flea and tick protection they’d receive from a monthly topical but delivers the active ingredients in an easy-to-use, convenient collar, Bayer product managers say. Seresto features a sustained release technology that allows for a continuous release of imidacloprid (the active flea ingredient found in Advantage) and flumethrin (a new molecule in the U.S. that kills and repels ticks and is safe for cats) in low concentrations from the collar to the hair and skin of the animal. The collar also features a ratchet-release system and, on the small dog and cat collars, a predetermined breaking point so pets can escape if the collar becomes entangled. Seresto will be sold through veterinarians and pet specialty retail stores for a suggested price of $70.
Greenies: Social media tools for veterinarians. Greenies launched a veterinary portal on its Facebook page, Facebook.com/Greenies, aimed at helping veterinarians utilize Facebook to engage more frequently with clients and give them access to easy-to-use tools. One of these tools is the Healthy Paws Application, which drives pet owners to the individual veterinarian’s Facebook page and gives veterinarians a chance to reward clients for keeping on top of their pet’s dental health. Additionally, the portal offers veterinarians a CE-accredited webinar, customizable social media posts and downloadable resources for their clients.
Hill’s Pet Nutrition: Weight-loss and maintenance diet. Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution is designed to change the unhealthy metabolism of overweight pets to be more like the healthy metabolism of lean pets, which helps burn excess body fat while sparing lean muscle mass. In studies, Metabolic was fed to pets in real homes by owners who didn’t know they were participating in weight-loss research. Even without a strictly controlled program, 88 percent of cats and dogs lost weight in two months at home; most pet weight loss programs report a 50 percent success rate. According to Hill’s, no transition is necessary once ideal weight is reached—pets can consume 50 percent more calories of Metabolic during weight maintenance without deprivation.
MinXray: Portable digital radiography units. MinXray Inc. began the launch of a new series of digital radiography units for veterinary practitioners during NAVC. The SA100AP.DR, a compact, modular system designed for companion animal practices, is currently on the market and features an easy-to-operate software package. The Enduras, an ultralight yet rugged digital radiography system ideal for equine practitioners, is scheduled for release this February and features customized casing. The TR90B, a 15-pound unit that will become available in April, utilizes VetRocket wireless technology so that the unit can be used without powers cords or panel cables.
Trupanion: Reimbursement-eliminating software. Trupanion Express, a software application designed to be installed on desktop computers in veterinary practices—eliminates the client reimbursement process by paying veterinarians directly at the time of invoicing for 90 percent of all covered pet healthcare costs. Trupanion policyholders are never out of pocket for those costs, which allows them to accept “plan A” veterinary treatment recommendations immediately, product developers say. It also keeps the practice from having to pay a credit card transaction fee on that same 90 percent of the charge. The software can be installed in 15 minutes and synchronizes with all practice management software systems.
VPI: Monthly wellness plan. Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) is launching a new service that lets veterinary practices offer customized monthly preventive care plans. PAWS (Preventive and Wellness Services) is a full-service, turnkey program that helps veterinarians develop preventive care plans for their practices while offering administrative support along the way, VPI directors say. The VPI PAWS support team works with practice owners in building, pricing, training staff and selling their plans to clients. Participating practice also receive customized materials, including client service contracts, an Internet-based system to register clients and track their plan usage, and other marketing materials such as posters, flyers and client e-mail reminders. PAWS handles all monthly credit card billing, manages payment-related issues and provides downloadable, detailed activity reports.