The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for June 26, 2020
Copyright © Brakke Consulting
Editor: Lynn Fondon DVM MBA

Brakke Consulting news
COVID-19: Impact on Pet Care report – WAVE 2 NOW AVAILABLE

Earnings News
Better Choice Company

Other News
Animal Cloud Device Connectivity
Boehringer Ingelheim
De Heus Animal Nutrition
Destina Genomics
ElleVet Sciences
Improve International
Look Chemicals
Piensos Muga
Roslin Technologies
Stratford Pharmaceuticals
Swedencare AB
Vetsina Animal Diagnostics


The pandemic that struck the US and the rest of the world in early 2020 is an event that has altered personal lives and business operations unlike any other event. What lasting impacts will the pandemic have on pet owners regarding the way they purchase pet medications and veterinary services?

“COVID-19: Impact on Pet Care” is a new study by Brakke Consulting that will help answer this question.  The study is based on online surveys of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 pet owners, conducted every few weeks beginning in May. The study not only documents the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pet owners, it also shows the change in how pet owners were able to receive care for their pets at veterinary clinics.  Furthermore, it shows how pet owner purchasing behaviors for pet medications and pet food changed during the stay-at-home orders.

The study will deliver 3 reports, roughly 4 – 6 weeks apart, beginning in May; the June report, which covers changes from the start of the lockdowns to mid-June, is now available.  The cost of the study is $17,500.   For more information, contact John Volk at


  • Patterson Companies, Inc. reported operating results for its fiscal year 2020 ended April 25, 2020. Sales for Patterson Animal Health were $3,336 million, a decline of 0.5% compared to the prior year. In the fourth quarter, internal sales decreased 0.8%; internal sales for the first two months of the fiscal fourth quarter, ended on March 21, increased 3.7% compared to the same period last year. (company press release)
  • Better Choice Company, Inc. reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2020. Net revenue of $12.3 million reflects a ~250% increase over the comparable prior-year period. The majority of this increase is attributable to the Halo acquisition completed in December 2019. GAAP net loss was ($9.5) million compared to a net loss of $(2.8) million in the prior-year quarter. (Globenewswire)


  • Elanco announced it will evaluate AniV8‘s wearable technology for companion animals in a research setting. AniV8 is working on a patented collar-mounted device that uses algorithms and cloud-based data analytics to measure animal movement. The firm’s technology is designed to track the quality of animal movement, rather than the quantity. The company expects its initial device to be available commercially in the first half of 2022. (IHS Markit Connect)
  • Huvepharma announced it has received FDA approval for Optigrid 45 (ractopamine hydrochloride), a feed additive used to promote weight gain and improve feed efficiency in finishing feedlot cattle. (Feedstuffs)
  • Akorn, Inc. announced the launch of Neomycin and Polymyxin B Sulfates, and Bacitracin Zinc Ophthalmic Ointment, USP (BNP) indicated for the treatment of superficial bacterial infections of the eyelid and conjunctiva of dogs and cats. (Globe Newswire)
  • ElleVet Sciences introduced Calm & Comfort, a CBD chew formulated to help dogs overcome noisy or stressful situations such as fireworks, thunderstorms and travel. Calm & Comfort contains the active ingredients CBD (cannabidiol) and CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) as well as peanut butter, rice bran and brewer’s yeast. (Todays Veterinary Business)
  • Swedencare AB announced it has acquired the operations of pet health products company Stratford Pharmaceuticals from Eli Global for approximately SEK 159.3 million ($16.5 million). Stratford had revenues of $7.6 million and EBITDA of $1.6 million in 2019. The deal will be made by a new Swedencare subsidiary called Stratford Care USA. (IHS Markit Connect)
  • CareCredit and PetDesk announced a multi-year strategic partnership to provide the first mobile pet health app with integrated financing options. (PRnewswire)
  • Roslin Technologies announced it has partnered with Destina Genomics to launch Vetsina Animal Diagnostics, a company focused on rapid point-of-care testing in the animal health sector. Vetsina will initially focus on detecting microRNA (miRNA) biomarkers for infections, illness and disease. (IHS Markit Connect)
  • Aquaculture health business Benchmark announced it has sold Improve International – a provider of continuing professional development training for veterinary professionals – to RJD Partners and the Improve directors for a cash payment of up to GBP 12.75 million ($15.9 million). Benchmark acquired Improve in 2015; the company is currently exiting its non-core activities to focus on aquaculture genetics, health and specialist nutrition. (IHS Markit Connect)
  • Animal Cloud Device Connectivity announced its formation to provide healthcare monitoring, documentation, and collaboration solutions for dogs and horses working in law enforcement, and as signed a software licensing agreement with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. The company’s technology allows law enforcement officers to wirelessly monitor their animal’s health from a mobile phone or smart watch. (
  • CHINA Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health announced it has received marketing authorization in China for Ingelvac CSF MLV, a classical swine fever (CSF) live vaccine. This is China’s first approved CSF live vaccine developed by a multinational company and domestic research institutes. It will also be Boehringer’s first swine vaccine to be wholly developed, manufactured and distributed in China. (IHS Market Connect)
  • UK Dechra announced the UK launch of Dormazolam (midazolam), the first and only equine benzodiazepine licensed for the intravenous co-induction of anesthesia in horses. (
  • BRAZIL Avivagen announced that it has received approval from Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture-Feed Additives Division for the immediate use of OxC-beta Livestock in poultry, swine and cattle (beef and dairy) in Brazil. Avivagen has also signed a distribution agreement with Look Chemicals Importacao E Exportacao LTDA for the use of OxC-beta Livestock in poultry and swine. (company press release)
  • SPAIN De Heus Animal Nutrition announced that it has signed an agreement for the acquisition of Piensos Muga in Spain. With an annual capacity of 80,000 metric tons, Piensos Muga specializes in the development and production of a complete range of high-quality feeds for dairy and beef cattle and other ruminants. Financial terms were not disclosed. (Feedstuffs)
  • NETHERLANDS Connecterra, the developer of the Ida digital dairy farm platform, announced it has received EUR 7.8 million ($8.7 million) in a series B funding round. (IHS Markit Connect)



  • BULGARIA – AVIAN INFLUENZA Bulgaria has confirmed a new outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza on a farm in the south of the country. The outbreak killed 68 birds and led to the slaughtering of the rest of the flock of nearly 79,000 animals. Bulgaria has reported several outbreaks of the virulent H5N8 strain of bird flu in recent months. (Reuters)
  • US – VESICULAR STOMATITIS The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) announced that vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) was confirmed in horses in Butler County, Kansas, making Kansas the fourth state in the US to have confirmed VSV cases this year. KDA has established a quarantine on the three affected premises and tested a number of other animals in the region that are showing clinical signs consistent with VSV and are awaiting final laboratory testing. (Feedstuffs)
  • US – RABBIT DISEASE The AVMA reported that rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus serotype 2 (RHDV-2) is spreading in the Western US. RHDV-2 has been detected this spring in domestic species, wildlife, or both in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. It also is spreading among domestic and wild rabbits in northern Mexico. The virus, discovered in France in 2010, reached North America by 2016, when animal health authorities confirmed infections on hobby farms in Quebec. (association press release)
  • US – DISEASE ALERTS Pet Disease Alerts, a nonprofit established by the Companion Animal Parasite Council, announced the launch of a new service to alert veterinarians and pet owners about local infectious disease outbreaks. The alert service as of now tracks outbreaks of leptospirosis; this fall, the service will add alerts for other bacterial and viral diseases, including canine influenza. For more information, visit the Pet Disease Alerts website by clicking here. (Vet Advantage)
  • US – SWINE DISEASE SURVEILLANCE The USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a joint project with Iowa State University to develop a certification program for high-consequence swine diseases, including African swine fever (ASF) and classical swine fever (CSF). The partners APHIS will develop and implement a pilot ASF/CSF-Monitored Certification Program, which will be modeled after the basic tenets of the National Poultry Improvement Plan program for US commercial poultry operations. (Feedstuffs)
  • US – ANIMAL DRUG EXPORTING The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) announced the launch of a new online system that will enable animal food, drug and device manufacturers to apply for, track and receive export certificates electronically for the first time. For more information, click here. (FDA)
  • US – MEAT PRODUCTION About 600,000 hogs are backlogged in Iowa due to processing plant closures and reduced operations during the pandemic. According to the state Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, almost 61,000 hogs have been euthanized. A number of producers have found alternative markets, including selling live pigs direct to consumers. (Vet Advantage – Feedstuffs)
  • US – MUMS GRANTS The FDA announced an open period for applications for grants to support the development and approval or conditional approval of new animal drugs intended to treat uncommon diseases (minor uses) in major species (horses, dogs, cats, cattle, pigs, turkeys and chickens) or to treat minor species (MUMS). The individual award amount has been increased to a single funding level up to $250,000. Only animal drug sponsors with Designated MUMS animal drugs or their research partners are eligible to apply. Applicants must also meet other eligibility requirements. For more information click here. (FDA)
  • US – BEEF DATA The USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) has released “Beef Cow-calf Management Practices in the United States 2017,” the first report from its latest study of the US beef industry, NAHMS’s fourth study of the US cow/calf industry. To view the report, click here.  (Feedstuffs)

During the current turmoil we are experiencing, I remember a discussion I had many years ago with one of the wealthiest, most successful businessmen in Argentina. We were discussing all the issues at that time in his country and I asked if he believed it would ever be ‘fixed.’ His comment, paraphrased, was that it is what it is and that to know how to profit in the chaos is what you have to focus on – not the ‘noise.’ Are you and your company focused on the right areas to be successful? It appears that coming out of the pandemic is going to be a long road with bumps and a lot of stops and starts. Keeping an eye on the long term will help guide you through these times.

Kudos to the FDA for the announcement of two events: Online system for export administration and MUMS grants for minor use in major species or treatment for minor species. I am particularly interested in the supply chain as most companies rely on overseas production in some form for their products. We’ve seen the short-term impacts of COVID-19 in animal protein supplies. Could this happen to our industry? A robust dialog between the industry and the regulators will certainly help mitigate potential issues.

Paul Casady

Last week we asked you about the communication provided to you by leadership in your companies during the COVID-19 lockdowns.  Most of you are happy: 38% think it is outstanding and another 30% say it is very good. Sounds like our industry has been a model of good communication during this time.

This week’s question:
We’d like to hear from you about the status of in-person field sales calls (face to face, not via video). Click the link below to answer our question.

In-Person sales calls status

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