The Experts in Animal Health

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Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for June 16, 2006
Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Editor: Lynn Fondon, DVM, MBA
other news
AusGene International
Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica
Doane Pet Care
Imulan BioTherapeutics
Kibow Biotech
Newsham Genetics
Nutramax Labs
SalPep BioTechnology
Value Added Public Relations
Most companies help sponsor various consultants in veterinary practice management that speak at veterinary meetings.  The success of animal health manufacturers and distributors is directly dependent upon the success of the veterinarian. The practice management consultants of Brakke Consulting, Inc. are widely respected speakers and authors, and are experienced at helping both companies and veterinarians learn how to succeed in the continual challenge of serving pet and animal owners.  Contact the Brakke Veterinary Practice Management Group at to learn how our practice management consultants can benefit your company.
> Intervet announced that, together with scientists at the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute in Germany, the company has developed a prototype for a next-generation vaccine offering protection against both avian influenza and Newcastle Disease that can be mass applied by spraying instead of injecting.  The new vaccine, scheduled to undergo field trials next year, can also be used as a marker vaccine to differentiate between vaccinated and infected birds. (company press release) 
> Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. announced that it has transferred ownership of its risk assessment program for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians. The Association said the transfer will improve and speed the swine industry’s communication, education, research and decision-making regarding PRRS. (Feedstuffs online) 
>  Vetoquinol announced the launch of Azodyl, a unique nutritional supplement that targets uremic toxins and reduces azotemia in dogs and cats with chronic kidney disease. Azodyl contains three beneficial bacteria: Enterococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium longum and Lactobacillus acidophilus.  They target and metabolize uremic toxins in the bowel and are then excreted.  The product was developed by Kibow Biotech. (company press release)  
> Nutramax Labs reported that the FDA performed a non-scheduled site inspection of the company in February 2006, which resulted in no deficiencies. The report noted that Nutramax Laboratories, Inc. uses drug GMPs (Good Manufacturing Practices) in the manufacturing of their dietary supplements. An NLEA (Nutrition and Labeling Education Act) exam was performed and again, no deficiencies were found. (company press release)
> Farnam announced the launch of new White ‘N Brite Body Wash for horses. The easy-to-use spray applicator fits on the end of a hose to spray a rich, luxurious lather that easily removes even the worst yellow manure stains.   (company press release)
> Neogen Corporation announced that its Board of Directors has elected Chief Operating Officer Lon Bohannon as the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer. Bohannon will immediately replace James Herbert, who served as Neogen’s President since its founding in 1982. Herbert will continue full-time responsibilities as Chief Executive Officer, where he will focus his attention on strategic growth and international expansion, and he will assume the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors. Herbert will also be actively involved in the direction of key research and development activities. (company press release) 
> Mars, Incorporated and Doane Pet Care Company announced that Mars has completed the acquisition of Doane’s parent corporation, Doane Pet Care Enterprises, Inc., from Teachers’ Private Capital, the private equity arm of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. The acquisition by Mars did not include Doane’s European business, which has been sold to a third party. Financial terms were not disclosed. (PRNewswire)
> Newsham Genetics LLC announced that it has acquired AusGene International LLC, which controls a gene pool based on more than 30 years of survival-of-the-fittest selection. The survivability traits will complement Newsham’s “focus on Gentel selection” that’s designed to decrease aggressiveness and improve performance of pigs housed in group pens. Financial terms were not disclosed. (Feedstuffs online)
> Imulan BioTherapeutics announced that it has licensed the global animal health rights to a new class of immune modulating anti-inflammatory compounds called Immune Selective Anti-Inflammatory Derivatives (ImSAIDs). The compounds were originally developed by SalPep BioTechnology, but Imulan will be responsible for clinical development in the animal health market. (Animal Pharm)
> Allerca, Inc., announced it is now taking orders for its Allerca Gene Divergence (GD) “hypoallergenic” kittens. Allerca officials say they searched for natural variations in the cat gene that controls allergy-inducing properties and then bred cats with the desired trait. The company says human-exposure trials conducted by Allerca and an independent lab revealed that known cat-allergy sufferers ranging from mildly to highly allergic showed no signs of reaction when in contact with the newly bred cats. (National Geographic News)  
Brakke Veterinary Practice Management Group Consultant
Dr. Guenther graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1970.  Upon graduation he became an associate in an equine/small animal practice in Cleveland, Ohio.  After several years as an associate, Dr. Guenther left Cleveland and moved to Asheville, North Carolina to establish an equine, small animal practice.  Dr. Guenther owned and managed this practice for 25 years. 
In the winter of 1997, Dr. Guenther enrolled in a dual degree (MBA/MHA) program through Pfeiffer University in Charlotte, North Carolina.  As an MBA project he converted an existing companion animal emergency clinic into a 24/7 Emergency/Critical Care practice.  One of the largest challenges he faced was promoting and selling interests in the concept to the local veterinary community.  In a short time 50 area veterinarians purchased interests in the 24/7 and in the spring of 1999 the doors opened.
In late 1999 Dr. Guenther joined Brakke Consulting, Inc. as part of the veterinary practice management group.  He has been performing on-site consultations and practice valuations, as well as speaking and writing to veterinarians.  He is now program chair for practice management at The North American Veterinary Conference and is actively involved with Association of Veterinary Practice Management Consultants and Advisors.
Dr. Guenther still lives in Asheville, NC with his wife, Mary, daughter, Amy, and three dogs.  In his spare time he works with his flowers and plays a few rounds of golf for its brain cleansing properties.
What does Jim see as the future in veterinary medicine?
The future is extremely bright in veterinary medicine.  Practice management is improving every day.  Veterinarians and their management teams are raising the bar daily.  In was not too many years ago that Bob Levoy wrote about how to create a $100,000 practice.  Today it is not unusual to see million-plus-dollar practices, all because of a better understanding of the importance of client service, which is driven by the tremendous importance placed on practice management.
The Brakke Veterinary Practice Management Group is helping to lead the charge in creating client-centered practices.  These are practices who recognize the importance of the clients, their unconditional love of their pets, and how the veterinary practice does make a difference in the lives of the pets and people.  Without pets and people, the emotional and financial rewards of practice ownership are reduced.  Practice management is an important element to the success of veterinary practices in the future.
> US – SWINE VIRUS   A newly activated virus sweeping through hog country is the wild card for continued pork profits, according to a veteran hog industry analyst. Glenn Grimes said the impact of the virus, known as Porcine Circovirus Type 2, could throw a wrench into price projections for the hog market this year. Circovirus can wipe out 30 – 40% of a hog herd, experts say, and cause losses of more than $7 a head. (PigSite newsletter)
>  US – PORK CERTIFICATION   Pork producers, packers/processors, restaurants, and food retailers have created a solution to assure food safety and animal care while still meeting the demands of restaurants, food retailers, and consumers. The program they have created, Pork Quality Assurance Plus, was announced at the World Pork Expo. It will launch July 1, 2007, with a three-year implementation period. (Wattnet Meatnews)
> KOREA – US BEEF IMPORT DECISION DELAYED   According to a post on the Korean government’s agricultural Web site, a decision on the end of a ban on US beef, expected this week, has been put off indefinitely because seven of 38 plants wishing to export beef were found wanting during inspections. Korean inspectors object to plants using the same tools on animals under and over 30 months of age, as well as production lines that contain both US and Canadian cattle. Korea has said until the plant operations issues are resolved, there will be no clearance for US beef to enter the country. (Meating Place)
>  US – MEAT PURCHASING PREFERENCE POLICY  Legislators in Maine are working on what some are calling the first state meat-purchasing-preference policy. The policy will tell meat producers that the state prefers to buy products from animals that have not been given antibiotics for non-therapeutic purposes. It also encourages Maine school districts to engage in contracts with suppliers whose products meet that preference. The new Maine policy stems from a law that also calls for further study into the prudent use of antibiotics in Maine animals. (Food Systems Insider,
> US – BIOSENSOR CHIP   BioWarn, LLC, has combined biochemistry with silicon chip technology to produce a sensor that can detect pathogens and other materials using a molecular identity checking system and automatically transmit the results. The company has announced that it has successfully demonstrated the capability to instantaneously detect avian influenza virus (H5N1) using its new SmartSense system. A SmartSense detector is a real-time sensor. It uses a microchip to capture the electronic “signature” produced when the avian flu (H5N1) surface contacts the sensor. The detector then automatically transmits the identifying information to users. The company has also announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has approved for issuance its patent application for the SmartSense system. (AnimalNet)
>  US – NCBA VOTES TO SUPPORT SANCTIONS  The executive committee of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn. (NCBA) voted unanimously this afternoon to support agricultural and non-agricultural retaliatory sanctions against Japan if the country does not “immediately” resume beef trade with the US. The committee voted to support legislation instructing the Bush Administration to take such measures and to support Senate Bill 3364 introduced last week to ban beef imports from Japan until trade is resumed. (Feedstuffs online)
>  CANADA – CATTLE BIOSENSOR   New technology developed at the Alberta Research Council uses remote sensors and wireless transmitters to send real-time information on individual animals back to a central computer at a ranch or feedlot, allowing early intervention on sick or stressed animals. Ovistech and ARC launched the project in 2004, and Harding Instruments, Xanatec Technologies, Precarn Inc. and the University of Alberta all made major contributions. Cattle wear an eartag that continually monitors their temperature, while a collar contains a device that keeps track of how much they are moving. High temperature and lack of movement are key indications of a problem animal. The collar also contains a transmitter that sends the information to a base station. (AnimalNet – Edmonton Journal)
Where are the large animal veterinarians?  As a former equine practitioner I am both excited and discouraged by some of the happenings occurring in large animal medicine.  As an example, I, like a lot of people, am watching closely the recovery of Barbaro at New Bolton Center from his horrific leg injury at the Preakness.  We have watched one of the most promising equine athletes career come to an end, and now we patiently wait to see if he makes a full recovery to continue is life as a breeding stallion.  If it were not for the talents of highly trained equine veterinarians using an innovative recovery system, this horse (and others like him) may have been only an asterisk in the record books.
Large animal veterinarians are extremely dedicated, talented, professional people who have been the backbone of the profession since the earliest times.  They have and will continue to be providing their knowledge and skills to maintain the safest food source in the world by tirelessly working long hours, and sometimes in the worst conditions, to make sure the public can enjoy their food and sports.  Large animal veterinarians are truly unsung heroes. 
It is a shame that more veterinary students cannot visualize the tremendous impact that large animal veterinarians make to society.  The reasons for so few choosing this path are boundless, and of course there is finger pointing as to whose fault it is, but in the end it is both a lifestyle and dollars issue.  These large animal veterinarians are enjoying a lifestyle that may have longer hours than their urban counterparts and at the same time they are making an honest wage that by comparison may be lower than companion animal colleagues.  Life cannot be measured by dollars and cents alone, but more by achieving peace and happiness with the choices one makes. 
Large animal practitioners need to be thanked for all of the contributions they make to the public.  In exchange, let us promote to young people all of the benefits these practitioners hold dear with the hope and desire that more promising students will see how large animal veterinary medicine can make a difference in the lives of animals and their owners by having these individuals pursue a career in large animal medicine.  Just ask Barbaro and his owners to give you their take on the importance of these veterinarians, and you will hear how thankful they are for the dedicated professionals who saved another life, the large animal veterinarians.
Jim Guenther
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