The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for April 14, 2023
Copyright © Brakke Consulting
Editor: Lynn Fondon DVM MBA

Brakke Consulting News
Pain Management Products for Dogs and Cats – now available
Lourens Havenga Joins Brakke

Other News
Caring Hands Animal Hospital
CULT Food Science
Digatherm Thermal Imaging
Inspire Veterinary Partners
Lallemand Animal Nutrition
Midwest Veterinary Supply
Pet Poison Helpline
Thrive Pet Healthcare
Veterinary Practice Partners
WellVu Thermal Imaging

Lourens Havenga Joins Brakke Team

Brakke Consulting is pleased to announce Lourens Havenga has joined the Brakke Consulting team as a Senior Consultant.

Lourens, a veterinarian and 26-year veteran of the animal health industry, has unique livestock experience in the vaccine, pharmaceutical, and nutraceutical segments in the US and international markets. Lourens’ expertise will support Brakke clients with product assessments and with guidance along the product development pathway to commercialization.  Lourens also has extensive knowledge in sales, marketing , and technical support development in large and small companies.

To contact Dr. Havenga, you can email him at


  • Zoetis announced it is developing an avian influenza vaccine geared toward certain strains that are now circulating rapidly. According to the company, creating a vaccine that would be effective against the current strain of the flu would take roughly a year. (Seekingalpha)
  • Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC confirmed that it has entered into discussions with Swedish private equity firm EQT X EUR SCSp and EQT X USD SCSp for a possible cash offer for the company.  Under the terms of the possible offer, Dechra shareholders would receive 4,070 pence ($21.24) per ordinary share in cash, a 49% premium over Thursday’s closing price.  The deal would value the company at GBP 4.6 billion ($5.7 billion). (MarketScreener)
  • Covetrus announced the launch of SmartImmune Mushroom from SmartPak, an equine supplement made from a mushroom extract blend and naturally occurring botanicals to support healthy immune function in horses. (DVM360)
  • The United States Attorney’s Office announced that Midwest Veterinary Supply has pled guilty to introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce and has agreed to pay more than $10 million in criminal fines and forfeiture. Court documents explain the company shipped prescription drugs from their non-pharmacy locations throughout the U.S. to end-users that were not authorized to receive prescription drugs from 2011 to 2021. As part of the plea agreement, Midwest will forfeit the $10,150,014 of misbranded drug income and serve between one- and three-years’ probation. Additionally, the company will pay $1 million to the Virginia Department of Health Professions and a $500,000 fine. (Drovers)
  • Mars Veterinary Health and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) announced the release of the Positive Pet Care Guide. This new free resource will help strengthen the relationship between veterinary teams and their clients. The guide will be available within the AVMA’s reputation management tool kit for free, thanks to an education grant from Banfield. (DVM360)
  • Lallemand Animal Nutrition is pleased to announce the launch of PetWAG, a new tool to help veterinarians and pet owners assess dogs’ well-being. PetWAG is a four-step guide to measure and monitor a dog’s welfare based on personality and mood state. Additionally, it provides practical tips and nutritional solutions that will help support and improve the pet’s emotional well-being. (Petfood Industry)
  • Digatherm Thermal Imaging announced it has rebranded itself WellVu Thermal Imaging. Using a highly sensitive infrared camera, WellVu technology allows clinicians to measure, compile and analyze the electromagnetic energy emitted from a patient. (Todays Veterinary Business)
  • CULT Food Science has announced a partnership with JellaTech to launch a line of collagen enhanced pet foods using cell-cultured collagen, under the Indiana Pets brand created by CULT. (Pet Business)
  • Thrive Pet Healthcare announced that it is partnering with Pet Poison Helpline to provide their veterinary professionals in approximately 400 locations across the country with direct, 24/7 access to animal poison control experts for all species. (company press release)
  • Inspire Veterinary Partners has filed to raise $5M through an initial public offering, with selling shareholders offering around $23M additional shares. The veterinary hospital group said it was looking to offer 1M shares priced between $4 and $6; the company would not see any proceeds from the shareholders’ sale. Based in Virginia, Inspire owns and operates animal hospitals in nine states. The company reported a net loss of $4.9M on revenue of $9.8M for 2022. (seekngalpha)
  • The Veterinary Practice Partners network announced it has added eight clinics with the acquisition of Caring Hands Animal Hospital in Maryland and Virginia, bringing it to 133 practices. Financial terms were not disclosed. (Todays Veterinary Business)
  • EU The European Commission has granted marketing authorization for Merck (MSD) Animal Health’s Bovilis Nasalgen-C, a coronavirus vaccine for cattle development by. An intranasal, live vaccine, Bovilis Nasalgen-C is only EU-licensed vaccine against BCoV that can be administered at the first day of life to reduce clinical signs of upper respiratory disease and nasal viral shedding from infection with BCoV. (ie)


Pain management is one of the leading topics in veterinary medicine today, and new, innovative products are changing the pain management paradigm. Is your company up-to-date on the latest trends in this important category?

Brakke Consulting’s annual report on Pain Management Products for Dogs and Cats includes such valuable information as:

  • estimates of US sales and prices of leading products
  • review of new and upcoming pain management products, including ZORBIUM and monoclonal antibody products SOLENSIA and LIBRELA
  • discussion of the use of cannabinoids in veterinary pain management
  • 2023 survey of 350 small animal veterinarians regarding use of pain management products
  • Trended, aggregated practice-level data, powered by Vetsource, including chronic vs. acute use of analgesics, comparisons of analgesic revenue per patient by brand, and data on brand-switching at the patient level.

Pain Management Products for Dogs and Cats 2023 is now available for $8,995. Questions about the study can be answered by project manager Lynn Fondon, DVM, MBA at



  • FRANCE – AVIAN INFLUENZA France has launched a tender for 80 million doses of avian influenza vaccines in order to be ready to start its vaccination program in the autumn. The pre-order is to vaccinate ducks only. France has mandated two companies, Ceva Animal Health and Boehringer Ingelheim, to develop bird flu vaccines for ducks. France – the first member of the European Union to start such a scheme – was the worst-affected EU country last year, when it culled more than 20 million birds. (Reuters)
  • CHINA – AVIAN INFLUENZA The Guandong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported a human infection with avian influenza A (H3N8) virus in China on March 26, 2023. This is the third human infection with H3N8 bird flu viruses ever reported. The previous two H3N8 virus infections were also reported in China, during 2022. H3N8 viruses are a different influenza A virus subtype and unrelated to H5N1 viruses currently spreading among wild birds and poultry in the United States and globally. (CDC)
  • US – RHDV Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus type 2 (RHDV2), a highly contagious and often fatal disease, has spread to almost half of US states after it was first documented in a jackrabbit in Palm Springs, Calif., in March 2020. An emergency-use authorization vaccine is available from Medgene in all but a handful of US states.  (AVMA SmartBrief – Nebraska Public Media)
  • US – DAIRY HERD For almost 60 years, the University of Minnesota has maintained a herd of “unselected” Holsteins not subjected to selection pressure for greater milk yield. Scientists have now shown these unique  Holsteins offer considerable potential to help improve health traits of dairy cows. This includes a greater resistance to mastitis.  Research published in Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, demonstrates that when whole blood was stimulated with components from Gram-negative bacteria, the release of an immune cell signaling protein (interleukin 1β) was less in contemporary Holsteins than those in the unselected herd housed at the U of M. (Feedstuffs – subscription)


I decided to learn more about the 1918 Spanish flu and just finished reading The Great Influenza by John Barry, which tells a thoroughly engaging story about the virus and the time that it infected the world.  I wanted to specifically understand more about the influenza virus and how society responded to this pandemic – and maybe learn something about pandemics caused by coronaviruses.

But after the news this week, I am back thinking about how we as an industry should respond to influenza in animals, specifically poultry.  The first death of a Chinese person infected by an avian H3N8 influenza A virus should make pause.  Until recently, I underappreciated the fact that influenza viruses are endemic in six animal species or groups (wild waterfowl, domestic poultry, swine, horses, dogs and bats) and that the human influenza pandemics were caused by viruses that jumped from primarily birds and swine to humans.

The most common response to avian influenza outbreaks is to contain the spread of virus by killing the birds, and because of the rampant highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, there are now about 60 million fewer poultry in the US.  So, it’s good news to hear that Ceva and Boehringer Ingelheim are helping France battle his and that companies like Zoetis are bringing new technology to the influenza war.  As an industry, we need new and better ways to fight zoonotic diseases, not another generic product.

Bob Jones

Last week, we asked a question about your travel spending plans this year compared to 2019, a pre-pandemic year.  About a quarter of the respondents thought they would spend about the same, a third thought they’d spend less and just over 40% thought they would spend more than in 2019.  Well, with inflation the way it is, I suppose it is easier to spend more than 2019.

This week let’s see how much our readers know about zoonotic diseases, which are those that spread from animals to humans.  No Google searches…  What percentage of known infectious diseases in humans are zoonotic?

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