The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for April 24, 2020
Copyright © Brakke Consulting
Editor: Lynn Fondon DVM MBA

Brakke Consulting News
New Consultant joins Brakke Consulting
COVID-19: Impact on Pet Care report – Pre-order by April 30

Earnings News

Other News
Circa Healthcare
Good Boy Studios
Gravity Payments
Greenline Pet
Kemin Biologics
Nestlé Purina PetCare
Pacific GeneTech
VetriScience Laboratories



We are excited to announce that Jim Kroman has joined the Brakke Consulting team. Many of our readers may know Jim, but if you don’t, Jim has over 40 years of experience in the animal health industry.  Throughout his years at Beecham Laboratories, Novartis Animal Health, and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Jim led effective teams focused on sales, sales management, marketing, business development and licensing, and project management.   Jim is prepared to assist clients of Brakke Consulting in their efforts to build or streamline their businesses through the acquisition or divestiture of product lines, facilities, or companies, as well as through the development or optimization of sales force activities and personnel.

Jim can be reached at or (816) 617-8827.

Please join us in welcoming Jim to the team.

Bob Jones


  • Covetrus released select preliminary first quarter financial results. Covetrus anticipates preliminary net sales of approximately $1.07 billion, an increase of approximately 13% compared to the prior year period. March net sales benefited from accelerating prescription management growth and certain stocking activity in several geographies in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, which helped offset a portion of the net sales impact from reduced purchases over the last two weeks of March as many of the Company’s customers began to experience declining client visits tied to certain global measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Preliminary loss before taxes and equity in earnings of affiliates is expected to be in the range of $(35) – $(36) million as compared to loss before taxes and equity in earnings of affiliates of $(18) million in the prior year period. (company press release)


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.

To help you make prudent decisions during this disruptive period, Brakke Consulting is launching a new 3-wave tracking study, COVID 19: Impact on Pet Care.  The study is based on an online pulse survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 pet owners conducted every few weeks starting in May 2020.

The study will deliver 3 reports, roughly 4 – 6 weeks apart, beginning in late May.  The cost of the study is $17,500, with a $1,500 discount for orders placed by April 30.  For more information, contact John Volk at


  • IDEXX Laboratories announced the availability of the IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR Test for pets. The test will be available to veterinarians in North America this week and will continue to roll out across most of the world in the coming weeks, enabled by IDEXX Reference Laboratories. (company press release)
  • Nestlé Purina PetCare announced a partnership with Good Boy Studios (GBS), creator of the Pet Parade digital marketing platform, to provide gamification and consumer insights to support Purina’s digital initiatives to engage with pet parents. (Petfood Industry)
  • VetriScience Laboratories introduced Pro Line Amilextin chews for dogs, a new joint health supplement developed with and exclusively for veterinarians. (company press release)
  • Kemin Biologics, a business initiative of Kemin Industries, announced that it has signed an exclusive agreement with Pacific GeneTech (PGT) to license PGT’s salmonella vaccine for poultry. (Feedstuffs)
  • The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) is teaming up with industry leaders Animalytix, Greenline Pet and Circa Healthcare to launch VetWatch, a weekly reporting and monitoring service for critical trends and developments impacting the US veterinary profession. The platform incorporates four core components: 1) data regarding practice revenues and patient volumes from Practice Information Management System (PIMS); 2) practice purchasing volumes for key therapeutic categories; 3) a comprehensive industry survey; and 4) a resources center with information for practices. Visit for details. (company press release)
  • BabelBark announced a partnership with Gravity Payments, a payment processing company for veterinarians, to collect payment for telehealth consultations and in turn allow pet owners to pay for those services. Beginning immediately, the new partnership allows all BabelVet hospitals to implement the remote payment system. (company press release)



  • US – COVID-19 IN PETS The CDC and the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) announced April 22 the first confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection in two pet cats in separate areas of New York. These are the first pets in the U.S. to test positive for SARS-CoV-2. The pet cats both had mild respiratory illness and are expected to make a full recovery. At this time, CDC and USDA said routine testing of animals is not recommended. (Feedstuffs)
  • CANADA – MASTITIS RESEARCH Researchers at the University of Alberta have developed a bioassay using cow urine to screen for subclinical mastitis (SCM) in dairy cattle. Their results showed a total of two dozen metabolites that differentiated SCM and control cows at eight and four weeks prepartum, respectively, with the top five metabolites having an accuracy to predict SCM of 1.0.  The research indicates that the urine of dairy cows can be used with very high accuracy to screen dairy cows for susceptibility to SCM prior to entering into the dry-off period as well as form the basis for a potential new pen-side test. The research was published in the journal Research in Veterinary Science. (Feedstuffs)
  • US – VETERINARY EDUCATION The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) announced that its “2+2” veterinary program received official program approval from the AVMA’s Council on Education (COE). Through the 2+2 program, the first cohort of up to 18 additional Texas A&M first-year veterinary students will begin their doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) education at the Veterinary Education, Research & Outreach (VERO) program on West Texas A&M University’s Canyon, Texas campus, in fall 2021. Students will spend their first two years in Canyon, and their third year and fourth years at the CVM in College Station, with the option of returning to Canyon for a portion of their fourth-year clinical rotations. (Feedstuffs)
  • US – VETERINARY EDUCATION  The University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine announced that it has accepted its first class of 110 students for the fall of 2020.  For its first admissions cycle, the college filled 110 seats, which include 46 in-state and 64 non-resident students. (Feedstuffs)
  • UK – RESEARCH The UK’s Animal Health Trust (AHT), a leading veterinary and scientific research charity, revealed following a period of “dire financial constraints and with the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK” that it may be forced to close its doors. The charity’s trustees and executive committee are continuing to seek emergency funding; a final decision regarding the long-term future of the trust is expected near the end of April. (Animal Pharm)************************************


As the world now starts to deal with the issue of lives and livelihood as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we in our industry need to really think about our role and responsibilities in rebuilding the world.

I have had the opportunity to talk to many people around the world in how the animal health business has/is being affected and what I find positive is the resiliency and optimistic mindset many share. Our industry is blessed to have some very strong underlying drivers, and this will be a large to contributor in our ability to return to the ‘new normal’.

The US Army War College introduced the concept of leadership termed VUCA, which stand for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. This leadership style was described to be the ability to lead and manage in the increasingly complex world based on constantly changing environments, incomplete and unclear data, and difficulty in creating sustainable activities. While animal health has always been stable and predictable, we are now entering a new era. Time to be a VUCA leader- get ready!

Paul Casady


Last week we asked this question: What will be the most impactful change in the way veterinary clinics service their pet owners and patients after the COVID-19 crisis is over?

Over half of the respondents (51%) said the “Broader use of telemedicine” would be the most impactful change followed by “Use of the clinic’s online product ordering and home delivery”, which was chosen by 28% of the respondents.  About 10% selected each of the other two choices, which were “Social distancing inside the clinic” and “Acceleration of corporate ownership of clinics.”  Get that web cam ready.

This week, staying again with the COVID-19 theme, let’s focus on the livestock side of the animal health business.

Which livestock species will be impacted the most by the packing and processing plant shutdowns and slowdowns that have been announced in the last few weeks?


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