Veterinary Products – Keeping Your Pets Tick Free

It’s important to keep your pets tick free for their own safety. But most of us have adventurous little critters that want to run and play in the grass, leaves, and wooded areas where ticks are just waiting to drop off their perch and right onto your pet! Here are a few things you should know about ticks and your pets.

Ticks Are Disease Carriers!

It’s easy to underestimate the dangers of ticks since they are such small insects, but they actually pose a great threat to us and our animals, since ticks often carry diseases. Diseases that ticks can transmit to animals include Lyme Disease, which is transmitted by the deer tick and causes symptoms similar to that of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever which is primarily found in New England and the West is a disease that causes depression, fever, rashes, skin hemorrhages, and joint disease. Dogs who live in wooded and mountainous areas often are at risk for this disease. Other possible diseases include Ehrlichiosis, a bacterial infection, and Babesoisis, a blood disorder.

Safe Tick Removal.

It’s important to check your pets often for ticks, especially during tick season and if they have been outdoors. The most common places ticks like to hide on animals are:

• Head
• Neck
• Ears
• feet

The following are the proper steps to help you safely remove and dispose of a tick you’ve found on your pet.

1. If you find a tick on your pet, remove it immediately! The longer it is attached to your pet, the greater the chance of disease. First to protect yourself, put on a pair of gloves so you do not have to touch the tick.

2. Use a pair of tweezers to carefully grasp the tick near the pet’s skin and gently pull until it lets go.

3. To help prevent inflammation and other infection, you may want to apply an antiseptic to the bitten area on your pet. Especially if it has left an open wound.

4. It’s important to properly dispose of the tick now that you have removed it from the animal. Acceptable methods include wrapping it in tissues and flushing it down the toilet or dropping it into a small container of rubbing alcohol. Don’t use water; ticks do not drown in water! And do not crush or burn them either, this may spread any infectious bacteria the tick may have.

Tick Prevention!

Pet owners should brush their pets often to check for ticks, especially after walks and trips outside in the woods or mountains. If you thoroughly comb and check your pet over within a few hours of being outside, you can greatly help prevent your pet from becoming infected by a disease from a tick. The best thing you can do for your pet is use some kind of tick prevention on them. Frontline is considered the #1 recommended tick and flea preventative by veterinarians. Frontline Plus will kill up to 100% of ticks on your pet within 48 hours and continue to keep them tick free for an entire month! (And the same product also keeps your pets protected from fleas too!) Many people enjoy ordering such products online because it’s so simple and reliable.

Animal Health Products and Veterinary Market (Developing Veterinary Drugs and Biologics)

Veterinary medicine is a multi-billion dollar market. In the United States, there are an estimated 150 million dogs and cats. In recent years, an increasing number of biomedical companies (biotech, pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostic) have initiated efforts to advance their technologies and/or services into the animal health market. This serves two primary purposes, being to generate revenue and often obtain valuable data capture.

Misconceptions:

The process is simple. The process to get a veterinary product approved is not simple, and often requires years of work to obtain the necessary data to obtain an approval and support the product in the market.

The process is cheap. The costs do develop veterinary drugs or biologics is not cheap, and can range from several hundred thousand dollars to tens of millions, depending on the species, disease, etc.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates all animal products: The FDA-Center for Veterinary Medicine regulates drugs. However, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Center for Veterinary Biologics regulates diagnostics, vaccines, immune based products (immune modulators and immune stimulants), and immunoglobulin products. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates topical ectoparasitic products like topical flea and tick control.

How to Develop and Animal Health Product:

We advise seeking an expert in the field. Far too often, someone tries to develop a product for veterinary medicine only to find out they did not have the expertise or understanding (regulatory, market, etc.) to effectively develop the product. There are several consulting groups that can advise on how to develop veterinary products or those for the pet market. Some consultants may limit their services to regulatory affairs, while others may focus more on clinical trials or marketing. Finding a group which satisfies your needs is important.

What are the Biggest Markets:

This is often hard to define. Companion animals (dogs, cats, horses) often represent the largest spending per species per visit. Livestock (cattle, swine, poultry) represent the largest volume but the economic pressures are often far greater per animal. Minor species (ferrets, rabbits, etc) is a growing market, and the FDA has recently enacted the Minor Use Minor Species Act (MUMS Act) to facilitate the develop of drugs for these species.

How to get Started:

1. Define the regulatory path: The first step is to understand which regulatory agency will oversee the development of the technology or service. Once this is defined, it will set the foundation for the necessary clinical trials, manufacturing, labeling, promotional materials, and other aspects that will define the product or service. If you are not certain of which group will have oversight of the regulations, you should consult with an expert to help define your regulatory strategy.

2. Define the clinical path: Next, determining which trials (GLP, GCP) in target species will be required to support label claims and the approval. Don’t assume that previous lab animal work or unapproved studies will support your approval process.

3. Define the market strategy and economics: After the regulatory path, clinical path, and timeline are estimated, it is very important to understand the economics of the market you are proposing to go into. The concept that pet owners will spend anything on their pets is a huge mistake. There is a limit, as with any market, on the cost of treatment. Constructing the financial justification will help avoid financial mistakes and raise the confidence that the project will meet financial metrics (ROI, NPV, etc.).

How Do I Choose a Veterinary Hospital?

Choosing the right veterinary hospital for you and your pet is almost as important as actually choosing your pet! It’s a good idea to choose the hospital before you choose your new pet. That way if you have a sudden emergency, you will not have the added stress of picking a veterinary hospital on the spot. Start your search by asking family and friends for recommendations. Doing this helps you begin to narrow down the hospitals. Once you have done that, visit the hospitals that are on your list.

Here are some things to keep in mind during your visits to potential veterinary hospitals:

• Office hours: Be sure to notice if there are regular office hours and make sure that the hours work with your schedule. Also make sure you find out who covers the hospital when the veterinarian is not available.

• Professional staff: The attitude of the staff is very important when choosing a hospital. Take notice of how routine phone calls are handled. Find out if you can request appointments with specific veterinarians and most importantly, make sure that you feel comfortable talking to the entire staff.

• Services: Some hospitals offer services that others do not. Find out what kinds of services are offered at the hospital you’re visiting.

• Emergency care: Not all veterinary hospitals handle emergencies, especially after hours. If the hospital doesn’t handle during or after hour emergencies, find out if they have an affiliate hospital where they send their patients to in the case of an emergency.

• Fees and payment: Find out what types of payment the hospital accepts. Also, are payments required on the day of a visit, or can you use a payment plan?

• Professional affiliations: Find out if the veterinarians are part of any national veterinary associations.

• Facility: Take a tour of the hospital and make sure that it looks clean and orderly. Also, check for any foul odors.

Once you have made sure that the hospital facilities meet your standards and expectations, you want to make sure that you are comfortable with the veterinarian as well. You should be able to comfortably communicate with your pet’s doctor. Make sure that you feel that you can ask questions and that the answers are clearly explained. Your relationship with your veterinarian is essential to your pet’s health. Your pet cannot tell the doctor when something is not right, so you need to be able to.

Choosing the right veterinary hospital is an important step in choosing a new pet. Be sure to carefully choose your hospital. Be sure that your pet is going to be as important to the veterinarian as it is to you!