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.).

Summer Vet Products

When we think of summer we think of the outdoors and fun with our pets. Then we think a little harder and remember the disagreeable side, such as insects and allergies as well as diseases spread by insects. You need to prepare to meet the onslaught with all the weapons available from your vet/pet care centre. You should get to know your area and what type of dangers your pet is likely to face.

Here are a few of the more common safeguards you need to consider to keep your pet happy and comfortable in summer:

• Annual booster shots. Make sure your pet’s injection regimen is up to date. Especially dogs and cats are more likely to come into contact with other animals, if you visit public places with them.

• De-worming. Worms multiply and mature quickly in the warmer season, and some eggs, such as tapeworm, are carried by fleas.

• Fleas, flies, midges, lice and in some areas, ticks. These carry disease, internal parasites and are unpleasant and harmful to all pets. You can find preparations, internal or external, for all these pests. For some of them injections can help, for others, collars or repellent sprays. There are a great many natural, herbal products available too.

• Allergies and skin diseases affect most animals that are susceptible or have a lowered immunity for some reason. Molds, pollens, insect excretions, certain foods, and great many other allergens affect animals just as they do humans. However in those animals that are vulnerable, allergic reactions most often manifest themselves in their coats and skins, but occasionally in other ways, such as asthma. There are many preparations to apply topically from veterinary preparations to herbal products. Sometimes antihistamines or corticosteroids are administered internally by mouth or injection. Food should always come under scrutiny and often a hypoallergenic diet is the answer.

• Water should always be available, but in summer you need to take into account how much more water your pet drinks. Special water dispenser tanks are available in a variety of shapes and sizes so that you can be sure the pet’s dish keeps topping up with nice fresh water no matter how much he drinks. It should be placed in a shady spot.

• Your pet’s coat. The longer your pet’s coat is the more care it should have. At the beginning of summer you will need to give a thorough grooming in order to remove the loose winter hairs. Brushes and combs of all descriptions are available to suit the texture of his coat. Dogs can be made much more comfortable by clipping or shaving if the heat is really intense, but cats normally don’t need this as they have the nack of seeking out the most comfortable spots for themselves. Other pets, especially if they are in cages or runs, should have access to plenty of shade, fresh air, and for some species, a shallow pond or dish of water to cool down in.

Keep a vigilant eye on your pet; get to know his habits, so that any deviation of his normal behaviour will be an early warning sign to you that something is not right. Enjoy the Summer!

Making Veterinary Design User Friendly

WYSIWYG. We’ve all seen the acronym – “What You See Is What You Get”

When building my first website I came across this term. After doing a Google search to discover its meaning, I thought, “Well, that’s software I can use!”

Today WYSIWYG can be applied to architectural design software, but not in the same regard as website development. More accurately, we now have the tools to provide you, our veterinary clients, a peek inside and outside the veterinary facilities we’re developing before they are built. True, the talented veterinary architect and staff could previously render their veterinary design concepts meticulously by hand, but this could be both laborious and time-consuming. These renditions were typically from a particular vantage point and were limiting. When the client asked, “but what does it look like from here?” We would often wave our hands and futilely attempt a word picture. Building Information Modeling or BIM has changed that.

As veterinary design professionals, we are always looking for software to make our job simpler and more productive. We are endlessly seeking the graphic holy grail to effectively communicate how our design concepts are resolving our veterinary client’s needs and desires. In all areas of our lives we’ve seen how digital technology can be transformative. We’ve watched software applications evolve from the floppy disc to instantly deliverable applications on our ‘smart’ devices. No other technological advance has changed and is in the process of changing the architecture profession more than BIM. It is transforming the way we deliver our services. In short, when used to its potential, our veterinary clients experience WYSIWYG in a profound and often beneficial way:

  • More complete and accurate project visualization.
  • A means of delivering multiple solutions quickly and effectively.
  • Parametric documentation that reduces errors and ultimately costs.
  • Assists in identifying possible conflicts that may arise during building construction.
  • Construction sequencing analysis and potentially shortened project schedules.
  • Assists owners in making informed decisions about the proposed project earlier in the design process.

One of the maxims in the construction world is that a project owner may ask for cheaper, faster and better, but will only be able to get two of the three. The evidence from projects constructed utilizing a BIM methodology indicates that it is possible to deliver completed projects that are completed faster, are less expensive, and of higher quality.

BIM does not design veterinary clinics, that will likely always have a human component, but it does help to enhance the collaborative relationship between veterinary architect and veterinary client by providing a means to effectively communicate design solutions through a 3-dimensional data-rich model. Though BIM is helping to close the communication gap, inspiration will always be required to envision solutions to our client’s challenges. The table napkin will remain one of our most cherished tools.

Veterinary Supplies – Pet Grooming and Health

Grooming is an important part of caring for your pet. Not only does it make them look and feel beautiful, it helps keep them healthy too!

Benefits to Grooming Your Pet:

A good grooming session with your pet can be greatly beneficial to both you and your animal. The best part is that there are a lot of grooming methods you can do yourself at home! Granted, there are benefits to using a paid professional because they are trained to not only groom, but spot potential health risks before they develop into major complications. Every so often, you may want to take your pet to a professional groomer.

Regular grooming develops a strong bond between you and your pet. An animal that lets you brush out its fur and clean its ears is showing great trust in you. Grooming involves a great deal of petting and handling which also benefits the pet’s emotional state too. Regular grooming also may uncover any potential health risks- for example, when brushing your pet; you may find a matted section of fur that is hiding some form of skin disease or irritants like clinging plant pods or thorns. Small irritants like these can develop into infection and disease if left uncared for. You should also clean any dirt out of their ears before it becomes compacted and causes complications.

The two greatest benefits to routine pet grooming are, one, it allows you to make observations that may uncover issues like weight problems, vision trouble, skin disease or tumors before they develop and become untreatable. And two, it allows you and your pet to develop a deeper and more trusting relationship together!

How to Properly Groom Your Cat:

Cats clean themselves, so do you really need to groom them too? Yes! Although they spend a great deal of time cleaning their own fur, they still need a little help from their owner. Plus, why would you pass up such an opportunity to bond with Fluffy?

Ideally, you want to start grooming your cat when it’s a kitten. If you start young, it will become routine and normal to them. However some cats, at any age, don’t take kindly to grooming, so don’t force it! Do very short grooming sessions where maybe you only brush one part of its body and another tomorrow. Gradually increase grooming seasons until they are more receptive to this routine.

When grooming your cat, you want to relax them first, so spend some time petting them to get the cat into the idea that you’ll be handling them for a little bit. Then gently begin to brush their fur- hold the brush in one hand and use the other to smooth down their fur in front of the brush to feel for any lumps and matted fur. If you do find matted fur, gently brush out one layer of fur at a time. If it seems to be causing your cat discomfort, slowly brush it out over a few days. If at any time the cat lets you know that it is uncomfortable, be sure to stop and find out what is causing the stress- don’t force additional grooming. Cats need to know they are in control, otherwise they may not trust you next time. One handy trick that works for my frisky cats (who like to attack their brush) is that I try not to let them see the actual brush. For some reason this works- they love the feeling of the brush but don’t like looking at it. Usually, most cats don’t like to be brushed for a long time anyways, so doing a little each day will be more efficient than trying to brush them out for a long time. And always remember to brush in the same direction as their hair is growing.

How to Properly Groom Your Dog:

Now, dogs typically don’t spend as much time self-grooming as cats, so they’ll be relying on you a bit more for their personal hygiene! Brushing your dog before you give him a bath will remove any loose fur which increases the effectiveness of the shampoo. When brushing your dog, be systematic, start at the head and move your way to the tail. Be firm but gentle with your brush strokes to be sure you get the job done but not to hurt your pet or cause them any stress. You want them to enjoy grooming sessions with you! When you find any tangles or matted areas, don’t brush at them firmly! This will hurt the animal’s trust in you- gently and slowly try to detangle the knots and brush the fur free.

When bathing your dog, you have to find a suitable location. Sinks and basins work great for smaller dogs while bathroom tubs or portable pet tubs are best for larger dogs. Using an outside hose is convenient, but not a great alternative. The cold water makes your pet uncomfortable, plus the shampoo won’t work as well in cold water. Never use a shampoo made for humans! Our shampoos contain harsher detergents that may damage your pet’s hair or sensitive skin. When it’s time to dry off, use a cotton towel for short haired dogs and rub the fur vigorously with the grain and then against working head to tail. For long haired dogs, you should comb out the fur to prevent tangles.

Clipping your dog’s nails can be a little tricky, so you’ll need to get clippers specifically for dog nails. You have to be careful not to trim too far back- inside your dog’s nail is a vein referred to as the “quick”, and cutting the quick of the nail can cause pain and bleeding. The longer your dog’s nail, the longer the vein extends into it. So if you haven’t done it in a while, you’ll have to cut their nails in phases. First, taking off just a little bit at the tip and then waiting a week. After the first cut the quick will retract further back away from the tip. Then cut a little more, again waiting a week allowing the vein to retract. Once you get the hang of it cutting your dog’s nails will be as easy as cutting your own!

Products:

Since you’ve already made the choice to properly groom your pet, you also want to be sure you’re using the right grooming supplies! Contact your veterinarian to help you decide what types of products you may need. There is an array of antibacterial shampoos and solutions to choose from, so do your research for Fluffy and Fido and they will look fabulous for you in return! Benzoyl Plus Shampoo is a great choice- it is anti-bacterial, keratolytic, and follicular flushing. It also degreases and rehydrates your pet’s coat. Plus, it’s safe for use on dogs and cats!