All Posts in Category: Veterinary Industry News

Webinar: Veterinary Pricing Trends, Insights, and Perspectives

Veterinary Pricing Trends, Insights, and Perspectives


Join us for a webinar on Sep 22, 2015 at 7:00 PM EDT.

Please join Dr. Carol McConnell as she presents on the “Nationwide / Purdue Veterinary Price Index.” In partnership with the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, Nationwide, formerly known as VPI, has analyzed millions of veterinary claim submissions over a six year period, resulting in a fact based presentation of veterinary pricing trends.

Nationwide (VPI) data is based on pet insurance claims – the bottom line amounts that consumers actually pay. This is similar to the difference between the sticker price of a new car versus the amount a consumer actually pays. Join us to learn about veterinary cost of care trends; the information is quite interesting and surprising.

Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA is Vice President and Chief Veterinary Officer at Nationwide. In this role, she oversees the company’s veterinary research and relations. Her prior roles have included positions at ALZA Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, and Priority Veterinary Management Consultants, where she provided consulting services to veterinarians around the country.
Dr. McConnell was a practicing veterinarian at Wilmington Animal Hospital in Delaware. She holds a BS from Cornell University, an MBA from Purdue University and a DVM degree from UC Davis.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
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Your Input Needed!

We have the opportunity to voice our opinion to the AVMA on upcoming US Congressional bills through our position on the Legislative Action Committee. Please link to the following survey to provide your opinion on these important upcoming bills that cover issues from humane transportation of horses to antibiotic usage.  These are key issues that affect our industry and your voice counts! Survey closes Saturday 4/18/15.

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Dr. Cori Gross appointed to AVMA Veterinary Economic Strategy Committee

We would like to congratulate Dr. Cori Gross, our President-Elect, on her new appointment to the AVMA Veterinary Economic Strategy Committee.  This committee is appointed by the AVMA Board of Directors and is charged with advising the Board of Directors on the broad scope of economic issues affecting veterinary medicine and make recommendations to the Board of Directors to develop strategies for addressing economic issues.

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AVMA response to Reuters article

The AVMA recently sent on my behalf a letter to the Reuters news agency regarding their special report, “Vets face conflicting loyalties to animals, farmers – and drug firms,” which called into question the integrity of veterinarians working in food animal medicine, industry and academia. Reuters is a wire service that supplies content to media outlets around the country, and as such they do not have their own “Letters to the Editor” section. We encourage you to keep an eye on your local media sources for the story and share your thoughts directly with that source. As of this morning we have seen very little distribution of this story following its initial publication online.

Here is the content of my letter to Reuters:

Dear Mr. Duff and Ms. Dwyer:
Your article “Vets face conflicting loyalties to animals, farmers – and drug firms” clearly questions the integrity of doctors of veterinary medicine and their motives. As the largest organization representing America’s veterinarians, we take exception to the implication that veterinary professionals, who have committed their lives to the health and well-being of animals, could be so easily swayed by financial motives.

We take special exception to your impugning the character and professionalism of our food-supply veterinarians, who have the dual responsibility of ensuring not only production animals’ health and welfare, but also protecting the world’s food supply to ensure that people around the globe can rely on safe and wholesome food products.

Like every business, veterinarians must make a profit to stay in business. But to suggest that a profit motive would compromise our professional judgment without any supporting evidence is irresponsible. Veterinarians work tirelessly to earn the trust and respect of food animal producers, government agencies, educators, industry and the public. There is no evidence to suggest that a veterinarian’s prime motivation is anything other than to do what is in the best interest of their patients and clients.

Veterinary medicine is a small profession. Oftentimes veterinarians called upon by professional associations, government, and industry groups for their expertise may serve various roles in those groups specifically because of their level of knowledge and training. With 100,000 veterinarians, and only about 11,000 working in food animal production, grants for scientific research, STEM programs, and continuing education lectures provide opportunities for advancement in human and animal health.

Corporate sponsorship is not unique to veterinary medicine. Like most Americans, veterinarians are used to seeing corporate logos from the time they enter grade school. But the very nature of veterinary education prompts them to question what is seen in front of them and to look deeper. It is no different when they are deciding the best course of treatment for an animal.

The American Veterinary Medical Association certainly supports full disclosure of any potential conflicts of interest. As stated in the article, such admissions are called for in the AVMA’s Code of Ethics, accordingly, we would be happy to work with Rep. Slaughter or any federal officials in the drafting of legislation designed to increase transparency and eliminate any perceptions of impropriety.


Dr. Ted Cohn, AVMA President

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AVMA response to Indianapolis Star “Pets at Risk” series

As an organization, the AAIV was made aware of the recent 3-part series of articles in the Indianapolis Star that attacked veterinarians and the profession from multiple angles.  We contacted the AVMA, who was already monitoring the situation and has sent the following letter to the editor of the paper.  Please copy and past this link to see the letter on the AVMA@work blog.   

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Pets & Ebola

Questions and Answers about Ebola and Pets

The ongoing epidemic of Ebola in West Africahas raised several questions about how the disease affects the
animal population, and in particular, the risk to household pets. While the information available suggests
that the virus may be found in several kinds of animals, CDC, the US Department of Agriculture, and the
American Veterinary Medical Association do not believe that pets are at significant risk for Ebola in the
United States.

How are animals involved in Ebola outbreaks?

Because the natural reservoir host of Ebola has not yet been confirmed, the way in which the virus first
appears in a human at the start of an outbreak is unknown. However, scientists believe that the first patient
becomes infected through contact with an infected animal, such as a fruit bat or primate (apes and monkeys),
which is called a spillover event. Person-to-person transmission follows and can lead to large numbers of
affected persons. In some past Ebola outbreaks, primates were also affected by Ebola, and multiple spillover
events occurred when people touched or ate infected primates. In the current West African epidemic, animals
have not been found to be a factor in ongoing Ebola transmission.

How does Ebola spread?

When infection occurs in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. Ebola is spread through
direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with
blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen)
of a person who is sick with Ebola objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be
spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats.
Only a few species of mammals (for example, humans, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become
infected with and spread Ebola virus. There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola

Can dogs get infected or sick with Ebola?

At this time, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of being able to spread
Ebola to people or other animals. Even in areas in Africa where Ebola is present, there have been no reports
of dogs and cats becoming sick with Ebola. There is limited evidence that dogs become infected with Ebola
virus, but there is no evidence that they develop disease.

Here in the United States, are our dogs and cats at risk of becoming sick with Ebola?

The risk of an Ebola outbreak affecting multiple people in the United States is very low. Therefore, the risk
to pets is also very low, as they would have to come into contact with blood and body fluids of a person with
Ebola. Even in areas in Africa where Ebola is present, there have been no reports of dogs and cats becoming
sick with Ebola.

Can I get Ebola from my dog or cat?

At this time, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of being able to spread
Ebola to people or animals. The chances of a dog or cat being exposed to Ebola virus in the United States is
very low as they would have to come into contact with blood and body fluids of a symptomatic person sick with

Can my pet’s body, fur, or paws spread Ebola to a person?

We do not yet know whether or not a pet’s body, paws, or fur can pick up and spread Ebola to people or other
animals. It is important to keep people and animals away from blood or body fluids of a person with symptoms
of Ebola infection.

What if there is a pet in the home of an Ebola patient?

CDC recommends that public health officials in collaboration with a veterinarian evaluate the pet’s risk of
exposure to the virus (close contact or exposure to blood or body fluids of an Ebola patient). Based on this
evaluation as well as the specific situation, local and state human and animal health officials will determine
how the pet should be handled.

Can I get my dog or cat tested for Ebola?

There would not be any reason to test a dog or cat for Ebola if there was no exposure to a person infected
with Ebola. Currently, routine testing for Ebola is not available for pets.

What are the requirements for bringing pets or other animals into the United States from West Africa?

CDC regulations require that dogs and cats imported into the United States be healthy. Dogs must be vaccinated
against rabies before arrival into the United States. Monkeys and African rodents are not allowed to be
imported as pets under any circumstances.Each state and U.S. Territory has its own rules for pet ownership
and importation, and these rules may be different from federal regulations. Airlines may have additional requirements.

Can monkeys spread Ebola?

Yes, monkeys are at risk for Ebola. Symptoms of Ebola infection in monkeys include fever, decreased appetite,
and sudden death. Monkeys should not be allowed to have contact with anyone who may have Ebola. Healthy
monkeys already living in the United States and without exposure to a person infected with Ebola are not at
risk for spreading Ebola.

Can bats spread Ebola?

Fruit bats in Africa are considered to be a natural reservoir for Ebola. Bats in North America are not known
to carry Ebola and so CDC considers the risk of an Ebola outbreak from bats occurring in the United States to
be very low. However, bats are known to carry rabies and other diseases here in the United States. To reduce
the risk of disease transmission, never attempt to touch a bat, living or dead.

Where can I find more information about Ebola and pet dogs and cats?

CDC is currently working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the American Veterinary Medical Association,
and many other partners to develop additional guidance for the U.S. pet population. Additional information and
guidance will be posted on this website as well as partner websites as soon as it becomes available.

Your Legislators:

State Senate – Trudy Wade (R-27)
State House – Jonathan Hardister (R-059)

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