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AVMA membership has reached a record 100,000

Membership in the American Veterinary Medical Association is at an all-time high of 100,000, up nearly 20% over the past decade. According to the organization, nearly three-quarters of American veterinarians are members of the AVMA. Women make up 61.5% of the membership. Millennials, at 37%, are the largest group of millennials. “Nearly 160 years ago, about 40 veterinary surgeons from seven New York states came together to form what came to be called the American Veterinary Medical Association,” said Janet Donlin, executive vice president and CEO, DVM. “We are deeply grateful for the support and commitment of our members, and honored to serve them in everything we do, from policy, resources, tools, and continuing education to important advocacy work, insurance plans, and so much more.

Louisiana Hospital is AAHA’s Practice of the Year

The Lafayette Veterinary Care Center in Lafayette, Louisiana, has been awarded the 2022 AAHA Approved Best Practice of the Year. Lafayette is a 13-doctor clinic that provides emergency services around the clock and operates a boarding, personal care, and day care facility. The three winners honored at the American Animal Hospital Association’s Connexity Conference are Stack Veterinary Hospital in Syracuse, New York. Four Seasons Veterinary Specialty in Loveland, Colorado; and MedVet New Orleans in Metairie, Louisiana. In other news, Denver practice owner Margot Vahrenwald, DVM, has been named president of the AAHA for 2022-2023 and Grand Rapids, Michigan, practice owner Lynn Happel, DVM, has joined the board.

Thrive Pet Healthcare is hiring a new CEO

Thrive Pet Healthcare has promoted its President, Odis Pirtle, to Chief Executive Officer, replacing Stephen Hadley, DVM, MBA, who has been named Executive Vice Chairman. Birtel was previously CEO of Thrive Affordable Vet Care and in leadership positions at Pfizer Animal Health and Zoetis Inc. Thrive operates more than 350 veterinary hospitals nationwide.

Solensia is available for Feline OA pain

Zoetis Inc. Distribution of Solensia (frunevetmab injection) in the United States, an FDA-approved monoclonal antibody treatment for the control of arthritis pain in cats. “For the first time in the United States, we have the ability to reduce the impact of osteoarthritis pain with a single monthly injection performed in the veterinary clinic,” said Laura Olsen, vice president of American Petcare at Zoetis. The Food and Drug Administration approved Solensia in January 2022.

Merck acquires Virtual Duel Company

Merck Animal Health has agreed to acquire Vence, a manufacturer of a virtual fence system designed for rotational grazing and livestock management. Terms were not disclosed. Merck reports that “Vence’s virtual fencing technology can reduce the need for fencing to divide pastures and allow producers and ranchers to manage their livestock and turf stock while reducing labor and fencing material costs.”

New from Purina: Smart Litter Box

Nestlé Purina PetCare has released the Petivity Smart Litterbox system, which uses artificial intelligence to learn cats’ litter box patterns and “identify subtle but meaningful changes in weight, litter type, and disposal schedule,” according to the company. “The monitor, which can run on battery power or plug into an electrical outlet, is placed under every trash can in the house,” Purina noted. “Sensors collect accurate data to track each cat’s weight and litter box activity. The monitor and AI detect changes that may be related to weight issues or health conditions that require a veterinary diagnosis. Cat owners receive data from the monitor via the Petivity mobile app, which alerts them to early changes that may occur. It might be a cause for concern.”

Investors give $35 million to scratch

Scratch Financial Inc. Inc., which operates financing platform Scratchpay for veterinary clients, has raised $35 million in Series C funding. According to Scratch, the money “will be used to accelerate the development of new technology to help medical providers better communicate with their customers and manage the overall patient experience.” The round was led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from Alumni Ventures, Companion Fund, Struck Capital, SWS Venture Capital, TTV Capital, and others.

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