Today's Veterinary Business

FEB 2019

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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20 Today's Veterinary Business Business Business THE VETALYTIX REPORT Welcome to The Vetalytix Report for the fourth and final quarter of 2018. Throughout the year, we have highlighted the significant variation in economics and market dynamics that impact veterinary communities across the nation. We observed sluggish volume in the first part of 2018 in many areas, followed by significant improvement and growth as the year progressed. We saw other regions start strongly and appear to slow as the year went on, and some regions observed more tepid, but consistent, mar- ket dynamics throughout the year. The report that follows reveals the major trends observed during the final months of 2018 — October, November and December. Did practices finish 2018 strongly or was veterinary medicine last on people's mind as the holiday season approached? Let's take a look using product consumption data made available through our partnership with Animalytix and its data platform, www.vetalytix.com. South Atlantic After more than six months of continuous above-average results, veteri- nary business metrics for the South Atlantic states (Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida) slowed moderately as the year came to a close. Clinical volume was up 2 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2017, below the national average of 3.1 percent. This tepid growth repre- sented a significant decrease in overall volume compared with the 5 percent observed in the third quarter and 4 percent in the second quarter. Wellness care through the veterinary channel appeared to continue to a negative trend compared with the prior year. Canine and feline core vac- cine volume both fell by 6 percent in the fourth quarter, significantly more negative compared to national averages as well as the region's third-quar- ter results. Canine influenza volume showed a small uptick in consumption in the final quarter. Surprisingly, procedural volume significantly increased over the prior year and was above average when compared with many other regions of the country. In the case of flea and tick preventives, the data suggested a continued decrease in volume again in the fourth quarter, although only slightly more significant than the effects seen more broadly. East North Central The consistency of veterinary business metrics observed throughout the year in the East North Central states (Great Lakes) appeared to have slowed as 2018 came to a close. Overall clinical volume was only up 1.3 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2017, behind the national average of 3.1 percent as well as the 4.1 percent growth observed in the third quarter. Canine and feline core vaccine volumes both slowed in the fourth quarter, with canine core dose growth significantly trailing national trends at negative 9.4 percent. The growth in canine influenza dose utilization stabilized somewhat compared with the third quarter. This period-to-period variation is common as regions respond to localized outbreaks as well as the broader adoption of this antigen as a critical component of vaccination protocols. Procedural volume was consistent with broader trends observed nationally while flea and tick dose volume appeared to continue to soften significantly during the fourth quarter. West South Central In the fourth quarter, veterinary business metrics observed through the South were some of the most consistent compared with broader national trends. Overall clinical volume in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana was up 3.2 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2017, on par with the 3.1 percent growth rate observed on a national scale and only slightly behind the regional growth observed in the third quarter (3.5 percent). Canine and feline core vaccine volumes were mixed, with canine core doses essentially flat and feline doses showing contraction close to 3 per- cent for the reporting period. Canine influenza volume was up slightly compared with the prior year, a secondary effect consistently observed following the rapid expansion seen in response outbreaks. Procedural volume was higher than other areas of the country for the second reporting period in a row, a rare positive data point for this critical component of clinical practice. Flea and tick dose volume dynamics were consistent with the softening in the broader market. New England In the fourth quarter of 2018, the New England states observed a slowing in business metrics consistent with effects reported in other parts of the country. 2018 was a year of regional disparity Whether clinical volume went up, down, sideways or back and forth depended mostly on where a veterinary practice did business. South Atlantic Q4 2018 Q4 2018 National Vet Consumption Index (Overall Clinical Volume) 2.0% 3.1% Canine Core Vacc Doses -6.1% -3.4% Canine Flu Vacc Doses 6.5% 27.2% Feline Core Vacc Doses -5.9% -3.8% Advanced Procedural Volume (Inhalant Anesth. Dynamics) 19.8% 12.8% Flea Tick Doses -17.3% -14.9% East North Central Q4 2018 Q4 2018 National Vet Consumption Index (Overall Clinical Volume) 1.3% 3.1% Canine Core Vacc Doses -9.4% -3.4% Canine Flu Vacc Doses 14.8% 27.2% Feline Core Vacc Doses -3.8% -3.8% Advanced Procedural Volume (Inhalant Anesth. Dynamics) 10.5% 12.8% Flea Tick Doses -18.0% -14.9% West South Central Q4 2018 Q4 2018 National Vet Consumption Index (Overall Clinical Volume) 3.2% 3.1% Canine Core Vacc Doses -0.1% -3.4% Canine Flu Vacc Doses 4.5% 27.2% Feline Core Vacc Doses -2.6% -3.8% Advanced Procedural Volume (Inhalant Anesth. Dynamics) 13.1% 12.8% Flea Tick Doses -13.2% -14.9%

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