Today's Veterinary Business

JUN 2018

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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ant during wellness checkups and at appropriate times during other visits. Veterinary practices might be surprised by the client response. "It's been my experience that clients don't always hear about these options because they can cost more," Gavzer said. "Many in practice shy away from recommending them for that reason. I think we've mis- read clients. I think that most would say 'yes' if we offered them a better way to take care of their pets, even if it cost more." Dr. Truffini hasn't seen a bump in sales as much as he has seen clients switching from topicals to chewables when his team initiates the discussion. "It hasn't been too hard to talk to people or convince that there are options with flea/tick products," he said. "I would say maybe a third of clients are using orals. "Every time we talk to people and they need to have refills, we mention the chewables. Clients are already used to giving once-a- month heartworm, so it becomes a pretty easy thing. They like that they aren't parting fur. People weren't always applying it properly. So with that issue, it's a very conve- nient thing to hand them this tasty, once-a-month treat. We are getting good compliance." Market Impact Chewable flea/tick products have made a noticeable impact in the market in a short period of time. According to industry reports, compounded growth in flea/tick products that have been veterinar- ian dispensed has been just under 5 percent since 2011. However, using 2014 as the baseline year shows a sharper uptick of close to 16 percent. What accounts for the in- crease? In 2014, Boehringer Ingelheim's NexGard (afoxolaner) and Merck Animal Health's Bravec- to were introduced to the market. The movement accelerated when Zoetis jumped into the space with Simparica (sarolaner) in early 2016. Examining compliance through a two- or three-year window is important rather than looking at year over year. That's because pet owners traditionally stretch their use of flea/tick products beyond a calendar year. One analysis showed that most owners who buy a six- pack of a monthly topical typically didn't buy it again for 25 months. At some hospitals, subsequent purchases are 36 to 38 months out. So, when clients make the initial purchase at a yearly exam, they might tell the veterinary team when asked about flea/tick prod - uct refills that they still have some preventives at home. Veterinary hospitals must have total buy-in when it comes to the products they carry. "The most successful hospitals, no matter what product they are carrying, have a consistent recom- mendation from the entire veter- inarian staff instead of a plethora of options," said Pasquale Bondi, a regional manager with Merck Animal Health. Chewables aren't limited to flea and tick preventives. The formulation and palat- ability make antibiotics easy to administer as well. Here's a sampling of what's on the market: • Zoetis' Clavamox Chewable (amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium tablets) was launched in 2017 for the treatment of skin infections in dogs and cats, periodontal infections in dogs and urinary tract infections in cats. • Virbac's Rilexine (cephalexin) Chewable Tablets is a broad-spectrum canine medication used to treat bacterial infections of the skin, urinary tract, respiratory tract, bones and joints. • Bayer's Baytril Taste Tabs (enrofloxacin) are prescribed for the treatment of dermal, urinary and respiratory tract infections in cats and dogs. CHEWABLE ANTIBIOTICS

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