RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) – Americans are closer to their pets than ever before with nearly 87 million households in the United States having a pet. As a result, animal healthcare has grown into a 104-billion-dollar industry. At a recent veterinarian healthcare conference in Orlando, some new healthy trends for 2024 were announced, and here are some tips that may be helpful for your fuzzy friends.
They have dogs, cats, lizards, and more. It’s a show of shows for all things pet healthcare, from new pet life-saving A-I innovations to setting the direction for veterinarian medicine. Every year, this nonprofit organization, the North American Veterinarian Community (NAVC) hosts a meeting where veterinarians from all over come to hear the latest breakthroughs in animal medicine. Gene O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer says, “What we are seeing revolves around technology because the greatest asset that veterinarians have is their time and anything we can do technologically to help them have more time with their pets.”
Artificial Intelligence is helping to advance pet healthcare explains Dr. Dana Varble, Chief Veterinary Officer, NAVC. Varble says, “Artificial intelligence is being used to help veterinarians look more closely at x-rays, evaluate blood work and get more information or even technology advances to look at swabs from ear infections not only get more information but get it quicker so that we can recommend a variety of treatment options and give you the best choice for your pet. We also see A-I being used to help us write medical records and that means I don’t have time in from of the computer, I can actually spend more time with pet owners.”
Varble adds that A-I is providing breakthroughs when it comes to pinpointing treatment, “We used to as vets to take a lot of medications that were researched and developed with the intention of them being human medications. We used to have to kind of adapt them for dogs and cats but today what we are seeing is more and more in medication that were developed specifically for dogs, medications that were developed for cats, and what this means is that I know exactly what they gonna do in those dogs. I can better predict how they’re gonna treat the patient and tend to have less side effects, so I have a new medication like monoclonal antibodies for pain and are much safer and use different pathways, and have two new oral medications to treat cats for diabetes.”
Despite the advancement in animal healthcare, O’Neill says the diversity of vets still lags, “93% of vets are white so this as an opportunity to reach out to some of the more underrepresented communities and we bring them here for a day, so they can experience what it’s like to be a veterinarian.”
Asked Varble about the most popular breed for 2024 and she says it’s the super cute French bulldog.
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