Protecting Animal Health

Protecting Animal Health

Our Animal Health business addresses the world’s biggest animal health challenges, and collaborates with our customers to answer their specific needs.



These challenges include not only how to treat new and re-emerging diseases, but also how to respond to consumer preferences and make optimal use of available tools. We endeavor to achieve the highest protection possible, while promoting the well-being and safety of the animals being treated and the people applying our veterinary products.

An example of this is the ready-to-use single injection of PORCILIS® PCV M Hyo®, Europe’s first single-shot vaccine to protect piglets from both porcine circovirus Type 2 (PCV2) and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyo) infections. This vaccine reduces the number of vaccinations given to young piglets and provides protection against both diseases without a requirement for additional mixing, decreasing the potential for handling error. Additionally, PORCILIS PCV ID was introduced to the market in Latin America in 2017 and is the first porcine circovirus Type 2 (PCV2) vaccine for intradermal use in a single dose using the IDAL® device.

With the IDAL vaccination device for pigs, additional vaccination options are now available. The needle-free device provides flexibility for the user, particularly when vaccinating large groups of pigs. The IDAL device also reduces stress in pigs, which can improve animal welfare. The absence of needles improves biosecurity and worker safety, and eliminates the risk of broken needles in carcasses. To aid producers in tracking their herds’ health, the device has the capability to send vaccination data directly to a tablet or smart phone, allowing users to monitor, analyze and manage relevant data contained within the vaccinator. Swine producers now have access to intradermal needle-free protection against PCV2, M. hyo and Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (PRRSv), the three major swine diseases affecting pig operations worldwide, as well as protection against Aujeszky’s disease (pseudorabies).

The Convenience Program Evaluation, an innovative poultry health field service,  complements our company’s Convenience Program, an initiative designed to help poultry producers protect chickens against various diseases while achieving optimal vaccination standards, bird quality and performance goals. Through the Convenience Program suite, producers receive not only vaccination support through laboratory services and field visits, but also staff trainings and scientific seminars enabling them to remain highly proficient in poultry health practices.


In June 2017, the largest canine influenza outbreak ever experienced shook 13 states in the U.S., from North Carolina to Texas. Our Animal Health business provided hands-on education and public relation support to veterinarians, veterinary nurses, pet professionals and pet parents, and organized the first Canine Flu Vaccination Day on June 20. Canine influenza (CIV) is a highly contagious disease that has affected dogs nationwide. Dog flu H3N8, first discovered in the U.S. in 2004, has been confirmed in 43 states, while the H3N2 strain, first isolated in the U.S. in 2015, has been confirmed in 34 states.1 Nobivac® Canine Flu Bivalent, the first bivalent dog flu vaccine, was licensed in October of 2016, protecting the health of thousands of dogs across the U.S.

In 2017, we launched Care & Control of Pet Diabetes Featuring Sugar & Spike, a global program educating pet owners about the signs of diabetes in pets and how the disease can be managed. The program, led by the animated cat and dog pair Sugar and Spike, helps pet owners understand when they should take their pet to a veterinarian and how to develop a treatment plan. Signs of diabetes in pets can include frequent urination, lethargy, and excessive water consumption. The Sugar & Spike© campaign includes an interactive quiz that tests owners’ knowledge of which behaviors or signs in their pet could indicate diabetes, and which are unlikely to be caused by the disease.

In partnership with the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), we have continued our successful educational campaign to broaden awareness to the risks and diseases associated with ticks. National Tick Awareness Month, occurring in March of each year, provides an opportunity to build a dialogue with the veterinary community about the control of tick-borne illness. The campaign provides helpful tools for veterinarians to use in the clinic, and on social media using the hashtag #ticktalk, to discuss tick-control methods with pet owners. In 2017, we partnered with the University of Bristol to launch the Big Tick Project, which examined tick transfer to dogs and humans, and tick-borne diseases in the United Kingdom. The study found that concentrations of ticks had increased in 73 percent of the locations surveyed.2 Furthermore, the Big Tick Project found that ticks were traveling into the United Kingdom from other countries, bringing increased risk for disease. Programs like these are critical in reminding pet owners and veterinarians of the risk ticks pose to both human and animal health.


Our company invests in the future of the veterinary profession by supporting research, education and specialized skills training so that veterinarians will have the resources they need to provide the best health care possible for the animals they treat. During 2017, with funding from our Office of Corporate Responsibility, our Animal Health grant program team provided over $1 million in grants to veterinary students, allocated as follows:

  • A $90,000 grant to the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) for 18 scholarships to veterinary students at U.S., Canadian or Caribbean veterinary schools
  • A $300,000 grant to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) for 56 scholarships to veterinary students at U.S., Canadian or Caribbean veterinary schools
  • A $15,000 grant to the Food Systems Fellowship Program of Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine (MSU:FSF) to provide scholarships to three veterinary medicine students
  • A $50,000 grant to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians Foundation to provide scholarships to 10 veterinary medicine students
  • A $50,000 grant to the American Association of Avian Pathologists Foundation to provide scholarships to 10 veterinary medicine students
  • A $25,000 grant to the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation to provide scholarships to five veterinary medicine students
  • A $200,000 grant to the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe to provide scholarships to 36 veterinary medicine students
  • A $230,000 grant to the World Veterinary Association to provide scholarships to 41 veterinary medicine students
  • A $5,000 grant to the Vietnam Small Animal Veterinary Association to provide scholarships to two veterinary medicine students
  • A $10,000 grant to the Veterinary Council of Thailand to provide scholarships to four veterinary medicine students
  • A $25,000 grant to the Tuskegee College of Veterinary Medicine to provide scholarships to five veterinary medicine students
  • A partnership with the National Pork Producers Council and a $10,000 grant to host veterinary externs in Washington, D.C., to learn about the role of public policy and government regulations in animal health and veterinary practice

We also contributed €10,000 to the Gustav Rosenberger Memorial Fund. This fund provides annual grants to young and promising veterinarians who come from countries where bovine medicine needs further development and who intend to apply the knowledge obtained in those countries. Additionally, several national initiatives to support the education of veterinary students have been continued, such as in Canada and the U.K.


  • We have supported research in swine health, production and welfare through the High Quality Pork PhD Award since 2016. Each year, we identify one recent doctoral graduate in veterinary or animal science to be recognized at a future High Quality Pork Congress, sponsored by our Animal Health division.
  • With a grant to the University of Prince Edward Island, we recognized two graduating veterinary students from the Atlantic Veterinary College who demonstrated excellence in small- and large-animal medicine
  • Since 1985, our company’s Veterinary Award has recognized Canadian Veterinary Medical Association members who have significantly contributed to food animal medicine, science and surgery
  • In 2017, we introduced the High Quality Poultry Science Award, to award three recently graduated master’s degree or doctoral students for their practical research in areas of interest to the poultry community. Winners are featured at our High Quality Poultry Congresses, held in various locations around the world. In addition, together with the Poultry Science Association Foundation, we awarded a $100,000 scholarship to fund the poultry research of a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin─Madison.

Dairy Care 365® demonstrates a commitment to animal care and welfare and, after six years, continues to deliver significant value to dairy producers and the dairy community. Dairy Care 365® is helping dairy producers document their animal care programs, employee training, and written protocols, a step that is becoming increasingly important in assuring the consuming public that animals are well cared for and milk is responsibly produced. Dairy Care 365® partners with dairy experts to develop resources in dairy animal care and partners with multiple dairy cooperatives and processors, as well as the National Dairy FARM Program (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management).

Since 2014, we have hosted the CreatingConnections Educational Series, focused on cow-calf, stocker, and feedlot systems. The CreatingConnections program shows how preventative care, paired with low-stress management and handling, provides the best results for cattle, cattlemen and -women, and veterinarians. In addition to training modules, the program provides resources such as infographics and videos to help illustrate best management practices for the herd.

In 2017, we introduced the High Quality Salmon Science Award. This award supports up-and-coming aquaculture industry leaders pursuing research projects on salmon health and welfare. Award winners are provided with the opportunity to present their work at the High Quality Salmon Congress in Scotland.

1. Cornell University, Test Summary for Canine Influenza Virus in Dogs Not Affiliated with Greyhound Racetracks, 2009; Crawford, et al., Transmission of Equine Influenza Virus to Dogs, P.C., 2005. Syndromic surveillance data of Cynda Crawford, DVM, Ph.D., University of Florida; Edward Dubovi, Ph.D., Cornell University; Sanjay Kapill, DVM, Ph.D., ACVIM, Oklahoma State University; and IDEXX Laboratories. February 2018.
2. The research for MSD Animal Health was carried out online by Censuswide between 14/04/2015 and 17/04/2015. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the U.K. and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Censuswide is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).


2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Scholarships provided to students through our Animal Health Grant ProgramNR 38 52 100 190
NR: Not reported.