Veterinary cannabinoid treatment a step closer to market


AusCann, the Australian-based company focused on the development and commercialisation of cannabinoid-derived therapeutic products for humans and animals, has submitted its final regulatory data modules to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) for DermaCann. Subject to APVMA approval, DermaCann will become a ‘first in class’ regulatory approved oral cannabinoid-based product for skin health in dogs.


If approved, it will also become the first regulatory-approved medicine containing cannabinoids to be available for prescription through vets in Australia. “DermaCann is on track to become the world’s first regulatory-approved veterinary medicine containing cannabinoids to be legally available for supply via prescription through veterinarians,” said AusCann CEO Layton Mills as reported in the Market Herald. Read more


Researchers look to dogs to understand Alzheimer’s


Researchers from the University of Arizona and Cornell in Washington are undertaking a $5.1 million research project to investigate the potential links between Alzheimer’s disease and canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD). The four-year project will analyse the specific factors that cause CCD to identify common genetic and environmental triggers between the two disorders and advance our understanding of Alzheimer’s. One advantage of utilising dogs to study Alzheimer’s is that the progression of CCD occurs much faster than its human counterpart due to their shorter life spans.


In 2021, it is estimated between 270,200 and 330,400 Australians live with the disease. “We hope to have findings that translate into better diagnostics and treatments for both dogs with cognitive dysfunction and humans with Alzheimer’s. This is what our real hope is – to have an impact on families,” said lead researcher, Dr Marta Castelhano. Read more


Ivermectin provides hope for endangered Australian sea lion


Researchers from the University of Sydney have discovered that hookworm infections in the endangered Australian sea lion can be successfully treated with the anti-parasite drug, ivermectin. The discovery is welcome news after the species was classified as ‘endangered’ in December last year due to a 64% reduction in offspring over three generations. Fewer than 10,000 Australian sea lions remain, with hookworm contributing to the death of up to 40% of all seal pup deaths.


The study found that topical ivermectin was 96.4% effective against hookworm infection, with the injected formulation 96.8% effective. Ivermectin was also found to be an effective lice killer, reducing infestations by over 80 per cent. Though not deadly, lice that infest Australian sea lions are bloodsuckers, contributing to blood loss and anaemia.


Researchers hope the demonstrated effectiveness of the minimally invasive and easily applied treatment will provide a lifeline for the endangered species. Read more


United Kingdom dealing with avian influenza outbreak


The UK is experiencing the largest ever outbreak of avian influenza with 40 confirmed cases, prior to this the largest number of cases was 26 in 2020 and 13 in 2017. The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has established an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ), including housing measures, across all of the UK. The government department is urging bird keepers to maintain high standards of biosecurity with their pets and to seek prompt advice from a vet if they notice any signs of disease. Strong biosecurity is key to limiting the spread of avian influenza. Read more