A flu shot for your dog?
Major drugmakers are jumping into the potentially lucrative business of treating canine influenza.
Many dog owners aren't aware of the dog flu. Experts say it's a relatively new phenomenon. But after apparently spreading from horses in 2004, dog flu has popped up in 38 states, according to Merck (MRK). Dog flu does not transmit to people.
Post continues below.
Merck makes the Nobivac vaccine and last year had sold 1 million doses to veterinarians and kennels. The company is making a big push, setting up DogInfluenza.com and offering grants of the vaccine to animal shelters and rescue groups. More than half of those receiving the grants say they will add the vaccine to their treatment procedures.
Dog flu is not generally deadly, though it is more dangerous to pugs and other breeds with that smushed-in-nose appearance, The New York Times reports. And it's a worry for dogs that live together in kennels and shelters.
Pfizer (PFE) has jumped into the business with its own canine vaccine.
Could dog flu vaccines become a moneymaker for these companies? More kennels and vets are either requiring or strongly recommending them, the Journal reports. One veterinary group in New York gives about 60 shots a month.
The initial vaccination generally costs between $25 and $60, with a booster required every year. And with about 78 million dogs in the U.S. With those kinds of numbers, it's no wonder that Merck and Pfizer are scrambling for the dog flu vaccine market.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.