Where the pets go, so go the profits. This is true not just for mainstream pet products (such as food and toys) or services (such as grooming and boarding), but extends to veterinary pet healthcare, most notably veterinary diagnostic testing. Indeed, the global veterinary diagnostic market is forecast to grow to approximately $5.8 billion in 2027, according to The World Market for Veterinary Diagnostics, 6th Edition, the latest report by market research firm Kalorama Information.
The veterinary diagnostics market is best characterized preliminarily through its two primary segments: companion animal (pets such as dogs and cats and domestic animals including horses) and food animal (livestock and production animal) diagnostics. The two segments differ significantly in terms of demand, drivers and primary product groups. Infectious disease is a significant component in the veterinary care of companion animals, though improving standards and levels of consumer spending on companion animal care produce a much larger market for laboratory analyzers used for non-infectious disease or general health testing. Food animal diagnostics is led foremost by infectious disease assays in various forms described in this section.
“Diagnostic testing is an important aspect of animal healthcare. There is a wide variety of tests available for veterinarians to use to identify and monitor diseases,” says Bruce Carlson, publisher for Kalorama Information.
Veterinary diagnostic testing is becoming more mainstream as consumers embrace advanced pet healthcare. Diagnostic testing has become more sophisticated in the last several years benefiting from advancements in technology and accuracy. Testing has become a mainstay in the practice of veterinary medicine and has proven to be vital for the safety of food animals and well-being of companion animals. In vitro diagnostic (IVD) instrumentation and products have been extensively applied to veterinary healthcare; various assay forms, analytes and analyzers are transferrable from the clinical space to the veterinary clinic and laboratory.
Veterinary diagnostics comprehensively support animal health:
- routine testing of companion animals during clinical visits or check-ups;
- diagnosis of disease in symptomatic companion animals;
- zoonotic disease surveillance in wildlife populations;
- disease screening and confirmatory testing in livestock and production animals as part of disease control efforts.
International trade, public health, agricultural productivity, consumer confidence and companion animal-owner relationships are all dependent upon effective and increasingly specialized veterinary diagnostics products. Expertise in molecular diagnostics, virology and bacteriology is crucial in the food animal (livestock and production animal) diagnostics space as emergent threats and outbreaks necessitate the development and improvement of assays for newly implemented disease control programs. Technical barriers to entry in the lucrative companion animal diagnostics space are relatively low. Many market participants in companion animal diagnostics have adapted clinical diagnostic analyzers—hematology analyzers or blood counters, chemistry analyzers, critical care analyzers—with modifications limited mostly to reference ranges, sample preparation and some parameters.