16 November 2016

Merck Animal Health Encourages Pet Owners to Face the Facts about Diabetes

New Educational Campaign Launches During Pet Diabetes Month


MADISON, N.J., November 16, 2016 – November is National Diabetes Month – an opportune time to create greater awareness about a disease that affects millions. We often forget, however, that diabetes also impacts our four-legged companions. Just like humans, cats and dogs can develop diabetes.

In the United States, the prevalence of diabetes has increased by nearly 80 percent in dogs and by almost 20 percent in cats over the past decade, and those numbers are expected to continue to rise.1 In response, Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada) has launched Face the Facts, a global awareness campaign to help educate owners about pet diabetes.

As part of the campaign, Merck Animal Health is employing an illustrative new cat and dog duo who have diabetes, Sugar and Spike, to help deliver important facts, tips and advice that pet owners can use, in conjunction with guidance from a veterinarian, to help them take control of their pets’ diabetes. This includes the introduction of entertaining new tools such as the Sugar and Spike Face the Facts card game, education on risk factors associated with pet diabetes and information on disease management, which may include a prescribed diet, exercise, glucose monitoring and an insulin injection routine, depending on each pet’s needs.2

“I strongly recommend that pet parents learn the clinical signs of diabetes so that they can recognize if they should get their pet tested by a veterinarian,” said Courtney Campbell, D.V.M., Surgical Department Head of CARE Emergency and Specialty Animal Hospital, daytime talk show veterinary contributor and national spokesperson for the Face the Facts campaign. “If diagnosed, it is important for pet owners to know it is not a fatal diagnosis when properly managed. Working with your veterinarian and educating oneself on how to care for an animal with diabetes are the keys to helping our pets live a healthy and happy life.” 

Early detection is a critical factor in preventing serious health issues that can result from diabetes. If owners notice excessive thirst, frequent urination and increased hunger while losing weight, they should seek the advice of their veterinarian.2 While the cause of diabetes is largely unknown, risk factors that may contribute to the development of diabetes include age (middle-aged to older dogs and cats are more susceptible), genetics, breed and obesity. With proper management and veterinary care, diabetic dogs and cats can live long and healthy lives.2

“At Merck Animal Health, we understand that our dogs and cats are part of our families. This is why we are committed to ensuring that pet owners have the resources needed to maintain optimal health and well-being for their four-legged family members. This is especially important when they are living with a chronic health condition,” said Kathleen Heaney, D.V.M., Executive Director, Technical Services, Merck Animal Health. “We encourage pet owners to keep an eye out for more to come from Sugar and Spike as we roll out more tools and resources for pet parents through the Face the Facts initiative.”

To learn more about pet diabetes, visit usa.petdiabetesmonth.com. To learn more about Sugar and Spike, visit usa.sugarandspike.com. To learn more about pet health, visit mypet.com.

About Merck Animal Health
For 125 years, Merck has been a global health care leader working to help the world be well. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.merck-animal-health.com or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter at @MerckAH.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA 
This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2015 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).


1 Banfield Pet Hospital. (2016). State of Pet Health® 2016 Report. Portland, OR. http://www.banfield.com/Banfield/media/PDF/Downloads/soph/Banfield-State-of-Pet-Health-Report-2016.pdf.
2 AVMA. (2016). Diabetes in Pets. American Veterinary Medical Association. https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Diabetes-in-Pets.aspx.