Veterinarians looking at medicine
Black and White headshot of IndeVets Employee lindsay
Words by:
Lindsay Wolcott, BVMS — Associate IndeVet

Another few months have gone by which means it’s time to see what’s new in veterinary drug development.

*Please be aware this list only covers the past few months of updates, is not exhaustive, and was selected for small animal medicine relevancy.

** Disclaimer: I do not receive any compensation for mentioning any product listed below. All names and brands are owned by their respective companies.

*** This is a brief summary of each drug. If you want more detailed information than listed here, please go directly to the manufacturer or contact your local representative.


 1) Bonqat (pregabalin oral solution)

Bonqat is the only FDA approved drug for acute anxiety, transport, and vet visits in cats. It is an oral flavored liquid to be given 1.5 hours before travel/vet visit. It is not a sedative. It targets neurotransmitters in the brain to reduce anxiety. During trials, 77% of owners reported less stress with their cats. Dosage is 0.1ml/kg. It is a schedule V drug, so it will need to be logged and you will need to educate clients on proper handling and administration. Personally, I am curious to see if this works better than using gabapentin for stressed kitties! Also, please note it has not been studied in cats less than 7 months of age or in conjunction with opioids/other sedatives.

2) Senvelgo (velagliflozin oral solution)

Senvelgo is an oral medication for newly diagnosed diabetic cats only. If a cat has had insulin before, they are not a candidate for this drug. Per their website, Senvelgo is a “sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitor. It reduces blood glucose by preventing the reabsorption of glucose via the SGLT2 cotransporter in the proximal tubule of the kidney”. (P.S. Remember Bexacat? This is a similar product but liquid vs. tablet). Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a known risk when using this product. The manufacturers recommend checking for urine ketones every 1-3 days for the first two weeks of treatment. If the cat ever does develop DKA or eDKA (euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis), then stop Senvelgo, treat the DKA, and start pet on insulin therapy. There will always be glucosuria with this product. Talk to your BI rep for more information or visit this website.

3) Fidoquel CA-1 (phenobarbital tablets)

Fidoquel now has conditional approval for use in dogs. This is the first canine-approved phenobarbital product to treat idiopathic seizures. To this date, veterinarians have been using human products off-label. Serial blood titer monitoring is still recommended. Tablets are given orally twice a day at the minimum dosage of 2.5 mg/kg (5mg/kg/day) and may be titrated to effect to a maximum dosage of 5mg/kg (10 mg/kg/day). I suspect that when this product gets full approval it will be subject to the prescribing cascade and we will need to use this product first.  This is a schedule IV drug and will need to be logged as is appropriate.

4) Glivetmab (caninized monoclonal antibody)

Glivetmab has been given conditional approval for the treatment of mast cell tumors and melanoma cancers. The target is PD-1 (programmed cell death receptor 1) to allow the immune system to target and destroy cancer cells. During trials, they saw tumor size reduction up to 73% in mast cell tumors and 60% in melanomas. The drug is developed by MERCK and will only be available to board-certified oncologists. This may be a good option for clients who don’t want to do chemo or radiation and/or for tumor locations that cannot be surgically removed. It is given in the clinic over 30min via IV infusion. Treatments are done every 2 weeks for up to 10 treatments. Please visit Merck’s website for more information.

5) Apoquel is now making a chewable version!

In our world, chewable is always better. Yay!