When first tasked with undertaking the market analysis for the veterinary orthopedic device market, I was slightly amused. The competitive human orthopedic device market is a battle field, with surprises and controversies around every corner, but I asked myself, does anyone really care about what is going on in the veterinary orthopedics world. Is strategic planning even a thought to manufacturers in that space? After all, to me any competitor in that space was always going to be labeled as little brother to the Medtronics and the Strykers of this world. Two months later, I can vehemently say, I was wrong for entertaining such a thought. This market is serious business.
The reasons for current and future competitors in the veterinary orthopedics market to think about this market in depth are plentiful. For one, there are over 150 million dogs and cats in the US. That's right, half the human population, and we haven't even considered the near 5 million horses that are owned in the US. What's more, pet ownership is at an all-time high, in spite of the recent economic meltdown. There are no signs of this trend slowing down either. Spending on animal health and animal insurance has also experienced steady increase in recent years. Did I mention that the number of veterinarians is expected to grow over 20% more than the average percentage increase of all professions in the US between 2010 and 2020? Are you interested yet? All signs point to strong market growth.
Trauma procedures and knee ligament reconstructions make up the bulk of the procedures. Apart from steady growth in the animal population, the increasing prevalence of animal obesity and commercial sport participation are two of many factors that will exacerbate the number of veterinary orthopedic procedures in the coming years. Further still, newer technologies including joint replacements will be on the rise as a result. Clinical trials will have a big say in the success of joint replacement implants. The news is also good in the world of biologics. It may interest you that the potential for bone graft substitutes is significant. Autografts are losing ground, as veterinarians increasingly look towards bone graft substitutes to promote bone growth in orthopedic applications. The road is not all simple though: like any other medical device market at the moment, pricing pressures and alternative treatments exist. Moreover, animal owners won't always choose to pay for procedures. That being said, the veterinary orthopedic device market is rife with potential. We would all do well to take notice. One thing is for sure; my initial amusement was short-lived as this market is certainly no laughing matter.

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