In 1988, long before it was formally incorporated as Medpet (Pty) Ltd, the entity of Medpet began developing products. The South African company’s initial focus was in the specialist field of pigeon and avian medicine, vitamins, and healthcare products, but soon branched into developing products for companion animals (mainly dogs and cats). The company slogan “The Scientific Alternative” aims to give insight into the fact that we believe in formulating, producing and supplying premium products that are based on scientific research and proven results. One of our aims is to offer an alternative product choice of at least equivalent quality, at better value.
The Beginning – Medicines for birds
The nature of pigeons, and the environment in which they live, means that they are susceptible to disease and ailments. However, racing pigeons are performance animals, and only healthy racing pigeons win races. Around the world, the sport of pigeon racing is one that has a very passionate following from those that partake in it. Pigeon fanciers love their pigeons, and perhaps even more, they love to win races! Medpet was initially founded to cater for this need: to make medicines for racing pigeons to keep them healthy, and to satisfy this demand for the passionate and enthusiastic participants in the sport – pigeon fanciers.
Being a niche sport only a limited number of medicines (and companies making them) were available to help satisfy this demand, and the ones that did exist were based overseas (from a South African perspective), were difficult to get hold of, and expensive. At this time there were almost no specific remedies registered for pigeons in South Africa. A veterinarian who was part of the early Medpet team had done research on the dangers of using cattle medicine for pigeon deworming and the search for treatment of pigeon malaria amongst others. This gap in the market provided the opportunity for Medpet to step up to become the internationally recognised player in the field of medicines and supplements for racing pigeons that it is today. Many champion pigeon fanciers in South Africa and around the world, achieve impressive racing results on the Medpet products (see our section on News & Testimonials).
For the pigeon fanciers out there, Medpet warns against the use of medication not registered for pigeons (or not registered at all) and discourages the practise over-medicating, or using antibiotics unnecessarily. Consult your vet, and don’t run the risk of misdiagnoses, which will ruin your season, or could even be responsible for the death of your pigeons. Be aware also of cheap imitations, and remember in the end that you get what you pay for! For the avian enthusiasts, you can catch a glimpse of our bird products here. (Otherwise, scroll down for more about us.)
The progression – medicines for companion animals
With its scientific background and veterinary links, there was a natural progression for Medpet to move into providing medicines and supplements for birds other than racing pigeons, such as cage birds. The next natural progression was to formulate products for dogs and cats, and companion animals generally.
With a focus on quality and simultaneously, affordability (especially in the more structured and regulated market for companion animals), Medpet soon became a popular choice with South African veterinarians treating the mainstream market of dogs and cats. Where possible, generic-type products were developed with a few changes that were aimed at delivering better value whilst actually improving the product in one way or another, for example palatability, efficacy, etc.
The profile of Medpet was raised substantially in 2000 with the launch of the broad spectrum de-wormer MEDIWORM for DOGS(Reg. no. G2767 Act 36 of 1947), in which SABS GLP trials confirmed 100% efficacy against Tapeworm and 95% efficacy against Hookworm and Roundworm. A novel idea with this product was incorporating beef biltong flavouring – giving an insight to the South African identity of Medpet. (For our foreign customers, biltong is a traditional South African snack of dried meat, and is guaranteed to be gobbled up in a flash by any nearby dog you happen to drop a piece of yours on the ground.)
Later on, MEDIWORM for CATS (Reg. no. G3247 Act 36 of 1947) was developed with two notable differences to most other feline anthelmintic products on the market at the time:
1) A dosage size of 1 tablet per 5kg of bodymass (at the time 1 tablet per 4kg of bodymass was the norm, and yet our field research suggested that many vets were seeing a good number of cats that weighed between 4kg & 5kg), and
2) The inclusion of catnip flavouring; cats are seldom willing patients in receiving a tablet, and the catnip sparks sufficient interest to make this tricky task a little easier for vets and pet owners.
Continuing on the de-wormer theme, MEDIWORM for LARGE DOGS(Reg. no. G3331 Act 36 of 1947) was launched a few years later. It still contained the biltong flavouring, but the higher levels of the actives allowed for a dosage of 1 tablet per 40kg of bodymass – hence making it far easier to dose a large dog with 1 tablet instead of 4 tablets, and bringing with it an additional cost advantage (when Medpet already considered the regular Mediworm for Dogs to be the best-value product on the market).
Another product that was a showcase for the kind of quality that company was capable of developing was the trio of DOXYDOG products (Reg. nos. G2688, G2636, and G2637 Act 36 of 1947), the oral sugar-coated Doxycycline-based tablets for dogs in strengths of 50mg, 100mg, and 300mg respectively. The sugar coating dramatically improves palatability of the Doxycycline and helps to prevent vomiting when dosing the dogs. DOXYSYRUP (Reg. no. G2235 Act 36 of 1947) for dogs and cats was also developed, to enable vets to dose cats and smaller patients.
ARTHRIMED (Reg. no. V16297 Act 36 of 1947) is another flagship product of Medpet’s. This one is a little different to many of the other companion animal products in Medpet’s range in that it is not necessarily cheaper than most other competitive products; however the costly natural active ingredients that are imported were chosen on specifics, quality, and with the belief that these would be the most effective in aiding joint pain and inflammation. Medpet has many customers who are very loyal to the Arthrimed brand, giving first-hand examples of the difference they say it has made in their dog’s life.
Medpet’s OROVET, the oral rinse containing Chlorhexidine (for dogs and cats) was developed by a veterinarian with a special interest, and vast experience, in veterinary dentistry and oral hygiene in dogs and cats.
The products mentioned above will only be seen in Veterinary Practices or Vet Shops, but Medpet has many other well-known products that might be seen in both pet shops and vet practices. Examples of some of these quality products are:
– MEDIMUNE (Reg. no. V17459 Act 36 of 1947) tablets for dogs and cats; an original formulation and potent immune activator aiding the immune system of dogs and cats. Containing Beta-Glucan.
– HEPAVET (Reg. no. V10959 Act 36 of 1947) tablets for dogs; our vitamin supplement for the liver.
– FLY REPEL (Reg. no. G3048 Act 36 of 1947) for dogs; wipe-on fly repellant that kills ticks and repels flies. A well known South African vet has also written about his experiences with the product having an additional lethal effect on fleas.
– TEA TREE OIL SHAMPOO for dogs.
– AIR REPAIR, a product we would be inclined to call revolutionary; as opposed to masking a bad odour with another smell, this product binds to the odour molecule and neutralises it, and is environmentally friendly.
– Given our solid reputation in the companion animal industry, Medpet has also been asked to market products developed by other companies. The American FDA-approved RX FOR FLEAS / FLEABUSTERS is one example; this safe product is used on floors, carpets, mats, and furniture where it is unique in that it is effective against in destroying fleas eggs and the larval stages of fleas (unlike other products) and therefore ideal for flea control in a home or area. PET ASSIST (Reg. no. V16554 Act 36 of 1947) is a digestive aid with enzymes and probiotics for dogs with digestive stress or constantly loose stools; PET-CALM (Reg. no. V10853 Act 36 of 1947) is a natural supplement for pets with a nervous disposition; and there are no prizes for guessing what FART-EZE (Reg. no. V12906 Act 36 of 1947) is used for, but it works well in reducing the odour and quantity of a dog’s flatulence problems. ESBILAC (Reg. no. V14289 Act 36 of 1947) is imported from the USA as the ultimate quality milk replacer for puppies and other young animals, and is widely used in South Africa by breeders (such as lion parks and zoos) of carnivores and exotic animals on young cubs.
The above are just a few examples. Medpet has an extensive range of products, some of which can proudly claim to be unique or original formulations for their intended species. New development continues on an ongoing basis.