Ogena Solutions Healthy Animals, Healthy Planet
Ogena Solutions provides effective, environmentally friendly bio-security products, equipment and protocols. The company currently operates in the animal health, cleaning and disinfection chemicals and equipment sectors, including veterinary, food, animal, and general farm applications.
Humankind relies on agriculture and animal husbandry for food, but even with the swift evolution of biotechnologies, over 20 per cent of animal production losses are linked to animal diseases.
The challenges are easily visible in the report of the World Organization of Animal Health on animal diseases. This report outlines some astounding facts that relate directly to the need for better control of diseases in animals: 60 per cent of human pathogens are of animal origin, 75 per cent of emerging animal diseases can be transmitted to humans, 20 per cent of food animal production losses are linked to food animal diseases, All mechanisms used for preventing natural disease outbreaks also efficiently prevent bioterrorism, and one emerging disease occurs every eight months.
By 2050 the world’s population will reach 9 billion, and as a result of emerging middle classes in developing countries and their new consumer habits, the world’s demand for animal protein is expected to grow by 50 per cent between now and 2030. These statistics create a serious challenge and strain not just on agriculture but also on veterinary science and animal protection.
The Canadian Business Journal spoke with David Hachey, President and CEO of Ogena Solutions, and discussed the place of Ogena Solutions products and the company’s emergence in the North American bio-security products.
Ogena originally started as the Anivac Corporation, offering an original animal bathing/cleaning system, focused on large animals, namely horses. As the company got increasingly involved in the horse world, Hachey recognized the need for a new product that would address the horses’ skin issues, such as fungal infections. According to Hachey, horses suffer from various skin conditions due to the fact that cleaning the animal using the traditional methods proved itself inefficient. “At the time, I noticed that horses have a lot of problems because of the dirt that gets onto their skin, and this dirt initiates skin infections. At the same time, it’s extremely difficult to clean an animal right down to their skin because the animals’ hair naturally resists the penetration of water.
What started as an innovative bathing system and shampoo has metamorphosed Ogena Solutions into a bio-security company with a wide range of products that can be used in veterinary clinics, animal shelters, farms and other animal housing facilities worldwide.,
As a company, Ogena focuses on creating all-encompassing solutions. “Our mantra is ‘Healthy Animals – Healthy Planet’, and this is our point of differentiation in that most disinfectants used are harmful to the animals, their caregivers, and the environment. We like the word ‘solutions’, and have it in our name for a reason, and the reason is that as a company we are focusing on creating all-encompassing solutions that help animal housing facilities deal with pathogen control not only from a chemistry standpoint but also from an application/equipment standpoint, as well as the protocols involved in using these solutions,” says Hachey.
Hachey worked closely with Virox Technologies and its CEO Randy Pilon to utilize their Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide products as part of these solutions. “Virox holds a breakthrough bio-security technology patented disinfectant that’s being currently used in about 75 per cent of the Canadian hospitals and virtually on all cruise ships worldwide. The technology has the killing power of bleach, except it has a toxicity rating comparable to that of fresh water ( AHP was the first disinfectant technology to ever get EcoLogo certification – a third party accreditation for environmentally preferred products).When you think about some of the shocking statistics such as that animal-borne diseases are responsible for 2.5 billion cases of human illness and 2.7 million deaths on yearly basis, you realize the potential, but also of the positive changes we can help make,” says Hachey.
John Van Dyke, Vice-President at Virox Technologies said, “The disinfecting practices have gone mainstream, and our technology – Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide [AHP] – was initially established in the human healthcare industry. The technology found the perfect balance between the safety of the product, safety for the users (people and patients in the room) and the efficacy of the product (how well does it clean and kill pathogens). It [AHP] became widely accepted as the leading technology used in acute care and healthcare in Canada, and growing rapidly in the United States. We decided to partner up with Ogena to give exposure to this technology in the animal health marketplace. The message is the same — great balance between safety and efficacy. We developed this patented technology 15 years ago, and we licensed this technology to sell this technology into animal health.”
Another major issue that faces animal facilities today are the antiquated cleaning tools themselves such as the commonly used mop and bucket or even the newer microfiber mops and cloths., These types of tools only add to the spread of harmful pathogens so Ogena developed a cleaning and disinfecting system for facilities that dramatically reduces the chance of this happening. The system works similar to a carpet steamer , where the system sprays on clean disinfectant solution on the cleaning wand and vacuums away the used residue on the spot, rather than smearing and spreading the biohazard across the floors of the facility. By using the Ogena cleaning system every square inch of surface being cleaned is cleaned with brand new fresh solution.
Besides offering this system for facilities and the bathing of small and large animals in a veterinary/shelter setting, Ogena is also working on a consumer version of its animal bathing system, that will allow pet owners to bathe their pets at home in a fast and mess-free way. “The number one drawback that people report to owning a dog is the smell of the dog and the hair in the house, yet it’s also notoriously difficult to bathe a dog at home, and grooming services are quite inconvenient and expensive. With our system, pet owners will be able to shampoo a German shepherd in five to seven minutes without the need for a bathtub and without the mess. We already have a prototype made, and we are looking at how we might market this product as a separate and distinct part of our business,” says Hachey.
As a small company, Ogena Solutions chose to skip the road of traditional advertising and customer acquisition, and followed Randy Pilon (the founder of Virox Technologies) lead by focused on working with key industry influencers in North America, getting these respected professionals onboard with the Ogena products. “This approach has really started to take off in the past 18 months, and we have many highly respected universities using our products today. The UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program share our care for shelter animals, have been just wonderful to work with and now uses our products. This university is considered the preeminent source of information on bio-security standards and protocols for shelters, so this is pretty significant for us, and the nice part is that it helps shelters at the same time” says Hachey.
One of the important elements of Ogena’s success has been the involvement of Dr Lucas Pantaleon, a U.S.-based veterinary professional who has helped to foster and push the Ogena brand to the forefront of the bio-security solutions in the U.S. “Dr. Pantaleon is a highly respected doctor of veterinary medicine who’s been involved in biosecurity for a very long time, and he has a huge scope of professional expertise. He brought us in front of Veterinary Universities in a manner that garnered their respect and involvement,” says Hachey.
Dr. Pantaleon is a board certified large animal internal medicine specialist, with thorough understanding of prevention of animal diseases at the hospital and farm levels are part of Dr. Pantaleon’s daily work. “The work at Ogena is much broader than just focusing on large animals; I also deal with clients from the small animal side to the wild life side, so it is interesting to learn and relay my expertise to people from many different aspects of the veterinary industry,” says Pantaleon.
“AHP is a newer technology of disinfectant and one of the main advantages is that it has minimal toxicity to people applying it and to the animals that come in contact with the areas where AHP was used. Also, nowadays there is a further concern about adverse environmental effects of chemicals, and AHP is also safe for the environment,” says Pantaleon.
“People in the veterinary community are used to using technologically old disinfectants, so, as with any cultural change, changing this culture requires time and education. Once people understand the product, use it, and see the benefits of the product, they are very happy with it. We have had a very positive response and we are being more and more recognized for having a superior safe product,” says Pantaleon.
Ogena Solutions continues its quest to deliver realistic, effective and safe bio-security solutions into the animal health market. Since 75 per cent of disease outbreaks originate in the animal world the concerns of animal diseases spreading to the human world also continue to rise. , Due to this it’s in public and private interest to protect animals and therefore people from potential disease outbreaks – Ogena Solutions offers solutions to this issue that not only help to manage the spread of pathogens, but do so in a way that is safer for the people and animals exposed to the products as well being kind to our environment.