Small private clinics are being rapidly acquired in the veterinary industry to form a few large corporations. The recent continued growth in veterinary medicine has resulted in a boom in the consolidation of private veterinary practices. Deborah explains today’s corporations own 15-20% of the 26,000 pet hospitals in North America. The veterinary industry is expected to grow at a rate of 6% per year. Large companies are taking advantage of this growth. For example, the candy company Mars Inc. acquired VCA and all its 800 subsidiaries in 2017. The acquisition added to Mars Inc., an impressive portfolio of veterinary practices (Deborah, 2018 p.1). Superstores such as Walmart and PetSmart want to start offering veterinary services in their stores.
In comparison, the dental industry has a lower corporate practice segment than other physicians. According to research by the American Medical Association in 2018, only 47%, which is less than half of the physicians had an ownership stake in their practice. Due to difficulty in ascertaining the numbers, a consensus places dentistry at 16-20% level of consolidation. Ophthalmology, like dental, is also moving towards consolidation. It is considered good for private equity entities due to its segmentation. Ophthalmology enjoys great demographic trends due to the increased demands of its services from the ageing population and its multiple avenues of growth According to the same research, the veterinary industry is facing consolidation as well.