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A bray of thanks to our Marathon magnificent seven

Latest Sanctuary news - 24 April 2018

In temperatures topping 24°C, a team of seven runners took on the 2018 London Marathon, raising nearly £16,000 for The Donkey Sanctuary. The group all had their own reasons for taking on the challenge but shared the same goal of supporting the work of the charity.

Swapping the shores of her island home in Bermuda, Claire de Ste Croix ran alongside her brother James Tomkinson from Cornwall. Claire thought she would never race competitively again after being caught up in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings – she’d just finished the race when the bombs were detonated. Claire and James crossed the finish line on The Mall on Sunday afternoon together in four hours, thirty seven minutes and 29 seconds.

Victoria Lack from Germany found the event amazing but was extremely glad to have got to the finish; she posted a time of five hours, twenty four minutes and 59 seconds.

Staff nurse Lesley Walker teamed up with running partner Stuart Hurcomb and were determined to cross the line together. The pair have been used to training in freezing temperatures around their homes in Broxburn, near Edinburgh, often having to deal with snow and icy conditions. In what was officially the hottest London Marathon on record, according to the Met Office, Stuart registered a time of four hours, 14 minutes and 50 seconds with Lesley just one second behind.

Joining the team just two weeks before the race, Melody Vasey completed the course in six hours, five minutes and 56 seconds. Melody chose The Donkey Sanctuary after spotting the advert in the London Marathon magazine.

Kimmarie Smith from North Devon showed an amazing amount of guts and determination and was cheered through the final stages of the event by the fundraising team. Spurred on by her husband she posted a time of seven hours, twenty-nine minutes and 47 seconds.

Louise Jones, community fundraising manager at The Donkey Sanctuary said: “Our runners are always amazing people but to complete the marathon in such searing heat this year was an absolutely incredible achievement! We want to say a massive thank you to them all for their amazing efforts.”

Louise continued: “We so value their support and determination to fundraise in this way by taking part in such an iconic race and I know they really, really loved every minute of it! Just to hear their feedback and see them afterwards was a very humbling and inspiring feeling.”

New collaboration to develop equine welfare in China

Latest Sanctuary news - 24 April 2018

Two of the UK’s leading equine welfare charities, The Donkey Sanctuary and World Horse Welfare have formed a groundbreaking partnership with the China Horse Industry Association (CHIA) and the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) to improve equine welfare in China.

The signing of the Memorandum of Association (MoU) was announced yesterday (Monday 23 April 2018) during the 15th World Equine Veterinary Association (WEVA) Congress in Beijing.

Working towards a common goal to promote equine welfare in China, The Donkey Sanctuary, World Horse Welfare, CHIA and CVMA will collaborate on improving equine welfare through education and research to bring about the highest international standards.
The four organisations’ expertise, skills and strengths will benefit the health and welfare of China’s equines, of which there are an estimated 5.4 million donkeys, 2.9 million mules and 5.9 million horses.

Mike Baker, CEO, The Donkey Sanctuary, sees this unique collaboration as positive step forward for donkey welfare in the country. “Working with World Horse Welfare, CHIA and CVMA will be groundbreaking for equine welfare in China,” he said.

“This agreement is a great opportunity as China clearly needs support to develop the necessary equine veterinary expertise and the practicing vets with specific donkey and horse knowledge and experience. This partnership will provide the chance to give these animals the healthcare they desperately need. We welcome the enthusiasm of CHIA and the equine sector involved with this event to improve animal welfare and it is so encouraging to see the massive strides being taken for better care of donkeys, horses and other animals.”

The Donkey Sanctuary also launched The Clinical Companion of the Donkey, a definitive textbook for clinicians and professionals working in donkey medicine or surgery, which was made available in both Chinese and English.

Welcoming the partnership, Dr Faith Burden, director of research and operational support at The Donkey Sanctuary said: “The response we have received from the Chinese veterinary community has been amazing – the textbook has been really well received.”

Roly Owers, CEO, World Horse Welfare said: “To make a difference we have to work in partnership and we are delighted to support China’s horse industry and their equine vets to help them reach the highest health and welfare standards. Equine vets, equipped with the necessary skills, have a fundamental role to play in China’s expanding equestrian market and beyond, and it is essential that they receive the training and support they need to be world class. Together we look forward to adding value to help improve the welfare of all equines in China.”

Claire turns the tables on tragedy with London Marathon run

Latest Sanctuary news - 20 April 2018

Bermuda resident Claire de ste Croix will join tens of thousands of runners pounding the streets of the capital this weekend for the 2018 London Marathon. Joined by her brother James, she’ll be covering the 26.2 miles in support of The Donkey Sanctuary.

Despite being a regular competitor at events in the past, Claire vowed never to run another marathon after witnessing tragedy in 2013. But after a call from her brother in the UK, she’s bravely stepping up to the challenge.

A surreal moment

Seasoned runner Claire could not have imagined taking part in another marathon after being caught up in the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. Her expected time would have seen her cross the finishing line at the same time as the bombs were detonated, but she had managed to run eleven minutes quicker meaning she was going through the processing channel as the terrorists struck.

Claire recalls: “It was a surreal moment; I was being processed through the processing chute when the explosions happened. It was a terrible tragedy and it upset me no end and I vowed never to run another marathon.”

Desire to run

The decision to run again came after a call from her brother James. He was going through a tough time following a back injury and was dosed up on pain killers recovering at home in the UK. From his couch, James was watching the 2016 London Marathon and was inspired by all the runners and also by the Royal Family who were supporting mental health issues. This was a pivotal moment and the motivation James needed to set his goal on the 2018 London Marathon.

Claire continued: “James’ desire to run to aid his recovery and to mark his 50th birthday helped make my decision to support him, this is a massive undertaking for him and knowing I can help him achieve this was what I needed to make my decision.”

Doing it for donkeys

The choice to raise funds for The Donkey Sanctuary was a straightforward one for the pair as when they were children, their mother Beryl rescued the families’ first donkey Brandy from a meat market. After feeling sorry for her in a bedraggled state with her sad eyes, the donkey was squeezed into the back of their Land Rover and taken home.

It was soon discovered Brandy was pregnant and she gave birth to a foal which they named George. The two lived a happy life for many years before becoming ill after eating poisonous plants.

The Donkey Sanctuary were called in to help but after trying everything they could, Brandy and George sadly passed away. Claire adds that the charity: ‘Went above and beyond the call of duty in their efforts and they couldn’t have done anymore to help.”

Truly inspirational

Claire and James will be part of a team of six runners taking part in the event to raise money for The Donkey Sanctuary and while the others are based across the UK and Europe, at three and a half thousand miles away Claire will be travelling the furthest to take part.

Louise Jones, community fundraising manager at The Donkey Sanctuary said: “Claire’s story is truly inspirational and we are so grateful to her and James for supporting The Donkey Sanctuary. Without the support of dedicated fundraisers like this we would not be able to continue our vital work to help donkeys around the world to live a life free of suffering.”

To support their Claire’s fundraising efforts please visit her JustGiving page.

Gender pay gap: how do the corporates fair?

By Matthew Limb

New figures reveal a wide-ranging gender pay gap among leading corporate groups.

Women are earning less than men and they generally occupy more of the lower paid roles and fewer of the most senior roles.

Women’s median hourly rate is 28 per cent lower than men’s at Medivet Group, 45.1 per cent lower than men’s at CVS (UK) and 50.5 per cent lower than men’s at Independent Vetcare (IVC).

The UK has a national median pay gap of 18.4 per cent, as of April last years.

Table 1 shows the gender pay gap for the corporate veterinary groups listed on the government’s Gender Pay Gap Service (https://gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk).

All UK employers with 250 employees or more are required to publish data about their gender pay gap, under legislation introduced in April 2017.

The figures have been published in gender pay reports with statements...

Categories: Journal news

Telemedicine survey reveals vets concerns

By Georgina Mills

Veterinary professionals are divided over the use of telemedicine in veterinary practice and whether it is appropriate to prescribe medicines remotely, according to research published by the RCVS last week.

The profession can see the benefits of telemedicine, which include improving access to owners in remote areas, reducing stress for animals and providing advice on minor conditions.

But it has serious concerns about the risks involved. These include the risk of error due to incomplete information, a lack of a physical examination, limitations to technology and issues relating to owner trust.

The findings come from a survey of veterinary professionals, animal owners and stakeholders carried out by the RCVS last year, which aimed to identify potential risks with telemedicine, and highlight potential changes to the supporting guidance of the Code to Professional Conduct for vets.

When asked: ‘Should the supporting guidance be amended to allow for...

Categories: Journal news

In brief

Tackling contagious equine metritis

A new protocol has been put in place in Great Britain for controlling future outbreaks of contagious equine metritis (CEM), a highly contagious venereal disease that can cause reduced fertility in affected mares and can establish chronic infections in stallions.

Any suspect cases of CEM must continue to be reported to the Animal and Plant Health Agency. However, under the new control arrangements, which came into effect from 1 February 2018, owners of affected horses in England, Scotland and Wales may take their horse to a private equine vet specifically approved to deal with the disease, without official movement restrictions being imposed. The arrangements to deal with CEM in Northern Ireland remain unchanged.

Taylorella equigenitalis, the bacterium that causes CEM, can be passed through both natural mating and artificial insemination, and while mares may exhibit clinical signs, stallions can carry the infection asymptomatically.

Categories: Journal news

Reducing the risk of antimicrobial resistance

By Georgina Mills

A new initiative has been launched aimed at reducing the emerging risk to global health and food security posed by antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in animals.

Innovative Veterinary Solutions for Antimicrobial Resistance – InnoVet-AMR – will fund research to develop new animal vaccines and other alternative innovations to fight AMR in livestock and aquaculture production in low- and middle-income countries.

It is part of the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC’s) Global AMR Innovation Fund, which was established to provide funding for research and development in the field of AMR. It will also be funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

The initiative builds on DHSC’s expertise in championing innovation by supporting research and technology to improve lives.

IDRC president Jean Lebel said: ‘Antimicrobial resistance ultimately endangers health, food security, economic development and international trade, and poses a threat to human health. Beyond its...

Categories: Journal news

Ten top tips for recruitment

Developing a fully functioning extramural studies (EMS) programme has the potential to boost staff numbers.

That was the view of Alison Lambert, managing director of Onswitch, presenting a session on ‘ten top tips’ for recruitment at the BSAVA congress on 5 April.

She said EMS students were ‘walking billboards’ for individual veterinary practices, and that by ensuring that EMS placements were worthwhile for all parties, students would leave the practice with a positive outlook and spread the word about the practice.

Suggesting practices cover at least two of her top ten tips, she said great emphasis should also be placed on registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) because students and new applicants see a strong RVN presence as a marker for a good place to work.

‘A strong, capable and friendly RVN team is a huge asset to any practice, and something that new vets look for as an indicator of...

Categories: Journal news

Taking to the water: new solutions for city farming

This is the perfect scaleable solution for cities such as Rotterdam, with a lot of space on the water

By Daniel Gillett

Two years after the unveiling of initial plans, construction of the world’s first floating dairy farm have commenced in Rotterdam.

Aiming to house 40 cows, the 1200 square metre floating platform (see pictures) is designed to help bolster food supply for a growing population with increasing food demand, where available farmland is restricted.

The farm will produce 1000 litres of milk a day, which will be pasteurised in a downstairs compartment of the floating structure. There are plans to process this milk into yogurt on site too.

Described by the project developers as a ‘closed-loop’ system, the farm will grow its own grass for fodder and produce its own fertiliser from manure.

Special LED lights will be used to grow fresh grass as fertiliser on the...

Categories: Journal news

Medicines update

The points below highlight changes in marketing authorisations (MAs) that may have a significant impact on veterinary surgeons’ prescribing decisions.

New marketing authorisations

New marketing authorisations relevant to veterinary surgeons in the UK that were issued or published in February 2018 are listed in Table 1.

Of those products listed, the VMD draws attention to:

• Galliprant 20 mg, 60 mg and 100 mg tablets for dogs, which contains the new active substance grapiprant. The product is indicated for the treatment of pain associated with mild to moderate osteoarthritis in dogs.

Table 1 also indicates where a public assessment report should become available for a product. Where available, links to these reports are accessible by clicking on the relevant product on the VMD’s Product Information Database www.gov.uk/check-animal-medicine-licensed

The European Medicines Agency publishes European Public Assessment Reports for every veterinary medicine that is authorised...

Categories: Journal news

Adverse weather triggers cases of rhododendron poisoning in sheep

SAC C VS disease Surveillance report for January 2018

  • Salmonella enterica serovar Bovismorbificans infection in cattle

  • Rhododendron poisoning in sheep

  • Lead poisoning in a white-tailed sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)

  • The mean temperature for January 2018 was 0.5°C below the 1981–2010 long-term average. Many places had near average rainfall but there were regional differences, with Aberdeenshire having a dry, sunny month while it was wetter in the south west.

    CattleGeneralised and systemic conditions

    A dairy herd reported the death of 10 calves in a 10-day period, representing 80 per cent of the total calves born in that time. The calves remained with their dams for 48 hours and were then housed in single pens and fed two litres of cow’s milk twice a day. Affected calves became recumbent at around three days of age and died within 48 hours.

    Examination of the submitted carcase showed...

    Categories: Journal news

    Understanding veterinary leadership

    Leadership. We acknowledge its importance, indeed both the RCVS and the BVA have identified developing the next generation of exceptional leaders as fundamental to the sustainability and success of the veterinary profession.1 But what exactly does it mean? A definition of leadership is notoriously difficult to find. A Google search on the term results in 300 million hits and Amazon’s book department stocks over 100,000 titles referring to the term. The body of scientific literature is vast and shifting, with new models and theories constantly emerging, but there is a paucity of literature relating to the term in the veterinary context.

    The study by Pearson and others,2 summarised on p 460 of this week’s issue of Vet Record, is therefore a timely investigation into the experience of senior veterinary leaders. While the desire to produce exceptional leaders is laudable, defining and understanding leadership in the...

    Categories: Journal news

    Understanding veterinary leadership in practice

    The Vet Futures Report has identified ‘exceptional leadership’ as a key ambition for the long-term sustainability of the industry. This research investigates what it is like to be a veterinary surgeon in an in-practice leadership position, applying the qualitative methodology of interpretative phenomenological analysis. Through the researchers’ interpretation of the seven participants’ stories of their leadership experiences, the study advances understanding of the work environment, underlying motivations and the perceived responsibilities of veterinary leaders. Findings suggest, for many, a struggle in transition to leader positions, improving with time. The increase in pace of work is relayed by participants, with an ongoing, and unchallenged, work–life imbalance. The vets involved are highly motivated, driven by enjoyment of their jobs, a desire for self-determination and a need to make a difference. Relationships form the core of the perceived responsibilities, and yet are identified as the greatest day-to-day challenge of leadership. This study offers a valuable insight for veterinary surgeons, suggesting the industry could benefit from pausing and reflecting on behaviours. With a greater understanding of the complexity of leadership and followership, progress can be made to enact positive changes for the future.

    Categories: Journal news

    Long-term complications following tibial plateau levelling osteotomy in small dogs with tibial plateau angles > 30{degrees}

    Tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO) is commonly performed for surgical management of cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) disease. It has been suggested that small dogs may have steeper tibial plateau angles (TPAs) than large dogs, which has been associated with increased complication rates after TPLO. A retrospective study was performed to assess the rate and nature of long-term complications following TPLO in small dogs with TPAs>30°. Medical records were reviewed for dogs with TPAs>30° treated for CCL rupture by TPLO with a 2.0 mm plate over a five-year period. Radiographs were assessed to determine TPA, postoperative tibial tuberosity width and to identify any complication. Up-to-date medical records were obtained from the referring veterinary surgeon and any complications in the year after surgery were recorded. The effects of different variables on complication rate were assessed using logistic regression analysis. Minor complications were reported in 22.7 per cent of cases. This is similar to or lower than previously reported complication rates for osteotomy techniques in small dogs and dogs with steep TPAs. A smaller postoperative TPA was the only variable significantly associated with an increased complication rate. No major complications were identified.

    Categories: Journal news

    Farm evacuation coefficient: a novel indicator in veterinary crisis management

    Whenever an area is struck by a massive disaster such as extreme flooding, an earthquake, forest fire or chemical spill, not only people suffer the consequences but also the animal population will be hit severely. A quick search in available literature gives an indication on how veterinary professionals and other emergency responders train and organise themselves to cope with these events in an effort to save as many lives (human beings and animals) as possible.

    Linnabary and New1 describe in this paper how from the 1950s the principles of disaster medicine were taught in the US veterinary colleges and to military veterinarians, providing various examples and detailed descriptions for emergency responders. In order to be better prepared, Linnabary and New2 also describe the results of a survey of emergency evacuation of dairy cattle. This survey was designed to determine the farmers’ attitudes regarding evacuation, the availability...

    Categories: Journal news

    Selected highlights from other journals

    Rottweilers are the dog breed most likely to suffer from osteoarthritis

    K. L. Anderson, D. G. O’Neill and others

    Scientific Reports (2018) 8, 5641

    doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-23940-z

    • What did the research find?

    Of the 455,557 dogs included in the study, 2.5 per cent had osteoarthritis. The study found that rottweilers were the breed most prone to osteoarthritis.

    Additionally, dogs that were above average weight for their breed were found to be nearly 2.3 times more likely to be diagnosed with the condition and males were 1.2 times more likely to have osteoarthritis than female dogs.

    • How was it conducted?

    This study aimed to investigate prevalence, duration and risk factors of osteoarthritis in dogs under primary veterinary care in the UK. The study included data collected by primary veterinary care clinics enrolled in the VetCompass programme during 2013. Candidate osteoarthritis cases were then identified among clinical records using multiple...

    Categories: Journal news

    Large corporate acquisitions and the shortage of vets

    I find it difficult to believe that David Catlow has really convinced himself that CVS and the other corporate groups are the prime cause of the shortage of vets seeking a career in practice because, as he suggests, too many practice owners are retiring early in response to acquisition offers they can’t refuse (VR, 14 April 2018, vol 182, p 438).

    My understanding is that a significant number of them continue to work in the practice they formerly owned and that the shortage is largely the result of too many new and recent graduates being unprepared for a long-term career as primary care clinicians, as they quickly becoming disillusioned by what they perceive as the long hours, poor support, stress and poor levels of remuneration.

    If Catlow is looking for the culprit for the shortage, the answer for me is as clear as a bell. We have no one...

    Categories: Journal news

    Large corporate acquisitions and the shortage of vets

    I was saddened to see David Catlow and Jonathan Stirling blaming the corporates for the shortage of vets (VR, 14 April 2018, vol 182, pp 438-439). The motivation that made me start up CVS in 1999 was that I had become aware through my involvement with the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) Snowscene and Roadshows that many vets were finding it increasingly difficult to persuade younger vets to take on the partnership role. We purposely set our strategy not to overprice our offers and indeed worked with Anval, the leading veterinary advisory firm involved in valuing practices for partnership succession, to arrive at similar values to partnership offers.

    That formula persisted throughout the noughties, yet despite the fact that our offers were similar to partnership valuations, there was a dearth of young vets willing to take on partnerships. Indeed, in one case of a large practice in the...

    Categories: Journal news

    Death notices

    Anderson On 2 April 2018, Jean Mckinlay Anderson, BVMS, MRCVS of Dunblane, Perthshire. Ms Anderson qualified from Glasgow in 1950.

    doi: 10.1136/vr.k1577

    Bowen On 11 March 2018, David Thomas Emrys Bowen, BVSc, MRCVS of Llandeilo, Dyfed. Mr Bowen qualified from Liverpool in 1952.

    doi: 10.1136/vr.k1508

    Pascoe On 19 October 2017, Reginald Roland Roessler Pascoe, DVSc, BVSc, AM, FACVSC, FRCVS of Oakey, Australia. Professor Pascoe qualified from Queensland in 1968.

    doi: 10.1136/vr.k1576

    Prole On 19 March 2018, John Henry Bruce Prole, MRCVS of Fordingbridge, Hampshire. Mr Prole qualified from London in 1955.

    doi: 10.1136/vr.k1511

    Categories: Journal news
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