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Looking to India for vets

Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

How good (or bad) are Indian vet schools?

That might seem like a peripheral question for the UK given that only one or two graduates from Indian vet schools are made MRCVS each year having passed the RCVS statutory examination.

However, with RCVS president Amanda Boag’s desire to see an increase in ethnic diversity in the veterinary profession and wider concern about a recruitment ‘crisis’, not to mention with Brexit impending, assessing the quality of vet schools in the world’s largest democratic country may yet become important.

Actually, it’s already an issue about which the RCVS has been thinking. In 2016 the college’s head of global strategy Chris Tufnell and its then chief executive Nick Stace went to Delhi and Chennai with an eye towards the possibility of accrediting Indian vet schools in future. Little action followed but now, two years on, the college is about to return to...

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Will the RCVS accredit Indian vet schools?

Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

By Josh Loeb

Talks will take place next month about the next stage of a process that could ultimately lead to one or more Indian vet schools being officially recognised by the RCVS for the first time.

Chris Tufnell, who leads on the college’s global strategy, said discussions would be taking place in a fortnight at a conference in India.

The move could mark a significant step towards the UK eventually welcoming an increased number of graduates from India, which is home to 44 vet schools.

The idea of accrediting vet schools in India was first mooted by the college following the Brexit vote, amid concern over what the BVA and RCVS have since described as a ‘crisis’ in veterinary recruitment.

Since 2016 the college has been investigating the possibility of developing closer ties with non-European countries, in particular India, partly to try to mitigate the impact of any...

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Vets are more important now than ever

Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

By Adele Waters

As Britain prepares to leave the EU, the work that vets undertake is now ‘more important than ever’.

That was the message that Defra minister David Rutley brought to last week’s annual BVA London dinner.

‘As Britain leaves the EU, your work will be more important than ever,’ he said. ‘And the government is extremely grateful for your dedication and commitment. I, along with the secretary of state and other government ministers, look forward to working with you to ensure we have the veterinary workforce that meets the future needs of the country and we must give you the support to do so.’

The minister, who holds responsibility for handling food supply and security, spoke to the audience of vets, parliamentarians and stakeholders about the climate of uncertainty that had been created by the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

‘These are uncertain times and I’d like...

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Finalists announced for animal welfare awards

Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

Three vets have been shortlisted for the 2019 Chris Laurence Vet of the Year Award, which, this year, is being supported by Vet Record as part of the annual Ceva Animal Welfare Awards.

Chris ‘Sid’ Parker, from the Scarsdale Vet Group, Hannah Capon, of Canine Arthritis Management, and Alison Thomas, from the Blue Cross in London, were chosen by a panel headed by Chris Laurence.

The Ceva Animal Welfare Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals from the farming, veterinary and charity industries who go beyond the call of duty to improve the welfare of animals around the world. Eight awards will be presented at a ceremony in Birmingham on 3 April.

Following the trend of the past three years, this year’s awards attracted a record number of nominations.

The variety and scope of the nominations never cease to amaze me

Laurence commented: ‘The variety and scope of the...

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Vets asked to keep swabbing for equine flu

Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

By Kathryn Clark

Horse owners and vets across the UK are being urged to remain vigilant for signs of equine influenza despite a decision to allow horseracing to resume in Britain.

All race fixtures at British racecourses were cancelled on 7 February following the confirmation of equine influenza among vaccinated thoroughbreds on a racing yard. The virus was reported at a second yard on 10 February. Robust containment measures were placed around both sites and the British Horseracing Authority announced on 11 February that a ‘risk-managed return’ to racing would take place on 13 February, with strict biosecurity controls in place.

However, although the recent focus has been on racehorses, cases of equine influenza have been confirmed in other vaccinated and unvaccinated non-thoroughbreds in England and Scotland since the beginning of the year (map). Scientists at the Animal Health Trust (AHT), which provides free testing for equine influenza (box),...

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New legislation solves registration anomaly

Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

By Kathryn Clark

Graduates from some vet schools in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland will have to sit the RCVS’s statutory membership exam before they can practise in the UK after Brexit, following the approval of new legislation.

Currently, under EU law, the RCVS is required to automatically register all graduates of any institution recognised by an EU member state.

However, following the UK’s exit from the EU, a statutory instrument (SI) passed by the House of Lords last week will allow the RCVS to require EEA and Swiss veterinary graduates whose degree does not meet the college’s standards to sit the statutory membership examination before they can join the UK register of veterinary surgeons.

During a debate of the new legislation, crossbench peer and former RCVS president Lord Trees said the SI would eliminate an anomaly whereby the RCVS was able to ensure that certain quality...

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Simpler system for registering overseas nurses

Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

The system for registering foreign-qualified vet nurses looks set to become easier to navigate post-Brexit.

Last week the RCVS approved plans to equalise the way in which it treats EU and non-EU applications.

This would make the system ‘fairer’, the RCVS’s examinations manager told members of VN council.

For the first time, the college will have the power to simply reject any applications to join the register from individuals with qualifications judged to be ‘significantly deficient in content and scope’. At the moment, it cannot automatically do so for citizens of the EU and European Economic Area (EEA).

In future, subject to the details of any Brexit deal, a level playing field will be created so that all applications can be treated equally regardless of where the applicant comes from or where they were educated.

At present the system is complex, with different routes onto the VN register available...

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Canine surgical AI now a prohibited procedure

Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

By Josh Loeb

Canine surgical artificial insemination (AI) has been banned.

The decision means that any vet who performs this type of assisted reproductive intervention could be held to account by the RCVS disciplinary committee and struck off.

Unlike transvaginal AI or transcervical AI – which entails the use of a catheter to administer semen – surgical AI involves general anaesthesia and making an abdominal incision to insert semen directly into the uterus.

The procedure has long been a source of controversy as it is a relatively invasive means of achieving an end that could potentially be achieved, albeit probably with a lower success rate, via less invasive interventions or naturally.

It has been performed in the past in reproductively challenged breeds such as bulldogs which then regularly have to undergo caesareans to give birth. Online videos of surgical AI being performed have been circulating, highlighting the controversy and...

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In brief

Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019
New president for BVA’s NI Branch

The BVA’s Northern Ireland Branch and the North of Ireland Veterinary Association (NIVA) have jointly elected Aurelie Moralis as their new president.

The appointment was made last week at a joint AGM of the two organisations.

Moralis graduated from the University of Ghent in Belgium in 2002 and moved to Northern Ireland to work in farm and mixed animal practice. She then joined Zoetis as a veterinary consultant, working in both Northern Ireland and northern England, and now in the Republic of Ireland.

She succeeds Alan Gordon as president of the BVA Northern Ireland Branch.

Moralis said: ‘I am excited about my double role as president of BVA Northern Ireland Branch and of NIVA, particularly at a time when Brexit negotiations put vets at the centre of a shifting landscape here in Northern Ireland. I aim to use my experience working for a...

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Old photos offer hope for the future of the elusive angel shark

Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

Georgina Mills explains how angel sharks may be living closer to home than first thought

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Is pet insurance sustainable?

Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

Veterinary leaders in the companion animal sector met recently to discuss challenges and issues around pet insurance. Suzanne Jarvis reports

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Small animal disease surveillance: gastrointestinal disease, antibacterial prescription and Tritrichomonas foetus

Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

Gastrointestinal disease, antibacterial prescription and Tritrichomonas foetus: Report summary

  • Presentation for investigation and/or treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) disease comprised 3.0 per cent, 2.0 per cent and 1.9 per cent of total dog, cat and rabbit consultations, respectively, between 1 April 2017 and 31 October 2018.

  • Diarrhoea and vomiting without blood were the most frequently reported GI disease clinical signs (43.0 and 36.6 per cent in dogs, and 35.9 and 37.7 per cent in cats, respectively).

  • The proportion of GI disease consultations during which antibiotics authorised for systemic administration (including oral and injectable formulations) were prescribed decreased between April 2014 and October 2018.

  • The proportion of GI disease consultations during which nutraceutical products advertised as being effective at managing primary GI disease (including prebiotics, probiotics, etc) were dispensed increased between April 2014 and October 2018.

  • Between January 2011 and August 2018, 13.5 per cent of...

  • Categories: Journal news

    Using cluster analysis to differentiate degrees of lameness in cattle

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

    Lameness can be caused by musculoskeletal and nerve injuries, as well as by infectious, traumatic or diet-related claw disorders. Its prevalence in high-yielding dairy cows in free-stall housing systems generally ranges from approximately 30 per cent to more than 75 per cent.1-5 It causes tremendous economic losses due to treatment costs, additional management time and decreased production.6,7 Additionally, the pain and discomfort suffered by lame animals negatively affects animal welfare. Many claw lesions, like digital dermatitis and sole ulcers, cause pain, while others, such as the frequently occurring heel horn erosion, do not.8 At the same time, the ability of cows to adapt to claw pain differs widely.9-12

    Locomotion scoring based on gait and postural changes is a tool to identify lame cows, but subjective assessment of slightly lame animals and non-lame cows with foot...

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    Evaluation of a gait scoring system for cattle by using cluster analysis and Krippendorffs {alpha} reliability

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

    The aim of the presented study was to validate a three-point locomotion score (LS) classifying lameness in dairy cows. Therefore, locomotion of 144 cows was scored and data on claw lesions were collected during hoof trimming. Based on latter data a cluster analysis was performed to objectively classify cows into three groups (Cluster 1–3). Finally, the congruence between scoring system and clustering was tested using Krippendorff’s α reliability. In total, 63 cows (43.7 per cent) were classified as non-lame (LS1), 38 (26.4 per cent) were rated as LS2 with an uneven gait and 43 (29.9 per cent) cows were ranked as clearly lame (LS3). In comparison, hoof-trimming data revealed 64 cows (44.4 per cent) to show no diagnosis, 37 (25.7 per cent) one diagnosis, 33 animals (22.9 per cent) two diagnoses and 10 (7.0 per cent) more than two. Comparing the respective categorisation received by either the cluster analysis or LS in between groups, a high correspondence (79.4 per cent and 83.7 per cent) could be found for LS1 and cluster 1 as well as for LS3 and cluster 3. Only LS2 had partial agreement (21.1 per cent) to cluster 2. However, Krippendorff’s α was 0.75 (95 per cent CI 0.68 to 0.81), indicating a good degree of reliability. Therefore, the results of this study suggested that the presented LS is suitable for classifying the cows’ state of lameness representing their claw diseases.

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    Assessing the Effect of Packing the Sulcus on Image Quality in Equine Digital Radiography

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

    The requirement to pack the sulcus of the equine foot as an aid to diagnostic interpretation before acquisition of dorsoproximal-palmarodistal oblique projections is debatable. The purpose of this study was to investigate the benefit of packing the sulcus in the assessment of normal anatomy. 23 cadaver limbs were radiographed in a podoblock (https://www.podoblock.com/products-page/podoblock/podoblock/). A non-packed image (NP) and a packed image (P) of the same foot were acquired. The image quality of P was graded against the reference NP by five observers, where –1=P was superior, 0=no difference between P and NP, and +1=NP was superior. Four anatomical criteria were used: the distal solar margin of the distal phalanx (DP), the vascular channels of DP, the palmar aspect of the distal interphalangeal joint and the articulation of the navicular bone with DP. A total Visual Grading Analysis Score of 0.28 indicates a preference for NP images. Packing was of benefit in only 10.8 per cent of cases. While judicious high-quality packing may be of benefit in a minority of cases, the routine packing of the sulcus in equine radiography was not found to be of benefit in the assessment of anatomical features in this study.

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    Effects of pre-farrowing sow vaccination against Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae on offspring colonisation and lung lesions

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

    This study investigated Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae colonisation and lung lesions at slaughter in pigs from vaccinated (V) and non-vaccinated (NV) sows, in two herds (A and B). In each herd, two sow batches were V against M. hyopneumoniae with a commercial bacterin at six and three weeks before farrowing and two sow batches remained NV. From each sow batch, laryngeal swabs were collected from the litters of five primiparous sows at weaning and seven days post-weaning. All samples were tested for M. hyopneumoniae by nested PCR. In total, 488 piglets were sampled. At slaughter, the extent of Mycoplasma-like pneumonia lesions (lung lesion score (LLS)) was assessed. The colonisation rates with M. hyopneumoniae at weaning and seven days post-weaning were (V-A=14.2, NV-A=20.0 (P=0.225); V-B=0.9, NV-B=0.8 (P=0.948)) and (V-A=0.8, NV-A=7.0 (P=0.039); V-B=1.8, NV-B=2.5 (P=0.738)), respectively. The average LLS (in per cent) was V-A=15.5, NV-A=26.4 (P=0.021); V-B=9.7, NV-B=8.4 (P=0.541). In conclusion, in herd A, with a substantially higher level of piglet colonisation at weaning than herd B, offspring from V sows had a significantly lower colonisation rate seven days post-weaning and a significantly lower LLS at slaughter compared with the offspring of the NV sows. This implies that sow vaccination might be useful for control of M. hyopneumoniae infections, although significant results may not be achieved at all times (such as in herd B).

    Categories: Journal news

    Selected highlights from other journals

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019
    Regional differences in transmission of avian influenza via live trade

    T. Wu, C. Perrings

    PLoS ONE (2018) 13

    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208197

    • What did the research find?

    This study found per capita GDP and general surveillance to be transmission risk-reducing. However, there were interregional differences. For the EU and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), intrabloc live poultry imports were risk-reducing while extrabloc imports were risk-increasing; for the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) the reverse was true. This is probably because the EU and ASEAN have long-standing biosecurity standards and stringent enforcement, but ECOWAS suffers from a lack of uniform standards and lax enforcement.

    • How was it conducted?

    Data on the number of H5N1 poultry outbreaks, trade in live poultry, wild bird migrations, biosecurity measures targeting avian influenza and socioeconomic and agro-ecological conditions were collected for 53 countries (belonging to either the EU, ASEAN or ECOWAS) over...

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    Susceptibility testing during lambing season

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

    We write to remind colleagues of the importance of undertaking antimicrobial culture and susceptibility testing to inform antimicrobial prescribing practices for watery mouth disease in neonatal lambs this lambing season.

    In the 2018 lambing season we undertook a survey of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) profiles of Escherichia coli bacteria cultured from postmortem tissues from lambs with watery mouth disease.

    This suggests anti-microbial resistance to commonly used antibiotics in farm animals is to be expected

    Across all farms (n=9), the highest proportion of resistant E coli isolates were found for tetracycline (45.26 per cent, 95 per cent confidence interval [CI] 24.13 to 68.2), streptomycin (45.26 per cent, 95 per cent CI 24.13 to 68.2), spectinomycin (23.7 per cent, 95 per cent CI 6.94 to 56.40), ampicillin (17.67 per cent, 95 per cent CI 31.20 to 58.86), and amoxicillin (17.24 per cent, 95 per cent CI 2.86 to 59.54). These data...

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    Human toxocariasis and neutering cats

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 14 February 2019

    Human toxocariasis is a debilitating zoonotic disease, with Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati worms being a source of infective eggs in the environment from which human infection through ingestion can occur.

    Toxocariasis is recognised by the World Health Organization as a neglected global zoonosis and infection can lead to visceral or ocular damage through larval migration. It is also a risk factor for chronic syndromes such as epilepsy and cognitive dysfunction.1 Although Public Health England only records a handful of confirmed cases in the UK each year, the non-specific signs and non-notifiable status of human toxocariasis means that many chronically debilitating cases are likely to be missed.

    One of the often overlooked sources of environmental contamination with Toxocara egg is stray cats. Cats with outdoor access, if not treated for Toxocara, have been shown to have a higher prevalence of egg shedding than dogs in the same...

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