Journal news

Making the switch from practice to policy

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

Vet Catrina Prince is Lord Trees’ fourth intern, which means she has swapped clinical work for parliament. With government in purdah, she has the chance to get to grips with the issues at hand.

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Mental health care in practice

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

Veterinary group Linnaeus has trained almost 100 mental health first aiders within its practices, with the aim of developing a culture where support and conversations about mental health are normalised, so that colleagues feel able to reach out for the support they need.

Michelle O’Connor, the group’s people and culture director, said: ‘Veterinarians are three to four times more likely to die by suicide than workers from any other industry. Because of this alarming statistic, we have put wellbeing at the forefront of our strategy to demonstrate the commitment we have to our people and their wellbeing, and I’m really proud of the volunteers who have put themselves forward.’

The volunteers, who work in both office and clinical roles, have all attended a training course run by Mental Health First Aid England to acquire the skills to support their own and others’ wellbeing. The course trains people to identify...

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Sheep research grant 2020 open

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

The Sheep Veterinary Society invites applications for funding for research projects to the value of £4000. The aim of the research grant is to fund novel, applied, and evidence-based science of relevance to the society’s aim of promoting disease prevention and positive welfare in sheep. The successful candidate will be invited to present their results to the society. Application forms are available by email from: secretariat@sheepvetsoc.org.uk, or can be downloaded from www.sheepvetsoc.org.uk. The closing date for applications is 31 March 2020.

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People

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

European cardiology specialist Hayley McDonald has joined the cardiology department at Dick White Referrals (DWR). She graduated from Massey University in New Zealand and worked in first-opinion and emergency care practice in Australia before moving to the UK to do a three-year residency at the University of Glasgow. Having completed the residency, she remained at Glasgow as a clinician in veterinary cardiorespiratory medicine before joining DWR.

Fran Henson is the new head of equine orthopaedics at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. She is a recognised specialist in equine surgery (orthopaedics) with over 20 years of experience in treating poorly performing or lame horses. Her appointment will focus on providing a fully comprehensive referral service for the diagnosis and treatment of lameness, back problems and poor performance, and continuing to develop her comparative orthopaedics research programme.

...

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Career development

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

Sarah Mason, a European and RCVS specialist in oncology at Southfields Veterinary Specialists in Essex, has become the first clinician to earn a diploma in radiation oncology as well. Success in the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine examination means that she is now a European specialist in both oncology and radiation oncology – the first person to achieve the qualification by training and examination.

Andrew Perry, head of dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery at Eastcott Referrals in Swindon, has been recognised as a specialist in dentistry by the European Veterinary Dental College. One of only nine vets in the UK to have achieved this, he has simultaneously been recognised by the RVCS as a specialist in veterinary dentistry.

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Investment funding for PhD students

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

Partners of the London Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Partnership (LIDo), which includes the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), will benefit from more than £20 million of extra funding in 2020 – representing an extra 190 PhD studentships. LIDo has also announced that it will have four new ‘associate partners’ next year, including the Food Standards Agency and the Animal and Plant Health Agency. Each of these will contribute at least three additional studentships, as well as providing projects and collaborative opportunities for students.

Jonathan Elliott, vice principal for research and innovation at the RVC, said: ‘Training future scientists to think and work across disciplines in tackling major global challenges, such as antimicrobial resistance and food security, is something the RVC is committed to and being part of LIDo enables us to meet that commitment. We are a proud beneficiary of such a major investment in researcher skills development and are determined...

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European universities are not all the same

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

This week we report on an important RCVS disciplinary committee case (see p 672).

It involved a Romanian vet, Andreea Maria Bacaintan, who is currently practicing in the UK, having left her native country to try and – in her words – ‘make a better life’.

After the RCVS became aware that Bacaintan had a conviction for a bribery offence back in her home country, she was brought before the college’s disciplinary committee. But in the process of examining the charge against her – a charge to which Bacaintan admitted guilt – it became apparent that this young woman was in fact a victim of corruption at an outwardly respectable European vet school.

The vet school in question is based at the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Bucharest. It is a member of the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) – a quality assurance...

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Corruption found in Romanian vet school

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

By Josh Loeb

An RCVS disciplinary committee has unearthed disturbing allegations of corruption at a European-approved vet school whose graduates are able to practise as vets in the UK.

The revelation, which has prompted calls from the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) for an investigation, came to light at the conclusion of a disciplinary hearing involving a vet convicted of a bribery offence.

Andreea Maria Bacaintan, who is currently practising as a vet in the UK, was charged in 2017 in her native Romania with having bribed a veterinary professor at a university, from which she subsequently graduated.

The charge, which she admitted, was that, as a final-year vet student at Bucharest’s University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in 2016, Bacaintan had paid the equivalent of £66 as a bribe in order to pass an exam about animal slaughtering and meat processing.

As punishment for the offence,...

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MPs urged to safeguard animal welfare

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

By Josh Loeb

The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH), which lobbies on behalf of the animal medicines industry, has released its ‘animal health manifesto’ ahead of next week’s general election. It calls on prospective MPs to pledge their support to safeguard the health and welfare of the UK’s pets and farm animals.

As well as providing would-be parliamentarians with a briefing on how the animal medicines industry in the UK operates and why it is important, the eight-page document calls for candidates across the country to:

  • Recognise the important role played by animal health products and services, and include the sector’s needs as the UK negotiates any future relationship with the EU.

  • Place animal health and welfare at the heart of any relevant future policy. This includes supporting incentives to develop innovative treatments and better diagnostics for animals.

  • Support positive health and societal wellbeing by...

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    Getting political: vets stand in general election

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    With just days left until polling takes place for the general election, vets standing as candidates to be MPs are preparing to make their final pitches to voters.

    This time around, four vets are known to be standing as prospective parliamentary candidates. They are:

    Danny Chambers, a member of RCVS council, is standing for the Liberal Democrats in the constituency of North Cornwall. The seat was held by the Conservatives at the last election but is considered a target seat by the Lib Dems.

    Equine vet Neil Hudson is standing for the Conservatives in the seat of Penrith and The Border, where the Tories won more than 60 per cent of the vote at the last election. Hudson’s selection to fight the seat for the Conservatives came about after the constituency’s former MP, Rory Stewart, left the party earlier this year to stand as an independent candidate for the...

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    Who will get your vote on 12 December?

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    By Josh Loeb and Rachel Garty

    Political parties have been setting out their stall as the general election campaign enters its final days.

    While there is widespread consensus on some issues, for example the need to enshrine animal sentience into law, there is noticeable divergence in other areas, for example on the issue of ‘cage’ use on farms.

    In September of this year, after Labour released a dedicated animal welfare manifesto, Vet Record pledged to look into what other parties were promising (see VR, 7 September 2019, vol 185, p 247). With most manifestos now out, we can present a round-up of some of the highlights – with the caveat that our lists (below) are not exhaustive, so anyone keen to find out more about what an individual party is offering should check that party’s website.

    These are some of the most relevant pledges for the vet profession

    ...
    Categories: Journal news

    Bovine TB: researchers adapt the BCG vaccine for cattle use

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    Georgina Mills reports a new development that could help protect cattle from this persistent disease

    Categories: Journal news

    In brief

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019
    Nominations for BVA JVP now open

    Nominations are now open for BVA’s junior vice president (JVP) 2020/21 position.

    The position is open to all vets who are BVA members and who believe that they or someone they wish to nominate is a strong, talented member of the profession who can contribute to, and represent, the voice of the veterinary profession.

    The JVP is an ambassador for the BVA and the wider profession, providing veterinary and political advice and working closely with the association’s staff. The selected candidate will spend one year as JVP, before becoming president and senior vice president over the proceeding two years. They will also commit to a further three years serving as a past president on BVA council (four meetings a year).

    Current BVA JVP James Russell said: ‘Nothing could have prepared me for the excitement that my first few months as JVP have been...It...

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    Medicines update

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    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 October 2019 are listed in Table 1.

    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 through a centralised procedure. Links to these reports are accessible at www.ema.europa.eu

    There may be a delay between the issuing of a marketing authorisation to a company and the product being placed on the market.

    Changes to marketing authorisationsFood-producing animals

    (1) Buscopan Compositum solution...

    Categories: Journal news

    Disease surveillance in England and Wales, November 2019

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    APHA disease Surveillance report headlines

  • Campylobacter abortion in cattle

  • Negated bluetongue cases in sheep

  • Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome in preweaned piglets

  • Highlights from the scanning surveillance networkCattleCampylobacter infection in a suckler herd

    Examination of an aborted calf at the APHA Thirsk veterinary investigation centre (VIC) confirmed infection by Campylobacter fetus fetus. It was the second abortion in a group of five heifers in a suckler herd of around 100 animals.

    Infection by this Campylobacter species principally arises via the faecal-oral route, similar to the mechanism of infection resulting in Campylobacter abortion in sheep, although mechanical spread by bulls is also possible. Venereal campylobacteriosis, on the other hand, caused by either Campylobacter fetus venerealis or Campylobacter fetus intermedius, occurs only in herds using natural service.

    Clearly, to control disease it is essential that the causative Campylobacter is definitively identified. If C fetus fetus infection...

    Categories: Journal news

    Surveillance for disease in extensively managed livestock

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    This focus article has been prepared by Sian Mitchell, veterinary investigation team lead of the APHA Carmarthen veterinary investigation centre.

    Categories: Journal news

    Discussing prognosis for canine diabetes mellitus: do we have relevant data?

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    In a paper summarised on p 692 of this issue of Vet Record, Tardo and colleagues investigated the survival time of newly diagnosed diabetic dogs and examined potential prognostic factors in this population.1 They report a median survival time of more than 2.5 years after diagnosis in a population of middle-aged to older dogs (with a median age of 10 years). This begs the question, does diabetes mellitus (DM) affect survival in dogs?

    DM is a treatable condition, yet it is ranked as a leading cause of death in people. Over the years, the hyperglycaemia caused by DM can lead to a myriad of cardiovascular diseases, with complications including kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes.2,3 While hyperglycaemia can be controlled with insulin, glucagon responses to insulin-induced hypoglycaemia are often impaired in DM patients. This markedly limits the ability to achieve a level of...

    Categories: Journal news

    Survival estimates and outcome predictors in dogs with newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus treated in a veterinary teaching hospital

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019
    Background

    Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most common endocrine disorders in dogs, but prognostic factors are still largely unknown. The aim of this retrospective, single-centre, case series study was to determine overall survival time and identify the prognostic value of several clinical and clinicopathological variables in dogs with newly diagnosed DM.

    Methods

    Cases of DM were identified within the electronic medical records of one referral centre. Sixty-eight dogs with DM were included. Cox proportional hazards models were used to analyse variables associated with survival.

    Results

    The median survival time was 964 days (range 22–3140). In multivariable model analysis, length of survival was significantly shorter for dogs with higher haematocrit value (hazard ratio (HR) 1.06, 95 per cent confidence interval (CI) 1.00 to 1.13) and higher serum phosphate concentrations (HR 1.83, 95 per cent CI 1.13 to 2.97). Serum phosphate concentrations were above the reference interval in 24 of 65 (37 per cent) dogs.

    Conclusion

    Diabetic dogs have a good life expectancy. Hyperphosphataemia is a relatively common finding in dogs with newly diagnosed DM and represents a negative prognostic factor. The presence of pancreatitis might not be associated with an unfavourable outcome.

    Categories: Journal news

    Association between results of diagnostic tests for bovine tuberculosis and Johnes disease in cattle

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019
    Background

    Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) diagnosis is impaired by numerous factors including cross-reactivity with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, which causes Johne’s disease (JD). In addition, the effect of repeated bTB-intradermal testing on the performance of JD diagnostic tests is not fully understood. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of repeated bTB-intradermal tests under field conditions in Spain on the JD serological status of cattle.

    Methods

    bTB-positive herds (n=264) from Castilla-y-Leon region were selected and matched with officially tuberculosis-free control herds. The association between JD and bTB status at the herd level was assessed using conditional logistic regression and, in herds with both JD-positive and bTB-positive animals, a Bayesian hierarchical mixed-effect model was used for individual-level analysis.

    Results

    A significantly higher risk of being JD positive (OR: 1.48; 95 per cent CI: 1.01 to 2.15) was found for bTB-positive herds compared with controls. Individual results indicated that cattle tested more than three times per year, within the last 90 days and more than 12 months were more likely to be JD positive. A skin test-related boost in antibody response could be the cause of an apparent increase of the sensitivity of the JD-absorbed ELISA.

    Conclusion

    The results demonstrate the interaction between bTB repeated testing and JD individual and herd-level results and this improved knowledge will facilitate the design of more effective control programmes in herds coinfected with two of the most important endemic diseases affecting cattle in Spain.

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