Journal news

Focus on Brexit: just how prepared are we?

Veterinary Record latest issue - 11 October 2019

By Josh Loeb and Matthew Limb

Notwithstanding parliamentary manoeuvres and talk of an extension, the legal default remains that the UK will leave the EU at 11pm on 31 October. How will this affect the veterinary profession? More particularly, how ready are relevant sectors for a no-deal Brexit?

This week, in the first of a two-part series, Vet Record examines implications and preparedness across three major areas – UK-EU trade, medicines and the Irish border. For each, we have also identified three questions for the government (there are more but we identified some key ones) and provided the answers we obtained at the time of going to press, either from an official source, a government department or expert adviser.

We have also provided a traffic light ‘score’ to indicate our assessment of the UK’s preparedness (with green indicating ‘ready’, red ‘not ready’ and amber somewhere in between).

This is...

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Red foot affecting hill lambs

Veterinary Record latest issue - 11 October 2019

SRUC VS disease Surveillance headlines, June 2019

  • Klebsiella pneumoniae as a cause of meningitis in a neonatal suckled calf.

  • Epidermolysis bullosa (red foot) in Swaledale lambs.

  • Thymic lymphosarcoma in a nine-month-old boar.

  • The mean temperature for June in Scotland was 0.3°C below the long-term average. Across Scotland there was 115 per cent of average rainfall and 106 per cent of average sunshine.

    CattleGeneralised and systemic conditions

    Dumfries identified sequelae to navel ill as the cause of death in calves from three separate beef herds.

    The first case was a 10-month-old Belgian blue cross that was found dead. Infection had tracked within an adhesion from the navel towards the lumbar vertebral column and an abscess had formed adjacent to the abdominal aorta. A thrombus was found within the lumen of the aorta, and thromboembolism from this site was postulated to be the cause of death.

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    More sophisticated assessment of overall disease impact is needed to prioritise herd health efforts

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 11 October 2019

    In modern dairy herds, the prompt reintroduction of cows into breeding after calving or failed insemination is crucial to ensure profitable milk production and supply of replacement heifers. However, detecting cows in oestrus is a substantial challenge because lactating dairy cows exhibit the primary sign of oestrus – standing to be mounted – just 0.015 per cent of the time.1 To address this issue, synchronisation protocols that allow for timed artificial insemination (AI) without the need for oestrus detection have been developed. These protocols are commonly used and, for most herds, are an effective tool in achieving better reproductive performance.

    However, achieving excellent reproductive performance in high-producing cows requires a holistic approach, as metabolic and inflammatory diseases, body condition and lameness can have an impact on fertility at the individual level. Although synchronisation protocols can, at least partially, overcome reduced fertility in herds with a high incidence...

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    Association of lameness and mastitis with return-to-service oestrus detection in the dairy cow

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 11 October 2019

    Oestrus detection is an important part of maintaining efficient reproductive performance in dairy herds. Both lameness and mastitis are common diseases of dairy cows that may impact oestrus detection. A set of data from 28 herds identified as having good recording of clinical mastitis and lameness incidents was used for the study. Logistic regression was used to identify associations between disease episodes within 100 days of insemination and changes in the probability of reinsemination at either 18–24 or 19–26 days after an unsuccessful insemination. Population attributable risk was calculated to understand the impact these diseases may have at a herd level. Lameness 0–28 days after the first insemination of the interval decreased the odds of a reinsemination at an appropriate time by approximately 20 per cent. Clinical mastitis 1–28 days prior to the first insemination of the interval increased the odds of reinsemination at the expected time by approximately 20 per cent. The associations were similar for either interservice interval outcome. Population attributable risk suggested that the effect of these diseases on the probability of reinsemination at the expected time at a population level would likely be extremely small.

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    Accuracy of an automated three-dimensional technique for the computation of femoral angles in dogs

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 11 October 2019

    Aims: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the accuracy of a three-dimensional (3D) automated technique (computer-aided design (aCAD)) for the measurement of three canine femoral angles: anatomical lateral distal femoral angle (aLDFA), femoral neck angle (FNA) and femoral torsion angle.

    Methods:Twenty-eight femurs equally divided intotwo groups (normal and abnormal) were obtained from 14 dogs of different conformations (dolicomorphic and chondrodystrophicCT scans and 3D scanner acquisitions were used to create stereolithographic (STL) files , which were run in a CAD platform. Two blinded observers separately performed the measurements using the STL obtained from CT scans (CT aCAD) and 3D scanner (3D aCAD), which was considered the gold standard method. C orrelation coefficients were used to investigate the strength of the relationship between the two measurements.

    Results: A ccuracy of the aCAD computation was good, being always above the threshold of R2 of greater than 80 per cent for all three angles assessed in both groups. a LDFA and FNA were the most accurate angles (accuracy >90 per cent).

    Conclusions: The proposed 3D aCAD protocol can be considered a reliable technique to assess femoral angle measurements in canine femur. The developed algorithm automatically calculates the femoral angles in 3D, thus considering the subjective intrinsic femur morphology. The main benefit relies on a fast user-independent computation, which avoids user-related measurement variability. The accuracy of 3D details may be helpful for patellar luxation and femoral bone deformity correction, as well as for the design of patient- specific, custom-made hip prosthesis implants.

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    Teaching best practice in hand hygiene: student use and performance with a gamified gesture recognition system

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 11 October 2019

    The use of an automated gesture recognition system to teach the commonly adopted, seven-stage hand hygiene technique to veterinary undergraduate students was evaluated. The system features moderate gamification, intended to motivate the student to use the machine repeatedly. The system records each handwash stage, and those found to be difficult are identified and reported back. The gamification element alone was not sufficient to encourage repeated use of the machine, with only 13.6 per cent of 611 eligible students interacting with the machine on one or more occasion. Overall engagement remained low (mean sessions per user: 3.5, ±0.60 confidence interval), even following recruitment of infection control ambassadors who were given a specific remit to encourage engagement with the system. Compliance monitoring was introduced to explore how students used the system. Hand hygiene performance did not improve with repeated use. There was evidence that the stages—fingers interlaced, rotation of the thumb, rotation of the fingertips and rotation of the wrists—were more challenging for students to master (p=0.0197 to p<0.0001) than the back of the hand and of the fingers. Veterinary schools wishing to use such a system should consider adopting approaches that encourage peer buy-in, and highlight the ability to practise difficult stages of the technique.

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    Selected highlights from other journals

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 11 October 2019
    Medical management of horses with nephrosplenic entrapment

    A. M. Gillen, A. S. Munsterman, R. R. Hanson

    Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (2019) 254, 1448–53

    doi: 10.2460/javma.254.12.1448

    • What did the research find?

    Of the 134 horses included in the study, 72 horses had suspected nephrosplenic entrapment (NSE) that resolved after medical management with phenylephrine, 59 underwent laparotomy when medical management failed and three were euthanased without surgery. Of the horses that underwent surgery, 34 were found to have lesions other than NSE. The odds of resolution of NSE with medical management were greater for horses that underwent no more than two treatments.

    • How was it conducted?

    The medical records of 134 horses that underwent medical management with phenylephrine for suspected NSE at a veterinary teaching hospital between 1995 and 2014 were examined. For each case, demographic information, physical and ultrasonographic examination findings, treatment information (including the...

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    Reporting of adverse drug reactions

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 11 October 2019

    There is a general acknowledgement that adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are under-reported in both human and veterinary medical sectors. However, there is little information on which factors influence what veterinary professionals do when an ADR is suspected.

    A new study being carried out at the University of Liverpool is investigating the attitudes, perceptions and experiences of UK veterinary professionals (both veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses) towards ADR reporting. This work is funded by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate with support from the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET).

    We hope our study will identify key barriers to the current reporting process of ADRs. We then intend to use this information to develop strategies that will make it easier to report an ADR. By increasing the volume and quality of ADR reporting we can improve the safety of veterinary medicines by reducing the time taken to identify an ADR issue. Ultimately,...

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    BVA should not take a stance on no deal

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 11 October 2019

    Despite not having worked in practice for some years now, I am still proud of my earlier career as a vet.

    However, a recent news article on the BVA’s stance on a no deal Brexit has made me question my profession (VR, 28 September 2019, vol 185, p 354).

    I have no problem with the findings of the BVA’s officer team’s analysis of the impact of a no deal Brexit on my profession. I am sure they are correct. It is the recommendation to call for no deal to be taken off the table, and its acceptance by 15 to four of its council members, that causes me concern. Whether we like it or not the country has voted to leave the European Union. There was no vote nor mention about a deal; the question was did we wish to remain in Europe?

    The majority of our members of...

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    Daniella Dos Santos, BVA president, responds

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 11 October 2019

    I would like to thank Roger Mason for expressing his views; we do recognise that not all members will agree with this move, but want to reiterate that we followed a robust and democratic process to reach this important decision.

    Mason observes that the BVA’s role can necessitate making ‘political arguments’. While we are not party political, we are of course involved in political engagement to ensure that the veterinary voice is heard loud and clear in the development of government policy. That’s been plain to see when we lobby for, and often successfully effect, change on areas such as reinstating vets to the shortage occupation list, welfare at slaughter or wild animals in circuses. These are issues that people (politicians and vets included) may disagree on, but BVA campaigns in the confidence that we’re informed by evidence and member feedback.

    Mason says himself that he recognises the work...

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    Free-roaming cats

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 11 October 2019

    After reading Michael Fox’s letter (VR, 14 September 2019, vol 185, p 308) regarding the risks from free-roaming cats I felt a mixture of things, from disappointment to slightly culturally offended.

    Some years ago at a BSAVA congress I attended a lecture on cat toileting problems. The speaker from the USA gave staggering figures regarding the number of cats that are euthanased there each year due to inappropriate toileting. While delivering technical advice for a nutrition company, a large proportion of our advice was regarding stress-related disease in cats, virtually all of them lived only indoors or were from multi-cat households. While some cats seem to cope with an indoor life, I feel it is fundamentally wrong on welfare grounds to enforce this on all cats.

    It is well known that being kept confined is a major cause of stress and chronic disease in cats. We all take risks...

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    Supply of antibiotics for small animals

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 11 October 2019

    There is currently a growing concern about antimicrobial resistance, which the veterinary profession must take seriously, particularly with regard to the critically important antibiotics.

    When a patient requires antibiotics, we need access to a range of drugs. For our small animal patients, there is currently no trimethoprim sulfonamide or ampicillin tablets licensed, which are good options to have if we are to avoid the critically important antibiotics. There are now multiple fluoroquinolones licensed.

    However, I fear that if manufacturers continue to stop manufacturing certain antibiotics, it reduces the available choice of less critically important antibiotics, and the speed of resistance to the newer critically important antibiotics is going to increase.

    Categories: Journal news

    People that shaped the profession

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 11 October 2019

    I was pleased to see the feature ‘Personalities that shaped the profession’ (VR, 14 September 2019, vol 185, p 290). However, I was surprised that the RCVS had omitted Sir Frederick Wellington John Fitzwygram.

    Following his death in 1904, The Veterinary Record closed its tribute to him with the words ‘Without his assistance it is probable that the RCVS would now have had a rival diploma-granting body, and it is certain that we would not have obtained the Act of 1881, which is our corporate salvation.’ Iain Pattison wrote ‘those who pass [Fitzwyram’s] portrait at the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons should genuflect in gratitude’.1

    The obtaining of the Royal Charter by the Mayers was the essential first step in building the profession but it carried no legal weight, anyone could still call themselves ‘veterinary surgeon’. What was needed was an Act of Parliament to confirm the...

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    Ovarid: why was this drug withdrawn?

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 11 October 2019

    I have just had my umpteenth cat brought into practice with severe miliary eczema which cannot be treated with flea treatments or steroids and antibiotics. Today’s feline patient has been suffering with this skin condition for years and the only drug I’ve found able to control it is Ovarid (Virbac) (a week’s dose at 5 mg taken every other day). The cat is very difficult to handle and because of this the owners are unable to administer treatment orally. Ovarid is completely palatable to cats and is one of the few drugs I have found which is pet and owner friendly. It has also proven very effective in the treatment of other conditions, such as cystitis, ulcers in rodents and gingivitis.

    So, why was this amazing drug taken off the market when it had so many treatment benefits, with minimal side effects and could be administered over shorter periods....

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    'Longer jail terms are unlikely to be effective

    Alick Simmons argues that increasing maximum sentencing for animal welfare offences will not be an effective deterrent and that preventing offences occurring in the first place should be the priority.

    Categories: Journal news

    Lets not create new veterinary vices

    This month Rachel Dean argues that guidelines should be written by those that will use them, and be properly assessed, to ensure they actually improve patient outcomes

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    Arthur Michael Rex Nelson

    A sociable man who made many friends during his working life in practice, industry and with veterinary organisations. As the author of Nelson’s Column, he never shied away from giving his opinion.

    Categories: Journal news

    Welcoming our new President

    Girija Duggal, BVA media officer, introduces Daniella Dos Santos, the new BVA President.

    Categories: Journal news

    Updated guide for recent and soon-to-be graduates

    We’ve updated our BVA graduate guide, which is intended for those who are soon to graduate or who have recently graduated.

    The guide helps new graduates through a process of self-assessment, from working out what they want from a job, through preparing an application, to securing an ideal first role. It then helps them prepare for their first day and first few months in their new role.

    It brings together hundreds of helpful tips, advice and personal accounts from veterinary professionals at different stages in their careers, alongside recommendations for additional resources and up-to-date human resources and legal information.

    So, whatever type of practice or specialism you may choose, or whether you’re looking for a role outside of practice, this guide will support you in your exciting first steps.

    Available exclusively for our members, the BVA graduate guide will be launched on the BVA website in the next few...

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    Celebrate with us at the BVA Gala Dinner

    Inject a little glamour into your London Vet Show visit by joining us at our BVA Gala Dinner, which is being hosted at the five-star London Marriott Hotel West India Quay on Thursday 14 November.

    Guests will enjoy a drinks reception on arrival, a three-course dinner (which meets the BVA food procurement policy), wine and a DJ and dancing until 1 am.

    Tickets cost £84 including VAT and can be booked online via the BVA website, or by calling Jessica Wachtel on 020 7908 6336.

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