Journal news

Vets at the heart of the vet-led team

Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

To illustrate our vision for effective teamwork between vets and allied professionals, we’ve launched a poster illustrating our vision for the vet-led team. Michael McGilligan, BVA Policy Officer, explains the thinking behind it.

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Divisional notices

Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

Divisional notices for BVA territorial and specialist divisions are published in BVA News. Notices should be e-mailed to at least five weeks before each meeting.


Vet Compass: What have we found with your data and how might it influence advice on neutering bitches?

Meeting with speaker Camilla Pegram of the Royal Veterinary College.

21 November 2019, 20:15 Novotel, Stevenage (just off the A1M at Junction 7) Details from


Feline pelvic fractures/Hip dysplasia: diagnosis and treatment

Evening meeting with speaker Felipe de Vicente from Scarsdale, who will give presentations on the above subjects. The meeting will be sponsored by Eickemeyer and all local vets and nurses are welcome to attend.

21 November 2019, 19:30 Cedric Ford Pavilion, Newark & Notts Showground, Newark-on-Trent Details from


Congress and annual general meeting

Lectures include updates on...

Categories: Journal news

I refuse to yield to my injuries

Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

Julian Earl’s 35-year career was spent in mixed practice until it came to abrupt halt when a cycling accident nearly claimed his life. He didn’t let that stop his success story.

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New emotional resilience courses

Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

A new emotional resilience course has been organised by the RCVS Mind Matters Initiative and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA). ‘Emotional Resilience for the Veterinary Team’ comprises two one-day courses, which aim to help participants understand the role emotional resilience plays in protecting their mental wellbeing.

Part 1 of the course focuses on emotional resilience, particularly within the veterinary professions, while part 2 focuses on the life skills of highly resilient people including listening, using strategy to solve problems, managing emotions, building social capital and knowing how to access help.

Mary Bannon, programme manager, said: ‘This workshop is designed for the whole practice team and encourages participants to work in groups. No personal disclosures are necessary during the course – although participants are very welcome to discuss private issues after the workshop.’

The courses are free to BSAVA members and £40.00 (including VAT) for non-members. To find...

Categories: Journal news

Recognising and reporting animal abuse

Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

The subject of animal abuse is a complex one. All vets will recognise the term, and many will have confronted the complexities of recognising abuse and deciding what to do. The Links Group has been working in the field of animal abuse for nearly 20 years – training members of the veterinary team, through the Links Veterinary Training Initiative (LVTI), to recognise abuse and giving clear guidance on when and how to report it.

In addition to the complexities of recognising animal abuse, there is even confusion around the term ‘animal abuse’ itself. This is because there are multiple synonyms – for example, animal cruelty or maltreatment.1 For this reason, the Links Group prefers the term ‘non-accidental injury’ for physical abuse – often shortened to NAI. Using the acronym condenses the time required in discussion, but it should never allow casual acceptance of abhorrent actions. Part of...

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Embracing the digital offering

Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

There has been much debate recently about what a telemedicine offering in veterinary practices should look like.

However, the debate is really around what should and could be offered remotely without compromising animal health, such as offering prescriptions or remotely diagnosing disease, rather than rejecting or accepting telemedicine per se.

This is a good thing, as telemedicine in its various forms is already established in the UK vet profession. For example, some practices are offering services that allow them to triage patients or do follow-up consultations by video. These tend to be an extra add-on service for existing clients, rather than services for new clients.

Recent events, such as the Digital Veterinary Summit, run by Kisaco Research, in London or the RCVS’ Vivet conference in Manchester, have showcased the array of tech out there to help vets and their clients keep their animals healthy, and in the case of...

Categories: Journal news

UK antibiotic sales fall again for 2017/18

Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

By Josh Loeb

UK sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals have fallen yet again – but the rate of reductions appears to be slowing down.

Figures published by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) show there was a 9 per cent reduction in sales of antibiotics for food-producing animals between 2017 and 2018 – the most recent year for which data are available – contributing to an overall fall of 53 per cent recorded in the four years since 2014.

The update on antibiotic usage was released this week to coincide with the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) conference. All data form part of the Veterinary Antibiotic Resistance and Sales Surveillance 2018 report.

This is a testament to the improvements the veterinary profession has made in antibiotic stewardship

The BVA hailed the fall as an ‘impressive’ part of the fight against antimicrobial resistance, and...

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Urgent guidance on exports agreed by RCVS

Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

By Josh Loeb

The RCVS unveiled new supplementary guidance for official veterinarians (OVs) in the run-up to the government’s preferred Brexit date last week.

The college said the move, designed to help mitigate ‘extraordinary circumstances’, followed an ‘urgent’ request from the APHA.

The decision was made during a closed session of an RCVS council meeting on 3 October but was not announced until last week.

The supplementary guidance is intended to be ‘temporary’ and ‘time-limited’ – but it has prompted criticism from some because it could mean that vets would, in certain circumstances, rely entirely on information from non-vets when certifying export documents.

The RCVS has said that, under the APHA’s so-called ‘trusted supplier’ scheme, OVs signing some export certificates would be allowed to rely on a ‘support attestation’ containing:

  • a ‘supplier declaration’ made by an ‘authorised’ representative of the supplying company; and

  • a declaration by a...

  • Categories: Journal news

    Vet nurses can squeeze anal glands too!

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

    By Josh Loeb

    Registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) are allowed to squeeze dogs’ anal glands – according to a member of an influential VN Futures working group.

    Vet Stephanie Writer-Davies, a past president of the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons, said confusion still reigned in some quarters about whether RVNs are permitted to undertake this procedure.

    But, she said, since a dog’s anus is not considered a ‘body cavity’, nurses are permitted to empty anal glands.

    She described the issue as ‘pathognomonic of confusion around Schedule 3’ and said it had been recently discussed by members of a VN Futures working group, of which she is a part, following questions and concern expressed by members of the profession.

    Part of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, Schedule 3 allows vets to direct registered or student veterinary nurses who are part of their vet team to carry out limited veterinary surgery.


    Categories: Journal news

    Finalists announced for Young Vet of the Year

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

    BVA and Zoetis have announced the three finalists for the Young Vet of the Year award 2019.

    Amy Barstow is a Royal Veterinary College graduate and now works in equine practice. She has volunteered abroad and has a PhD in equine biomechanics.

    Andreia Dias graduated from the Technical University of Lisbon and works in mixed practice. She founded UK Vet Move, a project that helps overseas vets access the resources to build a career in the UK.

    Cambridge graduate Emily Craven is a clinical director in farm practice, who stood out to judges by going the extra mile to help a local practice that needed support. She has undertaken work looking in to lameness in cattle.

    The winner will be revealed at the BVA gala dinner at London Vet Show on the 14 November 2019 and announced in Vet Record.

    Categories: Journal news

    In brief

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019
    Inspiring the vets of tomorrow

    Professor of evolutionary biomechanics at the Royal Veterinary College, John Hutchinson, and his team dissected an ostrich to explain the anatomy of animals as part of Norwich Science Festival.

    The event, which takes place annually during October half term, offers a range of talks, exhibitions and hands-on activities to promote scientific research.

    Hutchinson, who specialises in evolutionary biomechanics, dissected the whole cadaver live before the audience, assisted by Ben Garrod from the University of East Anglia.

    They used the demonstration to explain how the ostrich feeds and digests food, breathes, manages heat, circulates blood and attains rapid running speeds. Data obtained from the specimen are also being used in a new research project with Google DeepMind to produce 3D computer simulations of how ostriches move.

    Improving the welfare of primates

    The government has launched a call for evidence on the welfare of primates...

    Categories: Journal news

    Reporting cases of animal abuse

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

    Georgina Mills discusses new research that looks at the factors affecting vets’ decisions to report suspected cases of animal abuse

    Categories: Journal news

    One Health: embedding it into your work

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

    The concept of One Health recognises that the health and wellbeing of people, animals, and the environment are inextricably linked, and that, as the world’s population grows, professionals across each of these areas must collaborate in order to effect change. Here, Georgina Mills discusses a new action report from the BVA, which focuses on how One Health can work in the real world.

    Categories: Journal news

    Medicines update

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 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 September 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

    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

    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 authorisationsSmall animals

    (1) Alfaxan...

    Categories: Journal news

    Disease surveillance in England and Wales, October 2019

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

    APHA disease Surveillance report headlines

  • Cutaneous actinobacillosis in cattle

  • Multicentric lymphoma in a ram

  • Unusual neurological disease in pigs

  • Clostridial enteritis in grouse

  • Highlights from the scanning surveillance networkCattleCutaneous actinobacillosis

    The bacterium Actinobacillus lignieresii is an environmental organism that can also be identified in the oral flora of cattle. It can infect the oral cavity and other areas of upper gastrointestinal tract, as well as causing skin lesions, usually of the head and neck, and less often the limbs. The term ‘wooden tongue’ is often used for cases with oral lesions. Disease is believed to arise when infection of the mucosa or skin occurs following trauma.

    Within lesions, which in the skin are typically firm, nodular masses, the causative bacteria are surrounded by immune complexes. Grossly they characteristically have yellow foci or ‘sulphur granules’ in which the bacterial colonies and immune complexes are...

    Categories: Journal news

    To report, or not to report, animal abuse: the role of perceived self-efficacy in veterinarians decision-making

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

    Veterinarians are on the frontline of animal welfare, but little is known about the factors that facilitate their decision to report cases of abuse to authorities. Using perceived self-efficacy as a basis, the primary aim of this study was to examine the psychological and experiential factors linked to veterinarians’ reporting behaviour.


    We administered questionnaires to 176 veterinarians assessing the amount of training received on detecting/reporting animal abuse, perceived self-efficacy to report animal abuse, and whether they have reported animal abuse incidents to the relevant authorities.


    We found that perceived self-efficacy positively correlated with suspecting and reporting animal abuse, number of hours of specialised training, and years working in practice. As hypothesised, we also found that perceived self-efficacy explained the relationship between specialised training (in hours) and reporting animal abuse.


    These findings highlight the psychological impact of specialised training on veterinarians’ reporting behaviour. Simply put, specialist training equips veterinarians with the confidence and self-efficacy to report suspected cases of animal abuse. The implications for training curriculum and veterinary policy are discussed.

    Categories: Journal news

    Diagnostic value of cerebrospinal fluid analysis in a population of dogs with suspected idiopathic epilepsy

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

    Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis is commonly used in the diagnostic investigation of seizure disorders in order to exclude possible inflammatory underlying aetiology. The medical records were searched for dogs presenting with epileptic seizures (ES) that had normal interictal neurological examination, normal complete blood count and biochemistry analysis, unremarkable MRI of the brain and had CSF analysis performed as part of the diagnostic investigation. A total of 200 dogs met the inclusion criteria. The CSF was abnormal in 30 dogs with a median total nucleated cell count of two cells/µl (IQR 1.5–6) and median protein concentration of 0.37 g/l (IQR 0.31–0.41). Pleocytosis was recorded in 14/30 dogs and the CSF protein was increased in 22/30. There was no correlation between abnormal CSF and the type or number of seizures or the time interval between the last seizure and CSF collection. A significant correlation was found between the number of red blood cells on CSF and having an abnormal CSF. The prevalence of having a diagnosis other than suspected idiopathic epilepsy (IE) was 0.5 per cent (1/200). These results suggest that performing CSF analysis in dogs with recurrent ES that have normal interictal neurological examination and unremarkable MRI has a low diagnostic value.

    Categories: Journal news

    Data-driven approach to using individual cattle weights to estimate mean adult dairy cattle weight

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019

    Knowledge of accurate weights of cattle is crucial for effective dosing of individual animals and for reporting antimicrobial usage. For the first time, we provide an evidence-based estimate of the average weight of UK dairy cattle to better inform farmers, veterinarians and the scientific community.


    Data were collected for 2747 lactating dairy cattle from 20 farms in the UK. Data were used to calculate a mean weight for lactating dairy cattle by breed and a UK-specific mean weight. Trends in weight by lactation number and production level were also explored.


    Mean weight for adult dairy cattle in this study was 617 kg (sd=85.6 kg). Mean weight varied across breeds, with a range of 466 kg (sd=56.0 kg, Jersey) to 636 kg (sd=84.1, Holsteins). When scaled to UK breed proportions, the estimated UK-specific mean weight was 620 kg.


    This study is the first to calculate a mean weight of adult dairy cattle in the UK based on on-farm data. Overall mean weight was higher than that most often proposed in the literature (600 kg). Evidence-informed weights are crucial as the UK works to better monitor and report metrics to measure antimicrobial use and are useful to farmers and veterinarians to inform dosing decisions.

    Categories: Journal news

    Selected highlights from other journals

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 1 November 2019
    Wound sensitivity and healing duration after disbudding of goat kids

    L. Alvarez, S. J. J. Adcock, C. B. Tucker

    Journal of Dairy Science (2019) 102, 10152–62

    doi: 10.3168/jds.2018-16062

    • What did the research find?

    On average, necrotic tissue detached completely from the scalp 26 days after the disbudding procedure, and healing was complete after 50 days. Wounds were more sensitive than undamaged epithelial tissue at all stages of the healing process, although the goats became less sensitive to mechanical stimulation as their wounds decreased in size. The caudal location was the most sensitive, and the overall sensitivity was the same for both sides of the head.

    • How was it conducted?

    A total of 18 female dairy goat kids were disbudded with a heated iron at 10 days old. Wounds were visually scored each day until the healing process was complete. Pressure algometry was carried out twice a week...

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