Journal news

Nail varnish helps researchers pinpoint numbers of rare bats

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 September 2019

Emma Huntley explains how researchers from the Zoological Society of London are using an inventive way to calculate bat populations

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'Its time for the profession to start rocking

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 September 2019

RCVS president Niall Connell talks to Josh Loeb about his unconventional journey to becoming a vet, his career to date and his love of all things rock and roll.

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Disease surveillance in England and Wales, August 2019

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 September 2019

APHA disease Surveillance report headlines

  • Neosporosis responsible for an abortion outbreak in a housed dairy herd

  • Unusual skin lesions in sheep

  • Tapeworms in chickens

  • Focus on avian botulism

  • Highlights from the scanning surveillance networkCattleNeosporosis

    An abortion outbreak caused by neosporosis was investigated at the APHA Carmarthen veterinary investigation centre (VIC). More than 30 cows aborted over a period of three weeks in a 500-cow dairy herd that calves throughout the year. Five of the aborted calves were examined at the VIC.

    No specific gross pathology was identified but Neospora caninum DNA was detected by PCR in the brains of all five calves. Histopathology indicated a non-suppurative encephalitis and myocarditis, confirming neosporosis as the cause of the abortions (Fig 1).

    Cattle can be infected by N caninum through ingestion of oocysts passed by dogs, which are the definitive hosts (this is known...

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    Correction: Disease surveillance in England and Wales, July 2019

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 September 2019

    There was an error in the APHA disease surveillance report for July 2019 (VR, 3 August 2019, vol 185, pp 132–136). The statement on p 133 regarding vaccination of lambs for Pasteurella from 10 days of age in the presence of colostral antibody was incorrect.

    The data sheets for currently licensed vaccines state that they can be given from a minimum age of three weeks.

    The error is regretted.

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    Avian botulism - a recurring paralytic disease of wild UK waterbirds

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 September 2019

    This focus article has been prepared by Paul Holmes from the APHA Diseases of Wildlife Scheme.

    Categories: Journal news

    Health and welfare priorities in goats

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 September 2019

    The UK goat population is small, numbering around 108,000 animals in total.1 However, even with such a small population, it is important to recognise the wide variation in goat-keeping practices. Many goats are kept as pets, and at public attractions and open farms – their playful and inquisitive behaviour makes them ideal for this. In addition, the UK has a small fibre sector with both Angora and Cashmere goats, a meat sector utilising predominantly the boer breed and male kids from the dairy sector, and pedigree breeding and show herds that keep pure breed populations.

    In the 1980s, the UK also began developing its commercial dairy goat sector due to supermarket demand for liquid goat milk – an item previously missing from the shelves. The dairy goat sector initially followed dairy cow husbandry and management principles, but it quickly became apparent that there were two important differences,...

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    Survey of husbandry and health on UK commercial dairy goat farms

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 September 2019

    Published research relevant to the UK dairy goat industry is scarce. Current practices and concerns within the UK dairy goat industry must be better understood if research is to have optimal value. A postal survey was conducted of the farmer membership of the Milking Goat Association as a first step in addressing gaps in knowledge. Questions were asked about husbandry practices, farmer observations of their goats and their priorities for further research. Seventy-three per cent of Milking Goat Association members responded, representing 38 per cent of commercial dairy goat farms and 53 per cent of the commercial dairy goat population in England and Wales. Findings were comprehensive and showed extensive variation in farm practices. Farmers reported pneumonia and scours (diarrhoea) as the most prevalent illnesses of their kids. Pneumonia, diarrhoea, failure to conceive and poor growth were the most prevalent observations of youngstock. Overly fat body condition, assisted kidding, failure to conceive and difficulty drying off were the most prevalent observations of adult milking goats. Farmers’ top priorities for further research were kid health (79.5 per cent of farmers), Johne’s disease (69.5 per cent of farmers), tuberculosis (59 per cent of farmers) and nutrition (47.7 per cent of farmers).

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    Outcome of two variations of a surgical technique performed for canine unilateral arytenoid lateralisation

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 September 2019

    Background The purpose of this study is to compare the rate of aspiration pneumonia and survival time of dogs undergoing two unilateral arytenoid lateralisation (UAL) techniques.

    Methods Eighty dogs diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis were treated by one of two UAL techniques: (1) a standard technique (ST) and (2) an anatomic preservation technique (APT). Outcome was assessed by in clinic re-examination and an owner follow-up questionnaire.

    Results Minor complications were reported for 22 per cent of dogs undergoing ST and 26 per cent for APT. Major complications were 7 per cent for ST versus 23 per cent for APT. Postoperative aspiration pneumonia was reported for 7 per cent of cases in ST and 17 per cent in APT. The median survival time for ST was 636 days and was 1067 days for APT. Cause of death was related to the laryngeal paralysis in 22 per cent, neurological deterioration in 16 per cent and for non-associated reasons in 59 per cent of cases. There was no statistically significant difference in the rate of aspiration pneumonia or survival time among the treatment groups. Owners reported that their dogs improved after both surgical procedures, with 90 per cent of the owners satisfied with the surgical outcome. Eighteen per cent of the dogs suffered recurrence of clinical signs.

    Conclusions In this study, there was no significant difference in risk of aspiration pneumonia or survival time following arytenoid lateralisation by either an ST or an APT.

    Categories: Journal news

    Preliminary heritability of complete rotation large colon volvulus in Thoroughbred broodmares

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 September 2019

    Large colon volvulus (LCV) is a life-threatening form of colic that occurs when the large colon rotates 360° or more on its axis, resulting in colonic distention and ischaemia. Any horse can suffer from LCV, but the risk is greatest for periparturient Thoroughbred broodmares; the objective of this study was to estimate the heritability of LCV in these horses. The criteria for classification as an LCV case were being a Thoroughbred broodmare from one of three farms in central Kentucky and having had surgical correction for LCV. Controls were identified as Thoroughbred broodmares present on the same farms with no history of surgical colic. Thirty-nine cases and 191 controls were identified. Age of the LCV cases at the time of incident was significantly younger than that of the controls at the time of the study (P<0.0001). A total of 2223 horses were present when the five-generation pedigrees of the 230 study horses were combined. Heritability of LCV was estimated at 0.311±0.383 from the fit of a logit sire model with binomial data including year of birth and farm as fixed effects. Further data on broodmares from these and other farms will help to improve this estimate, which suggests the LCV is moderately heritable.

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    British Veterinary Association Annual General Meeting Swansea, 19 September 2019

    The 2019 Annual General Meeting of the British Veterinary Association will be held at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, on Thursday 19 September 2019, at 16.15.

    Categories: Journal news

    AVMA president urges vets to protect the profession

    The outgoing president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) delivered some ‘tough, honest truths’ about the veterinary profession during his farewell speech.

    John de Jong urged the profession to be ‘intellectually honest’ about its problems if it wanted to address them and try to find solutions.

    Speaking at the AVMA convention in Washington earlier this month, he spoke about workforce challenges, a lack of diversity in the profession and concerns about new graduates’ level of work preparedness.

    ‘We are facing workforce issues in that many practices cannot find associates to work in them. There are seemingly not enough full-time equivalent vets to meet the needs that are out there,’ he told delegates.

    Increasingly vets wanted a better work-life balance and sought part-time over full-time hours, he said. But it was also worrying that three quarters of small animal practices in the USA are owned by vets aged over...

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    BVA sets out tips for electric containment fences

    By Matthew Limb

    The BVA has launched safety tips on the use of electric fences to contain livestock and horses, while urging further research into ‘non-harmful alternatives’.

    It said electric containment fences were a ‘necessary option’ for many vets’ clients allowing animals to graze safely and efficiently.

    But in a new policy position, it warned of possible risks of injury and suffering to animals and people, especially if fences were incorrectly designed, installed or maintained.

    The BVA has set out 13 recommendations, which cover how to limit potential harms, for example, through increased visibility and careful placement of fences.

    It said electric containment fencing should be designed, selected and maintained so it ‘does not cause more than momentary discomfort to animals’.

    The tips include:

  • Making sure the strength of electric current is ‘appropriate for the species’ to avoid severe shocks.

  • Carefully maintaining batteries used to power electric...

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    Complaint about ad for Boehringer BVD vaccine upheld

    The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) has upheld a complaint by the veterinary pharmaceutical company MSD Animal Health against its rival Boehringer Ingelheim concerning the latter’s promotion of Bovela, a vaccine for bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD).

    NOAH said MSD had complained about a Boehringer print advertisement that appeared with the strapline ‘No contest – Bovela is knocking out BVD’.

    MSD also complained about a second Boehringer print advert that had the strapline ‘Bovela. Making BVD history.’

    NOAH said that its committee in charge of adjudicating on cases involving alleged breaches of its code of practice for firms advertising animal medicines had found that the first advert was ‘misleading by omission’ and that the second amounted to an exaggerated claim.

    The advert gave the impression that Bovela was by itself eradicating BVD

    According to a summary of the case, published by NOAH, MSD objected to the use of...

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    In brief

    Veterinary hub success for Inverness

    Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) have made a successful bid to create a new data-driven innovation centre for veterinary science in Inverness.

    The £7 million project has been awarded over £4 million from the European Regional Development Fund Scotland Programme, and SRUC has committed to providing the remainder.

    The Rural Veterinary Hub will focus on animal health, using new technology and big data to research livestock, wildlife, marine mammals and aquaculture health. It will also create and support the development of new businesses, products and services.

    How well is the BCVA performing?

    Maintaining a work-life balance and a potential shortage of farm animal vets are seen as the biggest challenges facing cattle vets in the UK today.

    Those are the results to come out of the British Cattle Veterinary Association’s (BCVA’s) survey of the profession.

    With the exception...

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    Which bacteria are in the noses of healthy beef cattle?

    Georgina Mills discusses new research examining the bacteria that live in the noses of healthy calves

    Categories: Journal news

    Bayer exits animal health market

    US-based company Elanco Animal Health has agreed to buy German company Bayer Animal Health, it was announced on Tuesday.

    The two companies have announced a cash and stock deal valued at US $7.6 billion. The transaction will involve a payment of US $5.3 billion in cash and US $2.3 billion in Elanco stock.

    The acquisition will make Elanco the second largest animal health business after Zoetis, enhancing the company’s portfolio of leading global brands, and bolstering its innovation capabilities and research and development pipeline, Elanco says.

    The acquisition is expected to be concluded in mid-2020, and Bayer says it intends to exit its stake in Elanco over time.

    Jeffrey N. Simmons, president and chief executive officer of Elanco, said: ‘Combining Elanco’s strong relationship with veterinarians and Bayer’s leadership in retail and e-commerce will ultimately benefit all our customers. We look forward to joining our complementary portfolios and capabilities to...

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    Hills launches treat range for dogs

    A new range of dog treats that offer ‘specific health benefits’ has been launched by Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

    The range, which has no added artificial preservatives, flavours or colours, offers clinically proven benefits, the company says, and is designed to help manage specific health conditions in dogs such as weight, mobility, food sensitivities and dental concerns.

    The company claims the treats offer the following benefits:

  • Hill’s Healthy Weight Treats, which supports healthy weight loss and maintenance.

  • Hill’s Soft Baked Biscuits, which help support vital organs.

  • Hill’s Healthy Mobility Treats, which promote healthy mobility.

  • Hills Hypoallergenic Treats, which are formulated for dogs with food sensitivities.

  • Hill’s Dental Care Chews, which are clinically proven to help reduce plaque and tartar.

  • Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Guildford Business Park, Midleton Road, Guildford GU2 8JZ

    Categories: Journal news


    Following the relaunch of its veterinary diets into one range – Veterinary Health Nutrition – Royal Canin has added Feline Skin & Coat to the range, which it says is recommended for cats with atopic dermatitis and other causes of skin irritation, such as flea-bite allergic dermatitis.

    Boehringer Ingelheim is running a number of practice meetings and CPD events on Arti-Cell Forte, the first stem cell-based veterinary medicine to receive marketing authorisation for the treatment of equine lameness or degenerative joint disease in horses. Further information is available from local territory managers or the company’s technical services team, telephone 01344 746957 or

    Zoetis has announced that Poulvac IB has been approved for used as a primer during the laying period, offering easier, more effective protection of laying flocks against infectious bronchitis (IB). Poulvac IB primer is the only bivalent live IB vaccine licensed for use in laying birds,...

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    Veterinary practices

    Scarsdale Vets (Derby) has joined Independent Vetcare. Scarsdale Group consists of Pride Referral Hospital, a farm and equine practice and 10 further veterinary practices in and around Derbyshire and Staffordshire.

    Cornish Paws Veterinary Practice is a new independent veterinary practice in Penryn in west Cornwall. Founded by husband and wife team Matt and Samantha Thomas, the practice will treat companion animals and exotic pets.

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