Journal news

Application of a laparoscopic technique for vasectomy in standing horses

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

This report describes a technique for standing laparoscopic vasectomy in stallions through a prospective descriptive study. A preliminary study was carried out with two experimental intact male horses and subsequently the procedure was performed in two clinical cases. These horse owners want to keep their animals in the most possible natural way, preserving its stallion behaviour in a herd without generating offspring. The horses were sedated and restrained in stocks and laparoscopic vasectomy was performed using three portal sites in both paralumbar fossae recording surgical times. A 4-cm segment of each ductus deferens (DD) was occluded with laparoscopic vessel sealing devices and subsequently excised. Semen collection was performed using an artificial vagina before the laparoscopic procedure and at 15 and 60 days postoperatively. Sexual behaviour and spermiogram were analysed. Two months after vasectomy, control laparoscopy was performed in experimental horses to assess the surgical site. Bilateral vasectomy could be performed without intraoperative complications in a mean surgical time of 20 min per DD. Success of the procedure was confirmed in all cases by azoospermic ejaculates 60 days after vasectomy. This is the first time that the technique for laparoscopic vasectomy is described in horses.

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Selected highlights from other journals

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019
Mycoplasma suis can be transmitted vertically in pigs

J. Stadler, S. Willi, M. Ritzmann and others

BMC Veterinary Research (2019) 15

doi: 10.1186/s12917-019-2001-y

• What did the research find?

Mycoplasma suis was detected on 76.2 per cent of the farms included in this study, with 31.3 per cent of all the sows tested being positive by PCR. Overall, 14.4 per cent of the presuckling piglets tested were PCR-positive for M suis, with piglets born to M suis-positive sows being significantly more likely to test positive than those born to M suis-negative sows. No significant difference in birth weight was observed between M suis-positive and negative piglets. However, M suis-positive farms had an average of 0.41 more stillborn piglets per litter than M suis-negative farms.

• How was it conducted?

Blood samples were obtained from 10 clinically healthy sows on each of 21 piglet producing farms in southern Germany. In...

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On-farm inspections of fractious animals

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

We are writing to clarify the qualification requirements for individuals carrying out an on-farm antemortem inspection of fractious bovids intended for human consumption.

Unlike for emergency slaughter, verifying compliance with the Hygiene Regulations for these animals must be carried out by either an authorised official veterinarian, appointed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to carry out authorised duties on the FSA’s behalf, or an approved veterinarian trained in the relevant legislation to carry out antemortem inspection and who is designated to do so by the FSA.

Official veterinarians designated by the APHA are not qualified to carry out antemortem inspection of fractious animals

Please note that official veterinarians designated by the APHA are not qualified to carry out antemortem inspection of fractious animals.

For emergency slaughter cases, a local MRCVS veterinarian may still carry out the antemortem inspection.

For further information, or if you wish to apply for...

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Feline mycobacterial infections

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

Feline mycobacterial disease is highly prevalent within Great Britain1,2 and there is increasing awareness of these infections, especially following the recent outbreak of Mycobacterium bovis tuberculosis in cats, associated with feeding a commercial raw food diet.3 Investigations into this outbreak are ongoing.

We would like to thank all veterinary surgeons who have contacted the Companion Animal TB team at the University of Edinburgh and who have provided samples, and to the owners who have consented to share their pet’s data and blood remnants. One of the major developments in recent years has been the commercialisation of the interferon- release assay (IGRA)4,5 by Biobest Laboratories, which is now used routinely for diagnosing feline mycobacterial infections. Since the test became available in mid-2013, nearly 800 samples from felids (mostly pet cats but also some zoo species) have been tested from approximately...

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Correction: Vaccination against CCPP in East Africa

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

Letters & notices: Vaccination against CCPP in East Africa (VR, 7 September 2019, p 272). An author was omitted from the letter. Elise Schieck, of the International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya should have been listed. The error is regretted.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l5599

Categories: Journal news

Conflicts of interest

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

I am grateful to the RCVS registrar, Eleanor Ferguson, for her response to my letter on telemedicine and conflicts of interest in general (VR, 17 August 2019, vol 185, pp 209-210).

I would agree that it is inevitable that council members will have ‘interests’ in a wide range of issues and indeed their breadth of knowledge, experience and exposure to these issues is an asset to council. It is also entirely appropriate that interests are openly declared and that it is assumed that members will serve with the highest level of integrity for the benefit of animal health and welfare.

However it is not, in my opinion, appropriate to assume that all levels of interest are viewed in the same way and that by simply declaring an interest, no further scrutiny would be appropriate. In formulating policy on conflicts of interest, the RCVS should take the level of interest...

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Dont lose sight of the good stuff

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

What a fantastic letter from Ashwin Jayarajan about his life and work as a vet in rural India (VR, 10 August 2019, vol 185, p 175). It took me back to my early days in the profession when I was working for an aid project in the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen – as the two Yemens were separate countries in those days).

My experiences very much mirrored those described by Jayarajan – limited resources, a poorly educated rural population, limited finances and many cultural differences – but it was an enriching place to work as a vet. The local farmers were so appreciative of any help that could be given.

Our main reason for being there was to vaccinate the whole of the cattle population against rinderpest and this was a way in to discussing other animal health issues.

I feel very privileged that I played a small...

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Death notices

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

Hirst On 28 July 2019, Timothy David Hirst, BVM&S, CertCHP, MRCVS, of Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Mr Hirst qualified from Edinburgh in 2003.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l5597

Poland On 6 September 2019, Jennifer Poland, OBE, BVSc, DTVM, PhD, MRCVS, of Penryn, Cornwall. Dr Poland qualified from Bristol in 1956.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l5598

Categories: Journal news

Obesity - learning from the crisis in people

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

I recently participated in a roundtable discussion organised by Vet Record, the BVA and Mars Petcare about obesity in pets. My perspective was unusual; I have no pets and I am a dietitian who has worked in primary care and public health, primarily in the field of human obesity. But, as I was preparing for the meeting, I started thinking about the overlap between obesity in animals and people.

Obesity has been a serious health concern in people for several decades, and the current statistics, in both children and adults, are depressing. Unfortunately, nowadays it is more common for people to suffer from obesity or being overweight than to be a healthy weight; healthy weight is no longer ‘normal’ in the sense of being usual for adults. I hadn’t realised, until the roundtable, that obesity was also such a concern in the animal world.

But as we talked,...

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Dawda Kairaba Jawara

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

The first vet to be elected head of state, he was democratically elected as the first leader of the Gambia and dedicated his life to serving his country and championing human rights.

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'As a self-confessed nerd, I wanted to work in academia

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

Bettina Dunkel completed internships and residencies in the USA before coming to the UK and settling into her role working with horses at the Royal Veterinary College.

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Telemedicine - are we reaching stalemate?

Veterinary Record latest issue - 13 September 2019

Like it or not, perception often matters just as much as reality.

As the governing body for the organisation that regulates the veterinary profession, RCVS council must not merely behave in a way that is beyond reproach, it must also be seen to be behaving in such a way.

That is particularly true when council is making decisions about controversial topics – and few would deny that remote prescribing is controversial.

At its most extreme, the nightmare vision is of vets dishing out last resort antibiotics ‘willy nilly’ to treat animals they’ve never even seen. Some critics of remote prescribing fear that relaxing rules around ‘under his care’ could open the way to the ‘Uberisation’ of the profession, whereby tech disruptor companies would do to vet practices what Uber has done to the licensed black cab trade. Basically, the fear is of a general loosening of prescribing rules.


Categories: Journal news

'Alarming drop in pet vaccinations

Veterinary Record latest issue - 13 September 2019

By Matthew Limb

Millions of animals are at risk from potentially fatal diseases as new figures show a ‘record decline’ in the number of pets being vaccinated in the UK.

The proportion of pet dogs, cats and rabbits receiving a primary vaccination course when young fell by 18 per cent over the past three years – from 84 per cent in 2016 to 66 per cent in 2019.

Also, nearly a third of pets are not receiving regular booster vaccines, according to the latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) report, published last week.

Veterinary experts said the ‘worrying’ trend meant herd immunity was unlikely to hold, threatening greater exposure to diseases such as parvovirus, leptospirosis and distemper.

A loss of herd immunity could see a resurgence in preventable diseases

Sean Wensley, PDSA’s senior vet, said: ‘A resulting loss of herd immunity could see a resurgence in preventable diseases that...

Categories: Journal news

Female vets face 'outright discrimination

Veterinary Record latest issue - 13 September 2019

By Suzanne Jarvis

Female vets in the UK often face ‘outright discrimination’ from both colleagues and clients, research published online this week in Vet Record has shown.

The observational study found that women were not rising up the professional hierarchy, which, according to the researchers, raises questions about succession planning for the profession now that three-quarters of veterinary graduates in the UK are female.

The study comprised of semistructured interviews of 75 vets – 39 men and 36 women – of varying experience, aged between 25 to 63, and across small and large animal and equine practice. The interviews were designed to encourage the participants to talk about themselves and how they felt in regard to the veterinary profession.

The researchers also carried out observations in practices (both during consultations and surgery) and in staff interactions in less formal settings (eg, conversations in staff kitchens).

The researchers – David...

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Scotland 'leading the way with animal welfare pledges

Veterinary Record latest issue - 13 September 2019

The Scottish government has announced several key commitments to animal welfare in a programme of action for the coming years.

‘Protecting Scotland’s Future: The Government’s Programme for Scotland 2019-2020’ detailed measures such as recruiting members to its Scottish Animal Welfare Commission, which will provide advice on the welfare of sentient animals. It also called for secondary legislation on the compulsory introduction of CCTV to all abattoirs to be brought forward to make sure that slaughter is carried out safely and humanely.

It pledged to take a robust approach to licenses for the breeding of dogs, cats and rabbits, and it committed to several measures concerning sustainability and land use.

BVA president, Simon Doherty, said: ‘Scotland is taking the lead with a number of these pledges and we hope that England and other devolved nations will follow suit...we look forward to seeing these commitments put into action and are happy...

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Missed red flags with quick puppy purchases

Veterinary Record latest issue - 13 September 2019

By Josh Loeb

UK puppy buyers are all too frequently making snap decisions on impulse rather than thinking things through, the Kennel Club says.

The charity said it was alarmed by the findings of new research it commissioned that showed that one in four such buyers in the UK took less than two hours to choose a puppy.

Two in five chose a puppy purely because of how it looked, without taking time to understand its health, temperament or exercise needs, according to the research.

People who buy a puppy on a whim or because of its ‘cute’ appearance can end up inadvertently funding unscrupulous breeders, the Kennel Club said.

The organisation also warned that prospective dog owners who failed to take their time over their decision were less able to spot signs of a scam or illness in their future pet.

Owners who did little research – defined...

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No-deal Brexit could hamper zoo animal movements

Veterinary Record latest issue - 13 September 2019

Zoos will be prevented from bringing animals into the UK via the Channel Tunnel or through the port of Dover after a no-deal Brexit, the chief executive of the national zoo association has said.

Madelon Willemsen, chief executive of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), told Vet Record this meant such animals would have to be flown into Heathrow or come in via ports elsewhere in the country instead of coming in through Kent. She said she had welfare concerns about the prospect of wild animals being brought into the UK to be exhibited in zoos’ collections experiencing longer journey times as a result.

‘The tunnel may return as an option for us,’ said Willemsen.

‘We’re working with Defra and appreciate their difficulties...but the position currently is that, for animal transactions, we cannot use the tunnel [after a no-deal Brexit].’

One zoo, Shepreth Wildlife Park...

Categories: Journal news

In brief

Veterinary Record latest issue - 13 September 2019
RCVS and BVA to co-host FVE assembly

The BVA and the RCVS will be co-hosting the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) General Assembly in June 2020.

The FVE General Assembly is a biannual event in which the organisation, an umbrella body for veterinary associations and regulators from 40 European countries, meets to hear reports from its various committees and working groups and makes recommendations on veterinary policy.

The 2020 event will be taking place from 4 to 6 June in London and will include a reception for delegates at the House of Lords, hosted by Lord Trees.

The UK last hosted the FVE General Assembly at its 2002 meeting in Belfast.

BVA president Simon Doherty said: ‘BVA is really looking forward to co-hosting this prestigious event.

‘It feels especially timely to be holding the assembly in the UK in 2020, highlighting that however things pan out politically over...

Categories: Journal news

What are the issues stalling telemedicine?

Veterinary Record latest issue - 13 September 2019

By Josh Loeb

Few would deny that telemedicine and remote prescribing are controversial topics that have divided the profession.

Broadly speaking, vets fall into two camps – those that want change and those that don’t.

Members of the ‘change’ camp want faster progress on reforming the regulatory framework to enable more to be done from afar.

Meanwhile, members of the ‘no change’ camp want the status quo, if not a tightening of existing restrictions.

This chasm has resulted in difficulties in coming to a resolution, and now, more or less, a stalemate. This is evident from the way that the issues of telemedicine and remote prescribing have ping-ponged backwards and forwards between RCVS council and the college’s standards committee (see Box 1).

Box 1:

Chronology of the telemedicine debate

  • 2015 – Joint RCVS/BVA Vet Futures project recommends the RCVS reviews regulatory framework and explores implications...

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