Journal news

Irish vets 'petrified about no-deal Brexit

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

By Josh Loeb

Vets in the Republic of Ireland are petrified by the ‘nightmare’ of a no-deal Brexit, the president of the Irish equivalent of the BVA has said.

David McGuinness told a meeting on Brexit last week: ‘Just to let everybody here know, we’re absolutely scared out of our wits of a no-deal Brexit,’ he said. ‘We’re scared of a soft-deal Brexit and a lot of vets in the equine profession [in Ireland] are absolutely petrified.’

Speaking at the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) congress, he said: ‘The implications for the tripartite agreement [the agreement allowing the free movement of some horses between the UK, Ireland and France], our ability to compete, our ability to get’s absolutely frightening.

‘There are a lot of vets in the Republic of Ireland that really hope there’s going to be another referendum and that the whole thing’s going to be stopped...

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RCVS to seek views on defining 'under care

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

By Josh Loeb

The RCVS will next month begin a root-and-branch review that could fundamentally change what telemedicine services vets can offer.

The planned 12-month consultation exercise, called ‘Review of under care and out-of-hours emergency cover’, follows debate in the profession about controversial telemedicine issues including remote prescribing (VR, 14 September 2019, vol 185, pp 286-287).

Central to it is the concept of an animal being ‘under veterinary care’ and what that phrase means.

The Veterinary Medicines Regulations state that any vet who prescribes a veterinary medicinal product classified as a POM-V must first carry out a clinical assessment and the animal must be ‘under that veterinary surgeon’s care’. The law gives no definition of what ‘under veterinary care’ means, however, leading to ambiguity.

Compounding the confusion, ‘under veterinary care’ is sometimes also called ‘under his care’, ‘under our care’ or simply ‘under care’ in official guidance for vets.

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Further badger cull licences granted

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

By Kathryn Clark

Badger culling is now authorised in 40 areas of England following the granting of 11 new licences this year. Natural England, which authorises culling operations, has also allowed badger control operations to resume in 29 areas that have previously been granted culling licences (see map).

Culling licences are issued for a four-year period and each year Natural England specifies the minimum and maximum number of badgers that should be removed from the licensed areas. The current targets range from no minimum number of badgers that should be culled to maximums of more than 4000 animals in some areas. Culling operations can be carried out between 1 June and 31 January inclusive, with the licence holder deciding when to begin operations within this period.

Meanwhile, BVA has expressed concern about the potential impact of a lack of communication around Natural England’s decision not to grant a culling...

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Humaneness of badger culling called into question

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

Defra has defended the role of badger culling in response to criticisms that it was having no effect on bovine TB (bTB) in cattle and that thousands of badgers have suffered inhumane deaths.

The claims, which received widespread media coverage, were made in a letter to Natural England earlier this month and resulted in calls for the expansion of culling to stop. Among the signatories to the letter was Ranald Munro, a member of the former independent expert panel established by Defra to oversee the effectiveness, humaneness and safety of culling operations when they first began in 2013. The panel subsequently raised concern about the humaneness and efficacy of culling.

The recent letter to Natural England claimed that as many as 9000 badgers were likely to have suffered ‘immense pain’ as a result of culling operations.

Responding in a blog post on 9 September, Defra said that the government...

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In brief

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019
Kennel Club to limit ‘hereditary clear’ status

THE Kennel Club is to change its registration process to prevent multiple generations of dogs being registered automatically as free from carrying genetic material linked to an inherited disease.

At present, the club’s registration system assigns ‘hereditary clear’ status to a dog if its parents are known to be clear of a particular inherited disease, either because they have been DNA tested as clear or because they have hereditary clear status themselves.

However, dogs may be given a false hereditary clear status, for example if laboratory protocols fail, or mistakes are made in recording their parentage. The error may only be noticed several years later when an inherited disease manifests in a litter of puppies.

A recent Kennel Club study found that the rate of dogs with false hereditary clear status could rise considerably over a fairly small number of generations, particularly...

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Westies on the wane

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

Emma Huntley discusses new research that delves into the demography and frequency of common disorders of the West Highland white terrier

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Medicines update

Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 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 July 2019 are listed in Table 1.

Of those products listed, the VMD draws attention to:

  • Belavit AD3E solution for injection for horses, cattle, pigs and dogs is a new combination product for the treatment of combined vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E deficiencies.

  • 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...

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    Herriot is no longer the face of the profession

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

    Vets have traditionally been portrayed in popular culture as white, middle-aged men, but the demographics are changing. By Josh Loeb

    Categories: Journal news

    Intestinal torsion diagnosed in dairy cattle from different herds in Northern Ireland

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

    Northern ireland disease surveillance headlines, April to June 2019

  • Malignant catarrhal fever in cattle

  • Mycoplasma bovis pneumonia in cattle

  • Torsion of the reticulum, omasum and abomasum in adult dairy cows

  • Jejunal haemorrhage syndrome in cattle

  • Blackleg and sarcocystosis in sheep

  • Cerebrocortical necrosis in sheep

  • Tick pyaemia in sheep

  • CattleRespiratory diseases

    Respiratory disease was identified in 51 cattle postmortem submissions in Northern Ireland between April and June 2019. The most common pathogens identified included Mycoplasma bovis (12 cases), Mannheimia haemolytica (10 cases), Pasteurella multocida (four cases), Trueperella pyogenes (four cases), malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) (four cases), Haemophilus somni (three cases), and respiratory syncytial virus (three cases).

    Malignant catarrhal fever

    Pneumonia and diphtheritic tracheitis associated with ovine herpesvirus type 1 (OHV-1) infection were diagnosed in two cases during the second quarter of 2019. In both cases it was noted that the clinical...

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    What can changes in serial measurements tell us about prognosis in myxomatous mitral valve disease?

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

    Myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) is the most common acquired heart disease in dogs, representing approximately 75 per cent of cases.1,2 MMVD is relatively straightforward to identify on the basis of a typical left apical, systolic heart murmur. However, the disease course varies markedly between affected individuals, with some dogs having static, non-progressive disease, while others may rapidly develop compensatory cardiomegaly and, eventually, congestive heart failure (CHF).

    Although a diagnosis of heart disease is a source of great concern for many owners, less than half of affected dogs will die as a direct result of MMVD.3 There would be a clear benefit to owners and clinicians if those dogs likely to experience significant disease progression – the development of cardiomegaly (which might benefit from treatment with pimobendan)4 and CHF – and, therefore, a shortened life expectancy could be accurately identified.


    Categories: Journal news

    Serial measurements of cardiac troponin I in heart failure secondary to canine mitral valve disease

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

    Serial measurements of cardiac troponin I (cTnI) levels are considered to be better predictors of cardiac death than single-time-point analyses in human medicine. We hypothesised that cTnI levels could reflect the severity of myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD), and that serial changes in the cTnI level had a prognostic value in dogs with congestive heart failure (CHF) secondary to MMVD. Seventy-six dogs were initially enrolled and classified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) staging system. The single-timepoint cTnI concentration in these dogs significantly increased with the ACVIM stage. Twenty-seven dogs with CHF subsequently underwent serial measurement of cTnI levels, and the results showed that those who demonstrated a decrease in cTnI levels from the first to the third visit exhibited a higher risk of cardiac death than did those without such changes (P=0.012). We suspect that the downward trend in cTnI levels may be affected by medical treatment for CHF. In conclusion, although cTnI levels could reflect the severity of MMVD to a certain extent, the serial changes may be affected by medical treatment. Therefore, caution should be exercised when cTnI is used for assessment of the prognosis of CHF secondary to MMVD in dogs.

    Categories: Journal news

    Farmer and veterinarian attitudes towards the risk of zoonotic Mycobacterium bovis infection in Northern Ireland

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 20 September 2019

    Based on a qualitative social science research methodology using semi-structured interviews, this paper examines the attitudes of farmers and veterinarians in Northern Ireland around the risk of acquiring tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis from infected cattle and drinking raw milk. This region has traditionally had one of the highest rates of bovine tuberculosis in the United Kingdom and among the highest in Europe. The research finds that the risk is often downplayed and considered so rare that it is no longer a significant public health risk due to the pasteurisation of milk and intensive surveillance on farms through systematic testing and removal of positive animals, as evidenced by the low recorded human incidence. Although the incidence of tuberculosis in humans caused by M bovis is only around 1% of all annual human tuberculosis cases, this paper argues that M bovis may be underestimated as a human pathogen and makes the case for a renewed perspective. Discourses surrounding the disease may need to be re-orientated to remind relevant stakeholders that human infection with M bovis is a hazard that needs to be treated with more caution on the front line of control.

    Categories: 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.

    Categories: Journal news

    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...

    Categories: Journal news

    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...

    Categories: Journal news

    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

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