Journal news

Cat photography competition launches for 2019

Feline charity International Cat Care (iCatCare) has started its search for the world’s best cat photographers, with the launch of its annual photography competition.

This year’s theme is ‘Cat-Human Relationships’. Amateur and professional photographers are invited to enter photographs of cats and humans together. The judges want to see a range of relationships covering an assortment of situations, locations and ages. Photographs could feature pet cats with their owners in the home, street cats with the public, and cats with those who work with them (eg, vet professionals with their patients).

The competition, which was first launched in 2013, is now open for entries and will run until 1 July 2019. Twelve winning images will be selected by the judges to feature in the charity’s 2020 calendar, with one of these being crowned the overall winner. All winners will receive a certificate, copies of the calendar and a selection...

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TB incidents down, but cattle slaughter up in Wales

By Kathryn Clark

The Welsh government is to clamp down on a minority of farmers who are flouting requirements for postmovement TB testing of cattle.

Updating the Welsh Assembly on progress with the TB eradication programme in Wales, Lesley Griffiths, minister for environment, energy and rural affairs, said last week that it was ‘disappointing’ some farmers in the low TB area of Wales were not following the rules on postmovement testing.

‘This minority risk spoiling it for everyone and must accept their responsibilities in protecting their herd and the wider area,’ Griffiths said.

‘We are tightening our enforcement protocols to take action where necessary.’

Postmovement TB testing of all cattle moved into the low TB area of Wales has been required since October 2017.

Griffiths reported that, in 2018, there were 746 new TB incidents in Wales, a 5 per cent decrease on 2017. However, 11,233 cattle were slaughtered...

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Recruitment and retention survey results are 'surprising

Almost half of all vets say they are either ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to search for a new job within the next two years – but of these fewer than 10 per cent say they want to quit the profession entirely.

That was among the findings from a survey of thousands of vets carried out by the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) and British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

Renate Weller, BEVA’s president, called the finding ‘surprising – in a good way’, saying she had expected the proportion wanting to entirely quit veterinary work to be higher.

‘I’m not saying 10 per cent is good,’ she said in a video released by BEVA. ‘I think we should still try and reduce that, but certainly I expected it to be a higher number.’

She added: ‘We’re not doing too badly compared with, for example, a recent survey of GPs [in the...

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'Significant breakthrough in evolutionary avian genetics

Georgina Mills discusses recent research into songbirds, which looked at how they differ from other avian species

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In brief

Reports of dogs in hot cars hit three-year high

The annual ‘Dogs Die in Hot Cars’ campaign, which is run by a number of organisations including the BVA, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, the National Police Chiefs Council and the RSPCA, was launched for 2019 on 6 May.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of leaving a dog in a car on a hot day. Temperatures inside a car can quickly rise – when it’s 22 degrees outside, within an hour the temperature inside a vehicle can reach 47 degrees.

Despite running the campaign annually, figures from the RSPCA show that 2018 was the busiest in three years for calls about dogs in cars, with over 8000 emergency calls being made. This equates to a 5 per cent increase from 2017 and a 15 per cent increase from 2016.

Figures from the BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession...

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Stop and think before offering antibiotics

A Small animal vet group has launched a new initiative aimed at reducing the use of antibiotics in its practices.

Vets4Pets and Companion Care surgeries across the UK have been provided with a STAR toolkit, which helps them to ‘stop and think, are antibiotics required’? It aims to challenge established prescribing behaviour and promote best practice for antibiotic use.

The toolkit looks at four key areas – antibiotic husbandry, antibiotic reporting and benchmarking, hand hygiene and client education.

It includes novel ideas such as relocating antibiotics to one cupboard, placing highly visible posters in key places around the practice as a reminder to challenge established prescribing practices, and benchmarking antibiotic use to compare against other practices.

Vets can alo use the toolkit to explain to pet owners why antibiotics are not always the best option. Client-facing leaflets and posters help to explain the clinical decision for not using antibiotics...

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New euthanasia product

A Highly concentrated euthanasia solution that can be used to euthanase many species has been added to the UK portfolio of Dechra Veterinary Products.

Euthasol vet contains 400 mg/ml of pentobarbital sodium. It can be used on dogs, cats, rodents, rabbits, cattle, sheep, goats, horses and mink.

The solution – a clear blue liquid – is licensed for intravenous, intracardial and intraperitoneal usage and a dose of 140 mg/kg (equivalent to 0.35 ml/kg) is considered sufficient for all licensed routes of administration. It comes in 100 ml vials and has a 28-day broached shelf life.

Dechra brand manager Claire Morgan said: ‘The intravenous route of administration should be the route of choice. Where intravenous administration is impossible, the product may be administered via the intracardiac route in all named species.’

Dechra Veterinary Products, Sansaw Business Park, Hadnall, Shrewsbury SY4 4AS, telephone 01939 211200

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Veterinary Products

Vetoquinol has launched a new supplement for arthritic dogs. Flexadin Advanced is a one-per-day palatable chew that combines undenatured type-II collagen with purified extracts of Boswellia serrata plant to support the metabolism of joints in the case of osteoarthritis in dogs.

Sure Petcare has launched a smart feeder that monitors how much and when a pet eats and sends real-time updates directly to an app on the owner’s phone. The SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder Connect features integrated scales, which enable owners to provide accurate food portions to their pet at every meal.

Royal Canin has relaunched its portfolio of diets for cats and dogs. Its three original ranges – Veterinary Care Nutrition, Veterinary Diet and Multifunction – have been consolidated into ‘one simplified range’ called Veterinary Health Nutrition.

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Benefits of keeping flies off cattle

The use of fly tags for season-long control of flies on cattle has the potential to increase growth rate and reduce handling compared with using pour-on products. This can save farmers over £30 a head, results from a recent on-farm study have shown.

The Zoetis study involved 200 dairy and dairy cross cattle. Half the group was treated once with two Flectron tags at turnout and the other half with an alpha-cypermethrin pour-on every eight weeks. Both groups were dosed with a long-acting wormer to remove any possible productivity impact from worms.

Initial results showed that tagged cattle had better growth rates, weighing on average 12.2 kg more compared with cattle treated with the pour-on over the six-month grazing period.

Handling requirements were also significantly reduced, which added to the cost saving.

Commenting on the findings, the trial farm’s vet noted that the farm was prone to high fly...

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Advisory service for managing people

A Human resource management (HRM) and employment law advisory service has been launched to help companies take a proactive approach to managing their workforce.

MS Rubric, a Bristol-based specialist law and HR company within the agricultural and veterinary sector, has announced the launch of Vantage, a service that aims ‘to support companies to help them achieve their goals and keep them out of employment tribunals.'

Melanie Davies (pictured), head of employment, says, ‘Whether a business employs five people or 500, is a start-up, or has been successfully trading for years, it is critical that it has a reliable legal advisory system in place to manage the range of challenges that arise.'

Vantage offers three levels of service to meet the needs and budgets of different-sized businesses. Fixed pricing bands are spread over monthly plans and all advice is covered by legal professional privilege. Additional support is available in the...

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Petplan has partnered with Tikspac and local councils to provide 100 dog waste bag stations with free biodegradable waste bags for dog walkers in Oxfordshire, Surrey and Berkshire, as part of its investment in promoting responsible pet ownership. The bins will be located along popular walking routes and feature quotes from Petplan's customers describing what walking their dog means to them, such as ‘Our walks together are the best time of the day for both of us.’

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Practice news

Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists at Ringwood, Hampshire, is now offering a specialist epilepsy clinic as a fixed price package, which includes patient assessment, blood tests, specialist help for managing challenging cases and tailored patient treatment plans.

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The Veterinary Management Group has strengthened its operations team to enhance the service and support it provides to its members.

Cath Grimsey has been appointed to the role of operations manager. She has worked for more than 15 years as a veterinary practice manager in a large equine hospital and an independent small animal practice. She has also spent time studying and working in the construction industry and public sector.

Hannah Perrin will lead on media and events. She initially qualified as a pharmacologist before becoming practice manager of a busy four-site practice in Kent, which sparked her interest in professional development and led her to complete a PhD in veterinary education.

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Medicines update

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 March 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 authorisationsFood-producing animals

(1) Multimin solution for...

Categories: Journal news

Increase in diagnoses of ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma in sheep in Scotland

SRUC VS disease Surveillance headlines, January 2019

  • Abortion in cattle due to feed-associated organisms.

  • Peak in ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma diagnoses in sheep.

  • Streptococcus suis serotype 1 as a cause of periweaning mortality in pigs.

  • Chronic amyloidosis in a gyr falcon (Falco rusticolus).

  • The mean temperature in Scotland in January 2019 was 0.1°C above the 1981 to 2010 long-term average. It was a very dry month, with Scotland as a whole having only 58 per cent of average rainfall and 120 per cent of average sunshine. Parts of the north were the exception, with dull conditions and near-average rainfall.

    CattleGeneralised and systemic conditions

    Dumfries diagnosed Salmonella enterica serovar Mbandaka infection in a dairy herd. S Mbandaka was cultured from the faeces of four cows with diarrhoea and milk drop, and also from a pooled faecal sample from healthy animals. It had been isolated from...

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    Practical strategies to manage work-related stress in the veterinary profession

    It has been five years since Maastenbroek and colleagues published a burnout survey specifically designed for veterinarians.1 Since then, research continues to show that veterinarians, especially women and recent graduates, appear to be at greater risk of suicide than the general population.2 Almost 10 per cent of veterinarians experience severe feelings of depression, anxiety, compassion fatigue or burnout.3

    Of concern is that 40 per cent of veterinarians would not recommend others to enter the profession, with the main sources of stress being identified as high student debt, low compensation, poor work-life balance and conflict with clients and colleagues.4 Other sources of stress identified are medical errors,5 client and co-worker issues6 and working in an environment with team members who display toxic attitudes.7

    Given the large expansion of corporate veterinary practices in recent years, the evidence...

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    Sources of work stress in veterinary practice in the UK

    The veterinary profession recognises the importance of addressing work-related stress for veterinary surgeons’ wellbeing. Identifying aspects of veterinarians’ work that are sources of stress is a key step in implementing appropriate stress management interventions for the profession. However, little systematic research on the causes of stress in veterinary work has been carried out. A qualitative interview study was conducted with 18 veterinarians practising in the UK to explore aspects of their work that are stressful. Thematic analysis revealed principal stressors to be poor work-life balance, interaction with animal owners, specific aspects of euthanasia, dealing with poor animal welfare and staff management responsibilities. Injury risk, supervision arrangements for newly qualified veterinarians and lack of control over work were stressors for some. The practical implications of the findings for stress management in veterinary work are considered. Comments by several participants indicated a strong achievement focus and possible perfectionism. It is proposed that veterinarians with perfectionist traits might experience greater psychological distress in the face of some specific stressors in veterinary practice, and further investigation of possible interactive effects of work stressors and perfectionism on veterinarians’ wellbeing is merited.

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    Composite Fasciola hepatica faecal egg sedimentation test for cattle

    Options for diagnosing Fasciola hepatica infection in groups of cattle are limited. Increasing the opportunities for herd-level diagnosis is important for disease monitoring, making informed treatment decisions and for flukicide efficacy testing. The sensitivity of a simple sedimentation method based on composite faecal samples for the detection of fluke eggs in cattle was assessed through a combination of experimental and statistical modelling techniques. Initially, a composite sample method previously developed for sheep was used to investigate the sensitivity of composite sample testing compared with individual counts on the same samples in cattle. Following this, an optimised, validated, qualitative (presence-absence) composite sample field test was developed for cattle. Results showed that fluke egg counts obtained from a composite sample are representative of those expected from individual counts. The optimal sampling strategy was determined to be 10 individual 10 g samples (100 g composite sample) from which a 10 g subsample is taken for sedimentation. This method yielded a diagnostic sensitivity of 0.69 (95 per cent CI 0.5 to 0.85). These results demonstrate the validity and usefulness of a composite faecal egg sedimentation method for use in the diagnosis and control of F. hepatica in groups of cattle, with the caveat that a negative test should be followed up with a second test due to limitations relating to test sensitivity.

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    Equine airway inflammation in loose-housing management compared with pasture and conventional stabling

    Icelandic horses are often stabled in loose-housing systems, and to date this type of stabling has not been evaluated with regard to its potential impact on respiratory health. The objective was to assess if differences in management systems (eg, conventional stable, loose housing and pasture only) affect the degree of airway inflammation, evaluated by cytology of tracheal aspirate (TA) and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. In total, 84 Icelandic horses (aged 8.1±4.6 years) housed under three different management systems (conventional stables [n=29], loose-house systems [n=29] and pasture [n=26]) were included. Endoscopy including mucus scoring, TA and BAL was performed. TA and BAL cytologies were evaluated by performing both the total cell count (TCC) and the differential cell count (DCC). Significantly higher BAL neutrophil DCC (P=0.032, P=0.040) and TA TCC (P=0.007, P=0.028) were found for each of the two groups of horses with indoor access (conventional stable and loose housing) compared with the pasture group. Regardless of stabling environment, weak positive correlations were found between TA and BAL TCC (r=0.37, P<0.001), between TA TCC and TA neutrophil ratio (r=0.33, P=0.002), as well as between TA and BAL neutrophil ratio (r=0.39, P=<0.001). A larger proportion of horses with indoor access showed evidence of subclinical airway inflammation characterised by an increase in TA and BAL neutrophil ratios.

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    Selected highlights from other journals

    Hepatitis E virus is genetically divergent at the farm level

    H. Wang, M. Karlsson, M. Lindberg and others

    Transboundary and Emerging Diseases (2019)

    doi: 10.1111/tbed.13153

    • What did the research find?

    Pigs excreting hepatitis E virus genotype 3 (HEV3) were found on 77 per cent of the farms tested, with an average within-herd prevalence of 22 per cent. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the HEV3 strains isolated were unique to each individual farm, with some of these strains being closely related to strains that have been found in people. Follow-up sampling of the same farms indicated that HEV3 infections may persist on a farm for several years.

    • How was it conducted?

    Faecal samples from 363 three-month-old pigs were collected from 30 Swedish pig farms. HEV3 RNA was extracted from the faecal samples and sequenced. Phylogenetic trees were then constructed using the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean. Follow-up...

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