Journal news

Compendium app

The latest version of the National Office of Animal Health’s compendium app offers useful new features for practitioners.

The app is updated daily with the latest information on more than 1000 animal medicines. As long as users allow their phone to connect to the internet each day, the app will update automatically. Ambulatory vets will no longer have to rely on internet access to obtain up-to-date information.

It also includes the ability to scan datamatrix barcodes on veterinary medicinal product packaging, taking users directly to product information, as well as offering the opportunity to search by medication, manufacturer or global trade item number.

The app can be downloaded free from the App Store and Google Play. The compendium can also be accessed free of charge online at

National Office of Animal Health, 3 Crossfield Chambers, Gladbeck Way, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 7HF, telephone 020 8367 3131

Categories: Journal news

Veterinary Products

IoLight, UK creator of the world’s first high-resolution portable microscope, has announced that its ‘digital portable microscope’ has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The focus of the patent is the microscope’s unique folding feature, making it compact and light enough for in-the-field use, while still delivering detailed images.

Boehringer Ingelheim is marking the 20th anniversary of the launch of Metacam (meloxicam). Originally licensed for use in dogs, the company says it quickly became the first preferential NSAID approved for use in cattle, initially in Europe and then worldwide. Apart from its anti-inflammatory, anti-exudative, anti-endotoxic, antipyretic, analgesic and anti-endotoxic properties, it also has a good safety profile and a long-lasting effect, the company says. It is now also used in horses, cats and guinea pigs.

Yeson UK has launched a range of high-pressure steam sterilisation autoclaves, which it says delivers consistently reliable sterilisation...

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Bayer Animal Health GmbH and Nutreco have signed a global research and development collaboration agreement to drive the development of novel technologies and applications for the animal health and nutrition industries. Their shared goal is ‘the development of game-changing solutions that promote animal wellbeing and sustainable farm profitability by enhancing the nutritional and health performance of farm animals’. The first joint project will focus on advancing innovative solutions for gastrointestinal health in dairy and beef cattle. Financial details have not been disclosed.

Boehringer Ingelheim and the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in China, have jointly unveiled the first ‘industry-academia-research’ exchange platform set up by an agricultural research institute and a multinational animal health company in China. As the first milestone in the long-term strategic partnership between the two parties, the exchange platform will foster the integration of teaching, research and production. It is committed to training top-level global veterinary professionals,...

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Licensed injectable sedative for horses

Jurox (UK) has announced the addition of a UK-licensed injectable acepromazine to its equine anaesthesia range.

AceSedate for horses is the newest addition to the company’s anaesthesia, analgesia and sedation portfolio. It contains 10 mg/ml acepromazine as the active ingredient, which means a lower dose volume is required compared with the non-UK-licensed equine acepromazine options available, the company says.

Acepromazine is a phenothiazine, which acts by inhibiting dopamine pathways. The company reports that its benefits include a reduced risk of death when used alone as a pre-med. Apart from having a marked dose-sparing effect on the amount of other anaesthetic agents that may be required, it also smooths induction and recovery, decreasing the likelihood of catecholamine secretion. It also reduces the sensitivity of the myocardium to catecholamines and reduces the cardiac workload, helping to maintain perfusion and decrease the chance of myocardial hypoxia, Jurox adds.

At low doses, acepromazine...

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PetSavers downloadable guides for dog owners

Charity PetSavers, which is part of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), has introduced a new series of canine-focused downloadable guides that aim to provide pet owners with reliable additional advice if their dog has been diagnosed with a specific veterinary condition.

The initiative is part of BSAVA’s commitment to promote excellence in small animal practice.

The series of ‘My dog’s got ...’ guides provide practical information on a range of common topics:

  • My dog has dental disease

  • My dog has diabetes

  • My dog has itchy skin

  • My dog has kidney disease; and

  • My dog does not like other dogs.

  • The new guides join PetSavers’ library of general online information on puppies, kittens, rabbits and guinea pigs, as well as caring for elderly pets and dealing with the loss of a pet.

    Printed versions of the new guides can be ordered by...

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    Exotic animals in captivity: can we meet their welfare needs?

    Matthew Limb reports from a debate at the Animal Welfare Foundation Discussion Forum on keeping exotic animals as pets.

    Categories: Journal news

    In brief

    Recognition for risk analysis and modelling centre

    The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and the APHA have been jointly recognised by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)as an OIE collaborating centre in risk analysis and modelling.

    The designation is for an initial fixed term of five years.

    There are currently more than 55 OIE collaborating centres worldwide, offering expertise on 49 different topics related to animal health.

    The RVC/APHA centre will provide expert support and services in risk analysis and modelling to the OIE using expertise from the RVC’s veterinary epidemiology, economics and public health group and the APHA’s department of epidemiological sciences. It will also collaborate with other centres, laboratories and organisations to develop various methods, procedures and studies.

    Emma Snary, head of epidemiological sciences at the APHA, said: ‘We are very pleased that the expertise in risk analysis and modelling at APHA and RVC has been recognised...

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    Equine disease surveillance: quarterly update

    Equine disease surveillance headlines

  • Round up of equine news

  • Summary of UK disease surveillance for January to March 2019

  • 2019 marks 15 years of quarterly equine disease surveillance reports by Defra, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA).

    The addition of national disease surveillance reports for horses, ponies and donkeys to those already produced for farmed livestock and wildlife was part of a UK government commitment to enhance veterinary surveillance, described in a strategy document published in 2003.

    The equine disease surveillance reports aimed to bring industry and government together to collate anonymised quarterly information on the numbers of diagnostic tests performed and to discuss positive results obtained for specified equine infections and disease syndromes arising from the broad network of diagnostic laboratories that serves the equine industry in the UK. The intention was also that these data would be...

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    Pseudopregnancy in goats - an important cause of subfertility

    Pseudopregnancy – also called pseudocyesis or false pregnancy – is a very common condition of goats that, in some herds, can significantly reduced fertility. The condition occurs in goats of any breed and in any management system, but it is perhaps more thoroughly studied in dairy goats. It is typified by an aseptic accumulation of clear fluid in the uterus, termed hydrometra, and a persistent corpus luteum (Fig 1). It is thought that the accumulation of fluid is caused by the persistent corpus luteum, rather than the reverse.

    Pseudopregnancy is usually first detected between days 29 and 38 of the luteal phase (ie, after oestrus).1 Progesterone levels are similar to those observed during normal pregnancy (ie, serum levels greater than 1 ng/ml). However, these levels decline over time, eventually resulting in the spontaneous evacuation of the uterus.2 The duration of pseudopregnancy is quite...

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    Incidence, possible risk factors and therapies for pseudopregnancy on Dutch dairy goat farms: a cross-sectional study

    Pseudopregnancy is a frequently diagnosed reproductive disorder in (dairy) goats. This cross-sectional study evaluates the incidence, possible risk factors and therapies for pseudopregnancy on Dutch dairy goat farms. Two questionnaires, one for farmers and one for veterinarians, were designed and included questions about general farm demographics, breeding management, hormonal oestrous induction, treatment, measures for reduction and stress moments in dairy goats in the period June 1, 2016–May 31, 2017. In total, 43 farmers (21.5 per cent response rate) and 27 veterinarians (22.5 per cent response rate) completed the questionnaire. The annual incidence of pseudopregnancy varied between 1 and 54 per cent per farm, with a mean annual incidence of 17 per cent (95 per cent CI 0.14 to 0.21). In this study, we found a significant association between incidence of pseudopregnancy and a higher percentage of goats with an extended lactation (p<0.0001) and between incidence of pseudopregnancy and the number of ultrasound examinations per year (p<0.0001). The recommended therapy in literature consists of two administrations of prostaglandins. This was only correctly applied by 10 per cent of the farms. On 52 per cent of the farms, an overdose was used comparing to the recommended dose in literature.

    Categories: Journal news

    Randomised controlled trial of fractionated and unfractionated prednisolone regimens for dogs with immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia


    A randomised non-blinded non-inferiority trial was conducted to determine whether treatment with an unfractionated regimen of oral prednisolone was inferior to a fractionated regimen for dogs with primary immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia. Dogs received the same total daily dose of prednisolone as unfractionated (group 1, starting at 4 mg/kg orally once daily) or fractionated (group 2, starting at 2 mg/kg orally twice daily) doses. Questionnaires were administered to owners to assess adverse effects and quality of life (QoL). End points included survival to eight weeks, and changes in QoL and clinicopathological parameters over time.


    Thirty-nine dogs were enrolled in the study, of which 5 were withdrawn and 17 were assigned to each group. The number of cases recruited was insufficient to determine whether unfractionated treatment was inferior to fractionated. Total serum bilirubin decreased more rapidly in dogs in group 2, whereas polydipsia improved more rapidly in group 1. Blood pressure and score for polyuria were higher in dogs in group 2 over time, whereas lymphocyte concentration was lower.


    Administration of the same total daily dose of prednisolone as an unfractionated dose resulted in fewer adverse effects but the effect on survival could not be assessed in this study.

    Categories: Journal news

    Characteristics of Northern Irish cattle herds without bovine tuberculosis infection


    Despite ongoing eradication efforts, bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is endemic in cattle herds in Northern Ireland (NI). This disease has serious implications for the economy, farming and animal welfare. Previous research identified a population of herds which have remained free from bTB infection for 10 years (2004–2014). Understanding the characteristics of these herds may have important implications for eradication efforts, such as spatially targeted interventions.


    A cluster analysis and a retrospective case–control analysis was conducted to compare bTB- free herds with herds which experienced prolonged infection (ie, bTB breakdowns lasting more than ≥ 365 days).


    Only small, localised clusters of herds which have remained free from bTB were revealed, thus limiting the potential for spatially targeted interventions. The results illustrated the importance of herd size to disease status; over 27 per cent of the bTB-free herds had up to 10 animals. However, the data also showed that there were no inward movements in the year before the bTB skin test in those herds which remained free from bTB.


    Attention should therefore be given to the cattle movement network in NI to better understand the risk associated with cattle purchasing.

    Categories: Journal news

    Selected highlights from other journals

    Antimicrobial resistance is prevalent in healthy pigs

    M. Pirolo, A. Gioffrè, D. Visaggio and others

    BMC Microbiology (2019) 19

    doi: 10.1186/s12866-019-1422-x

    • What did the research find?

    Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was found on 22 of the 32 pig farms tested, with an average prevalence of 46.1 per cent. MRSA colonisation was significantly higher in the intensive farms. All MRSA isolates were found to be resistant to tetracycline. High resistance rates were also found for clindamycin (93.1 per cent), trimethoprim (68.4 per cent), fluoroquinolones (47.9 to 65.3 per cent) and erythromycin (46.1 per cent). Overall, a multidrug-resistant phenotype was observed in 88.6 per cent of isolates.

    • How was it conducted?

    A total of 475 healthy pigs from 32 farms in the Calabria region of Italy were sampled by nasal swabbing. Of the farms included in the study, 25 were intensive. The samples were screened using selective culture to...

    Categories: Journal news

    Badgers are part of the TB picture

    I write in response to the debate article ‘The badger cull policy is not evidence based’ by Tom Langton (VR, 8 June 2019, vol 184, p 715).

    There is a lot of fact presented in this article and there is a temptation, therefore, to read some of the interpretation as fact too. For example, the fact that there is no more up to date science on badger culling than the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) is true, but it is also true that independent, well-qualified experts have supported the idea that there is a transfer of the disease between badger and cattle. For example, the third paragraph of the summary of the report by Charles Godfray and colleagues1 states ‘... the presence of infected badgers does pose a threat to local cattle herds’.

    Given that Judge et al reported in 2014 an increase of 103 per cent...

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    Badgers are part of the TB picture

    I read with interest the debate from Tom Langton ‘The badger cull is not evidence based’ (VR, 8 June 2019, vol 184, p 715), where he considers that the lack of ‘blindness’ in the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) design might have influenced the behaviour of participating farmers and this could in some way have influenced the results of the trial. Precisely what the farmers might have done is not stated, and I would find it very difficult to see how they might have caused a bias in their subsequent herd TB testing results.

    Langton states that ‘... there needs to be far stronger basic evidence that badger culling is appropriate’, and yet for some reason he fails to even mention the published data from Brunton et al,1 who showed that after just two years of culling, there was a 58 per cent reduction of herd TB...

    Categories: Journal news

    Ethics of small animal orthopaedics

    I feel compelled to write a response to Nigel Taylor on his article ‘Being cutting edge – always right for patients?’ (VR, 15 June 2019, vol 184, p 745), in order to provide reassurance to those who may be concerned.

    I understand that one clinician’s innovation is another’s over treatment

    Taylor expressed reservations about the standard and ethics of small animal orthopaedics in UK practice, which I am happy to say do not fit my experience of working in this field. I understand that one clinician’s innovation is another’s over treatment; however, I am not sure that these concerns are well founded.

    I can’t see that a ‘remorseless quest for a newer, more effective repair for (an) age-old challenge’ can be considered anything other than positive. In fact, this is what inspires me most about orthopaedics in both the veterinary and human fields.

    Interventional radiology, minimally invasive stent...

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    Badgers are part of the TB picture

    Tom Langton’s claim that ‘The badger cull policy is not evidence based’ (VR, 8 June 2019, vol 184, p 715) regarding the role of badgers in bovine TB (bTB) depends largely on the results of a single trial, and is, in my opinion, flawed.

    The badger cull policy was based on evidence. In all previous culls, whether it be the very efficient Thornbury cull in the 1970s when there was a 100 per cent reduction in the incidence of bTB in cattle or subsequent ones, the success rate has been directly proportional to the efficiency of the cull.

    Langton quotes the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) as his evidence. It was not even a trial. Krebs initially planned triplets – a proactive, a reactive and a control. The reactive cull had to be curtailed prematurely and the control cull never even commenced.1 Only 30 per cent of...

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    Euthanasia should not be considered negative treatment

    In response to the Young Vet Network article ‘Remembering the successes’ which questions ‘successful’ treatment (VR, 1 June 2019, vol 184, p 687).

    I felt profound sympathy for Grace Harman as she described the two harrowing cases she had experienced at work the previous week. Her writing saddened me as she appears to regard the two euthanasia cases with nothing but a sense of failure.

    It struck me that what she had experienced was probably symptomatic of the feelings of many young vets as they strive to achieve success for their patients. After 44 years, I can still remember the desire to save every case that came through my door. Therefore, I would like to extend a hand of support. Both cases described had no other treatment available and Harman provided the unpalatable but necessary solution.

    From her telling of these events, she approached a very difficult task with...

    Categories: Journal news

    Correction: Allowing RVNs to inspect practices

    Letters: Allowing RVNs to inspect practices (VR, 25 May 2019, vol 184, p 655). The authors name was incorrectly stated, the correct name is Deidre Carson.

    In addition, the following ‘... I can assure her that there are practices where veterinary surgeons and other non-registered veterinary nurse (RVN) staff administer Practice Standards Scheme (PSS) assessments’ should have read ‘... I can assure her that there are practices where veterinary surgeons and other non-registered veterinary nurse (RVN) staff administer the Practice Standards Scheme (PSS)’ and the following ‘There are some ... who are barely capable of administering their own time sheets let alone the onerous requirements of the PSS assessment’ should have read ‘There are some ... who are barely capable of administering their own time sheets let alone the onerous requirements of the PSS.

    The errors are regretted.

    doi: 10.1136/vr.l4275

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    Death notices

    Bygrave On 11 June 2019, Andrew Charles Bygrave, BVSc, DTVM, MRCVS, of Kenton, Exeter. Mr Bygrave qualified from Liverpool in 1957.

    doi: 10.1136/vr.l4273

    Waterworth On 13 June 2019, Hazel Waterworth, BVSc, MRCVS, of Dorcester, Dorset. Mrs Waterworth qualified from Liverpool in 1958.

    doi: 10.1136/vr.l4274

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