Journal news

NOAH sets out 'high hopes and big ideas in EU manifesto

The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) has set out a vision for animal health, welfare and sustainability in the UK and across Europe in a manifesto – #AnimalHealthMatters – for the upcoming elections to the European Parliament.

Noah says that it will remain a member of AnimalHealthEurope – which represents manufacturers of animal health products in Europe – after the Brexit negotiations conclude and that, with Europe being the second largest animal medicines market in the world, ‘we have high hopes and big ideas to contribute towards its future’.

The manifesto calls on the EU to:

  • Ensure timely and science-based implementation of the new veterinary medicinal products regulations

  • Support the scientific output of the European Medicines Agency

  • Prioritise investment in innovative early research at national and European levels

  • Stimulate a regulatory environment that encourages the latest scientific advancements in veterinary medicines to be brought to...

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    Millions recouped from tax-evading dog breeders in HMRC crackdown

    Georgina Mills reports on how HM Revenue and Customs has been clamping down on puppy farms

    Categories: Journal news

    In brief

    Lucy’s law laid before parliament

    Legislation that will ban third-party sales of puppies and kittens was laid before parliament on 13 May.

    Known as ‘Lucy’s law’ after a cavalier King Charles spaniel that died in 2016 after being subjected to terrible conditions on a Welsh puppy farm, the new law will mean that anyone wishing to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten will have to deal directly with the breeder or an animal rehoming centre. Pet shops and commercial dealers will no longer be permitted to sell puppies or kittens unless they have bred them themselves.

    Animal welfare organisations have welcomed the new legislation, which was announced last year following a public consultation in which 95 per cent of respondents expressed support for a ban.

    This ban is a great step forward in improving animal welfare standards

    Caroline Yates, chief executive of the charity Mayhew, said: ‘This ban is...

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    Dosing gun injuries result in deaths of cattle and sheep in Northern Ireland

    Northern Ireland disease surveillance headlines, January to March 2019

  • Dosing gun injuries reported in cattle and sheep

  • K99-positive colibacillosis in calves

  • Renal amyloidosis in a dairy cow

  • Fasciolosis in ewes

  • Actinobacillus suis infection in piglets

  • Cerebrocortical necrosis in a grey seal

  • CattleRespiratory diseases

    Respiratory disease was identified in 45 cattle postmortem submissions in Northern Ireland between January and March 2019. The most common pathogens identified included Mycoplasma bovis (14 cases), Pasteurella multocida (11 cases), Mannheimia haemolytica (10 cases), Haemophilus somni (three cases), bovine respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) (two cases) and Trueperella pyogenes (two cases).

    Acute bovine respiratory disease was diagnosed in two four-month-old calves which had previously been vaccinated with a polyvalent intranasal respiratory virus vaccine at around 10 days of age.

    On gross examination there were lesions of severe pneumonia present, with deep purple-coloured consolidation of the cranial and cardiac...

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    Can porcine circovirus type 3 cause persistent infection in pigs?

    Porcine circovirus type 3 (PCV3) is a recently described virus belonging to the family Circoviridae. It is related to porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) – one of the most economically important viruses for the pig production industry worldwide.

    PCV3 was originally identified by metagenomics analyses of tissues from pigs suffering from porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome (Fig 1), reproductive failure, myocarditis and multisystemic inflammation.1,2 The absence of other common pathogens that could be causing these disease conditions prompted the suspicion that PCV3 might be involved in their aetiology. However, the virus has also been detected in clinically healthy pigs.3

    Although the virus primarily infects pigs, it has, somewhat surprisingly, also been detected in other animals such as dogs, mice, cattle and even ticks.4-7

    PCV3 has now been reported worldwide and has been detected in a diverse range...

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    Infection dynamics of porcine circovirus type 3 in longitudinally sampled pigs from four Spanish farms

    Porcine circovirus type 3 (PCV-3) is a recently discovered virus in domestic pigs and wild boar. The virus has been described in pigs with different clinical/pathological presentations and healthy animals, but the dynamics of infection is currently unknown. The aim of this study was to longitudinally monitor PCV-3 infection in 152 pigs from four different healthy farms (A, B, C and D) by means of PCR in serum. The selected animals were sampled five (farm A) or six (farms B–D) times from weaning until the end of the fattening period. PCV-3 genome was found in pigs from all tested ages and farms; few animals had an apparent long-term infection (4–23 weeks). PCV-3 frequency of detection remained fairly uniform along tested ages within farms A and C, but was more variable among sampling times in farms B and D. Eight partial genome sequences were obtained from six different animals. Phylogenetic tree and pairwise distance analysis showed high similarity among sequences and with available genomes from different countries. This is the first study on PCV-3 infection dynamics in longitudinally sampled pigs. Most pigs got infection during their life, although PCV-3 did not appear to be linked with any specific age.

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    Splenic mass diagnosis in dogs undergoing splenectomy according to breed size

    Various splenic diseases can result in a splenic mass and necessitate splenectomy. The objective of this study was to compare the prevalence of malignant and benign splenic diseases, and type of malignant disease, in dogs categorised by breed size. It was hypothesised that the prevalence of splenic disease would be significantly different in small versus large-breed dogs. All dogs had a splenic mass identified with ultrasonography or CT, and had a confirmed diagnosis. Dogs were categorised as small, medium and large breeds according to breed standards. There were 54 small, 139 medium and 41 large-breed dogs; 129/234, 55% (95% CI 49% to 61%) had malignant disease versus 105/234, 45% (95% CI 39% to 51%) with benign disease (P=0.117). The prevalence of malignant versus benign disease was not significantly different for small (P=0.276), medium (P=0.074) or large-breed dogs (P=0.080). Small-breed dogs were 2.3 times more likely than large-breed dogs to have benign disease. Small-breed dogs with malignant disease were one-third as likely as large-breed dogs to have haemangiosarcoma. In conclusion, the overall prevalence of malignant and benign diseases was 50:50; however, compared with large-breed dogs, small-breed dogs are more likely to have benign disease. When small dogs do have malignant disease, they are, however, less likely to have haemangiosarcoma. This information is important to consider in early discussions with owners of dogs of various breed sizes.

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    Bluetongue virus detection in new Culicoides species in Sardinia, Italy

    Bluetongue is an infectious disease transmitted by Culicoides biting midges. Culicoides imicola is considered the main vector in the Mediterranean basin but other species have been implicated in the Bluetongue virus (BTV) transmission. During 2017, BTV serotype 4 re-occurred in Sardinia causing outbreaks in sheep farms. A survey was carried out on affected farms with the aim to detect the virus in field-collected Culicoides. Biting midges were morphologically identified, pooled and then assayed with a real time RT-PCR. To evaluate BTV dissemination, some Culicoides were dissected and head, thorax and abdomen were tested singly by PCR. A total of 173,738 Culicoides adults were collected. Viral RNA was detected in 68 out of 77 pools and all species analysed resulted positive. Detection of BTV in parous female body regions (head, thorax and abdomen) confirmed the full dissemination of BTV in all species analysed. During this study, the vector competence of C imicola, C newsteadi s.l. and Obsoletus complex was confirmed. The authors found two new Culicoides species BTV positive, C paolae never associated with BTV transmission and C circumscriptus only recently found BTV positive in Turkey, which could be considered potential vectors.

    Categories: Journal news

    Selected highlights from other journals

    Resistant bacteria persist in soil for over two years

    G. Morelli, S. Bastianello, P. Catellani and others

    BMC Veterinary Research (2019) 15

    doi: 10.1186/s12917-019-1824-x

    • What did the research find?

    Higher bacterial concentrations and an increased prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) were found in the farm areas where cattle spent the most time, such as the feeding area. Although the bacterial concentrations and ARG prevalence were significantly reduced two years after the removal of the cattle, they were still much higher than those observed in control areas. It is not clear how long it would take for the ARG prevalence to reduce to control area levels.

    • How was it conducted?

    The study was conducted on a beef cattle farm, on which cattle were kept for seven years before all animals were removed. Soil samples from 26 georeferenced locations on the farm were collected before the cattle were...

    Categories: Journal news

    Reporting suspected adverse reactions

    We ask that colleagues please report cases of suspected poisoning following use of veterinary medicines to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) pharmacovigilance team as adverse events. If we are not informed, we are unable to take any necessary regulatory action – for example, strengthening warnings on the packaging or suspending/withdrawing the product.

    Vets or members of the practice team often contact the Veterinary Poisons Information Service for advice on suspected poisonings, but don’t always remember to report them to the VMD.

    The VMD’s pharmacovigilance team monitor the safety and effectiveness of veterinary medicines as, sometimes, they can cause an adverse reaction or they don’t work as expected. The pharmacovigilance data that vets and others provide allow us to take action to protect the health and welfare of animals.

    Sometimes veterinary medicines can cause an adverse reaction or they don’t work as expected

    If an animal appears to be...

    Categories: Journal news

    Disciplinary case based on client consent

    An editorial and news report of a disciplinary case involving social media (VR, 4 May 2019, vol 184, pp 537, 538) prompted me to read the relevant sections of the RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct.

    There is a large amount of open access case-based veterinary CPD material available on the internet including powerpoint lectures, educational videos and veterinary quiz photographs. The guide says, ‘steps should be taken to anonymise the client, and/or the client’s animal’ on closed veterinary discussion forums. I had assumed that simply excluding the client’s name, address and contact details was sufficient. Is this not the case? Is open access material judged by different standards from closed access?

    The news article reports that details of the clinical cases were given including animals’ names, breeds and clinical conditions. Is this a repeat of the original breach of confidentiality?

    And what is the definition of ‘jigsaw identification’?

    Categories: Journal news

    Disciplinary case based on client consent

    Am I the only one who was surprised and disappointed by the opening sentence of a news article in a recent issue (VR, 4 May 2019, vol 184, p 538)?

    The article on a disciplinary case due to inappropriate social media posts, began ‘A former fashion model turned vet has been found to have committed serious professional misconduct’.

    Of what relevance to the story, which was an important one for the profession, was the involved vet’s former occupation? I could find nothing in the article that could have indicated the need for that additional piece of ‘information’.

    Maybe I needed to have checked out the relevant Instagram accounts to understand but the piece needs to stand alone.

    I do hold the journal in high esteem, and the standard of reporting is usually very high, but would you have felt the need to publish a similar comment if the vet...

    Categories: Journal news

    Editors response

    Thank you for your letter concerning our coverage of a recent disciplinary case about a vet posting images of animals on her social media account without owners’ permission (VR, 4 May 2019, vol 184, p 538).

    You are correct, we would not normally refer to someone’s former job if it was not relevant to the story. However, in this case it was.

    The vet who was disciplined as a result of her actions has attracted media attention as a result of her particular brand – that of being a former fashion model and a vet. The disciplinary case against her examined the use of social media and use of images.

    You ask whether we would have used the description of ‘a former fashion model turned vet’ if the respondent had been male or if the previous occupation had been different, for example a police officer. The answer is yes,...

    Categories: Journal news

    Improving the professional development phase

    Following publication of Ken Urquhart’s view on the professional development phase (PDP) (VR, 4 May 2019, vol 184, p 561), the RCVS thought it might be helpful to set out the current situation.

    We remain keen to ensure that new graduates have the best possible experience and support in these key initial years as qualified veterinary surgeons. Previous research and evaluation of the PDP with stakeholders told us that it is valued, but graduates would like to see it changed significantly to include more structure, more support and more help to ease their transition into professional life. Consequently, we specifically framed the graduate outcomes consultation to gather information from the profession, to understand what structure and support would best fulfil these aims.

    We had an overwhelming response to the consultation, with thousands of contributions representing all areas of the profession. This feedback is currently being analysed and will be...

    Categories: Journal news

    Better remuneration needed

    There can be few vets who don’t agree with the sentiments expressed by Maureen Aitken (VR, 4 May 2019, vol 184, p 559) and by David Noakes and Chris Tufnell (VR, 11 May 2019, vol 184, pp 593-594) concerning the impact of James Herriot to inspire a generation of young vets and enhance public opinion about our profession.

    However, the opening paragraph of Aitken’s letter was highly critical of Sue Patterson, newly elected president of the BSAVA, about comments she was reported to have made during a discussion about telemedicine at the recent BSAVA congress (VR, 27 April 2019, vol 184, p 514).

    Another article in the same issue stated that BVA council should take a firmer stance on salary levels for vets (VR, 27 April 2019, vol 184, p 512).

    Far too many vets earn too little income from their profession. However, the issue is what to do about...

    Categories: Journal news

    Representing the profession

    I was disappointed, to put it mildly, to see the photograph of the BVA president (VR, 4 May 2019, vol 184, p 563) at Westminster Hall, in which he is shown tie-less.

    This person is the representative of the BVA and at least one member is appalled. Quite disgraceful and, in addition, an insult to his hosts.

    Categories: Journal news

    Death notice

    Jacob On 30 April 2019, Michael Bruce Jacob, BSc, MRCVS, of Haverfordwest, Dyfed. Mr Jacob qualified from Edinburgh in 1953.

    doi: 10.1136/vr.l3048

    Categories: Journal news

    The wonderful people dressed in green

    When I started working as a vet I was terrible at placing intravenous catheters. I’m pretty sure in that first fortnight I ruined every vein I touched; bruising both the animals I was attempting to treat and my own self confidence in the process. But one day, after blowing the veins of yet another vomiting dog, I was ushered into a side room by one of the veterinary nurses. She told me she had been watching me and had worked out where I was going wrong. She suggested we place the next catheter together and she would talk me through it. Later that day, under her direction, I placed the catheter first time into another patient. It was magic. I could finally do it.

    At vet school I was told that if I was lucky in my first job the veterinary nurses would look after me. At the time...

    Categories: Journal news

    Fulfilment at work

    ‘[As a vet] I could finally help pets how I had always dreamed. However, something was lacking . . . What an unsettling thought for someone who had knit her entire life’s identity with the singular goal of being a veterinarian. I cannot convey how difficult this notion was to process and acknowledge to myself, even more so to others.’

    This is a quote from American vet Maranda Elswick in an open letter to the veterinary community posted on her website the Meowing Vet. Does this ring true for you?

    It’s common throughout our career to find that work may no longer have the same fulfilling effect. Our sense of purpose is subject to change and is critical to our sense of fulfilment, and so it is important to note that:

  • Purpose is built, not found,

  • It is not enough to have a sense of purpose once...

  • Categories: Journal news

    Who do you think you are?

    Ever found yourself convinced you’re a fraud, on the brink of being exposed as having fluked your way through your veterinary career? Imposter syndrome is far from a rare phenomenon but, as Penny Barker explains, there are ways to fight back.

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