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Finding yoga helped me thrive as a vet

15 November 2018

Vet Chloe Hannigan works as a locum in the UK and abroad, and also teaches yoga to vet professionals, helping them care for their physical and mental health.

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Final-year student diary

15 November 2018

Vet student Rosie Perrett is doing rotations. Starting at Liverpool’s small animal teaching hospital, she finds interacting with clients and their pets is the real deal.

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People

15 November 2018

John FitzGerald, former secretary general of the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA) and operations director at the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, has been presented with a special award by the National Office of Animal Health, recognising his contribution to animal health. Presenting the award, NOAH’s vice chair Jamie Brannan said: ‘During John’s time at RUMA, the alliance transformed from an advisory organisation to really driving change across the main livestock sectors in terms of antibiotic use, with the farming and veterinary world showing leadership in the antibiotic resistance debate. Some of his highlights included two major RUMA conferences, based around progress made on the RUMA-coordinated action plan for the livestock sector, as part of the implementation of the government’s AMR strategy ... As a true "antibiotic guardian", our sector, and wider society, is grateful to John for his logical, pragmatic, yet innovative, approach.’

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Gender discrimination is alive and well

15 November 2018

News that female vets are discriminated against in the workplace will come as no surprise to many. Research published by this journal earlier this year found that female vets are losing out to their male peers in terms of pay. It’s also well known that, despite a female majority across the profession as a whole, men outnumber women in the more senior roles.

However, while the pay gap and the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions may be visible manifestations of inequality, psychologists at the University of Exeter are now suggesting that female vets experience more subtle forms of discrimination too. Intriguingly, it seems that those who are most likely to discriminate against women are those who believe that sex discrimination has been consigned to history.

The research, reported on p 580 of this week’s Vet Record, complements the veterinary workforce study reported in last week’s issue. Commissioned by...

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Gender bias is alive and well in the vet profession

15 November 2018

By Josh Loeb

Researchers have found ‘compelling evidence’ that discrimination against women exists in the veterinary profession.

A study carried out by researchers at the University of Exeter in conjunction with the BVA found that gender can ‘significantly impact’ upon how vets are ‘perceived, treated and paid’.

In addition, they found discrimination is most commonly perpetuated by those who believe women do not face discrimination in the workplace.

Researchers also found those who hold such views would be more likely to pay women significantly less than men – up to £3300 per year.

They are also more likely to regard male vets as more competent than their female peers, and more likely to give them more managerial responsibilities, promote them and recommend them to other vets as a valuable source of knowledge.

Research academics Michelle Ryan and Chris Begeny tested gender perceptions in around 260 UK-based veterinary employers and...

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News section PDF

15 November 2018
Categories: Journal news

Reptile illness is caused by bad husbandry

15 November 2018

By Josh Loeb

Widespread deficiency of basic husbandry for pet reptiles is making the animals ill, vets believe.

That is the conclusion from a survey looking at reptile owners’ compliance with good husbandry.

Led by vet Martin Whitehead and academics from the University of Lincoln, the survey asked questions about reptile owners’ reports of basic aspects of husbandry for four species commonly kept as pets – the royal (ball) python, veiled (Yemen) chameleon, bearded dragon and juvenile Mediterranean tortoise (pictured).

During a presentation at the British Veterinary Zoological Society conference last week, Whitehead, an advanced practitioner in small animal medicine with an interest in treating zoo and exotic animals, said pet lizards had the ‘greatest skew’ towards high mortality – greater than for snakes, tortoises and terrapins – because of bad husbandry.

Really basic aspects of husbandry are being managed inadequately

Most vets believe ‘really basic aspects of...

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Livestock industry should act on bovine TB too

15 November 2018

By Georgina Mills

The livestock industry needs to take ownership of bovine TB (bTB) and stop believing it is the government’s problem alone, a review of England’s 25-year bTB strategy has concluded.

In doing so, this will lead to greater uptake of cheap biosecurity measures on farms – such as fences and restricted feed store containers – which at the moment are ‘disappointingly low’, it said.

The review, carried out by bTB experts, was commissioned by environment secretary Michael Gove in February with the aim of informing strategies around the government’s goal of eradicating the disease by 2038.

In a report published this week, experts describe how a continued focus on wildlife – specifically badgers – has deflected attention from what can be done by individual farmers and the livestock industry to help control the disease. It also said that this lack of biosecurity, along with farmers partaking in...

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Supporting graduates as they move to practice

15 November 2018

By Josh Loeb

The RCVS has launched a wide-ranging consultation aiming to identify how the profession can better support graduates during their transition from university into life in practice.

The consultation, which forms part of a review of outcomes for veterinary graduates and how these could be improved, covers core areas including extramural studies and how they should be best implemented.

It also seeks feedback on a new overarching model for Day 1 competences and examines how the veterinary degree can provide an appropriate balance of general practice and specialist experience.

The college hopes all veterinary surgeons, nurses and students will consider contributing to the consultation, which was developed by the RCVS graduate outcomes working group.

Stephen May, the group’s chair and senior vice president of the RCVS, said: ‘For some time it has been apparent that there is often a mismatch between the way that veterinary students are...

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Breed disposition for urinary incontinence uncovered by RVC

15 November 2018

Male Irish setters, boxers, bulldogs, bull mastiffs and fox terriers are more likely to develop urinary incontinence than the males of other dog breeds, according to new research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC).

Furthermore, the study found that purebred male dogs are 1.45 times more likely to suffer from incontinence than crossbred males.

The study, which used data from the RVC’s VetCompass programme, studied anonymised clinical data from 119 first-opinion vet practices across England. It found that one in every 100 male dogs was affected by urinary incontinence. Irish setters were prone to the condition, with one in 12 of them affected, and the breed was 14 times more likely to have leakages than a crossbred dog.

The study also disproved previous veterinary opinion that incontinence mainly affects female dogs and found that older dogs are more prone to the condition. Male dogs aged nine to 12 years...

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What do vet students really think of EMS?

15 November 2018

By Josh Loeb

Satisfaction levels among veterinary students with their extramural studies (EMS) placements are high, research by the Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) has indicated.

A survey asked students to rate their EMS placements out of 10, with 10 being the highest rating. Their average rating (mode) was 8/10.

When asked how valued they felt while on EMS placements, students surveyed by the association gave an average score of six.

The EMS Experience Survey Report, released to coincide with London Vet Show this week, also revealed 60 per cent of first-year students have reported concerns about clinical EMS.

It showed there are high rates of apprehension among students yet to undertake their first clinical EMS placements.

AVS president David Charles (pictured) told Vet Record universities may wish to consider introducing the topic early in preclinical years to try to put students at ease.

Most graduate respondents to the...

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In brief

15 November 2018
Vets: Stay, Go, Diversify claims win

An online discussion forum dedicated to sharing ideas, tips and anecdotes about how vets can further develop their careers has won a competition recognising outstanding projects inspired by Vet Futures.

Vets: Stay, Go, Diversify (or V:SGD), which was founded by Ebony Escalona (pictured), started as a closed Facebook group where vets could discuss how to best use their degree – whether that was staying in clinical practice, using their skill set in different fields or branching out into a diverse range of other areas.

In April this year, it held its first live event in London offering a range of seminars, lectures and workshops on career development, mental health and job hunting, and information about a variety of different career options.

The competition attracted 13 entries, which, following a shortlisting process, were whittled down to reveal V:SGD as the winner. Three other entries...

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Saving bears from the bile farming trade

15 November 2018

Matthew Limb reports on the UK vet who has been to China to help rescued bears

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Medicines update

15 November 2018

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 August 2018 are listed in Table 1.

Of those products listed, the VMD draws attention to:

• The Canishield products (0.77 g medicated collar for small and medium sized dogs, and 1.04 g medicated collar for large sized dogs) are the first deltamethrin products for dogs to be indicated for treatment of fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) with a persistent killing activity for 16 weeks. The products are also indicated for treatment of ticks (Ixodes ricinus) with persistent killing activity for 6 months, and treatment of sandflies (Phlebotomus perniciosus), with persistent anti-feeding and killing activity for 5.5 months.

Table 1 also indicates where a public assessment report should...

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Communicating with clients about safety measures in the veterinary practice

15 November 2018

Occupational health and safety is an important issue in veterinary practices, necessary for the prevention of injuries and health risks to both humans and animals. In a survey conducted by Epp and Waldner,1 veterinary practitioners cited numerous examples of injuries encountered in the course of their work, including bites and scratches, being kicked or trampled, and being injured by needles, scalpels and other medical instruments. The risk of injury is greater when proper safety measures are not taken. As a result, veterinary governing bodies, including the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons2,3 and the American Veterinary Medical Association,4 have introduced practice standards for occupational health and safety.

It is fitting then, that in a study summarised on p 594 of this issue of Vet Record, Fowler and others have addressed the topic of pet owner perceptions of safety practices. Their research findings...

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Pet owners perceptions of veterinary safety practices

15 November 2018

Veterinary workers must care for their animal patients while simultaneously protecting their own health and safety. This process can be complicated by the presence and perception of pet owners who may not agree with a given tactic used to protect veterinary workers from injury. We conducted focus groups of pet owners in the Seattle area during November 2016 to gain a deeper understanding of their perceptions relating to veterinary worker safety practices. Focus group interviews were recorded and transcribed and study themes identified and summarised. Twenty pet owners participated in three focus groups. Study themes arising from the focus group discussions could be categorised into human, animal, behavioural and environmental domains as outlined in a One Health Occupational Safety and Health (OHOSH) model. Communication was a recurring study theme identified, suggesting that lacking or impaired veterinary personnel-client communication plays a key role in the safe delivery of veterinary services and can negatively impact the use of safety practices among veterinary personnel. Our study suggests that it is important for veterinary personnel to communicate to clients the reasons for policies related to worker safety. Such communication can help engage the veterinary client in order to effectively avoid situations that precipitate injury.

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Effects of financial incentives and cessation of thinning on prevalence of Campylobacter: a longitudinal monitoring study on commercial broiler farms in the UK

15 November 2018

Campylobacter is the leading cause of food poisoning in the UK. 2 Sisters Food Group, with retail partners, monitored the effect that: (1) awarding financial incentives to farmers and stockpersons for producing houses that were not highly contaminated with Campylobacter, or (2) the cessation of thinning (where ~30 per cent of birds are removed and processed at around day 35 of the crop cycle), had on prevalence of Campylobacter on UK broiler farms in a longitudinal monitoring study. Ninety-four farms and 759 houses were monitored from November 2013 to October 2015, with and without interventions. Financial incentives and thinning were significantly associated with Campylobacter prevalence. Houses on farms receiving an incentive had a 54 per cent reduction in odds of being highly contaminated with Campylobacter. Houses that were thinned had a 309 per cent increase in odds of being highly contaminated. Temperature and bird age were significantly positively associated with Campylobacter. Changes in industry practice at supply chain level can support Campylobacter control plans in commercial broiler flocks. Elucidating farm-level factors associated with Campylobacter prevalence (such as house type, condition, flock size) as well as individual factors related to thinning (stocking density, weight profile and associated economic consequences) require further investigation.

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Mind-body therapies: an intervention to reduce work-related stress in veterinary academia

15 November 2018

Studies investigating perceived stress and mindfulness awareness support mind-body therapy (MBT) effectiveness in reducing stress and anxiety and, thus, has potential to decrease work-related stress. A pre/postexperimental design involved 30 faculty and staff working at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, Saint Kitts and Nevis, who experienced a two-day MBT intervention programme. An additional 16 faculty and staff not involved in MBT who went about their daily work schedules served as contemporary controls. Demographics, Perceived Stress Scale 10 (PSS-10), Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), 16 Personality Factor (16PF) Openness to Change subscale and saliva cortisol concentrations were analysed. Control participants reported significantly perceived less stress (PSS-10: M=13; sd=1.4) than intervention participants (M=20; sd=6.6) during pretest. However, at post-test the intervention group reported a significant decrease in perceived stress (M=11; sd=6.0). MAAS pretest results indicated the intervention group displayed a lower average score (M=54; sd=15.3) than control participants (M=68; sd=2.0). Post-MAAS intervention scores showed improvements in mindfulness (M=63; sd=15.3). Correlations between the 16PF Openness to Change subscale and MAAS were r=0.03 and r=–0.17 for the intervention and control groups, respectively. Mean concentrations of saliva cortisol indicated a larger and significant decline in cortisol for the intervention group both during day 1 (P=0.0001) and day 2 (P=0.0008). In conclusion, these preliminary results provide support that MBTs in veterinary academia can improve psychological and physiological aspects of personal wellbeing.

Categories: Journal news

Selected highlights from other journals

15 November 2018
Associations between Treponema species and digital dermatitis severity in dairy cattle

C. Beninger, S. A. Naqvi, S. Naushad and others

Veterinary Research (2018) 49: 111

doi: 10.1186/s13567-018-0605-z

• What did the research find?

The four most common species of Treponema associated with digital dermatitis in dairy cattle – Treponema phagedenis, Treponema pedis, Treponema medium and Treponema denticola – could be identified by a single species-specific quantitative PCR reaction. The abundance and number of distinct Treponema species were higher in active digital dermatitis lesions than in healing, chronic lesions or in digital dermatitis-free skin. The abundance and interactions between the different species, particularly T phagedenis, T pedis and T medium, may affect their pathogenicity.

• How was it conducted?

A novel species-specific qPCR was developed to evaluate the abundance of the four species of Treponema in 142 biopsies from digital dermatitis lesions in 132 dairy cows. The lesions were scored...

Categories: Journal news

Support needed to prepare clients for Brexit

15 November 2018

Vets in general practice have received notification of possible changes to the export requirements for dogs and cats after Brexit from three sources– the APHA, BVA and RCVS.

There is a forceful recommendation coming from all three sources that we, veterinary surgeons in general practice, contact our clientele to make them aware of the possible requirements after 29 March 2019.

Furthermore, there is a strong sense that we should make clinical recommendations for unlisted third country status where the process of qualification for leaving the UK might take four months, and involve rabies serology testing and export health certification in addition to the current routine.

The disease risk inherent in going abroad will be the same before and after 29 March. The changes in procedure are exclusively related to political circumstances.

We need to be careful to articulate that we, vets in general practice, are not responsible for whatever...

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