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Qualified but not yet fully competent: perceptions of recent veterinary graduates on their day-one skills

21 February 2020
Background

The goal of veterinary education is to prepare learners to successfully enter the profession. However, the transition from learner to professional can be an intense and stressful phase. In this study, recently graduated veterinarians’ perceptions of readiness to work independently and to successfully cope with early career challenges are addressed.

Methods

A survey based on five commonly occurring entrustable professional activities (EPAs) in primary care was sent to newly qualified veterinarians (graduated between six months and three-and-a-half years ago and working in primary veterinary clinics). The survey was a combination of open and Likert scale-type questions and contained items on the self-reported need for supervision for these EPAs. One hundred and fifty-six participants (response rate 41.2 per cent) answered the survey. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse and present the quantitative data.

Results

The day-one after graduation levels varied per EPA between ‘with direct, proactive supervision’ and ‘supervision at a distance’. On average after 6.8 months participants felt ready to execute all five tasks with distant supervision. After almost 10 months, participants had the feeling of being fully competent to execute the EPAs unsupervised.

Conclusion

This study provides insight into early career challenges faced by recently graduated veterinarians. The results emphasise the importance of adequate preparation of veterinarians during education and the importance of guidance during early career to foster a successful transition from veterinary school to clinical practice.

Categories: Journal news

Cattle and sheep farmers opinions on the provision and use of abattoir rejection data in the United Kingdom

21 February 2020
Background

Communication between farmers and veterinary surgeons is reported to differ when involving abattoir rejection data on cattle or sheep.

Methods

Using surveys, distributed online and on paper at livestock markets, this study describes the interest and positive opinion of a sample of UK cattle and sheep farmers in receiving abattoir data.

Results

Forty-nine per cent of respondents always received abattoir data (n=37/76). Over 80 per cent of respondents were interested in all suggested rejection conditions and particularly liver fluke and respiratory conditions. Eighty-two per cent of farmers were willing to share data with their veterinary surgeon as the information could be used to inform health plans.

Conclusion

The study findings indicate that having an accurate and consistent data system, which is easily accessible to farmers and veterinary surgeons, appears an essential next step to improve the use of existing abattoir data and enhance animal health, welfare and production.

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Breed and anatomical predisposition for canine cutaneous neoplasia in South Africa during 2013

21 February 2020

Cutaneous neoplasia occurs commonly in dogs and owners in consultation with their veterinarian must decide when to perform surgery to obtain a histopathological diagnosis. The objective of this study was to identify breed predispositions for canine cutaneous neoplasms and determine factors associated with malignancy. This retrospective case-series evaluated histopathology reports from two veterinary pathology laboratories in South Africa during a six-month study period. Breed predispositions were analysed using log-linear models and risk factors for malignancy were evaluated using binary logistic regression. Data were available for 2553 cutaneous neoplasms from 2271 dogs. The most frequent neoplasms were mast cell tumours (21.1per cent), histiocytoma (9.4per cent), haemangiosarcoma (8.3per cent), melanocytoma (5.8per cent) and lipoma (5.1per cent). Boxers (relative proportion (RP)=38.9; 95% CI 2.3 to 646), pugs (7.6; 1.4 to 41.0), Staffordshire bull terriers (7.0; 1.9 to 26.3), boerboels (3.8; 1.3 to 10.7), Labrador retrievers (2.7; 1.0 to 7.0) and mixed breed dogs (2.2; 1.1 to 4.4) had a higher frequency of mast cell tumours. Jack Russell terriers (OR=2.5; 95% CI 1.8 to 3.5), Rottweilers (2.3; 1.3 to 3.9), pit bull terriers (2.2; 1.1 to 4.3) and Staffordshire bull terriers (1.6; 1.0 to 2.6) were more likely to have malignant neoplasms. Dog signalment might facilitate prognosis determination for cutaneous canine neoplasia before receiving a histopathological diagnosis.

Categories: Journal news

Selected highlights from other journals

21 February 2020
Neurofilament concentration in serum is a biomarker for scrapie

H. Zetterberg, E. Bozzetta, A. Favole and others

PLoS ONE (2019) 14

doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226697

• What did the research find?

The median serum neurofilament light (NfL) concentration in sheep with scrapie was found to be more than 15 times higher than that found in sheep without scrapie. Moreover, the serum NfL concentration in scrapie-affected sheep that had clinical signs did not significantly differ from that of scrapie-affected sheep without clinical signs. A cut-off value of 31 pg/ml serum NfL was able to distinguish scrapie-affected sheep from unaffected sheep with 95 per cent accuracy.

• How was it conducted?

Blood samples were collected from nine sheep with scrapie (two of which had clinical signs) and 11 healthy sheep before slaughter. Scrapie was initially diagnosed by ELISA of medulla oblongata samples and then confirmed by western blot. Serum NfL concentrations were measured...

Categories: Journal news

Risks to people from raw pet food

21 February 2020

The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) has recently released a poster that purports to provide advice to pet owners wishing to feed raw foods more safely. While any efforts to reduce the risk to people from feeding raw meats to pets is welcome, the PFMA has been, in my opinion, disingenuous, as its information only provides advice to minimise risk to the owner and totally fails to address the serious health risk that this practice presents to other animals and people who come into contact with the pet or its environment.

It is almost two decades since it was reported that people could contract serious salmonella infections from contact with dogs fed dried raw meat products without the need to come into contact with the food itself.1

Pathogens are shed into the environment for days after ingestion (eg, 11 days for Salmonella2), even if the...

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No place for abuse of vet leaders

21 February 2020

We are a mixture of volunteers and paid professionals who give our time to lead and support the veterinary professions, and we are extremely honoured to be able to do so.

But we are increasingly concerned about the tone of some of the debates that are taking place in the veterinary world, particularly by the disparaging and demeaning language used against us or our colleagues.

As leaders in the professions, representing various different organisations, we absolutely expect to receive criticism and challenge of the work we do. But the right to criticise and challenge does not extend to the right to personally attack us as individuals.

Some of the most useful and informative discussions we have are those where our views and actions are questioned with dignity and respect. But the use of derogatory and offensive language to describe or refer to us as individuals is simply not acceptable.

...
Categories: Journal news

UK dog shelters have unreasonably high demands

21 February 2020

The recent research article on the importation of rescue dogs into the UK1 missed one common reason why owners choose to adopt from abroad, and that is the ‘preciousness’ of some of our dog rescue centres in the UK.

My wife and I recently lost both of our dogs within a year of each other, both aged 13 and of natural causes. At the age of 66 we were debating whether it was fair to take on another dog, but life without one seemed unsettling, given that we had owned dogs our entire lives. We therefore decided to adopt a mature rescue dog and applied to our nearest animal shelter. On completion of the online form, in which I gave a very wide remit in terms of the dogs we were willing to adopt, I received an automated reply to the effect that if I had not...

Categories: Journal news

Nicole Paley, from the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA), responds

21 February 2020

The PFMA and its members take the role of education very seriously. Working with the expertise from within our working groups, we develop balanced educational resources on a range of pet nutrition topics, including raw diets. We always welcome feedback on these resources to ensure they are robust.

The PFMA recognises that some pet owners want to feed their pet a raw diet and this feeding regime has been around for decades. Our view is that we should support owners with balanced advice and guidance to help them do this as safely and responsibly as possible.

We fully agree that risks to children, the elderly, pregnant women and the immunosuppressed should be carefully evaluated and all possible precautions taken to minimise any potential risk. This should be considered for anyone when handling pets of any species and their food.

The PFMA has within its membership 11 companies that produce...

Categories: Journal news

Should we treat elephants with EEHV?

21 February 2020

We wish to comment on a case published in Vet Record Case Reports. Ackermann and Hatt present a case of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus type 1 (EEHV1) viraemia in a three-year-old female Asian elephant calf that did not progress into clinical haemorrhagic disease, despite lack of treatment.1

However, as the authors point out, this calf had been excreting EEHV1 DNA previously, and excretion of the virus can be seen for several weeks after viraemia,2 so it is evident that this was not a primary infection, but a state of recrudescence of EEHV. Similar cases have previously been comprehensively described.3, 4 Perrin and others proposed that we should consider all Asian elephants surviving to adulthood as EEHV carriers,5 as they would have built up immunity to the virus during subclinical infections in their juvenile years. A recent publication on EEHV shows...

Categories: Journal news

Mathias Ackermann and Jean-Michel Hatt respond

21 February 2020

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on Fieke Molenaar’s and Willem Schaftenaar’s letter about our recent case report in Vet Record Case Reports.1

As stated at the end of our article, we feel that it is of utmost importance to publicly discuss cases like ours, particularly because of the principal ethical questions that arise as soon as a disease becomes ‘treatable’ but when the reasons for or against the decision to treat remain obscure. This is not only the case with endotheliotropic elephant herpesviruses (EEHV) and treatment with antivirals, but with many other emerging diseases and possible treatments.

Molenaar and Schaftenaar specifically address EEHV and its predominantly lethal syndrome, elephant haemorrhagic disease (EHD). There is no question that the loss of a young elephant due to EHD will not remain unnoticed by the public. If your elephant succumbs to the disease when you have chosen to...

Categories: Journal news

Control of rumen and liver fluke in livestock

21 February 2020

Liver fluke is known to have a major effect on ruminant production, health and welfare

I am conducting a study with the aim to better understand rumen fluke in the UK, and to improve the control of both rumen fluke and liver fluke in livestock. Liver fluke is known to have a major effect on ruminant production, health and welfare, while rumen fluke is an emerging disease that has been linked to fatal disease outbreaks.1-3

A short online survey has been produced asking sheep and cattle farmers for their views on these parasites, as well as their control methods. I ask readers to share this survey with their sheep and cattle farming clients (with or without fluke on farm), and encourage them to complete it. It can be found at: https://liverpool.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/fluke-survey

The survey takes less than 15 minutes to complete...

Categories: Journal news

Dealing with backyard poultry

21 February 2020

Reviewed by exotics and companion animal vet Fabian Rivers.

Categories: Journal news

Looking after the health of pigs

21 February 2020

This is a highly visual book with a huge range of pictures and diagrams that are relevant to pig health. It also comes with access to audio and video e-resources, which are referenced throughout.

The book has a logical layout, beginning with the clinical examination before going through disorders of specific systems, such as digestive and locomotor issues. The relationship between disease and productivity is well explored; for example in Chapter 3, where the effects of lung lesions on feed conversion and growth rates are discussed. Moving through the body systems, the book gives detailed protocols for investigation and control of disease; as well as descriptions of the most common diseases seen on farms.

Pig medicine is often complicated by environmental effects, and the chapter on environmental medicine is particularly useful. This covers aspects of temperature and ventilation through to observing pig behaviour. The book also covers basic nutrition...

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James Michael Evans

21 February 2020

After working in a successful small animal practice, he joined the pharmaceutical industry. He became an author of books for pet owners and the profession, and set up the Pet Health Counsellor programme.

Categories: Journal news

Henry Winton Pfaff

21 February 2020

A much-loved small animal practitioner in Glasgow, he was a character and a real advocate for animals – it was he that brought contagious leukaemia in cats to the attention of researchers at the vet school.

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'I love vet nursing, although working on an island is one of our biggest challenges

13 February 2020

After meandering through a number of roles, Shona Jack found vet nursing and now enjoys working in mixed practice in Shetland.

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People

13 February 2020

Veterinary specialists Wear Referrals, which is part of the Linnaeus Group, has appointed small animal surgery specialist Jon Hall. After graduating from the University of Cambridge, Hall initially worked in practice in Lincoln. He completed an internship at the Royal Veterinary College and a residency at Cambridge, passing his European College exams in 2015. He then spent two years as a lecturer at Cambridge, before joining the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies as a senior lecturer in small animal surgery.

Southfields Veterinary Specialists has recruited Fabio Stabile to join its neurology and neurosurgery unit. He graduated from Padova University, Italy, in 2003 before completing a three-year PhD in veterinary clinical sciences at the university. In 2009, he moved to the UK and started a residency in neurology and neurosurgery at the Animal Health Trust. He has been a diplomat of the European College of Veterinary...

Categories: Journal news

Driving improvement in practice

13 February 2020

The veterinary sector is some way behind human healthcare when it comes to the quality improvement (QI) agenda.

Traditionally, veterinary professionals have relied on ad hoc and informal improvement methodologies, for example training and mentorship.

The profession now needs to up its game

But according to Rand Europe, a consultancy firm commissioned by RCVS Knowledge to assess the veterinary QI landscape last year, the profession now needs to up its game and commit to QI work more formally, like the NHS.

Animal owners are more knowledgeable than ever before–- and also rather complaint-happy – so vet professionals need a more structured and systematic approach to driving improvement and heading off these complaints, consultants argue.

Their report and suggested QI roadmap (see p 173), which was published last month, found vet professionals broadly keen on the concept (they see it as a force for good) but they are poorly...

Categories: Journal news

African swine fever 'slowly spreading in EU

13 February 2020

By Josh Loeb

African swine fever (ASF) is spreading in the EU, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded in a new report.

In a report, published earlier this month, EFSA stated that ASF-affected areas in the EU are ‘progressively expanding’.

The disease is currently ‘spreading’, albeit ‘slowly,’ within the bloc, EFSA’s analysis concludes.

The finding is significant because the European Commission has previously stopped short of acknowledging that the virus is spreading inside of the EU. It has previously said only that the virus is ‘present’ in the EU.

Areas of the EU affected by ASF are ‘essentially contiguous, except for isolated introductions in Czechia [the Czech Republic] (now resolved), western Poland and Belgium,’ EFSA’s report highlighted.

It went on to add: ‘Backyard farms present particular challenges in an ASF eradication programme, including uncontrolled movements of pigs and people, poor biosecurity and the identification of holdings.

‘Human-mediated...

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News section PDF

13 February 2020
Categories: Journal news