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Seeking a new JVP - could it be you?

9 January 2020

With only a few days left before the deadline for nominations for BVA’s next Junior Vice President, our current President, Daniella Dos Santos, describes what it’s like being on the BVA Officer team and explains why you might want to think about putting yourself forward.

Categories: Journal news

Engaging with MPs old and new following #GE2019

9 January 2020

December’s General Election result means that there are many new MPs to engage with on the issues that matter most to BVA’s members, as Mandy Ryan, BVA’s Head of Media and Public Affairs, explains.

Categories: Journal news

Vet Futures news: trust in the profession remains high

9 January 2020

As part of the original Vet Futures project back in May 2015, we commissioned a public omnibus survey to gauge levels of trust and perceptions of value for money. The results were positive: 94 per cent said they trusted the profession generally or completely and 70 per cent rated their vet positively (at least ‘fair’) for value for money.

The Vet Futures Action Plan built on this work recommending that BVA, RCVS and others continue to develop communications tools to improve customer understanding of veterinary costs and promote the value of veterinary care.

As we enter the final year of the Vet Futures Action Plan (2016–2020), RCVS commissioned follow-up research to determine whether anything had changed from the original results.

The good news is that trust remains extremely high: again, 94 per cent report that they completely (34 per cent) or generally (60 per cent) trust vets. Also mirroring...

Categories: Journal news

Register on our new website

9 January 2020

We’re proud to announce that we’ve launched our new and improved BVA website, full of resources and content to support you at all stages of your career.

All BVA members need to register on the new website to keep their online benefits, including access to our flagship journals Vet Record and In Practice, and all of our resources and guides.

You will need your BVA membership number and the email address linked to your membership. As soon as you’ve created your myBVA account, you will be able to view your details and make changes if you need to.

Categories: Journal news

Its not about changing the world

9 January 2020

Chloe Roberts, BVA recent graduate rep, discusses what it means to be a team player.

Categories: Journal news

Discounted CPD for BVA members

9 January 2020

BVA’s CPD partner The Webinar Vet is offering members a 20 per cent discount on tickets for its 2020 Virtual Congress.

Virtual Congress 2020, going live on Saturday 1 February, offers 18 hours of high-quality cross-species CPD with unlimited accessibility whenever and wherever you like. It also includes keynote sessions from broadcaster, writer and adventurer Ben Fogle, mountaineer Kenton Cool and multimarathon-running emergency vet Rob Pope.

To receive your BVA member discount use the discount code ‘BVA2020’. As a BVA member, you can also access six hours of CPD for free. Topics include dental extraction, guinea pigs, rabbits, tortoises and osteoarthritis.

To book your ticket and register for your six hours of free CPD, visit https://virtualcongress.thewebinarvet.com

Categories: Journal news

Moving forward with detecting osteoarthritis in cats

19 December 2019

OSTEOARTHRITIS (OA) – otherwise known as degenerative joint disease – has historically been an overlooked disease in cats,1 although the number of reports published on feline OA has grown rapidly over the past 10 to 15 years. Radiographic studies have revealed that elderly cats are more likely to show joint changes consistent with OA.2-4 However, it has become clear that what is seen radiographically does not correlate well with the presence of joint pain or mobility impairment, and that even young cats can exhibit radiographic signs of OA.5

OA can lurk as an undetected disease, leaving cats to suffer long-term pain and disability. The lifestyle of a cat does not lend itself to an owner noticing something is wrong – few cats go for walks with their owner, and, even if they did, lameness is not a common sign...

Categories: Journal news

Evaluation and comparison of pain questionnaires for clinical screening of osteoarthritis in cats

19 December 2019
Background

Feline osteoarthritis (OA) is a common cause of long-standing pain and physical dysfunction. Performing a physical examination of a cat is often challenging. There is a need for disease-specific questionnaires or the so-called clinical metrology instruments (CMIs) to facilitate diagnosis and evaluation of treatment of feline OA. The CMI provides the owners an assessment of the cat’s behavioural and lifestyle changes in the home environment. The purpose of the study was to evaluate readability, internal consistency, reliability and discriminatory ability of four CMIs.

Methods

This is a prospective, cross-sectional study with 142 client-owned cats. Feline OA was diagnosed based on medical history, orthopaedic examination and radiography.

Results

The results indicate that all four instruments have sound readability, internal consistency, are reliable over time and have good discriminatory ability. Preliminary cut-off values with optimal sensitivity and specificity were suggested for each instrument. The osteoarthritic cats showed significant changes in behavioural response to pain during orthopaedic examination, compared with sound cats.

Conclusion

The results indicate that all four questionnaires make an important contribution in a clinical setting, and that the cat’s behavioural response to pain during physical examination should be a parameter to take into account as a possible indication of chronic pain.

Categories: Journal news

Lop-eared rabbits have more aural and dental problems than erect-eared rabbits: a rescue population study

19 December 2019

This research aimed to assess whether rabbits having lop ears, an artificially selected conformation, compromises welfare. We investigated the occurrence of aural and dental pathology in lop-eared compared with erect-eared rabbits. Thirty rabbits (15 lop-eared and 15 erect-eared) from a rabbit-only rescue shelter were examined. An otoscope was used to visualise the ear canals and mouth. Samples were taken from each ear to examine for mites, bacteria and yeast. Medical records were also examined. Lop-eared rabbits showed statistically significantly more frequent ear canal stenosis, higher scores of cerumen and erythema and more frequent potential pain response during ear examination, compared with erect-eared rabbits. We also found statistically significantly more frequent incisor pathology, molar overgrowth, molar sharpness, molar spurs and history of veterinary dental treatment in lop-eared compared with erect-eared rabbits. The effect sizes were often large. Age was not statistically significant between the lop-eared and erect-eared rabbit groups. Thus, lop-eared rabbits were at an increased risk of aural and dental pathology in this study. This brings into debate the ethics of breeding and buying lop-eared rabbits, as they are more likely to suffer conditions that negatively impact welfare, such as pain, and potentially deafness and difficulty eating.

Categories: Journal news

Hypervitaminosis D has no positive effects on goat tuberculosis and may cause chronic renal lesions

19 December 2019
Background

There is evidence for a link between vitamin D deficiency and active tuberculosis (TB). In human beings, several trials have evaluated the role of vitamin D supplementation in TB treatment with conflicting results. However, the role of vitamin D supplementation in animal TB control has received less attention. The authors evaluated the benefit of vitamin D supplementation for preventing mycobacterial infection or reducing TB lesions (TBL) in a controlled trial with goats naturally exposed to Mycobacterium caprae.

Methods

Two groups of goats, a vitamin D-supplemented group and a non-supplemented control group, were housed for 10 months in direct contact with M caprae-infected adult goats. Upon contact with the infected adult goats, all animals were TB-tested every two months.

Results

No experimental evidence of a protective effect of vitamin D supplementation based on M caprae culture prevalence, TBL prevalence, median TBL score or the proportion of single versus multiple organs presenting TBL was observed.

Conclusion

The results indicate that, in the conditions used in this study, vitamin D supplementation in goats does not reduce TB infection risk nor the diffusion and severity of TBL. In addition, vitamin D-supplemented goats presented hyperphosphataemia and renal injury with calcifications suggestive of vitamin D intoxication.

Categories: Journal news

Selected highlights from other journals

19 December 2019
Do carcase assessments reflect the welfare status of cattle?

M. Knock, G. A. Carroll

Animals (2019) 9

doi: 10.3390/ani9110959

• What did the research find?

For beef cattle, lameness score, cleanliness score and age were found to be associated with carcase bruising, while lameness score, body condition and sex were associated with hot carcase weight. For dairy cattle, sex and slaughter day were found to be associated with carcase bruising, while skin lesion score, body condition, age, slaughter day and the number of moves were associated with hot carcase weight.

• How was it conducted?

A total of 123 beef cattle and 182 dairy cattle processed at a single UK abattoir were included in this study. Cattle were scored for lameness as they were unloaded from the lorries, and each animal was then scored for cleanliness, body condition, hair loss and the presence of skin lesions. Breed, sex, age,...

Categories: Journal news

Are we missing infected cattle?

19 December 2019

Members of the Animal Welfare Group read with interest the letter from the chief veterinary officer, Christine Middlemiss, and other Defra personnel (VR, 30 November 2019, vol 185, p 664) in response to a recent news article on undetected bovine TB cases (VR, 26 October 2019, vol 185, p 492).

We were somewhat surprised at Defra’s reaction

We were somewhat surprised at their reaction, as the data, analysis and extrapolation, on which the article was based, had already been submitted to Defra in March of this year and no response had been received from the department in the intervening eight months.

It is regrettable that in their critique of our analysis they did not provide any figures of their own to give context to the actual numbers of false positives that they say would have arisen within the 4898 interferon-gamma (IFN-) test-positive reactors1, 2...

Categories: Journal news

Are we missing infected cattle?

19 December 2019

We welcome the well-reasoned response by the chief veterinary officer (CVO), Christine Middlemiss, and others (VR, 30 November 2019, vol 185, p 664) to the recent news article on undetected bovine TB identified by the interferon-gamma (IFN-) test (VR, 26 October 2019, vol 185, p 492). But the question that members of the Animal Welfare Group (AWG) and now also Christianne Glossop, the Welsh CVO (VR, 9 November 2019, vol 185, p 574), should ask themselves is: Are these animals infectious for other cattle? The answer is almost certainly not.

Cattle are simply sentinels for the ever-increasing and widespread infection in badgers. They are not the problem per se since the disease does not readily transmit horizontally in cattle until it becomes advanced and the animals are in close confinement.1 Of those reactors to the tuberculin test showing visible lesions, the great majority are in the early...

Categories: Journal news

BVA has role in taking a stance on political decisions

19 December 2019

The letter from Bridget Gregory (VR, 26 October 2019, vol 185, p 513) raises some interesting questions around whether the BVA should take a stance on Brexit.

Joseph Woods also states that the BVA should not take a stance on a no-deal scenario (VR, 2 November 2019, vol 185, p 543). Woods makes the valid point that over the past 25 years, many of our colleagues from the Continent have come to work in the UK and must have justifiable misgivings over their future here’. Many of these individuals are members of the BVA and many occupy posts in both public and animal health positions that would be extremely difficult to fill should they no longer feel welcome in the UK and leave.

The BVA has a responsibility to express a view on current issues surrounding our profession, such views being formulated after due consideration with the BVA council,...

Categories: Journal news

Do dolphins get Alzheimers disease?

19 December 2019

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia in people on a global scale, is still in search of reliable animal models that mirror its key neuropathological features, that is, amyloid β deposition and neurofibrillary tau protein tangles, in diseased human brains.1

The simultaneous occurrence of amyloid β and tau aggregates has been described in the brain of bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) and striped (Stenella coeruleoalba) dolphins found beached along the coast of Spain.2 Amyloid β plaque-associated brain pathology has been recently documented in bottlenose dolphins stranded along the Atlantic USA coastline, with their cerebral parenchyma also found to have high concentrations of β-methylamino-L-alanine, a cyanobacterial neurotoxin.3

Are dolphins prone to develop Alzheimer’s disease?

Do these findings suggest that dolphins could be a ‘candidate’ model for the comparative neuropathological and neuropathogenetic study of Alzheimer’s disease in people? But this question should be preceded...

Categories: Journal news

Vets role in human rabies elimination

19 December 2019

We were very pleased to see Jack Reece’s letter regarding the elimination of rabies (VR, 26 October 2019, vol 185, p 513).

Next year marks 10 years to the goal ‘Zero by 30’ – the global strategic plan to end human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030. This target was set in 2015 by the World Health Organization, the World Organisation for Animal Health, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control.

Rabies still kills an estimated 59,000 people per year, of which half are children under the age of 15. Since more than 99 per cent of human rabies cases are a result of dog bites, those in the veterinary profession have a role in reducing human cases by promoting better education and mass dog vaccination.

The Webinar Vet has teamed up with MSD Animal Health for its 2020 virtual...

Categories: Journal news

Corrections: Death notices

19 December 2019

Letters & Notices: Death notices (VR, 7 December 2019, vol 185, p 698). The date of death for Glyn Jenkins was given incorrectly. The correct date was 19 November 2019. The error is regretted.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l6999

Categories: Journal news

Discuss risks and benefits with clients

19 December 2019

I agree with Martin Whitehead – at least in part – on one point concerning raw feeding (VR, 23 November 2019, vol 185, p 635). My experience concurs with his, that pet owners do not always have a high regard for veterinary nutritional advice. But perhaps we should ask why? Might it be that they now appreciate that the ultra-processed foods recommended by many in our profession might have significant adverse influences on their pets’ health as they do for us humans?1

Whitehead labels those who drive raw feeding as being anti-science, and compares them with ‘anti-vaccinationists’. I might ask why the latter take their stance against vaccination?

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association recommend2 that vaccine administration should be subject to a risk assessment and yet I cannot recall any adult cat coming to us with a history that includes records of any assessment...

Categories: Journal news

Death notices

19 December 2019

Ewbank On 16 November 2019, Roger Ewbank, OBE, BVSc, MVSc, CBiol, FIBiol, HonDSc, MRCVS, of Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Mr Ewbank qualified from Liverpool in 1957.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l6996

Gooderham On 9 December 2019, Keith Richard Gooderham, BVSc, DPMP, MRCVS, of Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Mr Gooderham qualified from Liverpool in 1962.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l6997

West On 4 December 2019, William Reginald George West, BVMS, MRCVS, of Taunton, Somerset. Mr West qualified from Glasgow in 1950.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l6998

Categories: Journal news

Why I have decided to leave my job

19 December 2019

A couple of months ago I decided to leave my job.

There was no big scandal – perhaps if there had been, this column would have been easier to write. The truth is, I just felt stale.

I knew it wasn’t anything to do with the veterinary practice where I was working. As far as first-opinion practices go, I’m not sure I’ll ever find a better one than Bicester Vets. As well as being wonderfully supportive, they gave me every opportunity to develop professionally, including offering to put me through certificate study, but I knew this wasn’t going to solve the problem. Yes I needed a change, but I knew I didn’t need more veterinary medicine in my life to get me out of this rut, I needed less.

This realisation was harder to cope with than I thought it would be. I’ve always known I’ve had other interests....

Categories: Journal news