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In brief

23 May 2019
Product recall alert

Elanco UK AH has issued a recall alert for Tylan 200 mg/ml Solution for Injection.

The recall applies to products bearing the batch number C967336A with an expiry date of 07/2020.

The recall has been issued because of a failed periodic revalidation (media fill test), which may affect the level of sterility assurance of certain products.

Other batches of Tylan 200 injection are unaffected and can continue to be distributed.

Further information is available from Victoria Haslingden: telephone 01256 779519, email

UK’s AMR centre recognised by UN

The UK’s International Reference Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has received official designation by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The designation recognises the expertise the centre offers in tackling AMR.

Since its launch in November last year, the centre, which brings together expertise from three Defra agencies (the Centre for Environment, Fisheries...

Categories: Journal news

On-demand video consultations

23 May 2019

PET owners in the UK now have an additional way of seeking veterinary advice following the launch of FirstVet – a digital platform developed in Sweden, where it has been providing nearly 10,000 consultations per month.

FirstVet says that video chat consultations with qualified vets will be available via a smartphone, tablet or computer 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It describes the 10- to 15-minute consultations as ‘an easily accessible first port of call’ that could avoid unnecessary journeys to a traditional veterinary practice.

Vets involved in the service will offer advice and prescriptions if needed, as well as referral to the nearest appropriate practice should an animal require it.

Consultations will cost between £20 within normal working hours and £30 for evenings and weekends.

David Prien, co-founder and chief executive of FirstVet said: ‘Telemedicine has proven increasingly integral to human healthcare, and our animal friends...

Categories: Journal news

Veterinary products

23 May 2019

Royal Canin has launched its first non-nutritional product – a non-invasive, at-home test to detect blood in cat urine. Hematuria Detection comes in small pouches of white granules, which are sprinkled over clean cat litter and turn blue if there is any trace of blood in the urine. Owners are advised to contact their vet immediately if the granules change colour. Noting that haematuria can be an early sign of feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), the company says that the product will be available through vets as a follow-up tool for owners of cats that have a history of FLUTD.

Categories: Journal news

Practice news

23 May 2019

Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists in Ringwood, Hampshire, is now offering interventional coil embolisation of intrahepatic shunts. The minimally invasive technique was developed at the University of Giessen in Germany and avoids the need for stent placement within the caudal vena cava.

Categories: Journal news

Pour-on wormer for cattle

23 May 2019

A Pour-on doramectin-based endectocide with persistent activity against a large number of cattle parasites has been added to Norbrook’s cattle wormer range.

Taurador Pour-on is licensed for the treatment of gastrointestinal roundworms, lungworms, eyeworms, warbles, sucking and biting lice, mange mites and hornfly in cattle.

The anthelmintic is effective against Ostertagia ostertagi, Cooperia oncophora and Dictyocaulus viviparus, with persistent action against these parasites for 35 days, 28 days and 42 days, respectively.

It is available in 1 litre, 2.5 litre and 5 litre pack sizes, and an appropriate dosing applicator is also available.

Leigh Sullivan, Norbrook large animal product manager, said: ‘Internal parasites such as gutworms and lungworms can have a serious impact on animal health and welfare, as well as financial implications for farmers, so it is great to be able to provide another product to help reduce the economic impact of these parasites.’

Norbrook Laboratories (GB), 1...

Categories: Journal news

Flea and tick collar relaunched

23 May 2019

Up TO eight months’ flea and tick protection for dogs and cats is available without a prescription following the reclassification of Seresto.

Manufacturer Bayer is phasing out the existing Seresto POM-V product and replacing it with Seresto flea and tick control collar NFA-VPS.

It says this will allow vet practices to sell the new collar to walk-in clients, as long as the usual prescribing rules for NFA-VPS products are followed.

To support the launch, Bayer is investing in a ‘#8monthsoflove’ TV campaign that aims to educate cat and dog owners about the importance of protecting their pets from fleas and ticks, as well as the benefits offered by the Seresto flea and tick collar.

The company has also produced a range of materials for practice waiting rooms to help staff strike up conversations about preventive parasite control and help practices drive sales.

Hannah Watts, Bayer brand manager, said: ‘For...

Categories: Journal news

Antibiotics for horses, pigs and poultry

23 May 2019

Dechra Veterinary Products has added two new antibiotic preparations to its UK portfolio of products.

Tialin joins Dechra’s Solustab range of water-based medications for food-producing animals. Containing tiamulin as its active ingredient, it is licensed for the treatment of dysentery, colitis, ileitis, pneumonia and pleuropneumonia in pigs. It is also suitable for the treatment or metaphylaxis of chronic respiratory disease and infectious synovitis in chickens and infectious sinusitis and airsacculitis in turkeys.

Tialin is available as a 25 per cent solution (250 mg/ml) and as a 12.5 per cent solution (125 mg/ml) in 5 litre and 1 litre bottles.

Also released recently is Equibactin vet, an oral broad-spectrum antibiotic licensed for use in horses. Combining sulfadiazine and trimethoprim, Equibactin vet can be used to treat respiratory tract infections associated with Streptococcus species and Staphylococcus aureus; gastrointestinal infections associated with Escherichia coli; urogenital infections associated with beta-hemolytic streptococci; and wound infections...

Categories: Journal news


23 May 2019

Medivet has partnered with the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) to enable its vet nurses (RVNs) to access CPD courses on a range of topics, including emergency and critical care, diagnostic imaging and anaesthesia and analgesia. Each topic is covered in a six-week module delivered online by RVC lecturers using a blended learning approach. The company says the partnership will support the continued development of its RVNs by giving them access to state-of-the art CPD from recognised experts.

PR and marketing agency Companion Consultancy has launched a new training division to help practices support and train their staff in core skills. The new division will be headed by Emma Sharp, who has more than 20 years’ experience in sales and marketing. Courses on offer will include interviewing techniques, team management and performance development skills as well as sales-focused workshops and more general courses such as customer service skills and brand...

Categories: Journal news

Small animal disease surveillance 2019: respiratory disease, antibiotic prescription and canine infectious respiratory disease complex

23 May 2019

Respiratory disease, antibiotic prescription and canine infectious respiratory disease complex: report summary

  • Presentation for investigation and/or treatment of respiratory disease comprised 0.9 per cent, 1.2 per cent and 1.2 per cent of total dog, cat and rabbit consultations, respectively, between 1 January 2018 and 28 February 2019.

  • Coughing was the most frequently recorded respiratory disease clinical sign in dogs (68.0 per cent of cases), whereas sneezing was most common in cats (45.6 per cent of cases).

  • The proportion of respiratory disease consultations in which antibiotics authorised for systemic administration (including oral and injectable formulations) were prescribed decreased by approximately 25 per cent between April 2014 and February 2019.

  • Between January 2016 and February 2019, 14.5 per cent of 1602 canine and 4.9 per cent of 801 feline respiratory samples submitted to UK-based diagnostic laboratories tested positive for the presence of Bordetella bronchiseptica.

  • Syndromic...
    Categories: Journal news

    Of sheep, sentinels and surveillance: what is the new 'normal?

    23 May 2019

    What you need to know

  • Sentinel surveillance involves the repeated collection of information from the same selected sites or groups of animals to identify changes in the health status of a specified population over time.

  • In 2016, the median all-cause mortality in 33 Irish lowland flocks was 13.8 per cent, based on carcase submissions and the number of adult female sheep in January.

  • The measures of cause-specific mortality in these flocks, as determined by a standardised postmortem examination approach, provide a baseline for comparison with other data collection approaches and form a foundation for monitoring trends over time.

  • In the UK and Ireland, networks of veterinary investigation centres – also known as regional veterinary laboratories and disease surveillance centres – serve their local livestock communities by providing diagnostic expertise, experience and specialist knowledge, be that on a local and/or species basis.

    As approaches to...

    Categories: Journal news

    Descriptive analysis of ovine mortality in sentinel sheep flocks in Ireland

    23 May 2019

    Studies of sheep mortality or cause-specific mortality, in Ireland or internationally, are relatively scarce but are important in presenting baseline levels and changing trends of endemic disease. This study assessed sheep mortality and cause-specific mortality in 33 sentinel sheep flocks in Ireland.


    Sentinel flocks were requested to submit carcases of all sheep that died to the regional veterinary laboratories (RVLs) of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine during a calendar year (2016). Postmortem examinations were performed on 1247 submissions to Athlone, Kilkenny and Sligo RVLs.


    The median overall submission rate was 13.8 per cent (range 2.5 per cent–35.8 per cent) per adult female sheep in the flock in January 2016. The median fetal, perinatal, lamb and adult submissions per adult female sheep in the flock in January 2016 were 2.1 per cent (0.0 per cent–15.2 per cent), 3.5 per cent (0.0 per cent–20.0 per cent), 3.0 per cent (0.0 per cent–12.4 per cent) and 2.8 per cent (0.8 per cent–7.1 per cent), respectively. The frequency of detection of categories of postmortem diagnoses in fetuses, perinates, lambs and adults are presented.


    Comparisons with existing passive surveillance findings reflect some differences in the relative frequency of detection of certain categories of disease suggesting that sentinel flock surveillance could usefully supplement existing passive animal disease surveillance activities for ovine disease.

    Categories: Journal news

    The modern UK veterinary profession: photo-elicitation interviewing reveals that small animal and surgical images dominate

    23 May 2019

    More than 80 per cent of vets are employed in clinical practice but other veterinary roles are vital for society. However, even clinical practice does not seem to fulfil some modern graduates, and an increasing number of veterinarians are leaving the profession to pursue other careers. Research suggests that less than 50 per cent of veterinarians would choose to undertake their career path again, so the profession faces a ‘workforce crisis’. Through semi-structured photo-elicitation interviewing, this study has explored the image that students embarking on veterinary education have of the profession. The students’ dominant image of the profession, and their perception of the public image, was small animal practice. A large proportion (n=16, 80 per cent) of participants saw themselves working in clinical practice, with many (n=8, 40 per cent) aspiring to focus on surgery. The image of the veterinary profession has changed since the 1970s when the James Herriot mixed practice model was well known to the public. The dominant small animal and surgical image emerging demonstrates a need for members of the profession to work together to educate public and entrant perception, emphasising the diversity of veterinary careers and their value to society, to allow aspiring veterinary entrants to develop a range of career goals.

    Categories: Journal news

    Computed tomography measurements of intraocular structures of the feline eye

    23 May 2019

    Diagnostic imaging of the eye can be performed using ultrasonography, MRI or CT. This study describes the CT dimensions, volumes and radiodensities of presumed normal feline intraocular structures. Nineteen adult patients were included in this retrospective study. Fourteen males and five females were included, with domestic short hair (DSH) being the predominant breed. Length, volume and radiodensity values for the lens, anterior chamber, vitreous chamber and optic nerve were calculated as well as measurements of the optic nerve width. There was no significant correlation found on linear regression analysis comparing patient’s body weight with the various ocular measurements. Measurements of the lens, globe and optic nerve had significant differences (P<0.05) noted between the sexes, with males having increased values. These results may be skewed due to the large majority of male patients in the study. There was a weak correlation found between age and right eye (OD) optic nerve width, with an increase in the optic nerve width noted with increasing age. The findings of this study are a first step in establishing CT reference values for feline intraocular structure measurements.

    Categories: Journal news

    Small animal oncology: giving clients a more accurate prognosis

    23 May 2019

    There are many factors that influence an individual animal’s prognosis after a diagnosis of cancer. Important factors include the tumour’s histopathological type, the stage and grade of the tumour and its likely response to treatment. Some of this information comes from the pathologist or clinical pathologist, some from signalment and a good clinical examination at the time of diagnosis and some from diagnostic imaging. The prognosis for an individual case comes from interpreting these findings against the literature and understanding the limitations of the literature.

    Information from the pathologistTumour type

    There are over 200 different types of cancer. Identification of the tissue of origin will give a broad idea of the tumour’s likely behaviour. The most important considerations are first, whether the tumour type has the potential to spread and secondly, how locally invasive the primary tumour is likely to be. A non-invasive tumour that has a...

    Categories: Journal news

    Selected highlights from other journals

    23 May 2019
    Genetic improvement of hip-extended scores in dogs

    E. A. Leighton, D. Holle, D. N. Biery and others

    PLoS ONE (2019) 14

    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0212544

    • What did the research find?

    Estimates of heritability for the hip-extended score were 0.76, 0.72 and 0.41 in German shepherd dogs (GSDs), labrador retrievers (LRs) and golden retrievers (GRs), respectively. Among first-generation puppies, 34 per cent of GSDs, 55 per cent of LRs and 43 per cent of GRs had an excellent hip-extended score. After eight generations of selection, this improved to 93 per cent of GSDs, 94 per cent of LRs and 87 per cent of GRs. However, at least half of the dogs with an excellent hip-extended score remained susceptible to developing osteoarthritis.

    • How was it conducted?

    Records for purebred GSDs (n=5201), LRs (n=4987) and GRs (n=2308) born at The Seeing Eye, New Jersey, USA, from 1976 to 2013 were included in...

    Categories: Journal news

    Releasing grey squirrels into the wild

    23 May 2019

    I write in response to Craig Shuttleworth and colleagues (VR, 23 March 2019, vol 184, p 389).

    Grey squirrels are accused of causing significant timber loss and harming the ecosystem. It is indisputable that squirrels of any colour feed on trees. However, this is cosmetic only, it does not kill the tree except in the unusual circumstance where the squirrels create a ‘collar’ of stripped bark around the main trunk.

    Squirrels are essential for natural forest regeneration by caching seeds and nuts and leaving a proportion of them to grow into new trees. The Forestry Commission estimates that up to 5 per cent of trees damaged by squirrels may die, but timber yield will not be affected unless 30 per cent of the canopy is lost.1

    Grey squirrels are also accused of being the primary cause of red squirrel decline through competition for resources and spreading squirrelpox,...

    Categories: Journal news

    Allowing RVNs to inspect practices

    23 May 2019

    I write in response to Josh Loeb’s report ‘Calls to allow RVNs to inspect practices’ (VR, 18 May 2019, vol 184, p 607). While I don’t want to deprive Andrea Jeffrey of her ‘bottom dollar’, 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. I also object to Jo Dyer’s comment that nurses ‘tend to be the ones most closely involved in preparing for inspections and demonstrating compliance with the PSS standards in practice.’ This might be the case in some practices, but not all.

    There are some vets and other staff who are barely capable of administering their own time sheets let alone the PSS assessment

    The whole team should be involved in preparation and compliance, but this is rarely the case. However, to imply that RVNs bear the bulk of this...

    Categories: Journal news

    Payment in 'sweet treats?

    23 May 2019

    It seems unfair of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (BSAVA) president, Sue Paterson, to blame James Herriot for the current financial woes of the profession (VR, 27 April 2019, vol 184, p 514).

    Of greater relevance is the recent BVA and RCVS joint submission to the Migration Advisory Committee,1 although admittedly a less entertaining read.

    In it the BVA and RCVS demanded ‘no minimum earning cap for veterinary surgeons applying for work visas, on the basis that veterinary surgeons are "skilled professionals who may choose to work in the UK for reasons other than remuneration"’.

    I guess those reasons may include the ‘slices of cake and other sweet treats’ to which Paterson refers, but clearly contrast with her belief that ‘vets need to see themselves as highly trained professionals and charge accordingly’.

    Categories: Journal news

    Representing the profession

    23 May 2019

    I write following Hugh Davies’s letter (VR, 18 May 2019, vol 184, p 624) in which he expresses a view that to be tie-less is to insult ones hosts and a disgrace.

    I have known Simon Doherty (the current BVA president) for a number of years. Over that time I have known him to be congenial, knowledgeable, supportive, respectful, thoughtful, welcoming, warm, engaging and tenacious in his commitment to advocating on behalf of our profession.

    I have known many ties over my 41 years of life to date and the best I can say for them is that some were shiny.

    Anybody Doherty meets in his role as president is interested in meeting him ... not the piece of knotted silk that he may or may not choose to wear

    I would hope that as a profession of intelligent empaths we might see beyond a choice about dress...

    Categories: Journal news

    Death notice

    23 May 2019

    Richer On 7 March 2019, Mark Richer, BVetMed, CertSAM, MRCVS, of Fordingbridge, Hampshire. Mr Richer qualified from London in 1993.

    doi: 10.1136/vr.l3105

    Categories: Journal news