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Corporate appoints CEO from retail sector

21 February 2020

Stephen Clarke, former chief executive of WH Smith (pictured right), has been appointed chief executive (CEO) of IVC Evidensia. The current CEO, David Hillier, will step down in April, but will remain on the board as a non-executive director and investor.

Hillier said he took the decision to scale back his commitments to allow him to spend more time with his family. He explained: ‘I have given this decision a great deal of thought and have discussed this at length with our board, our investors and the senior management team. This felt like the right time to make the change. We are currently experiencing record-breaking levels of organic growth across the group and financial performance is ahead of budget...I am delighted that Stephen Clarke will take the group forward, and I look forward to supporting the group in my capacity as non-executive director.’

IVC Evidensia has grown from 20...

Categories: Journal news

Gastrointestinal support for dogs

21 February 2020

A gastrointestinal support product developed from the intestinal bacteria of healthy dogs is now available.

Containing three live strains of canine-specific Lactobacillus bacteria, Procanicare can maintain balance in the microbiome of dogs, particularly when dysbiosis is a risk, says York-based veterinary products company Animalcare. It is supplying this product exclusively to the veterinary profession.

Procanicare comes as a powder that can be sprinkled on food or dissolved in liquid, for situations where the gastrointestinal microbiota can become unstable, such as following antibiotic use and in stressful situations such as travelling and kennelling. It can also be used at times when supporting the intestinal microbiome is particularly important, such as during pregnancy and lactation. Different dogs and situations will require gastrointestinal support for different periods of time, the company says.

It adds that there is increasing evidence of the important role of the intestinal microbiome across the body, and says...

Categories: Journal news

Business

21 February 2020

Vetoquinol has agreed terms to acquire the European Economic Area and UK rights to the Profender and Drontal product families from Elanco Animal Health. This acquisition will be financed through a combination of available cash and committed financing from Vetoquinol banking partners for $140 million in an all-cash deal subject to customary post-closing adjustments. The deal is expected to close by mid-year 2020.

Categories: Journal news

Vet practices

21 February 2020

Millennium Veterinary Practice, a long-established independent small animal practice in Braintree, has installed a new CT scanner. The practice invested £200,000 in the new Siemens 16-slice scanner, which it says has already proved to be an invaluable diagnostic tool.

Abbey Veterinary Centre has moved into a building formerly used by Vets4Pets at Rockfield Road in Monmouth. The new premises offer improved facilities for clients and their pets, including better parking. The practice has three consulting rooms, and separate cat and dog wards.

Arundell Vets in Doncaster is transforming a unit at the Kirk Sandall shopping mall in Doncaster into a modern veterinary practice at a cost of £750,000. The facility will have a digital imaging suite with ultrasound and x-ray, a dental room and two operating theatres. The new site will be the main branch and its Bennetthorpe and Toll Bar surgeries will be satellite branches.

Categories: Journal news

Inhaler for asthmatic horses

21 February 2020

Horses with severe equine asthma can benefit from a new therapy, developed in collaboration with the human pharmaceutical industry.

Boehringer Ingelheim has announced that the European Commission has granted marketing authorisation for its new Aservo EquiHaler.

The device has a nostril adapter that fits inside the nostril of the horse, allowing them to inhale the medicated mist, and an ergonomic handle and dosing lever for ease of user handling. The active ingredient is the prodrug ciclesonide – a corticosteroid that is activated directly in the lung, reducing lower airway inflammation associated with severe equine asthma.

The approval marks an industry first in equine medicine, despite that fact that inhaled therapies for the treatment of asthma are common in human health.

The Aservo EquiHaler represents the culmination of long-term collaboration between the company’s human pharmaceutical and animal health research and development groups. The new inhaler uses ‘soft mist’ technology that...

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Vet tech services to be rolled out nationwide

21 February 2020

VetPartners has announced that it will expand its technical services to all of its 28 farm practices by the end of the year.

Speaking at the Dairy Tech event earlier this month, farm director Ian Cure said: ‘Farm veterinary services increasingly focus on a preventive approach and vets need to understand farm businesses and work with farmers to identify improvements to animal health and welfare that can boost productivity.’

As vet technicians (vet techs) carry out routine tasks, such as disbudding, selective dry cow therapy and transition checks, they often spend more time on farms than vets and can help build up a full picture of what’s going on on-farm.

Natalie Parker, vet tech development coordinator at LLM Farm Vets (pictured), says the new service will relieve pressure on vets, while ensuring routine procedures are carried out effectively and to the highest possible standard. She said: ‘The vet tech...

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Products

21 February 2020

The Kennel Club and Weatherbys have introduced CombiBreed health test packages – health testing to help breeders eradicate genetic disorders in dogs – for a number of dog breeds including the giant schnauzer, Irish setter, Jack Russell terrier, Parson Russell terrier, Shetland sheepdog, Spanish water dog, standard poodle and Tibetan terrier. www.thekennelclub.org.uk/combibreed

Virbac has launched Evicto, a selamectin-based flea and worm protection product licensed for use in pregnant and lactating bitches and queens, and puppies and kittens from six weeks of age. It can also help to control environmental flea infestations, the company says. Evicto also treats ear mites, biting lice, intestinal roundworms, sarcoptic mange in dogs and intestinal hookworms in cats, and can be used to prevent heartworm disease with monthly administration.

Supplier of exotic animal nutrition Vetark Products has updated its branding following the release of its new logo last year. The striking new images,...

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Acute fasciolosis causes deaths of ewes in Northern Ireland

21 February 2020

Northern ireland disease surveillance headlines, October to december 2019

  • Emphysematous abomasitis in calves

  • Pneumonia due to Mycoplasma bovis in calves

  • Yersiniosis in heifers

  • Urolithiasis in lambs

  • Dosing gun injury in lambs

  • Acute fasciolosis in ewes

  • CattleRespiratory diseases

    Respiratory disease was identified in 77 cattle postmortem submissions between October and December 2019. The most common pathogens identified included Mycoplasma bovis (24 cases), bovine respiratory syncytial virus (16 cases), Pasteurella multocida (13 cases), Mannheimia haemolytica (13 cases), lungworm (10 cases), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) (five cases) and Trueperella pyogenes (four cases).

    Mycoplasma bovis infection

    A one-month-old Friesian calf in poor condition died and was presented for postmortem examination. There was ringworm and severe pediculosis with very large numbers of the sucking louse Linognathus species present. There was significant pneumonia. Gross and microscopic findings were highly suggestive of pneumonia due to M bovis.

    On...

    Categories: Journal news

    Making the transition to practice: building competence, confidence and trust

    21 February 2020

    The transition from undergraduate veterinary student to qualified, practicing clinician has long been recognised as a challenging time.1-8 Graduates have to negotiate the move from the relative safety of a learning environment to the more complex reality of practice, where errors can be, very literally, a matter of life or death.1,9 During this period, substantial learning must occur in order for graduates to develop their practical skills and clinical reasoning to the level required for the day-to-day functioning of being a vet.5,8

    The efficiency of pattern recognition, heuristics and surgical autopilot are not available to the recent graduate, and so, akin to the first few months of learning to drive a car, constant conscious thought is required.10 Combining these factors with the standards...

    Categories: Journal news

    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.

    Categories: Journal news

    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...

    Categories: Journal news

    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...

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