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To rescue or not to rescue?

7 February 2019

If proposed regulations are written into law, it will mean alien wildlife species will no longer be allowed in rescue centres. Georgina Mills explains

Categories: Journal news

In brief

7 February 2019
Discrimination in the vet profession

BVA is seeking feedback on incidents of discrimination

The BVA has launched a questionnaire to gather information on incidents of discrimination in the veterinary professions.

The association is seeking anonymous feedback from all vet professionals regarding events where they have witnessed discrimination or felt discriminated against.

The survey includes questions about discriminatory events involving the nine protected characteristics under the Equality Act and other forms of discrimination which might not fit under these characteristics (eg, weight, socioeconomic background).

It was developed with the support of the British Veterinary Ethnicity and Diversity Society and British Veterinary LGBT+.

The questionnaire is open until 2 March and can be found at

Scotland consults on animal welfare

The Scottish government has opened a consultation to seek views on proposals to strengthen the enforcement of animal welfare legislation.

It is proposing increasing the penalties...

Categories: Journal news

Virtual consultations for all practices

7 February 2019

Vet practices could offer existing clients the option of having a virtual consultation using a mobile app created by the software developers at the Virtual Vet Group (VVG).

Telemedicine could allow them the ability to offer a consultation with a qualified vet at any time of the day and night.

George Kyriacou, VVG operations director said: ‘Virtual consultations are becoming more and more popular with pet owners who are not really sure if they need to see a vet and would simply like some reassurance. However, in addition to this, the option of having a convenient consultation with your own trusted vet is the holy grail’.

The VVG platform allows practices to offer the convenience of a virtual consultation as an option alongside their current arrangements.

Simon Power, commercial manager at Vets One referrals in Crimplesham, Norfolk, said: ‘Since adopting the system we have had a number of virtual...

Categories: Journal news

Keeping Britains pets healthy

7 February 2019

A set of guidelines on how to improve preventive healthcare consultations has been developed by MSD Animal Health.

Keeping Britain’s Pets Healthy champions the role of each member of the vet practice team in educating and engaging pet owners. It’s the first step towards emphasising the importance of an annual preventative health visit, the company says.

John Helps, senior technical manager at MSD Animal Health, said: ‘They support the partnership between the practice and its clients around the health and welfare of their pets and the significant contribution vaccines and parasiticides make to pet health and welfare’.

The guidelines have been created as a result of research carried out in partnership with the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Nottingham.

Categories: Journal news


7 February 2019

Pet supplements company Vetark Products has been bought by Italian pharmaceuticals group Candioli Srl. The acquisition sees Candioli expand into the UK market, which it says will bring positive changes to the company’s product portfolio, international distribution and technical support. Vetark will continue to operate out of its Winchester office under its current name.

Mars Petcare has become a diamond partner of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA). Individual divisions of Mars Petcare will support the work of four of the association’s key clinical committees. The global nutrition committee will be supported by Royal Canin; the animal wellness and welfare committee will be supported by Mars Petcare; the hereditary disease committee will be supported by Wisdom Health, and the WSAVA One Health committee will be supported by Mars Petcare.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition has committed to become a gold partner of WSAVA. It will support the association’s global nutrition...

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Spreading the cost of routine pet care

7 February 2019

A new pet health plan has been launched to help pet owners spread the cost of routine pet health care.

Vetsure Pet Insurance’s pet health plan will ensure that pets receive the necessary preventive healthcare they require throughout the year, the company says.

Practices can determine the price they want to charge for the plans and implement price changes when they see fit. They can also be flexible about choosing what to include in their plans.

Clients who take out a pet health plan will automatically receive a five per cent discount on their Vetsure pet insurance premium either at renewal or when they take out a new policy.

The company’s customer service team handles direct debits and can sell plans on behalf of practices. Practices wanting more information or that are interested in starting a Pet Health Plan, or those that would like to transfer from their existing...

Categories: Journal news

Genomic testing puts vets at the forefront of cattle herd health management

7 February 2019

A test that helps vets provide strategic breeding and herd management advice to their farm clients is now available.

CLARIFIDE offers testing of pure-bred cattle from six breeds – Holstein, British Friesian, Guernsey, Jersey, Ayrshire and brown Swiss. It can determine which animals will be most profitable, Zoetis says. Testing involves taking a small hair or tissue sample, which is then sent to the USA for analysis. The results are accessible through an online analysis tool called SearchPoint that will help farmers determine which animals will be most profitable on their farm.

Offering it as a service allows vets to help their clients improve heifer management, make better breeding decisions and improve cash flow by only breeding from the best individuals in a herd. Training is available to equip vets with the resources to set herd-specific breeding objectives, interpret genetic evaluation data and ensure the productivity of a client’s...

Categories: Journal news

Vet practice

7 February 2019

Mixed practice West Bar Veterinary Hospital (West Bar Vets) has added the Siemens Healthineers Acuson P500 Ultrasound Solution to its diagnostic equipment. The system was purchased through Siemens Financial Services and offers increased processing speeds and enhanced image quality with exclusive motion correction.

Scarsdale Vets is opening three new practices in Alfreton, Langley Mill and Wollaton in March and April. The practices will function independently of the group’s other first-opinion practices and will be supported by the out-of-hours service at Pride Veterinary Centre in Derby.

Categories: Journal news

Treatment for seizures and epilepsy in dogs

7 February 2019

A bioequivalent phenobarbital formulation for treating canine epilepsy is now available.

TVM UK has launched Soliphen, a user-friendly tablet, 60 mg phenobarbital tablet with an affordable price tag.

Tablets are divisible into 15 mg increments to enable accurate dosing and have a liver flavour to help with dosing compliance.

Soliphen has proven bioequivalence to the market leading brand, which the company says is a first for a phenobarbital generic.

Vet William Peel, product manager said: ‘Phenobarbital is the only veterinary licensed drug for use in idiopathic and structural epilepsy, offering an improvement in seizure frequency and benefitting a large proportion of epileptic dogs. With Soliphen, we have developed a cost-effective, easier and more accurate solution.’

Soliphen is part of TVM UK’s neurology range and is supported by a range of materials for use in practice, such as owner booklets on epilepsy and in-practice guidelines for the management of status...

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Medicines update

7 February 2019

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 December 2018 are listed in Table 1.

Table 1 also indicates where a public assessment report should become available for a product. Where available, links to these reports are accessible by clicking on the relevant product on the VMD’s Product Information Database

The European Medicines Agency publishes European Public Assessment Reports for every veterinary medicine that is authorised through a centralised procedure. Links to these reports are accessible at

There may be a delay between the issuing of a marketing authorisation to a company and the product being placed on the market.

Changes to marketing authorisationsFood-producing animals

(1) Rhiniseng...

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Building confidence in independent practice

7 February 2019

Never short of an opinion, Andrew Curwen is bullish about the future of independent vet businesses. The chief executive serving XLVets tells Adele Waters why it’s time to start shouting about the benefits of collaboration.

Categories: Journal news

Salmonella Dublin associated with multiple abortions in cattle

7 February 2019

SRUC VS disease Surveillance headlines, October 2018

  • Abortion due to Salmonella enterica serovar Dublin in multiple dairy herds.

  • Histophilus somni septicaemia and laryngitis in a Charolais cross heifer.

  • Spinal cord lymphoma in a 26-month-old Charolais cross bullock.

  • Proliferative rhinitis due to Salmonella enterica subspecies diarizonae in a beltex tup.

  • Urethral obstruction and uroperitoneum in a boar.

  • The mean temperature in Scotland in October 2018 was 0.1°C above the 1981 to 2010 average. It was a dry month in the south but quite wet in the north west. Overall, rainfall was 93 per cent of average and sunshine was 111 per cent of average.

    CattleToxic conditions

    Perth considered Quercus species (oak) toxicity to be the cause of death of a six-month-old Simmental bullock that was reported to be the only loss from a group of 50 calves at grass.

    The intestinal contents were...

    Categories: Journal news

    Ongoing challenges posed by the infection dynamics of porcine circovirus 2

    7 February 2019

    In the mid-1990s, porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) was identified as the causative agent of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS).1,2 The virus can be transmitted horizontally by all porcine excretions and secretions, and can also be transmitted vertically.3,4

    PCV2 is currently subdivided into six genotypes, named PCV2a–PCV2f, based upon specific nucleotide sequences in ORF2 coding for the viral capsid protein.5-7 PCV2a was the dominant genotype until 2004, with PCV2b becoming the most frequently detected genotype in subsequent years.8 In 2010, a new genotype was detected in China and North America; which was first classified as mutant PCV2b and later as PCV2d.5,9,10 This genotype is also circulating in Europe, with high detection rates in pigs from vaccinated herds.11 Because of this finding, PCV2d was thought to be more virulent...

    Categories: Journal news

    Cross-sectional study on viraemia and shedding of porcine circovirus type 2 in a subclinically infected multiplier sow herd

    7 February 2019

    Vertical and horizontal transmission of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) plays an important role for the spread of PCV2 within piglet-producing farms and following production steps. Further information is crucial to learn about the principles of PCV2 circulation among sows in piglet-producing farms to improve preventive healthcare concerning porcine circovirus diseases (PCVD) in downstream production steps. The present study was conducted as a cross-sectional study in a 400 sow multiplier herd in Germany with no PCV2 vaccination. Blood, faeces and saliva of the sows in all stages of production were tested for PCV2-DNA by real-time PCR. Results were analysed under respect of the parity and stage of production of the sows. PCV2-DNA in faeces or saliva was observed especially in young sows. Highest rates of viraemia in productive sows were found in the early stages of pregnancy. The results revealed that particularly gilts from the quarantine and rearing area and sows up to the second parity play a major role for the spread of PCV2 and thus for the maintenance of PCV2 infection in sow herds. Furthermore, the stage of production had a significant influence on the detection rate of PCV2-DNA in serum, saliva or faeces of the sows.

    Categories: Journal news

    Cats with IRIS stage 1 and 2 chronic kidney disease maintain body weight and lean muscle mass when fed food having increased caloric density, and enhanced concentrations of carnitine and essential amino acids

    7 February 2019

    A prospective, randomised, 6-month feeding trial was performed in 28 adult cats with International Renal Interest Society (IRIS) stage 1 and 2 chronic kidney disease (CKD). All cats were assigned to either a control food: Royal Canin Renal Support A Feline, dry or a test food: Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Feline with chicken, dry. Food intake was recorded daily; body weight weekly; and serum, urine, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and body condition assessments were performed at 0, 1, 3 and 6 months. Twenty cats (9 control, 11 test group) completed the study according to protocol. Cats consuming control food had significant loss of body weight (n=14; mean, –13.0 per cent, P<0.0001) and lean body mass (LBM; mean, –11.1 per cent, P<0.0001) over the 6-month feeding period, whereas cats consuming test food had a significant increase in body weight (n=14; mean, 5.8 per cent, P=0.003) and no change in LBM (P=0.42). Cats consumed 23 per cent more calories (P=0.05) when fed test food (mean, 207.1 kcal/day) compared with cats fed control food (mean, 168.0 kcal/day). Serum creatinine increased at a faster rate (P=0.0004) in cats consuming control food compared with cats consuming test food. Cats consuming test food had increased caloric and essential amino acid intake, increased body weight, stable biomarkers of kidney function and maintained LBM compared with cats consuming control food.

    Categories: Journal news

    Taenia multiceps coenurosis in Tanzania: a major and under-recognised livestock disease problem in pastoral communities

    7 February 2019


    A neurological syndrome of small ruminants, known locally as ‘ormilo’, has been reported among pastoralist livestock keepers in Tanzania. This study was carried out in four affected pastoral communities to determine the prevalence and associated risk factors, characterise the clinical signs and investigate the aetiology of the syndrome. Questionnaires were administered at all households (n=480) within four study villages. Overall, 94 per cent of households reported at least one case in the previous 12 months. By village, the individual-level 12-month period prevalence ranged from 11 per cent to 34 per cent, equivalent to about 10,000 small ruminants across the four villages. Thirty-eight households were randomly selected for further investigation. Proprioceptive deficits and weakness were the most commonly observed clinical signs in affected animals. Brain and spinal cord cysts consistent with Taenia multiceps infection were detected in 32 (82 per cent) of 39 affected animals selected for postmortem examination. Feeding small ruminant brains to dogs was identified as an important risk factor for the syndrome, even in households that did not own dogs. This study confirms cerebral coenurosis as a major cause of small ruminant neurological disease in northern Tanzania and highlights the urgent need for further investigation to quantify the disease burden and to identify and implement control measures.

    Categories: Journal news

    Selected highlights from other journals

    7 February 2019
    Relationship between sagittal hoof conformation and hindlimb lameness in horses

    L. Pezzanite, L. Bass, C. Kawcak and others

    Equine Veterinary Journal (2018)

    doi: 10.1111/evj.13050

    • What did the research find?

    The mean plantar angle of the distal phalanx (PADP) was significantly smaller in lame horses than in the non-lame controls. Horses with hindlimb lameness localised to the distal tarsus and proximal metatarsus, but not the stifle, were more likely to have a negative to neutral PADP.

    • How was it conducted?

    Eighty client-owned horses with hindlimb lameness and 80 horses with no detectable hindlimb lameness were enrolled in this study. Lameness cases were divided based on location (stifle, tarsus, proximal metatarsus and other sites), as determined by diagnostic perineural or intrasynovial analgesia. Lateromedial radiographs were performed on the hind hooves and the PADP was determined.

    • Why is it important?

    While veterinarians are becoming more aware of the role...

    Categories: Journal news

    Racism in the vet profession

    7 February 2019

    I commend Vet Record on having an open discussion on racism in the profession (VR, 19 January 2019, vol 184, pp 73, 81-84). As a black, Asian, or minority ethnic group (BAME), UK graduate, vet who has been in the profession over 20 years, I have often asked how we can defend the profession on the charge of being a racist profession.

    The examples provided by the three vets in the case studies are, at best, mellow in comparison to what I have experienced. I have worked in a number of areas from government departments, private practice and charities over my career. From personal experience, I would say some areas of the profession are even today undefendable as being racist.

    It is hugely disappointing that the RCVS does not have more up-to-date information. If we look at comparable professions, such as medicine and law, the proportion of BAME people...

    Categories: Journal news

    BVA junior vice president, Daniella Dos Santos, responds

    7 February 2019

    We fully agree with this author that it was good to see an open discussion about racism in the veterinary profession. Our profession should be open, welcoming and supportive of everyone; however, the accounts in Vet Record and other recent reports make it clear that discrimination of all kinds is still an issue. We were particularly dismayed to hear that some colleagues have faced a backlash when talking about their experiences of discrimination. This is completely unacceptable and we’d recommend that any BVA members who feel they need legal advice on this issue to consider contacting our legal helpline.

    In order to better understand these issues we’ve launched a questionnaire. We’re seeking anonymous feedback from vets, vet nurses, students and other veterinary professionals regarding incidents where they have witnessed any kind of discrimination or felt discriminated against. We’re then planning to gather quantitative data on discrimination in our spring...

    Categories: Journal news

    RCVS President, Amanda Boag, responds

    7 February 2019

    The RCVS is both sorry and disappointed to hear about your anonymous correspondent’s experiences of racism and discrimination within the veterinary profession from both the public and veterinary colleagues. We would like to take this opportunity to remind all members of the profession that they can talk to our professional conduct team should they wish to discuss or report unprofessional behaviour of any sort by a colleague. Any criminal matters should be reported to the local police force.

    Responding specifically to the comment on the College’s lack of data on ethnicity within the profession, we do hold data on the ethnicity of close to three-quarters of our members, as this is collected on a voluntary basis when a veterinary surgeon renews their registration. Currently, just under 19,000 UK-practising veterinary surgeons have voluntarily shared their ethnicity with us (Table 1).

    On the broader point, as an organisation we...

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