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Management group appoints new president

7 February 2020

The Veterinary Management Group (VMG) has appointed Rich Casey as its president for 2020/21. Casey (pictured) joined the VMG Board in 2017 and took over as president from Gillian Page during the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons/VMG congress last month. The focus of his year will be on helping members develop their leadership skills and confidence.

During his presidency, Casey says the VMG will start to build an evidence-base for veterinary leadership to inform its future plans, in addition to developing ‘innovative educational activities and resources to meet the rapidly changing needs of veterinary practice in the 2020s’.

Veterinary Management Group, Lychetts House, 13 Freeland Park, Wareham Road, Lychett Matravers, Poole, Dorset BH16 6FH, telephone 07000 782324. www.vetmg.com

Categories: Journal news

Medicines update

7 February 2020

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 2019 are listed in Table 1.

Of those products listed, the VMD draws attention to:

• Cosacthen 0.25 mg/ml solution for injection for dogs is the first product authorised containing the active substance tetracosactide, indicated for the evaluation of adrenocortical function in dogs.

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 www.gov.uk/check-animal-medicine-licensed

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

Categories: Journal news

What motivates women in the veterinary profession to pursue leadership positions?

7 February 2020

What you need to know

  • Bias is a subconscious belief. To make cultural improvements, bias needs to be called out at the business level.

  • Effective recruitment is a two-way process. Role satisfaction is unlikely to be achieved if employees do not feel they are contributing to the bigger picture.

  • For individual and business success, employees must be proactive in their contribution, and businesses should explore and support opportunities for employee development.

  • Line managers play a vital role in directing and building confidence. Training in bias recognition, reflective practice and communication will aid ongoing fair decision making and avoid assumptions.

  • Mentors and support networks can add to an individual’s confidence to accept new challenges.

  • Many women report being subjected to gender discrimination in the workplace, either in the form of inappropriate remarks, bias in recruitment and promotion decisions or inequality in remuneration. However,...

    Categories: Journal news

    Women in veterinary leadership positions: their motivations and enablers

    7 February 2020
    Background

    Despite now having higher numbers of women than men within the veterinary profession, there are substantially less women in leadership roles. Research, primarily in other professions, has focussed on barriers to leadership and sometimes overlooked facilitators and motivators. This study aimed to explore the motivating factors for female veterinary surgeons to become leaders, to identify potential strategies to increase female leadership.

    Methods

    Sixteen female leaders from academia, professional bodies, industry and clinical practice took part in semistructured interviews. Interviews were analysed using a thematic analysis approach.

    Results

    Two themes were developed: ‘Potential for positive influence’ and ‘Requirement of external enablers’. Participants wanted to influence change for themselves, including work-life balance and developing their role, and for others through a position of influence. They wanted to inspire and mentor the future generation of leaders. External enablers allowed this transition to occur, including formal mentors and informal support systems, opportunities for growth and increased responsibility, and leadership training.

    Conclusion

    Potential strategies to increase female leaders include the promotion of female role models, increasing awareness of training and increasing work flexibility. The profession could improve its support of the next generation of leaders and celebrate the successful female leaders we already possess.

    Categories: Journal news

    Trends in Salmonella serovars and antimicrobial resistance in pigs and poultry in Northern Ireland between 1997 and 2016

    7 February 2020
    Background

    In the EU, salmonellosis is the second most commonly reported zoonosis. This pattern is reflected in Northern Ireland. Historically, foodborne salmonellosis has largely been attributed to the consumption of poultry products, and as such a number of legislative measures have been introduced by the EC. These policies focus mainly on five target Salmonella serovars.

    Methods

    Here the authors present a descriptive analysis of 20 years of data from the Northern Ireland National Reference Laboratory for Salmonella.

    Results

    The study’s results show, for poultry submissions, a large decrease in the detection of four of the five targeted Salmonella serovars over the study period, with the fifth serovar undetected throughout the study. Additionally, there was an increase in the detection of a number of other non-regulated serovars. In pigs, S Typhimurium, which is among the most common causes of human salmonellosis, was the most commonly isolated serovar. When comparing levels of antimicrobial resistance in S Typhimurium between livestock groups, the authors found a decrease over time in poultry, but an increase in pigs, highlighting the potential significance of pigs in addressing public health concerns.

    Conclusion

    The authors conclude that continued surveillance is important in the assessment of control measures at a national and transnational scale.

    Categories: Journal news

    Development of a clinical tool to aid endotracheal tube size selection in dogs

    7 February 2020
    Objective

    To identify phenotypic parameters correlating with the inner tracheal diameter (ITD) and endotracheal tube size (ETS) in adult dogs and to develop a chart for ETS estimation.

    Methods

    Five-hundred and forty-four adult dogs; 100 dogs were enrolled prospectively and 444 dogs retrospectively. Different phenotypic parameters, the ITD on latero-lateral radiography and ETS were prospectively measured in dogs that underwent general anaesthesia. The parameter correlated best with the ITD was used to develop a graphic chart for ETS estimation. The accuracy of this chart was then retrospectively tested.

    Results

    In prospective cohort, the correlation between body size and body mass and ITD (r=0.85 and r=0.84) was good, and the highest correlation observed between ETS and body mass (rs=0.92, P<0.001). In the retrospective assessment, the mean difference between the predicted and used ETS was 0.0 (sd±0.84) for mesocephalic/dolicocephalic (MDC) dogs, showing high accuracy, but for brachycephalic dogs, it was 1.3 (sd±0.98).

    Conclusion

    A graphic chart for ETS selection in dogs, using body mass, was designed in this study and was demonstrated to be accurate for ETS prediction in MDC dogs but not in brachycephalic dogs.

    Categories: Journal news

    Selected highlights from other journals

    7 February 2020
    Is colic associated with changes in the equine colonic microbiome?

    S. E. Salem, T. W. Maddox, P. Antczak and others

    BMC Veterinary Research (2019) 15

    doi: 10.1186/s12917-019-2205-1

    • What did the research find?

    In horses that were surgically treated for colic, colonic samples had reduced species richness compared with concurrent faecal samples. Alpha and beta diversity differed significantly between the faecal and colonic microbiota, with 304 significantly differentially abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) identified. There were no significant differences in the alpha and beta diversity of faecal microbiota between colic and control horses at admission.

    • How was it conducted?

    Nine horses admitted for colic surgery and five control horses admitted for orthopaedic surgery were included in the study. Faecal samples were collected from all horses on admission, during hospitalisation and for 12 weeks after discharge. Colonic content samples were also collected during colic surgery. Bacterial DNA was extracted...

    Categories: Journal news

    Standard of proof at RCVS disciplinary hearings

    7 February 2020

    We are sure that the profession is grateful to RCVS president, Niall Connell, for the letter clarifying the potential changes to the its disciplinary process (VR, 1 February 2020, vol 186, p 126), and has expressed a collective sigh of relief that no change in the standard of proof for disciplinary hearings is imminent. The news article that the college is actively considering downgrading the standard of proof from the criminal standard to the balance of probabilities (VR, 18 January 2020, vol 186, p 43) has caused widespread concern and anguish.

    The RCVS has made a number of excellent improvements to its disciplinary process in recent years particularly with respect to the workings of the disciplinary committee (DC) and has achieved a gold standard for others to emulate. On the negative side, there are still long delays in resolving the 98 per cent of complaints that do not involve...

    Categories: Journal news

    Shortage of lactating cow tubes in the UK

    7 February 2020

    The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) wishes to raise awareness among the veterinary profession regarding issues concerning reduced availability of lactating cow tubes in the UK.

    The situation is a result of manufacturing and supply issues, compounded by a recently announced product recall. Not all marketing authorisation holders (MAHs) are affected but those that need to are actively seeking solutions to the problem, with the aim of resupplying the market as soon as possible in order to ensure that the animal health and welfare needs of the national dairy herd are met.

    MAHs, with products currently unavailable, do not have firm dates for re-supply. Unaffected suppliers have taken steps to increase supply in order to meet the market’s needs. NOAH encourage veterinary surgeons to contact their MAHs representative to ascertain product availability and to help identify potential alternatives.

    Categories: Journal news

    Niall Connell, president of the RCVS, responds

    7 February 2020

    As the signatories to this letter will know through their many years of combined experience, RCVS council members continue to have the fundamentally important responsibility to make decisions based on the available evidence at the time, when in possession of all relevant facts and expert (but not necessarily veterinary) opinion, and following robust and reasoned discussion of all the options.

    My previous letter (VR, 1 February 2020, vol 186, p 126) was deliberately circumspect in places due not to a preference for ‘unsupported opinion’, but precisely because council has asked for more evidence and facts in order to inform its discussions and support any subsequent decisions.

    In my view, it is not so much the Vet Record news report (VR, 18 January 2020, vol 186, p 43) itself that has caused ‘widespread concern and anguish’ but how it has then been picked up by some and driven across social...

    Categories: Journal news

    Responsible use of moxidectin in sheep

    7 February 2020

    SCOPS (sustainable control of parasites in sheep) and Zoetis held a joint workshop in September 2019 to discuss how to advise prescribers and sheep farmers on the use of moxidectin, and prioritising the 2 per cent injectable formulation. This was in response to concerns regarding reports of potential overuse, in particular, as a treatment for ewes at lambing, coupled with an increase in prevalence of moxidectin resistance in the UK.

    The sheep industry must use moxidectin responsibly

    It was agreed that to preserve the efficacy of this molecule, both as an anthelmintic and as a treatment for sheep scab, the sheep industry must use moxidectin responsibly.

    The following outlines the responsible use of moxidectin, in accordance with the SCOPS principles:

  • If ewes are treated with moxidectin, some must be left untreated;

  • Moxidectin 2 per cent should not be used more than once in any flock in...

  • Categories: Journal news

    The contribution of methane to warming

    7 February 2020

    An article in Vet Record argued that UK agriculture must take its fair share of the burden for reducing global warming (VR, 18 January 2020, vol 186, p 71). I agree. But the idea that ruminant livestock should be unfairly targeted has surely passed its use-by-date?

    Science shows that the warming impact of ruminant methane is essentially historic – and no other sector is being asked to account for past emissions.

    Furthermore, unlike fossil fuel emissions – which must fall to zero by 2050 – biological methane emissions can be warming neutral if they reduce by only 10 per cent over the same period. This is the simple conclusion of climate scientists at the University of Oxford,1, 2 led by Myles Allen, a coordinating lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on 1.5 degrees.

    In my new podcast, Farm Gate (

    Categories: Journal news

    Death notices

    7 February 2020

    Allsup On 25 January 2020, Thomas Noel Allsup, BVM&S, DVSM, BA, MRCVS, of Worcester, Worcestershire. Dr Allsup qualified from Edinburgh in 1960.

    doi: 10.1136/vr.m432

    Raffan On 20 January 2020, Elizabeth Ann Raffan (nee Copland), MRCVS, of Turriff, Aberdeenshire. Mrs Raffan qualified from Edinburgh in 1943.

    doi: 10.1136/vr.m434

    Categories: Journal news

    Running towards a better balance

    7 February 2020

    Nat Scroggie gave a whole host of hobbies a try during her university years, hoping to discover something which would bolster her wellbeing. As she tells Claire Read, she found it in running – even if this now two-time marathon runner still insists she’s not sporty.

    Categories: Journal news

    Go to work on - or come home to - an egg

    7 February 2020

    If the answer to ‘how do you like your eggs?’ is ‘scrambled, fast and resulting in minimal washing up’, this easy recipe might just do the trick. You can add further ingredients to make the result more like an omelette – a quick and easy stomach filler after a long day in practice.

    Categories: Journal news

    Making time for hobbies

    7 February 2020

    Finding space for hobbies amid the often stressful unpredictability of veterinary practice is a challenge. But Nat Scroggie has found some techniques to ensure she finds time in her life for running – and most will work for any pastime you want to make work. Claire Read reports.

    Categories: Journal news

    Turning the wrongs into rights

    7 February 2020

    Mistakes in practice can really have a negative impact on wellbeing. An error can prey on the mind, turning supposed relaxation time into rumination time. Here, Catherine Oxtoby offers a method of dealing with errors in a more productive and healthier way.

    Categories: Journal news

    Having an impact on improving practice

    30 January 2020

    Deputy head nurse Katie Whalley applied for and won the first MSD Animal Health Veterinary Nurse Research Bursary, which is supporting her research into improving practice hygiene.

    Categories: Journal news

    Pet bereavement courses

    30 January 2020

    Pet charity, the Blue Cross’ recognises that grieving for the loss of a pet, whether through death, parting or enforced separation, can be a sad and difficult experience. Its Pet Bereavement Service is running two one-day regional training workshops on pet bereavement and grief counselling. These events provide an opportunity for veterinary staff to talk face-to-face with the charity’s training officers who can offer a greater understanding of pet bereavement and client support. They can also answer and discuss specific bereavement questions. The first event is being held in Exeter, Devon, on Thursday 13 February, and the second will be held on Wednesday 18 March in Manchester. To book, or get more information, call Lynn Ballard 01993 867216 or visit www.bluecross.org.uk

    Categories: Journal news

    There is still more work to do here

    30 January 2020

    In some respects the veterinary profession has moved on a huge amount in terms of the equality and inclusion agenda, but there is more to do.

    Illustrating the point during a panel session at the Society for Practising Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Management Group conference, Susan Dawson, dean of Liverpool university’s veterinary school, gave examples of recruitment adverts from the 1980s, which asked for ‘male vets only’ and specified that they must be married. This demonstrated how far things have changed. However, she said it was also true that veterinary teams today could appear ‘undiverse’, and the profession needed to encourage difference and thought diversity.

    Those on the panel gave advice on how to be more inclusive. Navaratnam Partheeban, founder of the British Veterinary Ethnicity and Diversity Society, highlighted questions that were often asked of black, Asian and minority ethnic people that could make them feel unwelcome, such as...

    Categories: Journal news