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Little association between birth weight and health of preweaned dairy calves

11 April 2019

Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) may result in reduced birthweight and detrimental physiological alterations in neonates. This prospective cohort study was designed to assess if there exists an association between birthweight of dairy calves and incidence of bovine respiratory disease (BRD), neonatal calf diarrhoea (NCD) or mortality during the pre-weaning period. Calves (n=476) on 3 farms in South West England were weighed at birth. Farmers kept records of treatments for NCD and BRD and calves were assessed weekly using clinical scoring systems (Wisconsin Calf Health Scores, California Calf Health Scores and Faeces Scores). Missing data were present in several variables. Multiple imputation coupled with generalised estimating equations (MI-GEE analysis) was employed to analyse associations between several calf factors, including birthweight, and probability of a case of BRD or NCD. Associations between calf factors and mortality were assessed using multiple logistic regression. Associations between birthweight and disease incidence were scarce. Birthweight was associated with odds of a positive Faeces Score on one farm only in the MI-GEE analysis (O.R. 1.03, 95% C.I. 1.0005–1.05, P=0.046). Birthweight was not associated with probability of mortality. This research suggests that birthweight, and therefore IUGR, is not associated with health of pre-weaned dairy calves.

Categories: Journal news

Comparison of macroscopic resorption time for a self-locking device and suture material in ovarian pedicle ligation in dogs

11 April 2019

A resorbable self-locking device (LigaTie) was developed to enable safe and easy surgical ligation of blood vessels. The aim of this study was to compare the long-term in vivo resorption of the device to a commercially available suture of equivalent material (Maxon) following ovarian pedicle ligation. After ovariohysterectomy follow-up ultrasound examinations were performed monthly on 21 dogs ligated with the device and 22 dogs ligated with the suture material until no hyperechoic remnants, acoustic shadowing or local tissue reactions were detected. In both groups, the ovarian pedicles gradually decreased in size. Ligation material was considered macroscopically resorbed when ultrasound showed no signs of the device or suture, ovarian pedicle or tissue reaction. Macroscopic resorption had occurred without signs of complications and was complete by four months for sutures and 5.5 months for the device. The results show that resorption time in vivo for the resorbable self-locking device is mildly longer than suture of the same material and that no complications of device resorption were detected, supporting that the resorbable self-locking device is safe for in vivo use.

Categories: Journal news

Selected highlights from other journals

11 April 2019
Mapping social behaviour in cattle

I. Freslon, B. Martínez-López, J. Belkhiria and others

Applied Animal Behaviour Science (2019)

doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2019.01.006

• What did the research find?

The majority of the cows and calves were involved in relatively few social contacts. However, some individuals had a very high degree of interaction (predominantly cows in oestrus and male calves). Cows primarily interacted with cows of the same age, and higher parity cows were more likely to be involved in social contact than low parity cows. Male calves were significantly more likely to initiate social contact than females.

• How was it conducted?

Milking cows (n=170) and two mixed-sex groups of weaned calves of different ages (n=33 for both groups) were included in this study. Occurrences of sniffing, licking and rubbing the face on the genital area of another animal were recorded for three weeks in the lactating cows and for four...

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Babesia and canine blood donations

11 April 2019

We read with interest the report of a small Babesia microti-like species in an asymptomatic border collie presented for routine pre-export blood tests before travel to New Zealand.1

Over the last 12 months, the Pet Blood Bank UK has identified Babesia microti-like organisms (also known as Babesia vulpes and Theileria annae) during routine infectious disease screening in three dogs. These dogs were a five-year-old male neutered otterhound living in Cheshire, a six-year-old male entire flat-coated retriever living in Hampshire and a seven-year-old male neutered greyhound living in Kent. None of the dogs had travelled outside of the UK.

All dogs were asymptomatic and no dog required treatment. Regular tick treatment had not been used in any of the dogs. All dogs are being monitored closely in conjunction with their local veterinary surgeons.

While it is generally accepted to not treat Babesia microti-like infections in asymptomatic dogs, it...

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Looking to India for vets

11 April 2019

After reading the recent article ‘Looking to India for vets’ (VR, 16 February 2019, vol 184, p 201), I was left feeling rather disappointed.

I fully appreciate that the profession is facing a huge recruitment crisis and that Brexit potentially adds to this, but I thought the article revealed a lack of common sense and cultural awareness from the profession.

The veterinary community is only small and yet nobody at the RCVS seems to have thought to communicate with the small proportion of Asian/British Asian vets working in the UK, to try to get a better understanding of the context of the issue.

The question asked in the article was ‘Why does the UK have so many Indian-trained doctors but so few Indian-trained vets?’ One factor may be that, culturally, veterinary medicine is, or was, not held in the same high esteem as human medicine in India.

As a...

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Chris Tufnell, RCVS Lead on Global Strategy, responds

11 April 2019

I am grateful for the opportunity to respond to the concerns raised by Eleanor Raj.

I am sorry to hear that Raj was disappointed about the way we approached our counterparts in India and that she feels there was a ‘lack of common sense’ and ‘cultural awareness’ involved in this. However, I am unclear as to what Raj meant by this and feel that the points made in her letter do not really bear out her assertion, nor do I believe those whom we met in India would feel this to be the case.

I am concerned that Raj thinks we left British Asian vets out of this process, purposely or otherwise. I can assure her that I have personally spoken to veterinary surgeons who qualified in India and subsequently joined the RCVS Register after passing the Statutory Examination for Membership about the lay of the land and veterinary...

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Correction: Medicines update

11 April 2019

News and reports: Medicines update (VR, 16 March 2019, vol 184, pp 336-337). In the ‘Changes to marketing authorisations, Small animals’ product (3) was incorrectly listed. It should have read ‘Loxicom 5 mg/ml solution for injection for dogs and cats and Loxicom 0.5 mg/ml oral suspension for cats’. VMD regrets the error.

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Death notices

11 April 2019

Atkinson On 25 February 2019, Grahame Atkinson, BVSc, MRCVS, of Sheffield. Mr Atkinson qualified from Liverpool in 1969.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l1711

Gale On 3 April 2019, Robert Malcolm Gale, BVSc, MRCVS, of London. Dr Gale qualified from Bristol in 1958.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l1712

Gibson On 16 March 2019, Alistair Robert Gibson, MVB, MRCVS, of Belfast. Mr Gibson qualified from Dublin (NUI) in 1986.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l1713

Grose On 8 June 2018, Mary Kimbell Grose, MRCVS, of Pitsford, Northampton. Mrs Grose qualified from London in 1948.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l1714

Categories: Journal news

The origins of One Medicine

11 April 2019

I read the letter from Henry Lamb with great interest and in full agreement (VR, 23 March 2019, vol 184, pp 388-389). I would like to add to his comments on the origination of One Health. The declaration by Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902) did direct attention to the fact of One Medicine. We now know, that from the earliest times, where we have an indication of the practice of medicine, it was always seen as a single discipline with two clinical end points.

The very first veterinary written text, the el-Lahun papyrus (c 1900-1800 BCE), reveals the examination of a cow using exactly the same procedure as used for human patients. Medicine was in the hands of a class of priest-doctors and the papyrus was of a high religious quality. The One Medicine approach was even more clearly demonstrated by the tomb inscription of Aha-Nekt ‘I was a priest of...

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If youre suffering from stress, youre not alone

11 April 2019

Stress is one of the most common themes among calls to Vetlife Helpline according to its manager, Rosie Allister.

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Ways to pass the stress test

11 April 2019

Stress is a reasonable response to tricky situations, unexpected scenarios and a busy life – and so probably an inevitable part of life in the veterinary profession. Here Carolyne Crowe offers some top tips on how best to deal with it.

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Better ways to break bad news

11 April 2019

Telling a client their beloved pet needs to be put to sleep is one of the most challenging and stressful parts of the job. But Christine Magrath says there are ways to make it easier all round.

Categories: Journal news

Just a mindful moment

11 April 2019

Anyone compiling a list of trends in the second half of this decade would surely have to put mindfulness on the list. Try an Amazon search on the technique – which involves a deliberate effort to focus one’s attention in the present moment – and the result is more than 10,000 results, from books to flash cards to apps.

What is important to note, however, is that this explosion of population interest has been mirrored – or perhaps fuelled – by burgeoning scientific focus. A 2017 paper in the Annual Review of Psychology found there was just one randomised controlled trial published on mindfulness between 1995 and 1997. For the 2013 to 2015 period, that figure stood at 216.

While the quality of studies does vary, there is now growing evidence that the technique can reduce stress and also constitute a helpful method of addressing clinically diagnosed anxiety and...

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Vet and farrier: the importance of teamwork

11 April 2019

This month, a horse owner discusses the importance of a close relationship between vet and farrier

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My career in radiology started with an interest in raptors

4 April 2019

The skills Russell Tucker gained through conservation work provided a pathway into the veterinary profession. He is now an emeritus professor in radiology.

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Final-year student diary

4 April 2019

Vet Record Careers checks in with final-year student Rosie Perrett

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The profession must evolve to thrive

4 April 2019

‘For things to stay the same, everything must change.’

To some extent, this famous quote from the novel The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa summarises the situation facing the veterinary profession.

Vets’ core role is to ensure the health and welfare of animals. As veterinary peer Lord Trees notes this week (see pp 448-449), the profession has much to be proud of in terms of past achievements. Looking to the future, however, it faces challenges concerning how to continue successfully discharging this fundamental duty towards animals.

So, he asks, what must change within the profession for its essence to be preserved?

Lord Trees argues that embracing technology and delegating more tasks to regulated veterinary nurses (RVNs) form part of the answer.

Clever use of technology could yield increased productivity, helping veterinary businesses to remain financially sustainable while keeping costs down for clients.

One could argue that vets in...

Categories: Journal news

Call for more regulation of wildlife traps

4 April 2019

By Josh Loeb

Current laws on the trapping of wild animals are ‘not fit for purpose’.

That was the warning given to members of the Wild Animal Welfare Committee last week.

The Humane Society presented evidence that ‘break-back’ traps used to kill rodents vary widely in terms of impact momentum and clamping force – commonly used proxies for welfare performance.

As a result, rodents can be left mortally wounded but not killed, meaning they spend hours – or even days – in pain and suffering before they die.

Sandra Baker, a Humane Society research fellow at the University of Oxford, told the committee that current laws on lethal and live trapping of wild animals were ‘inadequate and unfair’.

Speaking at the committee’s conference in Edinburgh last week, she said: ‘Anyone can sell anything they like as a spring trap if they can define it as a break-back trap.

There...

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News section PDF

4 April 2019
Categories: Journal news

'Huge concern over leishmaniosis prompts new advice

4 April 2019

By Josh Loeb

Infectious disease experts this week are calling for the adoption of four measures to protect the dog and human populations in the UK from leishmaniasis.

They recommend:

  • Screening in the UK, both of dogs imported from Leishmania-endemic regions and among ‘contact populations’ of dogs presenting with leishmaniosis.

  • Veterinary follow-ups of at-risk dogs to ensure seroconversion does not occur.

  • Exclusion of subclinically infected dogs from being blood donors.

  • Vaccination – as well as use of topical insecticides – for dogs travelling to endemic areas.

  • The calls have been made by a vet and research scientist – Christine Petersen and Malcolm S. Duthie – in a research comment in this week’s issue (pp 438-440). It follows the discovery of a new and unusual case of leishmaniosis in an ‘untravelled’ dog (p 441) that is believed to have caught the disease from another dog...

    Categories: Journal news