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'Clients. Outdoors. Animals.: retaining vets in UK farm animal practice--thematic analysis of free-text survey responses

25 January 2019

Retaining vets in farm practice has been identified as a key strategy to maintain an adequately trained and experienced workforce to provide animal health services for livestock enterprises and government. This qualitative study aimed to explore vets’ experiences of UK farm animal practice and their perceptions of the factors that influenced their career choices. Thematic analysis of free-text survey responses from 187 vets working in farm practice and 141 who had given up farm work identified four main themes: affect (experiences of feeling or emotions), personal life, the job and the bigger picture. Those who stayed in farm practice described satisfaction with their career and enjoyment of physical, outdoor work in rural communities. Choosing to give up farm work was influenced by both personal and professional circumstances and related frequently to management issues in practice. Veterinary businesses also face challenges from the broader agricultural and veterinary sectors that affect their ability to support and retain vets. The findings presented build on previous quantitative analysis of factors associated with retention and demonstrate the complexity of individual vets’ career choices.

Categories: Journal news

Pilot study of head conformation changes over time in the Cavalier King Charles spaniel breed

25 January 2019

Modern interpretation of head conformation in the Cavalier King Charles spaniel (CKCS) has favoured a smaller, more exaggerated, brachycephalic type than originally described in the 1929 breed standard. Recent research studies identified brachycephaly and reduced hind cranium as two conformational (dysmorphic) features that increase risk for symptomatic Chiari-like malformation and secondary syringomyelia (SM). A prospective pilot study investigated the hypothesis that dysmorphic head features could be assessed visually and correlated with risk of SM. Thirteen CKCS, selected from anonymised photographic evidence, were physically appraised by authorised Kennel Club judges using a head shape checklist. These subjective evaluations were then matched with objective measurements of the cranium (cephalic index and rostrocaudal doming) and their subsequent MRI. A positive correlation (P=0.039) between the judges’ checklist score and rostrocaudal doming (hindskull ratio) and a positive correlation between the cephalic index and hindskull ratio (P=0.042) were identified. Five CKCS had no SM and their status tallied with 62 per cent of the judges’ evaluation. Although the ability of adjudicators to identify differences in head conformation varied, there was sufficient association between the dysmorphic parameters and the risk of SM to cause concern and propose a larger study in CKCS breed.

Categories: Journal news

Detection of equine coronavirus in horses in the United Kingdom

25 January 2019
Introduction

Equine coronavirus (ECoV) is a Betacoronavirus that has been associated with disease in individual animals and groups of horses, and over the past seven years has been increasingly reported as a cause of disease outbreaks—primarily in adult horses in the USA and Japan.1–3 The main clinical signs associated with infection in adult horses are anorexia, lethargy and fever, with diarrhoea and mild colic signs less frequently reported.2 3 More serious complications associated with infection include septicaemia and encephalopathy associated with hyperammonaemia, however these complications are rare and most horses recover with supportive care.3 4 Leucopenia with lymphopenia and/or neutropenia are the main haematological abnormalities reported in clinical adult cases.3 The virus primarily infects the small intestinal mucosa causing enteritis, and a faeco-oral route of transmission is suspected.5–7

Categories: Journal news

Assessing pain in horses

25 January 2019
Introduction

Pain management is important for optimal convalescence and is imperative for good horse welfare. Recent research has found that behavioural traits are the most informative clinical signs when assessing pain in horses. This makes pain evaluation dependent on the observational skills of the veterinarian and the horse owner.

Acute pain is a protective mechanism

The normal response to tissue damage is for a horse to:

  • Escape the danger causing the pain, resulting in a withdrawal reflex, and, frequently, a flight attempt;

  • Protect the injured body part;

  • Rest, for recovery and regeneration.

  • Furthermore, the painful stimulus impacts the memory to ensure that the individual avoids a similar injury in the future. Therefore, pain is essential for maintaining bodily integrity; it is a well-developed mechanism for surviving acute injury.1

    This type of pain response is simple and easy to understand, but pain comes...

    Categories: Journal news

    Selected highlights from other journals

    25 January 2019
    Renal resistive index as a diagnostic tool for chronic kidney disease in cats

    I. Matos, P. Azevedo and L. M. Carreira

    Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (2018) 20, 940–947

    doi: 10.1177/1098612X17736656

    • What did the research find?

    The renal resistive index (RRI) was significantly higher in cats with chronic kidney disease (CKD) than in healthy cats, with an admissible cut-off of 0.639 for a preliminary diagnosis of CKD. Of all the parameters tested, only bodyweight was significantly correlated with RRI, and this correlation was negative. No differences were found between the left and right kidneys, suggesting that evaluation of only one kidney is sufficient to provide an estimate of the RRI value for both organs.

    • How was it conducted?

    This study included 24 cats of both sexes. Six were healthy, and 18 had CKD but did not have any concomitant diseases and were not being treated with...

    Categories: Journal news

    Looking after interns and residents

    25 January 2019

    We were interested to read the article regarding Grit scores of interns and the subsequent correspondence (VR, 19 January 2019, vol 184, pp 99-100).1

    The British College of Veterinary Specialists (BCVSp) is a charity whose membership is open to all those who hold diplomas or RCVS Specialist status. Since 2018, residents completing an approved programme may obtain associate membership. Our primary aim is to educate the public on the potential benefits of veterinary specialist care when this is advised by a primary care veterinary surgeon.

    As a secondary aim, we support best practice in transdisciplinary aspects of specialist care, including training and mentoring of individuals progressing to specialist status.

    Our trustees have recently produced a set of guidelines for programmes described as ‘internships’, including recommendations for the welfare and pastoral support of interns. This document is currently available for consultation among our membership and will be disseminated...

    Categories: Journal news

    Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus type 2 in hares in England

    25 January 2019

    Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus type 2 (RHDV2) or GI.21 is a calicivirus causing acute, usually fatal, haemorrhagic lungs and hepatitis in lagomorphs.

    A retrospective study confirmed the presence of RHDV2 infection in rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in the UK in 2010.2 Disease has also been confirmed in Sardinian Cape hares (Lepus capensis mediterraneus) in 2011,3 farmed Italian hares (Lepus corsicanus) in 2012,4 and European brown hares (Lepus europaeus) in Italy in 2012, Spain in 2014,5 France in 20136 and Australia in 2016.7

    We report infection of European brown hares with RHDV2 at two locations in England

    We report infection of European brown hares with RHDV2 at two locations in England. The first was in Dorset where two dead hares were found, on 18 September 2018, about 20 m apart on farmland. They had recently died...

    Categories: Journal news

    Integrating human and pet healthcare on the streets

    25 January 2019

    The report of the award to StreetVet (VR, 13 October 2018, vol 183, p 434) is very well deserved and shows the veterinary profession in the best light in that it can be a most caring profession. This is a fantastic initiative and I understand that some of those involved assist their clients in many other ways.

    I wonder if there is any way of extending this initiative, not necessarily by StreetVet, but by others? The animals being treated are usually well cared for and cherished by their owners, often at the expense of themselves. However, the owners also need care and due consideration as often they have physical or mental health or addictive problems, or social, financial or other issues. If One Health does mean more than paying lip service to the idea, then these owners and their problems are an ideal group to show how the concept...

    Categories: Journal news

    Gabriel Galea and Jade Statt, from StreetVet, respond

    25 January 2019

    We welcome Anthony Andrews’ letter regarding a Vet Record feature on StreetVet. We fully agree that ‘the animals being treated are usually well cared for and cherished by their owners, often at the expense of themselves’. We also agree that our model of weekly outreach, which allows us to build trust with pet owners experiencing homelessness, places us in an ideal position to facilitate engagement with inclusion health medical professionals.

    Pets as a tool for engagement, and the introduction of vets and veterinary nurses as members of the inclusion medicine allied health professionals team, was the topic of a talk we delivered at the London Network of Nurses and Midwives conference in October, and we will be expanding on this at the 2019 Faculty for Homelessness and Inclusion Health conference in March. However, in the UK we are a long way off the Canadian community veterinary outreach model in...

    Categories: Journal news

    Tackling bovine TB

    25 January 2019

    On 18 December Defra revealed that during 2018, 32,601 badgers were killed, bringing the total number slaughtered under licence since 2013 to almost 67,000.1

    ‘Effectiveness’ claims relate not to the impact on cattle TB, but rather to the ability of the contracted shooters to kill sufficient badgers to satisfy their licence requirements, which they can hardly fail to reach given that target numbers are ‘adjusted’ by Natural England part-way through the culls according to the contractors’ progress.

    Sixty per cent of the badgers have been killed by ‘controlled shooting’, a method rejected by both the government’s Independent Expert Panel2 and the BVA3 because of animal welfare concerns. During 2018 Natural England directly monitored just 89 (0.43 per cent) of controlled shooting events.

    It is deplorable that the chief veterinary officer (CVO) continues to support the roll-out of a policy that permits controlled shooting,...

    Categories: Journal news

    Nurses guide to parasitic diseases in pets

    25 January 2019

    Reviewed by Victoria Bowes, veterinary nursing course manager at Moreton Morrell College.

    Categories: Journal news

    'There are two aspects to my job, clinical and managerial

    25 January 2019

    Equine vet Kieran Rowley became a director of Buckingham Equine Vets last year and now has managerial responsibilities alongside his ambition to become a recognised specialist in equine dentistry.

    Categories: Journal news

    Minimal access surgery course

    25 January 2019

    Progressive skills in veterinary laparoscopy and thoracoscopy is an intensive two-day course that focuses on the essential skills and safety required for performing minimal access surgery in small animals. The course offers hands-on experience with practical training using virtual reality computer trainers, laparoscopic trainers, tissue models and canine cadavers. It is aimed at those already performing laparoscopic procedures who want to perform more complex procedures, as well as being suitable for those starting out in minimal access surgery. This course is taught by veterinary surgeon Romain Pizzi and human surgeon Benji Tang, offering attendees a perspective on recent developments in human surgery and their application to veterinary patients. It is run by the University of Dundee in the Dundee Institute for Healthcare Simulation at Ninewells hospital. Further information can be found at https://dihs.dundee.ac.uk/courses/veterinary/progressive-skills-veterinary-laparoscopy-and-thoracoscopy-course

    Categories: Journal news

    BEVA Award

    25 January 2019

    The British Equine Veterinary Association has presented the 2018 Sam Hignett Award to David Rendle for his research into a novel treatment for equine Cushing’s disease, also known as pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction. Rendle – a specialist in equine medicine at Rainbow Equine Hospital, North Yorkshire – investigated a new unlicensed formulation of pergolide presented as a palatable paste for use in horses that do not tolerate, or do not respond to, treatment with the licensed product. His paper, which he presented at the 2018 BEVA congress, outlined the difficulties of administering tablets to horses, particularly when the dose required is only a fraction of a tablet and also explained that horses respond better to treatment if smaller amounts of pergolide are administered twice daily rather than once daily. The new pergolide formulation overcomes these issues by allowing accurate administration of very small volumes of molasses-flavoured paste. To become...

    Categories: Journal news

    People

    25 January 2019

    With its expanded clinical facilities opening this year, Dick White Referrals (DWR) has appointed Lindsay Kellett-Gregory to develop its emergency and critical care department, with the aim of providing ‘an unparalleled level of care for patients with life-threatening diseases and injuries’. Kellett-Gregory is an RCVS, European and American Recognised Specialist in emergency and critical care, having undertaken her residency at the University of Pennsylvania, and then expanding her experience in the USA before returning to the UK and joining DWR.

    Ludivine Boiron has joined the emergency and critical care team at Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service in Solihull. She graduated from Lyon in 2008 and completed a rotating internship there. She worked in practice in France and Switzerland before moving to the USA in 2014 to undertake an internship at the University of California, which was followed by a three-year residency at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

    ...
    Categories: Journal news

    'No deal - no problem?

    25 January 2019

    At 11 pm on 29 March all exports of live animals from the UK to the EU would cease under a no-deal Brexit.

    Unweaned calves would no longer be trucked hundreds of miles from Scotland to Spain, sheep would no longer be loaded onto boats at Ramsgate. The trade would be killed – stone dead.

    Other types of trade would dry up too. Exports of meat, cheese and other animal products to the EU would immediately be rendered as nil.

    Without a deal the UK would immediately be classed as a third country. It would then need to acquire ‘listed status’ before any such trade in live animals or animal products could take place.

    How long would that take? Defra admits there’s no way of knowing, while the National Farmers’ Union says the process, which cannot properly begin until after the UK has officially left the EU, would take...

    Categories: Journal news

    Overseas vets are a no-deal Brexit contingency plan

    25 January 2019

    By Josh Loeb

    The boss of the largest supplier of vets to government agencies is to test a special legal exemption enabling vets who qualified in Asia and South America to become licensed to practise in the UK.

    If granted this would allow overseas vets to practise on a limited scale in the UK without first having to pass the statutory membership examination, a requirement by the RCVS.

    Jason Aldiss, managing director of official veterinarian (OV) contractor Eville & Jones, is hoping to utilise a little-known legal provision in the Veterinary Surgeons Act (VSA) – VSA Section 7 (S7) – to obtain temporary registration for six vets who qualified in countries whose nationals have traditionally faced relatively high barriers to entry in the UK.

    If he is successful in registering these initial six, who qualified from (officially unrecognised) vet schools in countries including India, Pakistan and Colombia, then Aldiss...

    Categories: Journal news

    News section PDF

    25 January 2019
    Categories: Journal news

    Ultra successful: vet claims glory in 268-mile race

    25 January 2019

    Small animal vet Jasmin Paris has become the first female winner of the Montane Spine Race, knocking 12 hours off the course record in the process.

    The ultra race, which is a 268-mile trek from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yethold in the Scottish borders, is one of Britain’s toughest. With no official rest breaks – competitors can make stops when they need them and carry all equipment on their backs – Paris completed the race in 83 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds.

    She beat her nearest male rival by 15 hours, and also continued to express milk for her 14-month-old daughter along the way.

    She told Vet Record: ‘I am delighted with my run at the Montane Spine Race, and completely overwhelmed by the positive response I’ve had since. It’s not always been easy balancing work, motherhood and training, but it certainly worked out for me on...

    Categories: Journal news

    'Oral exam can be carried out during PPE

    25 January 2019

    By Georgina Mills

    Confusion about the extent of oral examination required during the prepurchase examination (PPE) of horses has led the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) to clarify its guidance.

    The guidance notes are for vets and prospective purchasers and provide general information about what is to be expected from the PPE of horses. During a PPE, vets carry out a thorough clinical examination of a horse on behalf of a potential purchaser with the aim of identifying and assessing factors that could prejudice the horse’s suitability for its intended use.

    The previous guidance notes stated that the examination does not include a detailed mouth examination using a speculum. This was not intended to mean that a PPE should never include an oral examination, but it was being interpreted that way by a significant number of vets, BEVA says.

    The notes now say: ‘A mouth examination with a speculum...

    Categories: Journal news