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Prevalence of skin wounds in working donkeys in Bukombe, Tanzania

5 March 2020
Background

Preventable wounds are a common welfare issue in working donkeys in many countries. In the Bukombe District of Tanzania, there are estimated to be 3000 working donkeys, used primarily to transport loads for direct income generation. For historical reasons, oxen-yoke carts are used; their design is inappropriate for donkeys and results in serious neck wounds. The project aim was to assess the prevalence and nature of wounds in working donkeys.

Methods

In November 2018, 148 donkeys owned by 48 owners were examined, and data were collected.

Results

The study revealed that one or more wounds were present in 56.1% of the population and yoke-related, dorsal neck wounds comprised 79.5% of these. These wounds ranged in surface area from 1 cm2 to 300 cm2. Clinically, 96.6% of all wound types were superficial and the majority of these (51.1%) were granulating.

Conclusion

These data will enable the future evaluation of targeted interventions aimed at reducing the prevalence of these specific wounds.

Categories: Journal news

Selected highlights from other journals

5 March 2020
Impact of mastitis and parity on pregnancy loss in dairy cows

M. O. Dahl, A. De Vries, K. N. Galvão and others

Theriogenology (2020) 143, 57–63

doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2019.12.002

• What did the research find?

The burden of mastitis was significantly higher in cows of parity three or more than in younger cows. Compared with primiparous cows without mastitis, the odds of pregnancy loss (PL) were 2.3 times higher in cows with subclinical mastitis during their third or later parity. In addition, the odds of PL were four times higher in cows with clinical mastitis during their fourth or later parity. The combined effect of mastitis and parity on PL was not confounded by lameness.

• How was it conducted?

A total of 1774 lactation periods from 1047 Holstein cows of different parities were included in the study. Case cows (n=222 lactations) were diagnosed as pregnant on day 33 after...

Categories: Journal news

Under our care

5 March 2020

The BVA’s ‘under our care’ working group is developing recommendations for the BVA policy committee on how to respond to the RCVS review of ‘under care’ and 24/7 care, and to the preceding discussions within the RCVS standards committee relating to remote prescribing and telemedicine.

The interpretation of ‘under care’, the obligation in the code for out-of- hours provision for animals under our care, and the professional and ethical obligations of the profession to provide emergency first aid more widely are all important issues that require clarity of expectation and guidance from the RCVS. These issues are impacted by, and must be considered in the context of, telehealth, telemedicine, remote prescribing and disruptors to the traditional veterinary practice model, such as limited service providers and growing stand-alone telephone and video triage services.

The under our care working group is composed of representatives from relevant specialist divisions and affiliate groups,...

Categories: Journal news

Help us support hedgehogs

5 March 2020

I have been a hedgehog carer for 25 years, and am part of a small registered charity called Warwickshire Hedgehog Rescue. We are all volunteers, working from our own homes, so when veterinary help is needed each carer visits their nearest veterinary practice.

A problem we encounter is the vast difference in the charges levied by individual practices, from the most helpful, which wave professional fees and provide drugs at cost price, to practices at the other extreme that charge as if the hedgehog was the carer’s pet, not a wildlife rescue.

When a hedgehog arrives, we investigate using the approach described in a recent article in In Practice1 (passed to me by my veterinary neighbour). Most of the time we know what is likely to be wrong if there is no apparent injury, and can deal with these problems ourselves; for example, treating internal and external...

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Protecting wild animals

5 March 2020

The letter from Shao-Lun Zhai and others (VR, 29 February 2020, vol 186, p 254) indicates that the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) might have pangolins as a potential intermediate host. I understand that a coronavirus with a similar genome to the human form has been isolated from them. Pangolins are the only group of mammals that have scaly skins and represent a living, although tenuous, link with animal evolution.

Most of the eight species of pangolins are endangered but still they are reported to be the most trafficked species across the world. This is despite laws to conserve them. However, possibly because of international indifference or ineptitude, the trade appears to flourish almost unhindered. It is hard to understand the attraction of these interesting and unusual animals as sources of food and alternative medicines, mainly in the Far East; perhaps it is because of their rarity.

If...

Categories: Journal news

Forcing animals to share our values

5 March 2020

As a vegan vet who owns (meat-eating) pets, I read the recent editorial on vegan pet food with interest (VR, 22 February 2020, vol 186, p 197). In particular that ‘Animals should not be forced to share our values.’

Our values dictate that we eat other species, and produce some to the degree they can’t bear their own weight without bone fractures. Our values dictate that we gallop other species to exhaustion and hit them with whips for entertainment. Our values dictate profit over welfare such that we create short-lived udders on (painful) legs. Our values dictate that we must keep wild species in captivity for our own amusement. Our values dictate that human life would be intolerable without brachycephalic and chondrodystrophic pets that suffer horribly. Our values dictate that we breed animals to die for ‘sport’ in a manner that would have us struck off the veterinary register...

Categories: Journal news

Regulating the pet food industry

5 March 2020

I write in response to the article about potential issues with different sources of vitamin D in some vegan pet foods (VR, 22 February 2020, vol 186, p 198). While none of those products is made by the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) members, there is an opportunity to throw light on how the UK pet food industry is regulated and the role of the PFMA in self-governance and education.

The term ‘complete’ diet has a legal definition and manufacturers must be able to provide evidence for this claim if challenged by the competent authorities, such as a local authority trading standards office. To formulate diets, manufacturers can use a combination of authorised feed materials and feed additives to meet the nutritional requirements of a species/life stage. EU and UK authorities apply a wide range of regulations, directives and industry codes of practice to regulate the production and marketing...

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Are we failing to produce day 1-competent veterinary graduates?

5 March 2020

The ‘take home’ notes that I jotted down as I read the research articles on veterinary graduates by Claire Vinten1 and Duijn and colleagues2 were:

• In 2001 the RCVS determined that ‘universities must train students to be able to perform a substantial list of competences before they can register as a veterinary surgeon’.1

• ‘Five commonly occurring entrustable professional activities (EPAs) in primary care’ were selected for a survey conducted by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University.2

• On average, the 156 recent graduates who responded to the survey did not feel ready to perform all five EPAs with supervision at a distance until they had spent more than six months in practice.2

I recognise that the issue of day 1 competency is a complex one and that the study took place in the Netherlands, but if...

Categories: Journal news

Building confidence in veterinary graduates

5 March 2020

There is no doubt that however we are educating and training our students, it is not working well. The aim should be that day 1 in practice is an exciting fulfilment of the work that has been put into gaining membership of the RCVS. In most instances it is not. Why?

Start the process of competence and confidence building in a clinical practice setting at least a year before graduation

In their research, Dujin and others conclude that it takes almost a full year following graduation for a new graduate to feel fully confident.1 The simple solution would be to start the process of competence and confidence building in a clinical practice setting at least a year before graduation, where all the necessary skills such as blood sampling, consulting, communication, anaesthesia and surgery can be continually practised under supervision.

Categories: Journal news

It is vital we unite to support each other

5 March 2020

The British Veterinary Ethnicity and Diversity Society (BVEDS) supports all forms of diversity and inclusivity in the veterinary profession.

At BVEDS, we were happy to read the recent letter from the BVA and many others decrying the use of ‘derogatory and offensive language’ particularly in online vet forums (VR, 22 February 2020, vol 186, p 220), something that our own members have experienced.

When such language and personal attacks occur and go unchallenged, not only does it reflect poorly on our professional conduct, but it creates an environment that discourages marginalised groups that are frequently subject to such attacks to fully participate in a public arena.

It was great to see the huge support shown by the large number of signatories from a broad breadth of the community. We would like to praise these organisations, which recognise that, while we can hold each other and groups that represent us...

Categories: Journal news

Widening access to the profession

5 March 2020

Following the launch of our major undergraduate education position last year, BVA is embarking on a project to widen participation in UK vet schools. Sally Burnell, BVA Director of Policy, Media and Strategy, reports on a roundtable discussion.

Categories: Journal news

Making connections in Westminster

5 March 2020

Following the General Election in December, our public affairs team contacted new MPs and newly appointed spokespeople to introduce BVA and our priority issues, writes Sally Burnell, Director of Policy, Media and Strategy.

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New officer team for BVA Northern Ireland Branch

5 March 2020

BVA Northern Ireland Branch held its annual general meeting on 12 February. BVA Policy Officer Michael McGilligan introduces the new team.

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Vet Futures news: mental health research and action

5 March 2020

A major focus for the Vet Futures project has been the RCVS-led Mind Matters Initiative (MMI), supported by BVA and a number of other veterinary organisations. Last month BVA junior vice president James Russell battled Storm Ciara to attend a meeting of the MMI Sarah Brown Research Project in Edinburgh. Here’s his report...

Categories: Journal news

Introducing the latest BVA Council regional representatives

5 March 2020

Following an open nominations process, and elections run on our behalf by UK Engage, we are pleased to announce your new regional representatives.

Categories: Journal news

One Health: Defra presents to UK coordination group

5 March 2020

The UK One Health Coordination Group (UKOHCG) met for its first meeting of the year on 11 February. BVA Policy Officer Megan Knowles-Bacon provides an update on the discussions.

Categories: Journal news

Divisional notices

5 March 2020

Notices for BVA territorial and specialist division meetings should be e-mailed to divisionalnotices@bva.co.uk at least five weeks before each meeting.

Lincolnshire and district

Anaesthesia for the critical patient: which toys are useful, which toys are useless, which toys are sexy?

Evening meeting with speaker Ian Self from North West Veterinary Specialists. All local vets and nurses are welcome to attend.

19 March 2020, 19.30

The Lincoln Hotel, Eastgate, Lincoln LN2 1PN

Details from daphnechapleo@aol.com

Categories: Journal news

Concerned that a pet has been illegally imported?

5 March 2020

A recent Dogs Trust survey found that almost three-quarters of vets believe that, in the past 12 months, they have seen a dog that could have been illegally imported. In our own Voice of the Veterinary Profession surveys, members have also told us that they find it difficult to report their concerns, and that there’s confusion around what evidence is required and who to contact.

The reporting process is different depending on where you work in the UK. So, we’ve teamed up with the National Animal Health and Welfare Panel in England and Wales, Trading Standards Scotland and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland to clearly set out what vets need to know.

For each country we’ve produced a compliance flowchart and guidance note to support members who wish to report concerns about an illegally imported pet. The documents detail who to contact, how...

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Frederick Charles Ball

5 March 2020

A loyal and hardworking partner who always pushed the boundaries in driving the practice forward. Kind, caring and inquisitive, he became a legend among generations of staff and clients.

Categories: Journal news

Martin Edward Cooke

5 March 2020

Throughout his long and varied career, Martin was driven by a desire to make a difference – to leave things better than he found them; to make things better for animals. He made things better for people too.

Categories: Journal news