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NOAH re-elects chair

25 July 2019

The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) re-elected Jamie Brannan of Zoetis as its chairman for 2019/20.

Brannan joined Zoetis in October 2016 as the senior vice president and cluster lead for the UK, Ireland and Nordic countries and has been a NOAH board member since 2016, becoming vice chair in 2018 and stepping into the role of chair to replace Gaynor Hillier later that year. He said: ‘I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH strategy and working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.’

Caitrina Oakes, of Vetoquinol, was elected to the newly created post of senior vice chair.

www.noah.co.uk

Categories: Journal news

Sheep scab - the importance of accurate diagnosis

25 July 2019

Sheep scab, caused by the Psoroptes ovis mite (Fig 1), is characterised by yellow scabs on the skin surface and is accompanied by restlessness, scratching, wool loss, bleeding wounds and loss of condition (Fig 2). However, the clinical signs can vary depending on the number of mites, the breed (and wool characteristics) of the host and the chronicity of the infestation.1

Sheep scab has been identified in all of the major sheep farming regions in Great Britain (Fig 3), and it has been identified as one of the most important diseases for the UK sheep farming industry due to its consequences for animal welfare and the serious economic losses it can inflict.

Questionnaire surveys have shown that the highest risks of infestation are associated with common grazing, direct contact with neighbours’ sheep and neighbours’ flocks having sheep scab – with many...

Categories: Journal news

Performance of the Psoroptes ovis antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in the face of low-level mite infestation

25 July 2019

Psoroptes ovis mites, the causative agent of sheep scab, can severely compromise sheep welfare and production. However, in subclinical infections, mite detection is difficult increasing the risk of spread. A recent serodiagnostic test, based on detecting host antibodies to the P ovis allergen, Pso o 2, has made the detection of subclinical infection possible. The use of this test was demonstrated in subclinical situations, through an opportunistic observational study on an extensive hill farm and a lowland flock with recently introduced, quarantined livestock. Twelve animals were tested from each group. Breeding ewes and lambs on the hill farm had seroprevalences of 16 per cent (12.5–17.8 per cent) and 8.3 per cent (4.8–10.1 per cent), respectively. Quarantined store lambs had a seroprevalence of 16.7 per cent (13.2–18.5 per cent); no evidence of P ovis was found in quarantined replacement ewes. By detecting subclinical infection, this serological test could be a powerful tool in sheep scab control, for quarantine procedures, accreditation programmes, and possibly regional or national eradication protocols.

Categories: Journal news

Systemic glucocorticoid usage in dogs under primary veterinary care in the UK: prevalence and risk factors

25 July 2019

Glucocorticoids are widely used in primary care veterinary practices. The study aimed to quantify the usage of systemic glucocorticoids (SGC) in dogs in the UK using primary care treatment records recorded during 2013 in the VetCompass Programme. From a study population of 455 557 dogs, 28 472 dogs (6.2 per cent, 95 per cent CI 6.2 to 6.3) received a total of 50 971 SGC therapy events in 2013. Prednisolone represented the most frequently used oral preparation (27 362 events, 90.0 per cent of oral events). Dexamethasone sodium phosphate was the most commonly used injectable agent (12 796 events, 62.7 per cent of injectable events). The most common breed treated was Staffordshire Bull Terriers (2236/28 472 dogs, 7.9 per cent, 95 per cent CI 7.5 to 8.2) and within-breed prevalence of SGC usage was 2236/32 635, 6.9 per cent, 95 per cent CI 6.6 to 7.1. The most commonly treated age group was dogs older than eight years (8931/28472, 31.4 per cent) and the most commonly treated bodyweight group was 10.01–20.0 kg (7918/28 472, 27.8 per cent). Dexamethasone and prednisolone were the most commonly prescribed SGC. Short-acting and intermediate-acting injectable SGC were more commonly used compared with long-acting injectable SGC. Older and medium size dogs were most likely to receive SGC and certain breeds appeared predisposed. These data can provide a useful benchmark for glucocorticoid usage and highlight the benefits from ‘Big Data’ analyses.

Categories: Journal news

Accuracy and inter-rater reliability of lung auscultation by bovine practitioners when compared with ultrasonographic findings

25 July 2019

In practice, veterinary surgeons frequently rely on lung auscultation as a confirmation test for pneumonia. To what extent diagnostic accuracy of lung auscultation varies between different practitioners is currently unknown. In this diagnostic test study, 49 Dutch veterinarians each auscultated between 8 and 10 calves, and communicated whether they would decide to treat the animal with antimicrobials or not. They were not allowed to perform any other aspect of the clinical examination. Their decisions were compared with lung ultrasonography findings. The average sensitivity and specificity of lung auscultation were 0.63 (sd=0.2; range=0.2–1.0) and 0.46 (sd=0.3; range=0.0–1.0), respectively. Of the participants, 8.2 per cent were 100 per cent sensitive, 16.3 per cent were 100 per cent specific, and only 4.0 per cent were perfect. The Krippendorff’s alpha was 0.18 (95 per cent confidence interval: –0.01 to 0.38), signifying poor reliability between multiple raters. Regardless of the poor diagnostic accuracy in this study, especially the large variation in a confirmation test between different practitioners could potentially cause professional damage as well as misuse of antimicrobials. This study could be seen as a gentle stimulus to regularly evaluate one’s diagnostic skills. Both complementary training and the use of more accurate techniques with less inter-rater variation could improve the situation.

Categories: Journal news

How to diagnose polyuria and polydipsia in dogs

25 July 2019
Introduction

It is very common for the veterinary practitioner to be presented with canine patients suffering from polyuria and polydipsia (PUPD); that is, increased urine output and water intake, respectively. But determining a diagnostic approach can be very difficult as there are many causes.

PUPD can be due to either primary polydipsia with secondary polyuria or primary polyuria with compensatory polydipsia. Primary polyuria is when decreased urine concentrating ability – due to a lack of antidiuretic hormone (ADH), renal insensitivity to ADH, or an osmotic diuresis – leads to compensatory polydipsia. Most water balance disorders fall into this category. Primary polydipsia is when increased thirst leads to compensatory polyuria to excrete the excess water. Primary polydipsia is uncommon, and is normally due to behavioural disorders (ie, psychogenic polydipsia) or defects in the thirst centre.

Fig 1 shows a diagnostic algorithm that we have designed for investigating PUPD...

Categories: Journal news

Selected highlights from other journals

25 July 2019
Temperature and air pollution affect cattle mortality

V. Egberts, G. van Schaik, B. Brunekreef and others

Preventive Veterinary Medicine (2019) 168, 1–8

doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2019.03.021

• What did the research find?

Both high and low temperatures were associated with increased mortality among unweaned calves aged between 15 and 55 days. However, only low temperatures were associated with increased mortality in weaned calves (aged between 56 days and one year), and only high temperatures were associated with increased mortality in newborn calves and lactating cattle. Associations between air pollution and mortality were less evident, although increased ozone levels appeared to increase mortality risk in cattle of all ages.

• How was it conducted?

Daily data on cattle mortality, weather conditions and mean levels of particulate matter, ozone, ammonia and nitrogen dioxide in the Netherlands between 2012 and 2017 were collected from national databases. Associations between mortality and environmental factors were investigated...

Categories: Journal news

Correction: Is treatment with pimobendan associated with an increased risk of arrhythmias in dogs with heart disease?

25 July 2019

Hillyer S, Hezzell M, Place E. Is treatment with pimobendan associated with an increased risk of arrhythmias in dogs with heart disease? Vet Rec 2018;183:693–695. doi: 10.1136/vr.k5167.

The author list was incomplete on publication of this article. The author list should have included Rebecca Tedford, Samantha Partridge and Edward Cooper and the author list order should have been as below.

Hillyer S, Tedford R, Partridge S, Cooper E, Hezzell MJ, Place E

Categories: Journal news

Discrimination in the veterinary profession

25 July 2019

Vet Record’s recent news article ‘"Shocking" levels of discrimination found’ (VR, 13 July 2019, vol 185, p 34) on the findings of the BVA’s discrimination report stated that ‘almost 30 per cent of vet professionals have experienced or witnessed some sort of discrimination’. The figure is incorrect – it should have reported 24 per cent. This figure of 24 per cent, as outlined in our report, is taken from our voice of the veterinary profession survey, which is a broad sample and representative of our members. The 30 per cent statistic is based on responses to our discrimination survey, which was a biased sample – it simply invited people to tell us about their experiences of discrimination.

It is important that we are all careful when we use and report data. And, on this sensitive issue, we have been especially careful in the way we have gathered and reported...

Categories: Journal news

Female leadership roles within the profession

25 July 2019

I would like to invite female vets to take part in a focus group to share their opinions and experiences around leadership. The information collected will be used in a study to inform my MBA dissertation, which aims to develop new strategies around succession; in particular, the encouragement of women in the profession to take up leadership positions.

The research topic was prompted by an analysis of leadership statistics in the veterinary profession where there proves to be a lack of information regarding the number of leadership roles occupied by women.

Our efforts to both run leadership programmes at XLVets and help aspiring owners have resulted in one in five of our practice owners being women; however, we do not know how this compares with other veterinary sectors and business models.

Our entry level leadership programmes have predominantly female attendees and at our recent meeting for aspiring business owners...

Categories: Journal news

Editors response: Discrimination in the veterinary profession

25 July 2019

Our news article reported that almost 30 per cent of vet professional have experienced or witnessed some sort of discrimination in the workplace or in a learning environment. The correct figure should be 24 per cent. The error is regretted.

Categories: Journal news

Valuing vets time outside normal hours

25 July 2019

Our profession needs to start looking after itself. All the mental wellbeing initiatives, counselling services and yoga classes are great to offer, but they are just putting plasters on wounds that are caused by long hours – often without a break – late finishes, and out of hours work including weekend daytime shifts. As vets, we are naturally caring individuals who place high expectations on ourselves; this, coupled with increasing animal needs and owner demands, leads to a boiling pot of stress; we need time to unwind, at home and during the working day.

I feel very strongly that practices should not be offering normal price consultations on a Sunday, or even potentially a Saturday afternoon, or for evening consultations. Of course, we need to be flexible for those clients who are at work in the day but if there was an extra charge for appointments beyond, for example...

Categories: Journal news

What is relevant for a veterinary readership?

25 July 2019

I was very surprised and disappointed to see a half-page of Vet Record devoted to informing us that some ‘high-profile’ veterinary businessman has a low opinion of Boris Johnson (VR, 6 July 2019, vol 185, p 7).

The item was unbalanced and, in my opinion, completely irrelevant and not consistent with the journal’s mission statement. What relevance did it have to animal health, welfare or the veterinary profession? Perhaps the ‘high-profile’ person should seek to have his opinions of politicians published in The Daily Mail or similar newspaper in future rather than Vet Record.

Categories: Journal news

What is relevant for a veterinary readership?

25 July 2019

I was appalled by the news report ‘Johnson should not be PM, says Tory vet’ (VR, 6 July 2019, vol 185, p 7). This totally biased, non-scientific piece has no place in a journal of the standing of Vet Record.

Is it a coincidence that this article appears as the Conservative membership receive their voting forms for the leadership?

I was equally appalled by a total failure in the next edition to either comment or provide a contrary view.

In my opinion Vet Record is forfeiting its position as a serious scientific journal.

Categories: Journal news

Editors response: What is relevant for a veterinary readership?

25 July 2019

This journal's mission is to deliver high quality, relevant and engaging research, news and debate to help vets develop as professionals, progress their careers and improve animal health and welfare.

The high profile Conservative leadership campaign was a newsworthy topic and we made a judgement that it would be of interest to our readers.

This journal operates good journalistic practice but the question of operating scientifically is not relevant here – it is not a scientific story.

It is true that one of the tenets of journalism is fairness so that articles should be balanced. We made every effort to ensure this story, like all others, was balanced by the opposing view, but Boris Johnson’s team chose not to provide a response. The story did make that clear.

The story would be unfairly told if we had not stated the positions of all the relevant people. By doing this...

Categories: Journal news

Death notice

25 July 2019

Pate On 11 July 2019, Valerie Ruth Pate (nee Kneale), BVM&S, MRCVS, of Bishopbriggs, Glasgow. Mrs Pate qualified from Edinburgh 1985.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l4819

Categories: Journal news

Vetting your new vet

18 July 2019

This month, a dog owner discusses the process of selecting a new veterinary practice

Categories: Journal news

Making the right choice when buying a puppy or kitten

18 July 2019

Reviewed by Sheila Crispin, scientist, animal welfarist and ethicist.

Categories: Journal news

Ethical and philosophical focus on animal welfare

18 July 2019

Reviewed by Laura Higham, veterinary consultant to the Food Animal Initiative.

Categories: Journal news

Up-to-date dentistry in dogs and cats

18 July 2019

Reviewed by Matthew Oxford, referral veterinary dentist and university lecturer in dentistry.

Categories: Journal news