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Help clients understand referral

11 April 2019

Information for clients about how the process of vet referrals work is available to help primary practitioners inform and guide their clients about veterinary specialist care.

The British College of Veterinary Specialists (BCVSp), has launched the new website – www.yourvetspecialist.org – as a place to which primary practices can direct their clients if a referral is being considered.

The website aims to make it easier for animal owners to understand and become confident with the process of referral, and to search for a specialist by location and by veterinary specialism.

www.yourvetspecialist.org

Categories: Journal news

Practice adopts novel recycling scheme

11 April 2019

A vet practice has found a novel way of turning waste plastic into something useful.

Staff at White Cross Vets in Gateacre near Liverpool take the large amounts of waste plastic packaging that pharmaceutical and other products arrive in and tightly pack it into plastic bottles to create reusable ‘ecobricks’. These can then be used throughout the world to make a range of structures – even small buildings or raised gardens.

The ecobrick initiative was launched by the Global Ecobrick Alliance, which describes itself as an Earth Enterprise focused on solving plastic pollution through low-tech, educational, ecobrick technology. Its website lists organisations where the ecobricks are used.

White Cross Vets is now exploring ways in which it can roll out the scheme to its 19 practices.

Vet nurse Helen Morris said: ‘In our industry almost everything comes packed in unrecyclable plastics, from small syringe packets to large delivery bags...

Categories: Journal news

BSAVA changes its governance

11 April 2019

The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) agreed changes to its governing structure intended to improve the operational efficiency of the organisation at its annual general meeting in Birmingham on April 7.

The changes to its articles of association will involve the transfer of responsibility for the everyday business of the BSAVA to a board consisting of a new chief executive, the current officer team and a non-executive director. Previously the organisation was run by a much larger council consisting of the officer team, standing committee chairmen, regional representatives and others, including a coordinator for the 12 geographical regions and public relations officer.

Vice president Ian Ramsey said the existing structure was no longer fit for purpose as the size and complexity of the organisation has grown over the years.

The new structure, which will allow more agility in the organisation’s decision-making and daily activities has been developed over...

Categories: Journal news

Intrauterine antibiotic for cows

11 April 2019

A new prescription-only intrauterine drug for the treatment and prevention of postparturient disorders in cows is available.

Utertab, with active ingredient tetracycline hydrochloride 2000 mg, acts directly in the target tissue, the company says. It comes in a perforated blister pack.

John Henderson, large animal product manager at Forte Healthcare, said: ‘Given the need to use appropriate first-line antibacterial drugs where possible, we are delighted to bring vets a new tetracycline pessary for the treatment of metritis and retained foetal membranes. "In-situ" therapy for these conditions has more recently been neglected in favour of injectables, but still has much to recommend it.’

Forte Healthcare, Block 3, Unit 9, CityNorth Business Campus, Stamullen, County Meath K32 D990, Ireland, telephone 0353 1 841 7666. www.fortehealthcare.ie

Categories: Journal news

Practice news

11 April 2019

Scarsdale Vets has opened a new first-opinion veterinary practice in Langley Mill, Derbyshire. Vet Yvette Rowntree and vet nurse Alex Butler will run the practice, along with vet Belen Moreno Lopez and client care advisers Joanne Bamford, Sally Cresswell and Michelle Wright. As well as caring for local pets, they will provide care for exotic pets, such as lizards, small mammals, parrots and chickens.

VetPartners has acquired LLM Farm Vets. Previously known as Lambert, Leonard and May, its main practice is in Whitchurch, Shropshire and it covers Shropshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and North Wales. LLM also has two microsites at Eccleshall and Wrexham. In Lancashire, it operates from Broughton, near Preston, with a microsite in Clitheroe. Its newest practice in Bakewell, Derbyshire, opened in August 2018.

Categories: Journal news

Copper toxicity causes deaths of cattle and sheep in Scotland

11 April 2019

SRUC VS disease Surveillance headlines, December 2018

  • Deaths due to chronic copper toxicity in both cattle and sheep.

  • Ergotism in beef cows due to Claviceps purpurea in late cut silage.

  • Pneumonia due to respiratory syncytial virus in dairy calves.

  • Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a cause of enteritis in weaned lambs.

  • December 2018 was warm and dry with the mean temperature 1.4°C above the 1981 to 2010 long-term average. Rainfall was above average in parts of the Western Isles but 80 per cent of average across Scotland as a whole. Sunshine figures were good in the east but below average in the west.

    CattleNutritional and metabolic disorders

    A five-month-old Holstein bull calf appeared unwell one week after moving farm and died despite treatment with oral fluids, antibiotics and NSAIDs.

    The carcase was jaundiced with an orange liver, dark kidneys and evidence of haemoglobinuria. These findings...

    Categories: Journal news

    Parrot bornavirus infection: correlation with neurological signs and feather picking?

    11 April 2019

    Borna disease virus is the causative agent of Borna disease, which is characterised by nonsuppurative meningoencephalomyelitis caused by cellular immune responses against the viral antigens.1 This virus has been extensively studied because of its relevance to both human and animal health.2-4 It was the only virus known in the family Bornaviridae until 2008, when genetically diverse avian bornaviruses (ABVs) were detected in psittacine birds with proventricular dilatation disease (PDD).

    PDD is a fatal disease observed in psittacine birds and was first described as macaw wasting disease in the 1970s. Since then, PDD and PDD-like diseases have been reported in more than 80 species of birds, including non-psittacine birds such as toucans, waterfowl and canaries.5,6 PDD-affected birds show gastrointestinal signs such as undigested food in the faeces, vomiting, and weight loss and/or neurological signs such as depression, ataxia...

    Categories: Journal news

    Correlation of avian bornavirus-specific antibodies and viral ribonucleic acid shedding with neurological signs and feather-damaging behaviour in psittacine birds

    11 April 2019

    Parrot bornaviruses (PaBV) are the causative agents of proventricular dilatation disease in psittacine birds, but have also been linked to other clinical signs, including behavioural disorders and neurological signs. The aim of this study was to correlate PaBV infection in birds showing feather-damaging behaviour or neurological signs for which no other cause of disease could be identified. Psittacine birds presented to a private practice were divided into three groups: birds with neurological signs (n=28), birds showing feather-damaging behaviour (n=42) and birds presented for routine examinations (n=56). Swabs of crop and cloaca were collected and investigated for the presence of PaBV-RNA using real time RT-PCR. Additionally, serum samples were taken and examined for the presence of anti-PaBV antibodies by immunofluorescence test. PaBV infection was detected in one of the test systems in 40.5 per cent of all birds (n=126) investigated. In the clinically healthy birds (n=56), 19.6 per cent of the birds were positive in at least one of the PaBV tests, compared with 52.38 per cent of the feather-damaging (n=42) and 64.28 per cent of the neurologically diseased birds (n=28). Interestingly, the anti-PaBV antibody titres in birds with neurological signs were highest up to 1:20 480. High antibody titres (up to 1:5120) were also found in the feather-damaging group, whereas the birds of the control group, if PaBV positive, had only very low titres. Similarly, the highest viral load was found in the group of the neurologically diseased birds, followed by feather-damaging birds, whereas PaBV-positive birds in the control group demonstrated only low viral RNA shedding. A clear correlation between severity of clinical signs, amount of viral shedding and high levels of antibody titres was observed for most of the neurologically diseased birds and also for few birds with feather-damaging behaviour. For the first time, these results clearly indicate a correlation between PaBV infection and neurological signs in birds without gastrointestinal signs presented to the veterinarian in practice. It also may demonstrate a possible correlation with feather-damaging behaviour and anti-PaBV antibody presence. The antibody titre seems to represent a diagnostic tool to correlate clinical signs to PaBV as a cause.

    Categories: Journal news

    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...

    Categories: Journal news

    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...

    Categories: Journal news

    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...

    Categories: Journal news

    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...

    Categories: Journal news

    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.

    Categories: Journal news

    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...

    Categories: Journal news

    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.

    Categories: Journal news

    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.

    Categories: Journal news

    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