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Shoppers making more ethical food choices

Veterinary Record latest issue - 19 December 2019

By Matthew Limb

New consumer research has revealed a ‘crisis of confidence’ in organic produce and a mistrust of food labelling.

It shows the UK food sector faces a ‘credibility gap’ as shoppers make more demands for ethical and sustainable food.

According to ‘UK Food Trends: a snapshot in time’, which surveyed 1000 UK consumers, 85 per cent say it is important or fairly important for supermarkets to source their produce ethically.

But more than one in four consumers (27 per cent) are ‘not confident at all’ that food products labelled as organic are truly grown or reared using organic methods.

Only 19 per cent of consumers are very confident that the vegetarian and vegan food they consume does not contain meat.

In an industry built on trust, this signals that this trust is under threat

Food sector data analysts Lloyd’s Register, who compiled the report, said: ‘In...

Categories: Journal news

Vet to take up seat in the House of Commons

Veterinary Record latest issue - 19 December 2019

Equine vet Neil Hudson has become parliament’s first vet MP since 1880, following his general election win last week.

Hudson won for the Conservative Party in Penrith and the Border, with 28,875 votes – 60 per cent of constituency votes cast – with Labour in a distant second place.

He tweeted that he was ‘completely humbled to be elected’, thanked his constituents and pledged to ‘do my best to represent you all whether you voted for me or not’.

Hudson vows to get Brexit done, to move forward and focus on important domestic issues

Before the election, Hudson had vowed to ‘get Brexit sorted, to move forward and focus on important domestic issues’.

He said he had ‘big shoes to fill’, as he was elected to replace Rory Stewart, who left the Conservative Party earlier this year to stand as an independent candidate for the position of Mayor...

Categories: Journal news

Marking 100 years of women as vets

Veterinary Record latest issue - 19 December 2019

In a profession that now sees more women than men practising in the UK, it’s hard to imagine a time when there were no female vets. But this month marks 100 years since an Act of Parliament allowed women to practise as vets for the first time.

The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 did away with the legal barriers that stopped women entering the profession. It also permitted women to be awarded university degrees and, in turn, enabled Aleen Cust to become the first female vet recognised by the RCVS in 1922.

To celebrate the centenary of this groundbreaking legislation, the BVA is running a #StandingOnHerShoulders campaign, during which it will share stories of inspiring female vets of the past, present and future on its social media channels and website.

Here, we publish a shortened version of a blog in which four contemporary female vets describe their inspirations and...

Categories: Journal news

In brief

Veterinary Record latest issue - 19 December 2019
More cases of Alabama rot found

Five new cases of cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) – otherwise known as Alabama rot – were confirmed last week by veterinary specialist referral centre Anderson Moores.

The findings bring the total number of cases this year to 23. The five latest confirmed cases of the disease, which can be fatal to dogs, were found in Wallingford in Oxfordshire, Horsham in West Sussex, Malmesbury in Wiltshire and two in Hungerford in Berkshire.

In total, the UK has now had 198 confirmed cases of CRGV, across 40 counties, since 2012.

Greater Manchester, Dorset, Devon and the New Forest in Hampshire have been hotspots.

David Walker, an expert on the condition, said owners should seek advice from their vet if their dog developed unexplained skin lesions. There is currently no known way to prevent a dog from contracting the disease. Vets4Pets has developed an...

Categories: Journal news

Growing problem of pet fish that become too big

Veterinary Record latest issue - 19 December 2019

Georgina Mills reports on a new campaign aimed at educating the public about pet fish

Categories: Journal news

Lean on me: the use of therapy animals

Veterinary Record latest issue - 19 December 2019

By Matthew Limb

Therapy pets are in demand these days – and not just at Christmas. Staff may be in short supply but animals seem to be increasingly popping up in caring roles in hospitals and other settings.

Dogs are the most common therapy pet. Owners or handlers and their dogs are usually approved by a recognised organisation for so-called ‘animal assisted interventions’. Pets as Therapy and Therapet are two prominent visiting programmes in the UK.

Sometimes people just need a cuddle

There is something about a dog. Sometimes people just need a break in their routine

Pets As Therapy has 6000 registered volunteers with their ‘behaviourally assessed’ animals – overwhelmingly dogs. Candice Hughes, a New Yorker and retired foreign correspondent living in London, signed up with her bouncy, affable labradoodle named Broadway. They passed the charity’s assessments for suitability, temperament and handling control and work ‘as a...

Categories: Journal news

Products

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

Having obtained marketing authorisation from the European Commission, Boehringer Ingelheim has launched Reprocyc ParvoFLEX in selected countries within the EU. This new porcine parvovirus vaccine protects swine fetuses against transplacental infection caused by porcine parvovirus.

Sustainable pet food brand Yora has added a new selection of treats made from insect protein to its range. The company launched an insect kibble dog diet earlier this year. Insects use a fraction of the resources to farm and Yora’s grubs consume vegetable waste that would otherwise go uneaten, the company says.

Natural Instinct has launched a limited-edition Christmas dinner for dogs. Containing 80 per cent British turkey with bone, along with additional trimmings that contribute to the flavour, the meal provides the essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins for optimum dog health, the company says. The ‘festive feast’ comes in 500 g and 1 kg pack sizes. www.naturalinstinct.com

Categories: Journal news

Joii to more pet owners

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

VET-AI, a company that offers pet owners access to affordable and convenient veterinary care, has formed a partnership with pet insurer Animal Friends Insurance to offer ‘innovative options’ for pet owners to get the best care for their pets.

Vet-AI’s app, Joii, enables owners to use their phone to check their pet’s symptoms, get advice on treatment or find out if they need to visit a vet practice.

The partnership means that Animal Friends’ customers will ultimately benefit from ‘24-hour expert-led care, at the click of a button’. Initially a pilot programme is being rolled out.

Joii launched in May this year and says it now has over 10,000 registered users, adding that the link with Animal Friends will allow it to reach more pet owners.

The companies say that their common goals around animal welfare and the veterinary profession make them perfect partners.

Wes Pearson, managing director of...

Categories: Journal news

Surgical outcomes: openness for vets and clients

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

ROUNDHOUSE Referrals in Glasgow is Scotland’s first referral practice to publish clinical outcomes and client satisfaction results for tibial plateau levelling osteotomy (TPLO) surgery.

The practice has implemented a number of innovative measures designed to widen access to advanced surgery. These innovations include ‘fixed price TPLO+ surgery’ – a guarantee that pet owners will incur no additional costs, should complications arise and further treatment be required following surgery.

Ross Allan (pictured), RCVS advanced practitioner in small animal surgery and surgical lead at Roundhouse, said: ‘We loved the idea of providing price certainty for referral clients, allowing those with no or lower levels of insurance to access our services and plan their finances.’

The practice also realised that ‘fixed-price fix’ offered the possibility of being open about its outcomes. As a result, it has published the first of what will be a series of reports on TPLO+ clinical outcomes and...

Categories: Journal news

Viral enteritis causes deaths and stunting in neonatal piglets in Scotland

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

SRUC VS disease Surveillance headlines, August and September 2019

  • Mycoplasma bovis otitis in preweaned dairy calves

  • Ear tip necrosis due to Staphylococcus hyicus infection in pigs

  • Haemorrhagic liver syndrome in a backyard chicken

  • Renal amyloidosis in a red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

  • The mean temperatures in August and September in Scotland were 0.8°C and 0.5°C above the respective long-term averages. It was Scotland’s wettest August in a series since 1910 with 190 per cent of average rainfall. Rainfall figures for September were close to average, but it remained wet in the south and rather drier further north.

    CattleToxic conditions

    The carcase of a four-month-old Charolais heifer calf was submitted to Ayr after it became the second animal to die from a group of 10 cows with calves at foot. The first calf had appeared blind and displayed seizure activity before death, whereas the second...

    Categories: Journal news

    Mortality in preweaning dairy calves

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

    Preweaning calf mortality is an important determinant of dairy enterprise profitability and is regarded as an important indicator of animal welfare. A recent study of 11 herds found that, on average, 4.5 per cent of calves died in the first two months of life (range 1.9 to 8.3 per cent).1 Establishing the causes of calf mortality allows targeted interventions to be made in order to reduce losses.

    All carcase and viscera submissions from preweaned dairy calves received by SRUC VS between 2014 and 2018 were reviewed. Cases were excluded if the material presented, or the testing requested, would not have allowed a diagnosis to be made. The remaining 614 submissions were included in the analysis, and a clinically significant diagnosis was reached in 603. This highlights the value of postmortem examination as a diagnostic tool in this age of calf.

    A total of 1017 diagnoses were made,...

    Categories: Journal news

    Lone working in veterinary practice: out of sight, out of mind?

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

    Veterinary work can be a dangerous business. Numerous studies have shown that vets are at significant risk of physical injury, with evidence from insurance databases suggesting that the reported accident rate among vets was almost 3 per cent higher than that for general practitioners in human medicine.1 Large animal practitioners appear to be at higher risk, with more severe injuries tending to occur during the treatment of cattle and horses. In small animal work, dog bites are the predominant cause of injury.2,3

    However, vets are not only exposed to physical dangers. Stress and burnout are common occupational health risks, with over 80 per cent of UK vets describing their work as stressful.4 High levels of anxiety and depression have been identified in the profession,5 and being on-call has been highlighted as one of the main difficulties faced by both...

    Categories: Journal news

    'No-one knows where you are: veterinary perceptions regarding safety and risk when alone and on-call

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019
    Background

    Veterinary work is considered high risk and involves working with a range of hazards, including large animals, high workload and long hours. A key potential hazard is making home visits and providing out-of-hours emergency care, where vets often work alone, without support and must travel long distances. The current study aimed to examine UK veterinary perceptions of safety culture, lone working and on-call tasks to gain a deeper understanding of the risk and hazards involved.

    Methods

    An online mixed-methods survey was used to gather quantitative data relevant to practice safety culture and qualitative data regarding veterinary perception of lone working and on-call work. A sample of 76 UK veterinarians were recruited.

    Results

    The quantitative results suggest that there may be practice safety culture issues around a lack of communication and discussion pertaining to safety, particularly in terms of maintaining personal safety. Key themes within the qualitative data included the pressure to treat patients, potentially at personal risk, and feeling unsafe when meeting clients alone and in remote locations.

    Conclusion

    These findings indicate that personal safety requires more attention and discussion within veterinary practices, and that safety protocols and requirements should be shared with clients.

    Categories: Journal news

    Is there a correlation between canine adult-onset demodicosis and other diseases?

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

    Demodicosis is frequently seen in small animal practice. In older dogs, it is often associated with immunosuppression and immunosuppressive diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate a larger number of dogs with adult-onset demodicosis (AOD) at the veterinary teaching hospitals of the University of Sydney/Australia and the University of Munich/Germany. Breed predispositions were compared with the two control populations. Of more than 20 000 dogs and 15 000 in each respective hospital population, 54 dogs in Munich and 68 dogs in Sydney were diagnosed with AOD at a mean age of 8 years. Breed predispositions were seen for West Highland White Terriers in Munich (p<0.0001) and Maltese Terriers and Shih Tzus in Sydney (p<0.01). Concurrent diseases were confirmed in approximately 40% of the dogs both in Munich and Sydney. A significant association was only found between AOD and hyperglucocorticoidism, hypothyroidism and (in Munich) leishmaniosis. Neoplastic diseases were not significantly more common in dogs with demodicosis than in the total population at both locations (p>0.05). Consequently, dogs with AOD should be evaluated for concurrent hyperglucocorticoidism and hypothyroidism, and, in areas of the world where this is prevalent, also for leishmaniosis.

    Categories: Journal news

    History, clinical findings and outcome of horses with radiographical signs of equine odontoclastic tooth resorption and hypercementosis

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

    The progression of equine odontoclastic tooth resorption and hypercementosis (EOTRH) has not been completely evaluated, and currently, the only effective treatment is extraction of severely affected teeth. We aim to describe how the disease relates to the history and clinical findings and to report on the outcome in individual horses. This case series comprises data collected from 20 horses (age 14–29 years old) with radiographic findings of EOTRH in their incisor and/or canine teeth. Most horses affected with EOTRH in this study were admitted for dental problems, but some for other complaints such as colic. Of the 288 teeth evaluated radiographically, 224 teeth were abnormal. Radiographic findings were most frequently located in the apical aspect and reserve crown of the teeth, and lesions were also commonly found in clinically normal teeth. Histopathology of extracted teeth showed inflammation in the periodontal ligament and revealed that resorption often extended to the dentine. Some owners were unwilling to allow extraction of their horses’ severely affected teeth, even though this treatment has been shown to increase the wellbeing of the horse. As EORTH is a life-long condition, the progression of the disease has to be continuously monitored and the treatments adjusted accordingly.

    Categories: Journal news

    Selected highlights from other journals

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019
    Adipose tissue dysfunction in horses with metabolic syndrome

    A. Reynolds, J. A. Keen, T. Fordham and others

    Equine Veterinary Journal (2019) 51, 760–6

    doi: 10.1111/evj.13097

    • What did the research find?

    Adipocytes from both the perirenal and retroperitoneal depots were significantly larger in horses with equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) than in healthy horses. Expression of genes associated with adipokine release (leptin), inflammation (tumour necrosis factor α and interleukin 1β) and macrophage recruitment (chemokine [C-C motif] ligand 2) was increased in both adipose tissue depots in horses with EMS, compared with healthy horses. No differences in fibrosis or expression of genes relating to insulin signalling were observed between healthy and EMS-affected horses.

    • How was it conducted?

    Samples of perirenal and retroperitoneal adipose tissue were collected postmortem from nine healthy horses and six horses with EMS. Sections of the tissue were then analysed using histological techniques to determine the average...

    Categories: Journal news

    Beware 'dodgy science

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

    What a fascinating letter from Michael Oxenham and John Oliver (VR, 30 November 2019, vol 185, p 666). I find the authors remarkable for not conflating ‘the causes of climate change and the slight rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane.’ What constitutes ‘a slight rise’ is inevitably subjective; however, since the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide levels have increased from around 280 ppm to 419 ppm1 and methane levels have risen from 722 ppb to 1866 ppb.2

    Oxenham and Oliver cite Patrick Moore, a controversial industrial consultant, who gave a talk in 2015 to the lobby group, the Global Warming Policy Forum. Moore pointed out that plant growth benefits, through photosynthesis, from moderate increases in carbon dioxide.

    However, this is only effective if there are adequate sources of nitrogen. Plants grown under increased levels of carbon dioxide show a reduction in nutritional content, especially protein....

    Categories: Journal news

    Take the lead in sustainability

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

    We are writing in response to recent letters in Vet Record regarding the profession’s responsibility towards the environment (23 November 2019, vol 185, pp 634-635; 30 November 2019, vol 185, pp 664-665; 7 December 2019, vol 185, p 696). SPVS would like to take the opportunity to respond with some information on our current work in this area.

    Earlier this year, our junior vice president, Anna Judson, was appointed the sustainability lead on SPVS board. She is also a member of the Vet Sustain steering group (www.vetsustain.org).

    SPVS and the Veterinary Management Group (VMG) will be running a full-day sustainability stream at the SPVS/VMG congress in 2020 (www.spvs-vmg-events.co.uk/congress), and have also added a new sustainability CPD day to the events programme for 2020.

    The SPVS leadership stream at BSAVA congress in April 2020 will be packed with information and education on sustainability in practice.

    In...

    Categories: Journal news

    TB testing in Wales

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

    The Welsh Government wishes to confirm, in response to the article ‘Wales gives green light for "novel" TB tests’ (VR, 30 November 2019, vol 185, p 640), which new bovine TB tests can be used by vets in Wales as part of a new agreement.

    The only tests that can be used under the new arrangement are those under development and which have not been accepted as meeting international validation standards by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). These non-validated, or ‘unvalidated’ tests can only be used in TB breakdown situations after the farmer and their private veterinary surgeon have agreed to a set of conditions in relation to conducting these tests. These conditions include how animals positive to a non-validated test are subsequently managed. The use of these tests are subject to Welsh Government approval.

    The skin test, interferon-gamma test, IDEXX test and Enferplex (bovine serum) tests...

    Categories: Journal news

    Identify missed TB cattle with Enferplex

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

    Recent articles in Vet Record have drawn attention to novel tests (VR, 26 October 2019, vol 185, p 491), which bring exciting possibilities for the control and eradication of bovine TB (bTB), and to assessing the potential (VR, 26 October 2019, vol 185, p 492; 3 November 2012, vol 171, p 435), though controversial (VR, 30 November 2019, vol 185, p 664), scale of the hidden burden of bTB infection.

    We would like to clarify the validation status of the Enferplex Bovine TB antibody test and its role in detecting animals missed by the single intradermal comparative cervical tuberculin (SICCT) and/or the interferon-gamma( IFN-) tests.

    The Enferplex test has been validated by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and has the same status as the Bovigam IFN- test and the IDEXX Mycobacterium bovis antibody test. No other ancillary tests for bTB are validated by OIE. Defra, the Welsh...

    Categories: Journal news
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