Feed aggregator

Rational use of companion animal parasiticides

Christopher Little and Alistair Boxall (VR, 25 January 2020, vol 186, p 97) called for a stop to the ‘blanket prophylactic use’ of antiparasitic drugs, and encouraged a return to strategic prescribing to minimise environmental exposure. Factors that might have brought about a change in prescribing practice are the emergence of pet health plans and client reminder services that aim for year-round comprehensive parasite protection, increased awareness of the lungworm Angiostrongylus vasorum, and an expansion in the choice of broad-spectrum parasiticide products.

Companion animal parasiticide products are unquestionably valuable for reducing the disease burden associated with parasites. Currently, assessment of the environmental effects of these products before marketing approval is limited and we need urgently to understand more about the risks to the environment from their overall use. In the meantime, it makes sense to stop unnecessary use of the drugs. But how can this be done?

Alternatives to...

Categories: Journal news

What can we do about diversity and inclusion?

Diversity and inclusion: two words that have rightly gained prominence recently. But how many of us really understand what they mean? And how do we ensure that we do more than just pay lip service and actually translate these words into action?

It’s not about how many people you invite to a party, but how many you get up to dance

Diversity is about how wide a range of different people are present; inclusion is about how well people feel they fit in, are valued and can succeed. It’s not about how many people you invite to a party, but rather how many of them you get up to dance. The concepts are distinct but interlinked.

Currently, we are not a diverse profession: overwhelmingly female, disproportionately privately educated and only 3.5 per cent of colleagues are from black or other minority ethnic backgrounds. But why does diversity matter?...

Categories: Journal news

Testing times: dealing with bovine TB on a dairy farm

This month, dairy farmer Phil Latham discusses the emotional toll that a TB diagnosis takes on farm staff

Categories: Journal news

Henry Peter Hope

A lifelong practitioner and a master of communication, he ran a small animal practice that held high clinical and ethical standards, supported by a loyal team of staff. He also had a great sense of humour and fun.

Categories: Journal news

BVA Council considers RCVS proposals for regulatory reform

BVA Council tackled an extensive agenda at a two-day meeting on 14 and 15 July. As for its meeting in April, Council members participated via online video conferencing.

Categories: Journal news

Major policy positions approved

Council approved new key policy position statements on welfare at slaughter, bovine TB (bTB) and good veterinary workplaces. The ‘enormous’ efforts of the three working groups and BVA staff who had produced the position papers were commended by Council, and the contributions made by experts from within and outside the profession were acknowledged and appreciated.

The approved statements will be published in the coming months.

Welfare at slaughter

This policy position covers the wider slaughter process, including on-farm preparation, transport and slaughter methods. It emphasises that all animals should have a humane death, with minimal avoidable pain, distress, fear and suffering, and makes 67 recommendations. Council particularly welcomed the engagement with Halal certification bodies during the development of the position, and urged BVA to continue its dialogue with these stakeholders.

Bovine TB

The new policy position on bTB consolidates a wide range of earlier BVA positions and reflects...

Categories: Journal news

Covid-19: what next?

Council was asked to consider how the veterinary world might look as society begins to return to a new normal following the coronavirus pandemic, and in the context of EU Exit, to help BVA identify areas where longer-term support and guidance might be needed.

The provision of EMS and support for new graduates entering their first roles in practice were high on the list of issues raised, with several Council members commenting that it was ‘vital’ that EMS is reinstated as soon as it is safe to do so. The need for extra mentoring support for new graduates was also emphasised, to help allay concerns about the possible knock-on effects of reduced access to EMS.

Council members highlighted the impact of Covid-19 on the wellbeing of practice staff. Both the risk of burnout among those who had worked throughout the lockdown period and the impact of being furloughed were...

Categories: Journal news

Policy priorities for 2020/21

Council members were invited to suggest possible priority policy areas for BVA in the coming Association year (2020/21). The meeting heard that good progress was being made on all of the priorities agreed for 2019/20 until the introduction of government restrictions around coronavirus. BVA had then redirected its resources to focus on providing support, guidance and campaigning for the veterinary profession around Covid-19, meaning that it would not be possible to complete all the 2019/20 priorities.

Several Council members commented that, given the current circumstances, BVA could use 2020/21 as a period of reflection. Sally Wilson (BCVA) said BVA had just completed some ‘massive pieces of work’, and should perhaps take time to consolidate and make progress with these.

Adrienne Conroy (Association of Government Vets) agreed. BVA had done some ‘very good work’ recently and rather than take on big new issues, perhaps it could review previously agreed policies...

Categories: Journal news

Council news in brief

EU Exit and trade

Despite the understandable recent focus on Covid-19, BVA continues to lobby and campaign on veterinary priorities for EU Exit, particularly in the areas of trade, agriculture, the veterinary workforce, pet travel and veterinary medicines. Council members supported BVA’s efforts so far and called for continued lobbying to ensure that the UK’s high animal welfare standards are not compromised by any future trade deal that might allow products from animals raised in poorer welfare environments on to the UK market. Sean Wensley (past-president) noted that ‘the lives of millions of sentient animals’ were at stake, and the importance of this ‘cannot be underestimated’.

‘Under care’ policy position

Council supported a draft framework and recommendations for a policy position being developed by BVA’s Under Our Care working group. This will inform BVA’s response to the RCVS’ ongoing review of under care and 24/7 cover. Comments made...

Categories: Journal news

We should uphold animal welfare standards and our values in trade deals

Neil Hudson argues that it is deeply regretful that the House of Commons failed to pass an amendment to the Agriculture Bill last month, and explains why it is important that the Lords now reject the Bill in its current form.

Categories: Journal news

Is the production of a Covid-19 vaccine using transformed Pasteurella plausible?

We read with interest the letters from Aung Myint and Trevor Jones (VR, 28 March 2020, vol 186, p 388 and VR, 4/11 April 2020, vol 186, p 419) describing their experience with vaccination of poultry against infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) in Myanmar and the proposal that a similar method could be used to control Covid-19.

While a viable method for the production of a Covid-19 vaccine is of huge interest at the moment, and it is important to adopt the experience and lessons from prophylactic vaccination in veterinary medicine, we feel that some aspects of the underlying science put forward in these letters require supporting evidence and further clarification to demonstrate they are plausible.

The authors speculate that ‘administration of a vaccine containing formalin-killed Pasteurella multocida cells, prepared as we described, could be effective in therapy if administered early in the course of [Covid-19], by stimulating the production...

Categories: Journal news

Aung Myint and trevor Jones respond

We thank Andrew Rycroft and colleagues for highlighting areas of our approach that require further explanation.

First, we must clarify that we did not suggest oral administration of a vaccine produced using Pasteurella multocida. Our speculation that a vaccine may block virus receptor sites in the intestine referred to an oral vaccine using live transformed Lactobacillus acidophilus.

Regarding the transformability of P multocida, this bacterial species is naturally competent and displays a high frequency of DNA uptake sequences.1 We do not have an explanation for how viral RNA is converted to DNA during the transformation process, but our method has been successfully applied in the development of recombinant vaccines for several RNA viruses (including infectious bronchitis virus, infectious bursal disease virus, classical swine fever virus, foot-and-mouth disease virus type O and rabies lyssavirus) produced and used in Myanmar over the past 12 years.

P multocida transformed using...

Categories: Journal news

Championing the Pride of the profession

The British Veterinary LGBT+ group was founded in 2015 with three aims: to build a community of LGBT+ members of the professions, support them and campaign for their rights. Here, Georgina Mills talks to its new president Tom Doyle

Categories: Journal news

Discriminating transudates and exudates in dogs with pleural effusion: diagnostic utility of simplified Lights criteria compared with traditional veterinary classification

Objectives

To determine whether the simplified Light’s criteria (ie, pleural effusion lactate dehydrogenase concentration and serum total protein) can identify the pathophysiology of pleural effusion formation in dogs, and to assess whether these criteria were more accurate than the traditional veterinary classification based on pleural effusion total protein (TPp) and nucleated cell count (TNCCp).

Methods

This is a cross-sectional study including 100 dogs with pleural effusion. The aetiology of effusion was used to classify the pathophysiology of its formation. Parameters measured included the simplified Light’s criteria, TPp and TNCCp. The diagnostic utility of the two methods in classifying pleural effusion formation was evaluated.

Results

Seven transudates due to decreased colloid osmotic pressure, 18 transudates due to increased hydrostatic pressure gradient and 75 exudates were included in the study. The simplified Light’s criteria misclassified 2 of 75 exudates (98 per cent overall accuracy). The traditional veterinary classification scheme misclassified 31 of 75 exudates and 12 of 18 increased hydrostatic pressure gradient transudates (57 per cent overall accuracy). The frequency of agreement between the simplified Light’s criteria and the traditional veterinary classification with the true nature of the pleural effusion was significantly different (P<0.001).

Clinical significance

The simplified Light’s criteria were highly accurate in discriminating exudates from transudates, while TPp and TNCCp had no diagnostic value in doing so.

Categories: Journal news

Low vitamin D status is associated with anaemia in hospitalised cats

Background

The major physiological role of vitamin D has traditionally been considered to be the regulation of calcium homeostasis and maintenance of skeletal health. However, there is increasing evidence that vitamin D influences a wider range of physiological processes including erythropoiesis. Vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D, 25(OH)D) deficiency concentrations have been associated with anaemia in human beings. In contrast, the relationship between vitamin D status and erythropoiesis has not been investigated in cats.

Methods

Clinical records of cats consecutively presenting between November 2013 and February 2015 were reviewed. For each cat, data including sex, age, breed, serum albumin and creatinine concentrations, and appetite scores were extracted. A multivariable linear regression model was constructed to examine the relationship between 25(OH)D concentrations and these variables.

Results

Cats with anaemia had significantly lower 25(OH)D concentrations (median 49.5 nmol/l, n=31) than cats with packed cell volume above the lower limit of the reference range (median 109.0 nmol/l, n=130) (P<0.001). A binary logistic regression found that red blood cell count and mean corpuscular volume were negatively correlated with serum 25(OH)D concentrations (P<0.001 and P=0.007, respectively).

Conclusion

Vitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration is positively associated with red blood cell count and mean corpuscular volume in cats with a wide range of different illnesses.

Categories: Journal news

Evaluating the use of cytosine arabinoside for treatment for recurrent canine steroid-responsive meningitis-arteritis

Background

Relapses in steroid-responsive meningitis-arteritis (SRMA) are frequently observed but specific treatment protocols to address this problem are sparsely reported. Standard treatment includes prolonged administration of glucocorticoids as monotherapy or in combination with immunosuppressive drugs. The aim of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of cytosine arabinoside (CA) in combination with glucocorticoids for treatment of SRMA relapses in 12 dogs on a retrospective basis.

Methods

Dogs with recurrent episodes of SRMA and treated with a combination of CA and prednisolone were included. Information about clinical course, treatment response and adverse events was collected from medical records. Ethical approval was not required for this study.

Results

Ten dogs (10/12) responded well to the treatment with clinical signs being completely controlled. One dog is in clinical remission, but still under treatment. One dog (8%) showed further relapse. Mean treatment period was 51 weeks. Adverse events of variable severity (grade 1–4/5) were documented in all dogs during treatment according to the veterinary cooperative oncology group grading. Three dogs developed severe adverse events. Laboratory findings showed marked changes up to grade 4. Diarrhoea and anaemia were the most often observed adverse events (6), followed by dermatitis (4), alopecia (3) and pneumonia (3). Including blood chemistry changes (13), 50 adverse events were found in total.

Conclusion

Treatment with CA and glucocorticoids resulted in clinical remission in 10/12 dogs, but a high incidence of adverse events occurred requiring additional measures. All adverse events could be managed successfully in all cases.

Categories: Journal news

The case for adopting a combined comparative medicine and One Health approach to tackle emerging diseases

The majority of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, originating from domesticated animals and wildlife.1 The Covid-19 pandemic is also a zoonosis, with current evidence suggesting that the causative agent – human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) – is closely related to coronaviruses circulating in bats.2 It is therefore important to determine whether changes in human behaviour are increasing the risk of infectious diseases spilling over from wildlife populations into people.

One factor that affects the risk of emerging infectious diseases is mammalian biodiversity, or the number of different species of mammals, in a given area. Where there are many different mammalian species in one location there are also likely to be many different viruses circulating, leading to the suggestion that the risk of zoonosis inevitably increases in areas of high biodiversity.1 However, the link between biodiversity and the risk of emerging zoonotic...

Categories: Journal news

Influence of living in a multicat household on health and behaviour in a cohort of cats from the United Kingdom

Background

Living in a multicat household has been implicated as a risk factor for various feline issues, but evidence is often anecdotal or based on retrospective studies.

Methods

Data from the Bristol Cats Study, a UK longitudinal study of pet cats, were used. Cats were included if they had remained in either a single cat or multicat household between questionnaires 1 (two months old to four months old) and 5 (two-and-a-half years old). Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models were used to analyse associations between single cat/multicat households and measures of health and behaviour (overweight/obesity, abscesses/cat bites, negative interactions with owner and periuria). Multicat households were also subcategorised according to whether owners had reported agonistic behaviour between household cats.

Results

There was no evidence of association between household type and the likelihood of obesity, abscesses or periuria. The likelihood of negative interactions with the owner (eg, growling or hissing) was influenced by the cats’ relationships; cats in non-agonistic multicat households had decreased odds of negative interactions with the owner, compared with single and agonistic multicat households (P<0.001).

Conclusion

Living in a multicat households per se was not a risk factor for the health and behaviour issues investigated, but the intercat relationship is important.

Categories: Journal news

Perinatal mortality in 23 beef herds in Orkney: incidence, risk factors and aetiology

Background

Perinatal mortality in beef calves impacts on profitability and animal welfare, but the incidence and causes in UK herds are not well known.

Methods

Data from 11 herds were analysed to establish the risk factors for and incidence of perinatal mortality (full-term calves born dead or died within 48 hours). To establish cause of death, 23 herds in total submitted dead calves for postmortem examination (nine herds submitted all calves, 14 herds submitted calves on an ad hoc basis) and the results were reviewed by a panel.

Results

The incidence of perinatal mortality for all 1059 calvings was 5.1 per cent (range 1.6–12.4 per cent across herds; median 4 per cent). The incidence of stillbirth and neonatal mortality was 3.9 per cent (range 0–10.1 per cent) and 1.2 per cent (range 0–2.6 per cent), respectively. Sex of the calf, plurality and level of calving assistance were associated with significantly greater risk of perinatal loss. Parturition-related deaths (n=20), intrauterine infections (n=13), congenital malformations (n=6) and postpartum infections (n=6) were among the diagnosis recorded from 54 calves investigated. Parturition-related deaths and congenital malformations were recorded more commonly from herds submitting all losses than from those submitting on an ad hoc basis.

Conclusion

Variation in perinatal incidence across herds exists and many fail to reach the 2 per cent target. Some significant risk factors and common causes of death identified have the potential to decrease perinatal mortality rates through improved herd management.

Categories: Journal news

Peripheral blood markers of sepsis in foals born from mares with experimentally induced ascending placentitis

Background

Neonatal sepsis is a leading cause of neonatal death during the first-week postfoaling. Despite recent advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis in the newborn foal, the non-specific clinical signs and subtle nature of this disease may result in delayed diagnosis until severe progression of the disease; thus, early detection of sepsis remains critical for a favourable outcome. This study aimed to identify early blood markers as predictive of sepsis on foals.

Methods

Thirty-five foals were allocated into three groups: healthy control foals (n=7) and foals born from mares with placentitis: septic foals (n=9) and non-septic foals (n=19). Blood samples were obtained immediately after foaling and at 12, 24 and 48 hours. All samples were assessed for glucose, lactate, triglycerides, total cholesterol, urea, creatinine, total solids, fibrinogen, gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), serum amyloid A (SAA) and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) concentrations.

Results

At foaling, glucose and GGT concentrations were lower in septic foals (P<0.001). Of interest, SAA, AFP, creatinine and total cholesterol were higher in septic foals at parturition (P<0.05). At 12 hours, lactate, triglycerides and total cholesterol concentrations were higher in septic foals. When evaluated at 24 and 48 hours, higher concentrations of SAA and AFP were found in placentitis foals than in the control group.

Conclusions

Total cholesterol and lactate appear to be suitable markers for sepsis during the first 24 hours postpartum. Septic foals displayed altered energy metabolisms as determined by increased triglycerides and cholesterol concentrations, hypoglycaemia at birth and reduced activity of the GGT and increased lactate and urea concentrations. Sepsis was associated with high concentrations of SAA and AFP.

Categories: Journal news
Syndicate content