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Save Galapagos species by managing cats and dogs

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

When you think of the Galapagos Islands, you perhaps think of their unique wildlife, the giant Galapagos tortoise, for example, or its pioneering research into conservation, or you could even imagine the finches made famous by Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

When I arrived in the Galapagos in early 2019 to take on the management of a charitable veterinary clinic, I found that this reputation was entirely genuine, accurate and magical. However, my preconceived perceptions of the islands missed another part of the reality altogether; the rapidly growing population of dogs and cats across the archipelago.

Across the four inhabited islands, only one island has a permanent veterinary facility, and even that island has a population of dogs and cats that is continuing to grow. With this growth comes an increase in feral and stray animals, fuelling more predation, competition and infectious disease transmission between the domesticated animals and...

Categories: Journal news

Correction: One Health fellowships

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

Letters & notices: One Health fellowships (VR, 30 November 2019, vol 185, p 666). The contact email was given incorrectly. The correct email is secretariat@soulsbyfoundation.org. The error is regretted.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l6908

Categories: Journal news

Celebrating JET Jones

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

To celebrate the life of JET Jones, who died in December last year, colleagues, friends and former students of his are holding a commemoration of his life and achievements at the Royal Veterinary College, Council Room, Hawkshead Campus, on 17 January at 14:00.

Those who would like to join us and remember JET are very welcome. If you would like to attend, please email me at the details below.

Categories: Journal news

Death notices

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

Rowland On 27 October 2019, Rebecca Jane Rowland, BVSc, MRCVS, of Evesham, Worcestershire. Dr Rowland qualified from Bristol in 1998.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l6907

Categories: Journal news

'We should classify pet obesity as a disease

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

Alexander German, Ian Ramsey and Philip Lhermette address some of the concerns raised over calling pet obesity a disease and argue that this classification can bring many management opportunities.

Categories: Journal news

The gift of less Christmas stress

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

Christmas is around the corner, and both work and life pressures may be mounting as a result. Penny Barker offers some advice on how to cope with the additional stresses the festive period can bring.

Categories: Journal news

Really digging some time out

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

For Tom Carr, clinical director of Martin and Carr Vets in Worcestershire, taking some time out means going back in time. That’s because he’s a keen fossil hunter who can often be found combing beaches accompanied by his cocker spaniel, Tiberius (Tiber for short).

‘He comes out with me in all weathers and is adept at jumping the boulders. He is most excellent at finding dead stuff on the beach, and some say he has an ability to find fossils too,’ jokes Tom.

‘Most of the beaches I work on are fairly rough and remote, along the Dorset coast. The worse the weather the better, as strong tides and waves increase the rate of erosion.’

If lucky enough to come across a fossil – ‘there is a lot of competition for finds’ – the next step is to ‘prepare’ it. This means carefully exposing the fossil within the rock...

Categories: Journal news

Be present this festive season

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

The temptation may be to spend Christmas thinking about others non-stop. But, argues Penny Barker, it’s only right to think of yourself too.

Categories: Journal news

Volunteering for improved wellbeing

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

Many of us find Christmas and the imminent new year is a time to think about community and the contribution we make to it. For Louise Collins, volunteer work has become an integral part of a portfolio career – with, she says, many resultant benefits for her own wellbeing. Claire Read reports.

Categories: Journal news

Neville George Kingston

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

An inspiration to many young vets, he lived life at full speed. He loved to travel and often combined it with aid work in areas of conflict, natural disasters and epidemics.

Categories: Journal news

'I always wanted to be a good clinician... the vet people wanted to see

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

As the first BVA Young Vet of the Year, Emily Craven epitomises ‘the difference that young vets make’, but she hasn’t always found vet life plain sailing. Here, she shares her journey.

Categories: Journal news

People

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

Three vets have joined North Downs Specialist Referrals (NDSR), near Bletchingley, Surrey.

Susanna Spence graduated from Glasgow Vet School in 2012 and achieved her European diploma in small animal internal medicine in March 2019. She has a keen interest in endocrinology and has lectured and presented webinars on the subject. She has also presented at various conferences on research in Addison’s disease and diabetes and recently studied canine hypoadrenocorticism for her masters in veterinary medicine at Glasgow.

Rui Pinelas graduated from the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Portugal, in 2003. After two years in general practice, he joined the surgery service of the same university, where he developed a special interest in anaesthesia and analgesia. In 2008, he started a three-year residency at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), where, in 2011, he also obtained his masters in veterinary medicine. He obtained his European diploma in anaesthesia and analgesia...

Categories: Journal news

Donkeys: dying for their skin

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

For many of the world’s poorest communities, donkeys are fundamental to existence. Helping to transport goods to market, and carrying water and wood, they give access to vital sources of income, and can make the difference between destitution and survival.

And yet these often much-valued animals have never been more under threat.

According to the charity The Donkey Sanctuary, their numbers in some countries are collapsing due to the huge appetite for their skins to feed the Chinese herbal market (see pp 714-715).

Donkey skins are used to produce ejiao – a gelatine manufactured by boiling them. There is no credible evidence base for its use, but practitioners recommend it for a range of reasons – as a ‘blood tonic’, to ‘moisten lungs’, for dizziness, insomnia, for anti-aging, easing the symptoms of chemotherapy or to enhance libido.

Following some clever product placement in a soap opera in 2010, ejiao...

Categories: Journal news

Does animal-assisted therapy need regulation?

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

By Josh Loeb

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) should draw up guidelines for best practice in animal-assisted therapy (AAT), the pet charity Blue Cross has said.

The call comes after responses to a Freedom of Information request it submitted to NHS trusts across Great Britain indicated that the majority now offer AAT as part of their services.

Of 76 NHS trusts across England, Scotland and Wales that responded to the request for information, 60 per cent said they offer some form of AAT.

Blue Cross has called on the Department of Health to go further by starting a comprehensive review of AAT and its potential benefits, with a view to rolling it out more widely.

AAT, a catch-all term encompassing many different forms of treatment involving animals, has been used in the NHS as part of a treatment package for patients suffering from conditions including...

Categories: Journal news

'Corruption at vet school has been dealt with

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

By Josh Loeb

A European university where dozens of students were allegedly victimised by members of staff running a corruption racket has provided Vet Record with fresh information about the case.

Papers from a case heard by the RCVS disciplinary committee last month indicated that at least 30 and ‘possibly many more’ students had money extorted from them by members of staff at Bucharest’s University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine.

EU nationals who graduate from the university are automatically entitled to practise as vets in the UK. Hundreds are on the RCVS register at present.

As reported by Vet Record last week (VR, 7 December 2019, vol 185, p 672), an RCVS disciplinary committee hearing unearthed disturbing allegations of students being forced to hand over bribes in order to pass an exam and thus be allowed to graduate from the university.

The European Association of Establishments for Veterinary...

Categories: Journal news

Progress on our green agenda

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

Vet Record and In Practice are now posted out in a carbon-neutral polymer wrapper.

Starting this week, your journals will be supplied in Polyair, which is derived from the waste products of sugar cane processing.

As the amount of carbon dioxide taken from the atmosphere during the growing of the sugar cane is greater than the total emissions from the processing, transportation and manufacturing of the polymer, the bioplastic bags are carbon neutral at the point they leave the factory gate.

The polymer wrapping is non-compostable, but fully recyclable at larger supermarkets or local council sites which normally provide a recycling service for poly and plastic bags.

Publisher of the vet journals Janet O’Flaherty said: ‘We know that vets are concerned about sustainability and the environment and so we are delighted that BVA’s journals now have carbon-neutral wrapping. We will continue to explore further greener packaging options.’

For...

Categories: Journal news

Concerns about fertility clinics claims

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

By Josh Loeb

A Fertility clinic has for more than a year been falsely advertising the services of a vet who is not on the RCVS register.

K9 Fertility Clinic, based in the Dudley area of the West Midlands, has for more than 12 months stated on its website that Maria Elena Pittaro is its ‘on-site vet’.

Above Pittaro’s name and a picture, purportedly of her, is a strapline stating: ‘Our on-site vet adds more reason [sic] to trust our services.’

However, for the past year, Pittaro has in fact not been registered with the RCVS and so has not been allowed to practise any form of veterinary surgery in the UK – a fact that was spotted by several bona fide vets, who brought this to Vet Record’s attention.

K9 Fertility Clinic offers dog breeding services including transcervical insemination, caesarean sections, progesterone testing, pregnancy scanning and microchipping.

It...

Categories: Journal news

Pets at Home faces criticism over 'pet villages

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

By Josh Loeb

The vlogger behind a petition calling on Pets at Home to reconsider the design of new interactive zones in its stores has suggested that customers might want to boycott their local Pets at Home store in future if the company does not rethink its approach.

Zoology graduate Emi Jordan, whose YouTube channel featuring weekly videos about rats, mice and other pets has tens of thousands of subscribers, said opponents of so-called ‘pet villages’ at branches of Pets at Home should consider ‘boycotting your local store if the new designs [for the interactive zones] are implemented.’

These will turn its animal enclosures into a playground

Already a small number of stores have the zones – designed as an ‘immersive’ environment where children can get close to animals – but there are plans to roll them out to others. Jordan said she is appalled by what she...

Categories: Journal news

Mission elimination rabies: action to hit 2030 target

Veterinary Record latest issue - 12 December 2019

A year after the World Health Organization set the world a challenge to eliminate dog rabies-related deaths in people by 2030, organisations are stepping up their support.

Last month, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the charity Mission Rabies to collaborate in the fight to end rabies.

Under the MoU, the WSAVA will become an observer of Mission Rabies’ newly launched International Rabies Taskforce (IRT) – a global committee of experts dedicated to the elimination of canine rabies that aims to provide practical expertise and guidance to support governments to plan and grow successful, cost-effective rabies elimination strategies.

The IRT is committed to the goal of eliminating human deaths due to canine-mediated rabies deaths by 2030.

With 10 years to go, this disease is still estimated to cause over 50,000 deaths each year, with many victims being children.

...
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