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Disease surveillance in England and Wales, November 2019

Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

APHA disease Surveillance report headlines

  • Campylobacter abortion in cattle

  • Negated bluetongue cases in sheep

  • Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome in preweaned piglets

  • Highlights from the scanning surveillance networkCattleCampylobacter infection in a suckler herd

    Examination of an aborted calf at the APHA Thirsk veterinary investigation centre (VIC) confirmed infection by Campylobacter fetus fetus. It was the second abortion in a group of five heifers in a suckler herd of around 100 animals.

    Infection by this Campylobacter species principally arises via the faecal-oral route, similar to the mechanism of infection resulting in Campylobacter abortion in sheep, although mechanical spread by bulls is also possible. Venereal campylobacteriosis, on the other hand, caused by either Campylobacter fetus venerealis or Campylobacter fetus intermedius, occurs only in herds using natural service.

    Clearly, to control disease it is essential that the causative Campylobacter is definitively identified. If C fetus fetus infection...

    Categories: Journal news

    Surveillance for disease in extensively managed livestock

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    This focus article has been prepared by Sian Mitchell, veterinary investigation team lead of the APHA Carmarthen veterinary investigation centre.

    Categories: Journal news

    Discussing prognosis for canine diabetes mellitus: do we have relevant data?

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    In a paper summarised on p 692 of this issue of Vet Record, Tardo and colleagues investigated the survival time of newly diagnosed diabetic dogs and examined potential prognostic factors in this population.1 They report a median survival time of more than 2.5 years after diagnosis in a population of middle-aged to older dogs (with a median age of 10 years). This begs the question, does diabetes mellitus (DM) affect survival in dogs?

    DM is a treatable condition, yet it is ranked as a leading cause of death in people. Over the years, the hyperglycaemia caused by DM can lead to a myriad of cardiovascular diseases, with complications including kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes.2,3 While hyperglycaemia can be controlled with insulin, glucagon responses to insulin-induced hypoglycaemia are often impaired in DM patients. This markedly limits the ability to achieve a level of...

    Categories: Journal news

    Survival estimates and outcome predictors in dogs with newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus treated in a veterinary teaching hospital

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019
    Background

    Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most common endocrine disorders in dogs, but prognostic factors are still largely unknown. The aim of this retrospective, single-centre, case series study was to determine overall survival time and identify the prognostic value of several clinical and clinicopathological variables in dogs with newly diagnosed DM.

    Methods

    Cases of DM were identified within the electronic medical records of one referral centre. Sixty-eight dogs with DM were included. Cox proportional hazards models were used to analyse variables associated with survival.

    Results

    The median survival time was 964 days (range 22–3140). In multivariable model analysis, length of survival was significantly shorter for dogs with higher haematocrit value (hazard ratio (HR) 1.06, 95 per cent confidence interval (CI) 1.00 to 1.13) and higher serum phosphate concentrations (HR 1.83, 95 per cent CI 1.13 to 2.97). Serum phosphate concentrations were above the reference interval in 24 of 65 (37 per cent) dogs.

    Conclusion

    Diabetic dogs have a good life expectancy. Hyperphosphataemia is a relatively common finding in dogs with newly diagnosed DM and represents a negative prognostic factor. The presence of pancreatitis might not be associated with an unfavourable outcome.

    Categories: Journal news

    Association between results of diagnostic tests for bovine tuberculosis and Johnes disease in cattle

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019
    Background

    Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) diagnosis is impaired by numerous factors including cross-reactivity with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, which causes Johne’s disease (JD). In addition, the effect of repeated bTB-intradermal testing on the performance of JD diagnostic tests is not fully understood. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of repeated bTB-intradermal tests under field conditions in Spain on the JD serological status of cattle.

    Methods

    bTB-positive herds (n=264) from Castilla-y-Leon region were selected and matched with officially tuberculosis-free control herds. The association between JD and bTB status at the herd level was assessed using conditional logistic regression and, in herds with both JD-positive and bTB-positive animals, a Bayesian hierarchical mixed-effect model was used for individual-level analysis.

    Results

    A significantly higher risk of being JD positive (OR: 1.48; 95 per cent CI: 1.01 to 2.15) was found for bTB-positive herds compared with controls. Individual results indicated that cattle tested more than three times per year, within the last 90 days and more than 12 months were more likely to be JD positive. A skin test-related boost in antibody response could be the cause of an apparent increase of the sensitivity of the JD-absorbed ELISA.

    Conclusion

    The results demonstrate the interaction between bTB repeated testing and JD individual and herd-level results and this improved knowledge will facilitate the design of more effective control programmes in herds coinfected with two of the most important endemic diseases affecting cattle in Spain.

    Categories: Journal news

    Stress cardiomyopathy in stranded cetaceans: a histological, histochemical and immunohistochemical study

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019
    Background

    Free-living cetaceans are exposed to a wide variety of stressful situations, including live stranding and interaction with human beings (capture myopathy), vessel strikes, and fishing activities (bycatch), which affect their wellbeing and potentially lead to stress cardiomyopathy (SCMP).

    Methods

    Here, the authors aimed to characterise SCMP of stranded cetaceans as an injury resulting from extreme stress responses, based on pathological analyses (histological, histochemical and immunohistochemical). Specifically, the authors examined heart samples from 67 cetaceans found ashore (48 live strandings, seven dead from ship collision and 12 dead from bycatch) on the coast of Spain, more specifically in the Canary Islands from 2000 to 2016 and Andalusia from 2011 to 2014.

    Results

    The microscopic findings were characterised by vascular changes, acute or subacute cardiac degenerative necrotic lesions, interstitial myoglobin globules, and infiltration of inflammatory cells. Immunohistochemically, cardiac troponin I, cardiac troponin C and myoglobin were depleted, along with fibrinogen being expressed in the degenerated/necrotic cardiomyocytes. A perivascular pattern was also identified and described in the damaged cardiomyocytes.

    Conclusions

    This study advances current knowledge about the pathologies of cetaceans and their implications on conserving this group of animals by reducing mortality and enhancing their treatment and subsequent rehabilitation to the marine environment.

    Categories: Journal news

    Selected highlights from other journals

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019
    Farmers’ perspectives on ovine infectious keratoconjunctivitis

    H. J. Williams, J. S. Duncan, S. N. Fisher and others

    Vet Record Open (2019) 6

    doi: 10.1136/vetreco-2018-000321

    • What did the research find?

    Most of the farmers surveyed had observed ovine infectious keratoconjunctivitis (OIKC) in their flock within the past two years, with most cases being observed in winter. Housing and forage feeding from racks were implicated as risk factors for OIKC. A variety of treatments were used, with the three most common being cloxacillin eye ointment, intramuscular oxytetracycline injection and topical tetracycline spray applied to the eye. However, only 62 per cent of farmers felt the medication they were giving was effective.

    • How was it conducted?

    A questionnaire was completed by 135 sheep farmers attending four livestock markets in northern England and Wales in 2016. The data collected included demographics of the farmer and their farm, information about the flock,...

    Categories: Journal news

    Prosecutions for hoarding necessary for 'good life

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    We are grateful to Vet Record for highlighting the complex issue of animal hoarding and the challenges these cases can pose for the RSPCA (VR, 23 November 2019, vol 185, p 614).

    However, I would like to reassure readers that the RSPCA already works proactively with people affected by hoarding to support them and their animals to ensure the best possible outcome for animal and human welfare. For example, our innovative, vet-led scheme, working with multi-animal households, based at our Manchester hospital, resulted in both a significant reduction in the total number of cats in each household (40 per cent) and improved welfare scores at both the two- and 12-month revisits. Where appropriate, other agencies, such as community mental health services, will be contacted to give additional support.

    Prosecution is reserved for cases where it is truly necessary

    Prosecution is reserved for cases where it is truly necessary,...

    Categories: Journal news

    Make vet profession more sustainable

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    Thanks to Charles Foster and Keith Powell for their thoughtful and timely letter about the veterinary profession's responsibility towards the environment (VR, 23 November 2019, vol 185, pp 634-635), and to the BVA for its informative response (VR, 30 November 2019, vol 185, pp 664-665).

    We recognise that the veterinary profession occupies an extraordinary niche at the human-animal-environment interface, and in addition to the multiple sustainability services that we already deliver to society, we agree that we have an urgent responsibility to do much more.

    There is great opportunity for veterinary professionals to deliver meaningful impact by reducing the environmental footprint of veterinary businesses, farm animal production and pet and sport animal ownership. We can ensure the responsible use of medicines to reduce risks of antimicrobial resistance and ecotoxicity. We can address the root causes of suffering from genetics to production systems that are responsible for the many animal...

    Categories: Journal news

    Take solace: time management is not always possible

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    I am writing following the recent re-endorsement of time management techniques to improve efficiency and wellbeing (VR, 9 November 2019, vol 185, p 581). We are used to hearing about the positive impact of better managing our time. Proponents promise that if we learn their techniques, we will be in control of our lives – more efficient, effective, successful, calm and happy. These individuals often author books (a recent Amazon search found over 50,000 titles) and habitually refer to their own behaviours and associated success to endorse their approach.

    Time management methodologies tap into our obsession with busyness and common assumptions equating busyness with importance and success. They suggest organised people are ‘better’ and more productive, and that everyone else must learn to be more like them.

    If time management techniques work for you, that’s great. Evidence shows these behaviours relate positively to perceived control of time and reduced...

    Categories: Journal news

    Make vet profession more sustainable

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    In response to Charles Foster and Keith Powell (VR, 23 November 2019, vol 185, p 634), I agree that it is only a matter of time before the climate change debate focuses on pet ownership and the pet industry at large.

    There is no escaping the fact that our industry is a contributor to climate change

    There is no escaping the fact that our industry is a contributor to climate change. As a small animal vet, I am well aware of the benefits of pet ownership, but I am finding it harder to ignore the climate change implications. We need to openly debate the issues around this.

    In the same issue of Vet Record, Sean Wensley questions whether vets should accept the current level of pet ownership and compared it to the BVA’s ‘less and better’ policy on meat consumption (VR, 23 November 2019, vol 185, p 613)....

    Categories: Journal news

    Improve abuse reporting

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    I write having attended a harrowing, but excellent, talk at the London Vet Show on recognising the clinical and pathological signs of non-accidental injury (NAI) in pets, and in response to the research paper by Alleyne and colleagues1 and associated commentary2 by Freda Scott-Park of The Links Group.

    The Office of the Children’s Commissioner estimates that almost 2.3 million children are living in vulnerable circumstances in England. I recently attended an event on adverse childhood events (ACEs), held at the Ministry of Justice. Both speakers – the deputy head for children, young people and families at Public Health England and the director for public health at Bolton Council – referred to the difficulties of identifying victims of childhood abuse because it happens behind closed doors. The impact of ACEs is cumulative and includes disrupted neurodevelopment, social, emotional and cognitive impairment, adoption of high risk behaviours,...

    Categories: Journal news

    Pine marten scat holds few clues for squirrel disease

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    Pine martens (Martes martes) are opportunistic predators, consuming a wide range of foods including both red and grey squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris, Sciurus carolinensis).

    Recent studies have revealed a strong correlation between regional declines in the grey squirrel population, red squirrel recovery and increasing pine marten abundance.1, 2

    Although a mechanism has yet to be determined, obvious candidates are the roles of increased stress in the prey species and direct predation upon it.

    While there is no current evidence that a viral pathogen plays any significant role, a wider lack of understanding of how pine martens may affect viral epidemiology in grey squirrels, including via stress, makes it difficult to assess. Stress is associated with lower bacterial diversity in North American pine squirrels (Tamiascurus hudsonicus). This has the potential to have a negative impact on host health while also increasing its susceptibility to pathogen invasion.

    Categories: Journal news

    Death notices

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    Cooke On 22 November 2019, Martin Edward Cooke, MSc, MA, VetMB, MRCVS of London. Mr Cooke qualified from Cambridge in 1983.

    doi: 10.1136/vr.l6799

    Jenkins On 19 October 2019, Glyn Meirion Jenkins, BVSc MRCVS of Tywyn, Gwynedd. Mr Jenkins qualified from Liverpool in 1965.

    doi: 10.1136/vr.l6800

    Categories: Journal news

    'Cattle infectivity is driving the bTB epidemic

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    Iain McGill and Mark Jones argue that recent data released by the APHA show that it is the prevalence or ‘infectivity’ of cattle that is sustaining bTB infection and driving transmission of Mycobacterium bovis to new herds.

    Categories: Journal news

    Self-assessment in small animal imaging

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    Reviewed by final-year vet student Niamh Fowler.

    Categories: Journal news

    Theory and practice of care planning in vet nursing

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    This book is well structured. It begins by introducing care plans – what they are, and why and how they should be used. The author includes examples of different types of plan, such the Roper, Logan and Tierney model and also Orem. This makes it ideal for students like myself who are learning about care plans and how to implement them effectively in practice. It would also be a great read for those wanting to optimise their use of such plans in practice.

    The later chapters offer advice on using care planning proactively in practice. One chapter concentrates on holistic vet nursing care. It discusses the ways in which owner culture influences ongoing patient care, the role of owner compliance and how an owner’s financial situation also has an impact. It includes information about the UK’s only vet nursing model – the Ability Model devised by vet nurses Hilary...

    Categories: Journal news

    Hamish Christopher Wilson

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    An all-round ‘GP’ vet with a special interest in the work he did as an official veterinarian. A passion for fast cars, motorcycles and skiing meant he lived life to the full.

    Categories: Journal news

    Support and share our manifesto for animals, vets and public health

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    With this month’s General Election fast approaching, BVA Public Affairs Manager Helena Cotton highlights the 10 pledges BVA has been encouraging all political parties to include in their manifestos.

    Categories: Journal news

    A good time all round at the London Vet Show

    Veterinary Record latest issue - 5 December 2019

    Zoe Davies, BVA Head of Marketing, reports on a successful London Vet Show for BVA.

    Categories: Journal news
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