How to be a fear-free practice

Jan 29, 2018

Vet explains how going fear-free became a moral imperative   A survey of dog and cat owners suggests 51 per cent believe their pet dislikes going to the vet.   Getting scratched by cats or seeing patients hiding, pulling away or clinging to their owners are a common occurrence in practice. Certainly, a show of hands at SPVS/VMG Congress showed almost all delegates had seen at least one of these behaviours on their last day in practice before coming to the conference. But does it have to be this way? Dr Jonathan Bloom, a veterinary surgeon from Ontario, told delegates: “Just because we’ve been doing it this way for 20 years doesn’t make it right… I became a vet to make pets better, not worse.” A survey of more than 1,000 dog and cat owners in 2014 suggests 51 per cent believe their pet dislikes going to the vet. Furthermore, 38 per cent of the owners themselves said they felt stressed even thinking about going to the vet. As the saying goes, you... ...

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RCVS publishes well-being guide

Jan 29, 2018

Written in association with Alliance Manchester Business School, the document is being launched at SPVS/VPMA Congress this weekend. “A guide to enhancing wellbeing and managing work stress in the veterinary workplace”.   The RCVS’ Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) has joined forces with The University of Manchester Alliance Manchester Business School to publish a guide to enhancing well-being in the university workplace. This week, the Vetlife Helpline revealed a record number of veterinary professionals contacted it in 2017. Some 1,737 telephone and email contacts were made, representing a 500% increase during the past five years. The RCVS document, “A guide to enhancing wellbeing and managing work stress in the veterinary workplace”, was written in association with Elinor O’Connor, senior lecturer in occupational psychology at the Alliance Manchester Business School. Official launch Featuring examples from the three winning practices of the 2016 MMI/SPVS Wellbeing Awards, the guide is to be officially launched at SPVS/VPMA Congress in Newport. Dr O’Connor said: “Addressing stress in veterinary work not only has benefits for the health and... ...

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All-Wales Avian influenza prevention zone in place

Jan 29, 2018

Welsh government takes action as ‘precautionary measure’ All bird keepers in Wales will need to comply with the requirements of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone. A prevention zone has come in to force across the whole of Wales to reduce the risk of avian influenza. The move, announced by rural affairs secretary Lesley Griffiths, comes after three separate findings of highly pathogenic influenza H5N6 in wild birds in England. The findings led Defra to extend an avian flu prevention zone to the whole of England. The latest veterinary risk assessment for England and Wales shows that the risk level for disease in wild birds has increased from Medium to High. Ms Griffiths said that although there are no findings of the disease in Wales, the prevention zone has been introduced as a ‘precautionary measure’. “As a precautionary measure, in response to the increased risk level, and to mitigate the risk of infection, I am declaring an All Wales Avian Influenza Prevention Zone,” she said. “Although we have had, as yet,... ...

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Ban on shock collars in Scotland a win for animal welfare

Jan 29, 2018

  BVA has welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to ban the use of electric shock collars and other electronic training devices. BVA has worked alongside campaigners to ban these aversive training methods across the UK, with Wales banning them in 2010. Scottish Government had initially planned to regulate the use of shock collars, but this was not supported by BVA and animal welfare charities. Commenting, vet Melissa Donald, BVA Scottish Branch President, said: “This is a real win for animal welfare. “Electronic training devices have a negative, painful effect on dogs and, as Scottish Government has now recognised, can cause unnecessary suffering. “We know from leading veterinary behaviourists that using fear as a training tool is less effective than positive reinforcement and can take a toll on the dog’s overall welfare. “We are grateful to Scottish Government for listening to the expert advice from veterinary surgeons and behaviourists who have first-hand experience of what can go wrong when aversive training methods are used to control and punish animals.” BVA will continue to push for an outright... ...

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New BVA support for vets returning to practice after a career break

Jan 29, 2018

  Around one in five vets who started their careers in clinical practice are reporting that they do not currently work in practice, according to findings from the British Veterinary Association (BVA) which is launching a new CPD series in February to support members interested in returning to practice after a career break. There are various reasons why vets take a break from practice or make a change in their career path. Some of these are distinct choices such as, having a family, working abroad or taking a sabbatical, whilst other reasons may be less under their control such as health issues. BVA’s recent Voice of the veterinary profession survey that polled vets who had left clinical practice found that 43% had done so looking for a new challenge and 33% looking for a different type of work. Whatever the reason for taking a break, returning to practice can be both exciting and daunting. Over the last four years BVA’s Voice of the veterinary profession survey has consistently shown that about three... ...

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Fish vet identifies possible cause of Alabama rot

Jan 29, 2018

Samples needed for ongoing research into Aeromonas hydrophila A bacterium that causes ulcerative skin lesions and kidney failure in fish could be linked to cases of Alabama rot in UK dogs, current research suggests. Fish vet Dr Fiona Macdonald is co-ordinating a study into whetherAeromonas hydrophila could be a possible cause of cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), also known as Alabama rot. The first cases of CRGV in UK dogs were confirmed in 2012. Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists recently put the total number of cases at 122. The disease causes skin lesions and often fatal kidney failure. While the cause is not yet known, it appears to have a seasonal aspect, with most cases occurring between November and June. Initial cases occurred in areas with substantial amounts of water, as a result of unusually high rainfall, during cold weather. Both running water and standing water were 4ºC for some weeks at the time of the cases. A hydrophila was first recorded in dogs in 1995. It is known to cause ulcerative skin... ...

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Ten new cases of Alabama rot confirmed

Jan 22, 2018

Further findings of the mystery illness – which has a mortality rate of around 80% – take the UK total to 122 since first being detected in 2012. Veterinary experts have confirmed 10 further cases of cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), commonly termed Alabama rot. CRGV was found in: Sacriston, County Durham Guiseley, West Yorkshire Bury, Greater Manchester Bolton, Greater Manchester Leek, Staffordshire Petworth, West Sussex Brighton, East Sussex West Coker, Somerset Bishop’s Tawton, Devon Presteigne, Powys Symptoms The findings brings the total number of UK confirmed CRGV cases to 122 since 2012, with 37 cases in 2017 and the first 2 in 2018. Symptoms include skin ulcers, followed by kidney failure within 3 to 10 days. CRGV can affect any dog of any breed, age or size. Seasonal link A CRGV seasonal link is suspected, with more cases reported between November and March – and especially in dogs walked in muddy woodland areas or terrain with running or standing water. Confirmation of the cases came from Anderson Moores... ...

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Thousands of cats still not being microchipped – RSPCA

Jan 22, 2018

Out-of-date contact details rendering many chips useless  Thousands of cats going into the care of the RSPCA do not have a microchip or up-to-date contact details, according to new figures. Figures released by the charity show that 5,647 cats were taken in by RSPCA centres in England and Wales during 2017. However, a staggering 4,896 of these did not have a chip and, of those that did, many had out-of-date contact details. “Not only are a lot of cats still not being chipped but, during one week last summer, our London veterinary hospitals had nine cats with out-of-date microchip details making it extremely difficult to track down their owners,” said Caroline Allen, director of the RSPCA’s London hospitals. “We see cases where we would love to reunite microchipped cats with their owner but can’t because the details have not been updated.” One cat that could not be reunited with his owner is four-year-old Elvis. Elvis arrived at the RSPCA’s Southall Cattery in December with a fractured pelvis and no microchip.... ...

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Scientists uncover secret of Mass Mortality Event in remote steppe grassland of Central Asia Sudden death of 200,000 Critically Endangered saiga antelopes was caused by unusual environmental conditions

Jan 22, 2018

The sudden death of over 200,000 saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan in May 2015, more than 80% of the affected population and more than 60% of the global population of this species, baffled the world. In just three weeks, entire herds of tens of thousands of healthy animals, died of haemorrhagic septicaemia across a landscape equivalent to the area of the British Isles in the Betpak-Dala region of Kazakhstan. These deaths were caused by Pasteurella multocida bacteria. But this pathogen most probably was living harmlessly in the saigas’ tonsils up to this point, so what caused this sudden dramatic Mass Mortality Event (MME)? New research by an interdisciplinary, international research team has shown that many separate (and independently harmless) factors contributed to this extraordinary phenomenon. In particular, climatic factors such as increased humidity and raised air temperatures in the days before the deaths apparently triggered opportunistic bacterial invasion of the blood stream, causing septicaemia (blood poisoning). By studying previous die-offs in saiga antelope populations, the researchers were able to uncover patterns and show... ...

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Animal medicines industry ‘increasingly concerned’ about its future

Jan 22, 2018

Lack of government progress on Brexit a key contributor     Animal medicines companies are becoming increasingly concerned about the future of the industry after Brexit, according to new research. The National Office of Animal Health’s (NOAH) second ‘Brexit Barometer’ report shows that increasing levels of complexity and a lack of government progress are key contributors to the rising concerns. To benchmark current opinion, NOAH asked attendees to its November Brexit Conference how optimistic they felt about six key topic areas. The organisation then compared that sentiment against its first Brexit barometer, published in May 2017. The six key topic areas were: research and development, bringing new products to market, post-licensing controls for the overall market, animal health and welfare, public health and food production, and trade and exports in relation to animal health. The report found that public health and food production remained the most optimistic of the six areas overall, with more than a third of respondents (38 per cent) feeling ‘optimistic’ or ‘very optimistic’. Trade and exports were... ...

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