Once a month, a new discussion will be posted by the site editor titled: "WHAT WOULD YOU DO (in xxx clinical situation)?"
In addition, VetSurgeon members are strongly encouraged to start your own "WHAT WOULD YOU DO?" discussion at any time.
All members are then invited to share what they would do for the case described, and we also use the opportunity to question which approach offers the best value for pet and owner, and brainstorm new ways of approaching the problem.
Importantly, criticising (as opposed to questioning) anyone's approach is strictly forbidden.
The aim is to share what most vets are doing, question whether there are better ways of doing things and brainstorm fresh ideas, something which is always a beneficial but perhaps especially so in a cost-of-living crisis when, for a variety of reasons, veterinary fees have escalated above and beyond inflation.
As a result, it has become increasingly important to question, for example, the value of certain diagnostics and whether a different approach could offer clients more value.
By way of example, the first discussion was: "WHAT WOULD YOU DO: cat over-grooming central abdomen?", which you can read and take part in here: https://www.vetsurgeon.org/f/clinical-questions/30842/what-would-you-do-cat-over-grooming-ventral-abdomen
The second discussion is now live, and asks: "WHAT WOULD YOU DO: Young dog presented having had its first single or cluster of seizures?
Come and share your thoughts here: https://www.vetsurgeon.org/f/clinical-questions/30875/what-would-you-do-young-dog-presented-having-had-its-first-single-or-cluster-of-seizures
Full rules here: https://www.vetsurgeon.org/f/clinical-questions/30841/what-would-you-do-discussions-rules-and-objectives
The annual survey gives an overview of remuneration levels within the veterinary sector.
It covers everything from basic earnings, bonuses, dividends and overtime, to benefits such as accommodation, car allowances and pensions.
SPVS is asking everyone in the veterinary profession to take part, whether they're in a clinical or non-clinical role, a vet, a nurse, a practice manager, support staff or working in industry.
The main findings of the survey will be published in a report and freely available to any participant who gives their email address at the end of the survey.
SPVS members will be able to access the full results with additional commentary and analysis.
All survey data is treated as strictly anonymous and totally confidential.
Any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the last four years, there has been an increase in the number of identified B. canis cases in the UK, which had previously been sporadic and isolated.
Data released by the Government shows that cases have risen from three reported before 2020 to 240 in the last three years.
Most dogs were either imported, had returned from holiday overseas, or been bred with an imported dog.
In 2022, the first UK case of dog-to-human transmission was reported, highlighting the risks to those handling and treating infected dogs and raising levels of concern within veterinary teams, although the BVA says the risk is relatively low.
The BVA, SPVS and BVNA joint policy calls on the Government to :
British Veterinary Association President Anna Judson said: “Vets are seriously concerned about the lack of adequate checks for potentially zoonotic diseases entering the country via imported dogs.
"Brucella canis is not currently considered to be widespread in the UK, so a proactive approach with an emphasis on reducing the risk of this and other worrying exotic diseases being brought into the UK is crucial.
“This is important both for the health of the UK’s dogs and the humans who care for them."
Identichip says the scanner is particularly suited to noise-sensitive dogs and cats.
It's designed to fit in one hand, and is compatible with all ISO 15-digit (FDX-B) microchips.
Tammie O’Leary, commercial lead at Identicare, said: “With compulsory microchipping coming into effect for owned cats from 10 June in England, it is likely that more cats will be presented to check for a chip or to be implanted.
"Many practices are making substantial efforts to minimise fear or stress in their patients, however most microchip scanners beep when they locate a microchip, which can be stressful for animals.
"The silent microchip scanner will help reduce any associated stress for noise sensitive animals.”
Dr Ellie Lee, veterinary surgeon and director at Manchester Cat Clinic, has trialled the silent microchip scanner.
She said: “The scanner is a great tool; we really like how compact it is, which makes it less intimidating for cats, and the silence is definitely beneficial to them too.
"As it doesn’t beep, we watch the screen to check that a chip has been detected, but this is easy to do as it’s such a handy size.”
The silent scanner can be purchased from NVS, Covetrus or from identichip direct.
Michale Garvey (pictured) has the official title of National Property Coordinator and he will work with local surveyors to ensure that landlords have realistic expectations supported by evidence at rent reviews and lease renewals.
VLA Treasurer Nicky Paull said: "This should help speed up what are sometimes protracted and expensive negotiations to the mutual benefit of corporate tenant and landlord alike.”
Michael is a Chartered Surveyor who has worked in the commercial property sector for 35 years.
He is the Managing Director of Chandler Garvey, a Fellow of both the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, as well as being an RICS Registered Valuer.
He has specialised in rent reviews and lease renewals all of his career and has been a member of the RICS Arbitrators Panel for more than 10 years.
Michael also has extensive experience of the veterinary sector, having represented owners relating to disputed rent reviews, as well as acquisitions and lettings on different types of premises.
He said: “I am delighted to have been appointed by the VLA as the National Property Coordinator, with the intention of allowing the owners of veterinary premises, to have a better understanding of the rent review and lease renewal processes and in doing so even the playing field so that better outcomes are achieved.
Richard Hillman one of the VLA’s founders said: “Negotiating with large corporate groups can sometimes feel like trying to run through treacle for small landlords.
"Having an acknowledged expert on our team should help the VLA to give much needed support to our members.”
Further information about the VLA can be obtained from Richard Stephenson email@example.com
Amongst the proposals agreed by Council was to move towards an independent appointment system for Council membership to replace the current election system.
In addition, Council voted:
Council was tied on whether to separate the position of RCVS President and the Chair of RCVS Council, meaning that this will come back for decision at a later date following the consultation.
RCVS President susan paterson, said: “The unique way that RCVS Council is currently constituted with annual elections to Council is an old model of self-regulation which is no longer found in other professions including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, solicitors and social workers, among others.
“As a responsible regulator we have a duty to operate in a way that recognises modern principles of regulation, and best meets our objectives to enhance society through improved animal health and welfare by setting, upholding and advancing the educational, ethical and clinical standards for the veterinary professions.
"The College’s recommendations would see us retain self-regulation in the sense of independence from government, and maintain registrants within our governance framework, while better assuring the public that we are acting on their behalf.
“It is our firm belief that, among other things, moving to an all-appointed Council member system, whereby those who serve on Council are selected via an independent process based on their knowledge and experience to ensure input from all parts of the veterinary sector, will better serve our aims, as will having a better balance of professional and lay members.
"Of course, veterinary expertise, knowledge and experience will also remain a vital part of any future arrangements throughout our committee structure, so the veterinary voice will be as important as ever in our policy and decision-making processes.
Further details about the consultation process will be published in due course.
Discuss here: https://www.vetsurgeon.org/f/non-clinical-questions/30878/what-do-you-think-about-the-rcvs-proposals-to-stop-council-elections-and-move-to-appointed-members-with-equal-or-almost-equal-number-of-lay-members/243481
During the webinar, panel contributors Fiona Lovatt (past president of Sheep Veterinary Society), Jenny Hull (Black Sheep Farm Health, Northumberland), Lesley Stubbings OBE (lead member of SCOPS and independent sheep consultant), and Phillippa Page, (independent sheep vet consultant) will discuss:
The first 250 delegates to sign up will receive a copy of the In Practice supplement as well as a Zolvix notebook and pen.
The new service was reported in The Times, in an article titled "How much should your vet cost? Pet owners bitten by untamed fees."
Since launch, VetHelpDirect has offered owners information to help them pick a veterinary practice, including reviews, ratings (including a value for money score), RCVS accreditation, cat/ rabbit friendly status, health plan details and how out of hours cover is provided.
It has now added some basic information about each practices' charges, specifically the first consultation fee, a dog castrate and health plans, and then categorised them according with £££££ signs to indicate how far above or below the average they sit.
Susie Samuel said: “Most practices will give out these prices over the telephone, but there’s no way for the client to find them without directly getting in touch, something people are less and less likely to want to do nowadays.
"Our research data suggests that people want to find this information online, just as they would in any other service industry.
"When they can’t find any information at all on pricing, there can be a perception of secrecy that can do damage to the vet-owner relationship.”
Susie added: “True comparison for vet practices is of course very complex and no basket of services is ever going to capture the whole complexity.
"Every practice is different, from facilities and team qualifications; to the time allotted for consultations; to monitoring equipment for surgery; and of course the level of investigations undertaken which can also vary from vet to vet.”
“We can’t solve all this straight away but we started from a good place, over the years we have built up more information about vet practices than any other website.
"The aim is to provide commonly requested prices for owners to easily access and to add more and more detail on the vet practices over time so that owners can make the most informed choice on the vet that's most appropriate for them and their pet”.
VetHelpDirect says it will soon be adding prescription fees and out of hours consultation, and a much wider range of species-specific fees in the near future.
The company also points to the Competition and Markets Authority investigation into pricing in the UK, highlighting that in its 2019 Report into Funerals in the UK, the CMA noted that weaknesses in the sector included the fact that less than 40% of funeral directors posted any form of pricing online, and those that did were frequently not in a form that made for easy comparison.
Susie says the veterinary sector has an even lower rate of online pricing transparency.
To add your pricing information to VetHelpDirect, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whilst greater transparency over pricing in almost any field is surely to be welcomed, it seems questionable whether comparing prices for consultations and standard procedures will be of much help to pet owners, because things like the level of investigations, how defensively a clinician practises and the owner's own relationship with risk are likely to have a far greater impact on the bill than whether a consult costs £20 more or less up the road.
There is perhaps also a risk of practices rated as '£££££ / more expensive than average' will be seen as just that. Expensive and nothing more.
It's not like a restaurant where £££££ usually means particularly delicious.
Whilst this may not matter much whilst so many practices are having to turn away business, it may become more important in the future.
The broached bottle must be kept refrigerated between 20C and 80C until the next use.
Virbac says that whilst this may not seem a huge change, it significantly increases the cost-effectiveness and convenience to farmers.
The SPC changes mean that
Bovigen Scour is available in 5 and 30 dose bottles.
The group says it has led to 6,086 more clinical metrology questionnaires being conducted at participating practices with their patients, a 1,014% increase.
Developed by John Innes at the University of Liverpool, the Liverpool Osteoarthritis in Dogs (LOAD) questionnaire is a 13-item clinical metrology instrument (CMI) used to assess canine articular disorders like osteoarthritis.
It includes questions on the pets’ medical background, lifestyle and mobility.
Individual question scores are summed to provide an overall “LOAD score” suggestive of the animal’s disease presence and severity.
The questionnaire should be conducted every time the pet is presented to the veterinary clinic, with results tracked over time.
Treatment options - including the benefits and risks of all available modalities – can then be considered and discussed with owners to determine the best course of action, including weight management, diet, supplements, exercise and environmental modification, in addition to medication.
As part of the project, CVS provided a range of supporting resources for its practices, together with training.
Training focussed on diagnosing and managing conditions causing lameness in dogs and cats, using the clinical metrology questionnaire to engage clients in their pets’ treatment plan, offering best practice treatment options and running nurse mobility clinics.
It comprised of a vet CPD day run with Zoetis and the VOA on approach to and management of lame patients, two nurse CPD days on mobility clinics, a feline and canine orthopaedic examination video, First Opinion Clinical Club webinars on canine and feline osteoarthritis and an approach to radiographic interpretation course.
Resources included: new clinical guidelines, IMV resources (radiographic positioning, optimising the image and optimal chemical restraint) and a Mobility Clinic Booklet for clients.
Each site was then provided with its own data, so that they could monitor what they were doing individually.
One year after its nation-wide launch, results reveal that the number of clinical metrology questionnaires being conducted in the 35 participating practices has increased from 6 to 6,092 over a 12 month time period.
CVS says there was also evidence of an increasing incidence of the osteoarthritis drugs Librela and Solensia being prescribed.
Kathryn Patel, Hub Clinical Lead at CVS (pictured), who was responsible for the lameness clinical improvement project, said: “This project uses owner questionnaires to screen for and monitor the impact of lameness on patient quality of life and emphasises the importance of the whole clinical team in patient management.
"Vets and nurses will be supported to improve their ability to reach a diagnosis in every lame case, improve engagement with and compliance of owners with lame pets, and improve the quality of care of lame patients through appropriate medication, surgical intervention, and nurse and physiotherapy support.”
Dr Vlad Butnaru faced two charges, the first of which was that in May 2021, he had signed a passport and/or passport application for a horse and electronically signed a declaration stating that he “had read the above microchip, which had previously been implanted for the animal” when, in fact, the microchip had not been inserted into any horse and he had not read it.
The second charge was that, in relation to the matters set out in the first charge, Dr Butnaru’s signed declaration was false, and that he had acted dishonestly and misleadingly, he risked undermining procedures designed to promote animal welfare, and failed to take sufficient steps to ensure that the microchip number recorded for the horse was accurate.
Dr Butnaru admitted the first charge on all counts, and that the declaration he had signed was false.
He also admitted that his conduct was misleading and that he had failed to take sufficient steps to ensure that the microchip number recorded for the horse was accurate.
However, he denied that his conduct had been dishonest and that he had risked undermining a procedure designed to promote animal welfare.
In its decision, the committee noted that Dr Butnaru kept introducing new versions of what happened for the first time at the hearing and changed his account as he went along, as well as being evasive when answering questions.
The Committee therefore felt that Dr Butnaru could not be considered to be a reliable witness, and whilst it did not know the true reason why he was prepared to sign a false declaration on a passport application, it was satisfied that he'd made a false declaration dishonestly.
The Committee also found that Dr Butnaru had failed to take sufficient steps to ensure that the microchip number recorded for the horse was accurate as, if the passport had been issued on a false premise because of misleading information provided by Dr Butnaru, then it could not function as it was meant to which, in the Committee’s view, clearly risked undermining procedures designed to protect animal welfare.
The Committee found that Dr Butnaru had breached the parts 6.2 and 6.5 of the Code of Professional Conduct, as well as Principle 1 of the 10 Principles of Certification, namely that ‘a veterinarian should certify only those matters which: a) are within his or her own knowledge; b) can be ascertained by him or her personally; c) are the subject of supporting evidence from an authorised veterinarian who has personal knowledge of the matters in question; or d) are the subject of checks carried out by an Officially Authorised Person (OAP).’
The Committee found there were no mitigating factors.
Aggravating factors, on the other hand, were that Dr Butnaru had participated in premeditated misconduct, made financial gain from his actions as he was paid to make the false declaration, abused his professional position, and showed blatant or wilful disregard of the Horse Passport System and of the role of the RCVS and the systems that regulate the veterinary profession.
The Committee found that all proven charges amounted to Disgraceful Conduct in a Professional Respect.
On considering the sanction, the Committee once again considered the aggravating factors, as well as additional mitigating factors in that Dr Butnaru had no previous disciplinary history, showed limited insight by admitting to some of the charges, showed expressions of remorse, and was provided with a positive testimonial.
Paul Morris, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “The Committee was cognisant of the importance of a veterinary surgeon’s signature on any document.
"This should have been obvious to any veterinary surgeon, but particularly someone of Dr Butnaru’s 11 years’ experience (at the time of signing).
"The Committee was well aware of the impact and ramifications for Dr Butnaru of any decision to remove him from the Register, but had to weigh his interests with those of the public.
“In doing so it took account of the context and circumstances of the case, all matters of personal mitigation, Dr Butnaru’s previous unblemished record and the need to act proportionately.
"However, the Committee was of the view that the need to uphold proper standards of conduct within the veterinary profession, together with the public interest in maintaining confidence in the profession of veterinary surgeons and protecting the welfare of animals, meant that a period of suspension would not be sufficient.
"His actions were fundamentally incompatible with remaining on the Register and thus the only appropriate and proportionate sanction in all the circumstances of this case was that of removal from the Register.”
Cyclofin contains two active ingredients: 200 mg/ml of the anti-inflammatory flunixin-meglumine (eq. to 33.2 mg/ml flunixin meglumine) and 300 mg/ml of the class D anti-infective, oxytetracycline (eq. to 323.5 mg/ml oxytetracycline trihydrate).
Dechra says Cylofin acts within 24-36 hours and has sustained anti-bacterial activity for five to six days following a single intramuscular injection.
Administration is deep intramuscular injection in cattle and Cyclofin has a 35-day withdrawal period and a memorable dose rate of 1 ml per 10 kg body weight.
Alana McGlade MRCVS, national sales manager at Dechra, said: “BRD is one of the most prevalent and costly diseases on farm and early administration of an effective and fast-acting NSAID/antibiotic combination treatment, such as Cyclofin, can help relieve discomfort and stress, alleviate pain and improve demeanour and food intake.”
Cyclofin is available in 100ml vials.
The mandatory regulation of veterinary practices, including statutory powers of entry and inspection, is one of the main parts of the College's proposals for new primary legislation that would replace the current Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966.
The working group, which is expected to present the details of a Mandatory Practice Regulation system to Council by the end of 2024, will be chaired by RCVS President Sue Paterson FRCVS.
It will include Standards Committee Chair Linda Belton MRCVS and Practice Standards Group Chair Belinda Andrews-Jones RVN, alongside veterinary, veterinary nursing, lay and external representatives.
Sue said: “With over 70% of practice premises currently under its ambit, our Practice Standards Scheme (PSS) has shown how keen practices are to maintain high standards.
"However, it is a voluntary scheme and, as a result, there is no mechanism to ensure standards across all practices, or to ensure change in those rare situations where it is needed.
“At present, the RCVS only regulates individual veterinary surgeons and nurses, and the veterinary sector does not have an equivalent to the Care Quality Commission, which considers human healthcare premises.
"This means that the onus for maintaining standards within the workplace falls on regulated individuals rather than the business structure.
"We will consider what a scheme that puts more statutory responsibility on business owners to maintain standards should look like.
“I look forward to working with colleagues in RCVS Council, VN Council and other veterinary organisations via this group to really flesh out what this regulatory system might look like in the future, to make sure it is appropriate, robust, proportionate and enforceable.
"Establishing these details will also prove invaluable in our lobbying work with government, ministers and MPs.”
Matthew’s award is in recognition of his paper Approach to initial management of canine generalised epileptic seizures in primary-care veterinary practices in the United Kingdom, co-authored with Laurent Garosi, which was selected by the BSAVA Committee as being the most valuable to veterinary practice.
James’ study explored data collected as part of the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) at the University of Liverpool.
In total, clinical records concerning 3,150,713 consultations (917,373 dogs) were collected and analysed from 224 UK veterinary practices.
This included the management of canine generalised epileptic seizures in 517 dogs up to 6 years of age.
The study concluded that 98% of dogs presenting for a single epileptic seizure were not started on long-term therapy, in accordance with the approach recommended by the International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force (IVETF).
Other findings from the study included:
The paper also reported on factors potentially associated with prescription of ASDs.
It stated that dogs who presented for cluster seizures (more than one epileptic seizure in a 24-hour period) were more likely to be prescribed ASDs, or to be referred to a specialist, than dogs without cluster seizures.
Dogs that were neutered or microchipped were more likely to be started on ASDs following the initial presentation, perhaps suggesting that owners who take part in regular preventative healthcare prior to the onset of their dog’s seizures could be more willing to start therapy in the earlier stages of the disease.
In addition, more than half of dogs with cluster seizures were not prescribed any ASDs.
Given that the presence of cluster seizures is typically considered an indication to start long-term therapy by the IVETF, Matthew says this may be one aspect of seizure management that could be improved in primary care practice.
Regarding the choice of anti-seizure drugs (ASDs), imepitoin was more frequently prescribed than phenobarbital in response to cluster seizures.
But unlike phenobarbital, the paper highlighted that the market authorisation for imepitoin does not include the treatment of cluster seizures.
Therefore vets should be aware that the use of imepitoin for cluster seizures should be considered as “off-licence” - and has additional implications for obtaining informed consent.
Matthew said: “We believe this research contributes to an improved understanding of the current management strategies for canine epilepsy in general practice and how this compares to the current guidelines advised by the IVETF.
"Given the prevalence of epileptic seizures within the UK canine population, as well as the large proportion of dogs that will be managed entirely within general practice without referral to a neurologist, it is vital to ensure that the level of care being provided is optimal.
"We therefore hope that this research ultimately supports and guides general practitioners in their approach to canine epilepsy, thereby improving the quality of life of affected dogs and their owners.”
Dr Briggs faced four charges and admitted to her conduct in the first three at the outset.
They related to three official Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) clinical investigation report forms she submitted following three official avian flu surveillance visits she'd undertaken as an Official Veterinarian (OV).
The three surveillance visits all took place during an outbreak of avian influenza in North Yorkshire and were on behalf of the APHA.
Dr Briggs admitted that she'd certified on each of the three forms that she had inspected specific poultry, that she had seen no clinical signs of avian influenza in the poultry and that in her opinion avian influenza did not exist and had not existed in the previous 56 days.
Dr Briggs also admitted that that she had subsequently submitted the three forms to the APHA.
The fourth charge alleged Dr Briggs conduct in certifying the three forms had been dishonest and that her actions risked undermining procedures, regulations and rules designed to protect animal welfare and public health.
Dr Briggs denied that she had been dishonest in any of her actions but admitted that her conduct had risked undermining procedures designed to protect animal welfare and public health.
Dr Briggs explained that in two cases she had relied on information given to her by the keepers of the poultry and in the remaining case it was possible that she had not visited the correct location of the poultry, had posted a letter through the wrong door and had then accidentally submitted a pre-populated inspection form to APHA.
Having heard evidence from the relevant poultry keepers, fellow Official Veterinarians, officials from the APHA and Dr Briggs herself, the Committee gave its determinations on dishonesty.
In relation to the first two charges, which concerned the visits that did take place, the Committee found Dr Briggs had been dishonest both in submitting the inspection forms to the APHA and also in certifying that she had seen no clinical signs or history of avian influenza in both cases.
The Committee concluded that an ordinary decent person would regard the submission of a signed form which contained false information as dishonest.
It also concluded that Dr Briggs had deliberately signed an official form which contained information which she knew to be untrue.
However, the Committee found that Dr Briggs was not dishonest in asserting on these forms that she was of the opinion that disease did not exist based upon the information provided to her by the poultry keepers.
In relation to the third charge, where Dr Briggs did not visit the property concerned, the Committee did not find it proven that she had been dishonest, having heard her evidence that, in this case, she had accidentally submitted a pre-populated inspection form.
The Committee next considered whether the admitted and proven charges amounted to serious professional misconduct.
Paul Morris, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf said: “In considering the seriousness of the misconduct, the Committee took into account the fact that the misconduct had involved dishonesty, that there had been a risk of injury to animals and humans (though this risk had not materialised), and that the misconduct had occurred when the respondent, as an Official Veterinarian, occupied a position of increased trust and responsibility.”
He added: “The Committee considered that honest, accurate and careful veterinary certification was a fundamental component of the responsibilities of a veterinary surgeon.
"The matters which the Committee had found to be proved fell far short of the standards expected of a registered veterinary surgeon and amounted, in the Committee’s judgment, to disgraceful conduct in a professional respect.”
In considering the sanction for Dr Briggs the Committee heard positive character testimonials from former employers and clients, as well as a representative from the APHA who said that Dr Briggs had shown contrition for the breaches while recognising that there was unlikely to be a repetition of the conduct and that Dr Briggs was a relatively new and inexperienced vet at the time of her actions.
Mr Morris said: “In the Committee’s judgement the circumstances of the incident were a mitigating factor in the sense that the respondent was working in a pressurised environment, and in a field of practice which was unfamiliar to her.
"The Committee had heard a considerable amount of evidence from various witnesses that the surveillance system created, to monitor the prevalence of avian influenza was one which placed considerable pressure on OVs and, perhaps inevitably, had some shortcomings.
"The respondent had not worked with poultry before so her inexperience in this area fed into this situation.
“The Committee took into account the fact that no actual harm had occurred and there was no financial gain to the respondent.
"The matters with which the Committee was concerned formed a highly unusual, and short-lived, episode in the respondent’s career.”
The Committee also considered that Dr Briggs had made open and frank admissions regarding most of the charges against her and had also shown genuine contrition over her failings.
In light of this, the Committee considered that a reprimand and warning as to future conduct was the most appropriate sanction.
Mr Morris added: “False certification can never be acceptable.
"Veterinary surgeons should never certify any matter which they know, or ought to know, not to be true.
"However, the Committee considered that this case was at the lower end of the spectrum of gravity of false certification cases, that there is no future risk to animals and that the respondent has demonstrated insight.
"In relation to the public interest, the Committee considered that a reasonable and fully informed member of the public would recognise that, in all the circumstances of this particular case, a reprimand and warning as to future conduct would be sufficient to satisfy the public interest.”
The two surveys, for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses respectively, ask the professions a wide range of both quantitative and qualitative questions, covering everything from what they do in a typical working day, to career aspirations, to levels of mental and physical wellbeing.
The surveys are confidential and anonymous.
Lizzie Lockett, RCVS CEO, said: “Our Surveys of the Professions are not just a useful and interesting snapshot of the veterinary professions at a particular moment in time, but are really consequential in terms of what we do with the results.
"For example, information from the previous surveys were used to inform our current Strategic Plan, including our mission to be a compassionate regulator, ongoing support for the Mind Matters Initiative, and a focus on workforce-related issues.
"In a similar spirit, this year’s results will inform the forthcoming RCVS Strategic Plan.
“Of course, the quality of the results of the surveys really depends on hearing from as many of you as possible – so we would like veterinary professionals from all parts of the UK as well as our overseas members, from all backgrounds, of all ages and working on all different disciplines to feed into all areas of the surveys and help us with our research.
"Please don’t miss out on having your say, and a huge thank you for taking the time to support this important work.”
The deadline for completing the survey is on or before Friday 16 February 2024.
Defra / APHA will provide an update on the current situation, followed by a presentation about BTV by Peter Mertens, Professor of Virology, University of Nottingham, and Christopher Sanders, Research Fellow in Veterinary Entomology from the Pirbright Institute.
If can't attend, you can register to be sent a recording afterwards.
This is the first of a series of bluetooth update webinars which will be held fortnightly on Wednesdays at 6pm.
The company has created a new waiting room board kit as a way for veterinary staff to remind owners of the importance of prompt diagnosis and management of dental disease.
Animalcare has also created a Pet Dental Health Month social media pack with content practices can use on their social media channels.
During the month, the company will be offering dental CPD and prizes for the most creative and engaging waiting room displays.
Will Peel, Animalcare Marketing Manager said: "According to the RVC's VetCompass data, periodontitis is the most common disease seen in cats and dogs however, it can often be difficult to identify and pet owners can often disregard the signs of dental problems, assuming that their pet’s bad breath is normal.
‘Our popular Lunch and Learn sessions have demonstrated to us that veterinary staff recognise the importance of raising dental health awareness, so we’ve created this range of materials specifically to support veterinary practices and their patients.’
The RCVS said: "We understand that there are very strong opinions about the ban, and we respect the rights of individuals to make their own decisions.
"However, expressing these opinions can never justify or include the harassment and abuse of individual vets, vet nurses or their practice colleagues."
The BVA added: “The Government’s XL Bully ban is also placing additional pressure on veterinary teams who are doing their best in very challenging circumstances to help keep responsible XL Bully owners with their pets wherever possible.
"Their commitment extends to supporting clients with any decision-making around euthanasia in individual cases.
"It’s simply unacceptable for these professionals to face additional challenges through abuse, intimidation or threats.
"Such actions can have a hugely negative impact on individual vets and the wider team."
Designed with the RCVS Standards and Advice team, the ‘Client confidentiality’ course explains the steps veterinary teams need to take when deciding whether or not to make a disclosure, and how to remain compliant with their professional obligations under the Code of Professional Conduct.
Senior Standards and Advice Officer, Victoria Price said: “Deciding to breach confidentiality is often a difficult decision with no right or wrong answer.
"The course should help learners to feel confident about what to consider in order to make justified and well-supported decisions.”
The course takes around one hour to complete.
The initiative was first launched in 2018 as a small-scale pilot.
Following a hiatus during Covid, and subsequent adaptations and expansion, the 2022 programme saw 12 new graduate vets from PDSA and 22 from Vets Now take part.
Dr Aoife Reid, Head of Edge programmes and Clinical Career Progression at Vets Now said: “We recognised that within ECC practice, surgical cases are less common.
“When they do happen, though, they are high-stakes and are usually lifesaving.
"So, it’s important to maintain the surgical skills of our veterinary surgeons.”
Meanwhile, while each of PDSA Pet Hospital’s perform hundreds of surgical procedures every week, working in collaboration with Vets Now’s 60-plus clinics and hospitals gives new graduates exposure to more intensive and time-critical emergencies.
They encountered case presentations that are more commonly seen in emergency situations, including dystocia, seizures and dyspnoea; and developed their skills utilising point of care ultrasound and blood gas analysis with more critical patients.
Gemma Renwick, PDSA Area Veterinary Manager said: “This a scheme has really positive mutual benefits and provides a greater level of understanding of how each other works.
“It makes for a smooth transition between the day and the night service; which results in a much better experience for both clients and pets.”
Before attending, vets get a taster of what to expect through short webinar-style videos. They each then spend three shifts working alongside the other veterinary teams.
The Vets Now clinicians perform several surgeries in one shift, something that would rarely happen in all but the busiest of emergency clinics.
They also benefit from discussing cases when they may be more used to working in a solo environment and receive feedback from an experienced PDSA Clinical Coach.
Vets Now says feedback from both sides has been hugely positive, with participating vets saying they felt welcomed and supported.
Aoife said: “Within the veterinary industry, although it’s a small and close-knit community, we rarely see organisations collaborating in this way.“
"So, it’s great to work together to help benefit both our vets and the clients.”
Andrew, who graduated in 2002 from The University of Bristol, started as a farm vet in Devon and Cornwall, which is where he first became interested in cardiology.
He went on to undergo Specialist Training at The University of Edinburgh and then spent four years working in the pharmaceutical industry.
Andrew then spent almost two years as Head of Cardiology at a large referral hospital in Winchester, before leaving to co-found the first ever video consulting platform for pet owners, Pawsquad.
Since then, he has led teams in some of the largest specialist veterinary referral hospitals in Europe.
More recently, Andrew has run his own specialist-led visiting cardiology service, providing clinical consultancy services to 50 veterinary practices across the south of England for the last five years.
Andrew has been an EBVS European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Cardiology and a RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Cardiology for 10 years.
At Lumbry Park, Andrew plans to use his new role to provide specialist-led care to pets from across the South of England, and to provide cardiac clinical input for the multi-disciplinary team at Lumbry Park who manage patients with some of the most complex clinical problems in the country.
Overall, there has been a 17% decline in Kennel Club registrations of all dogs so far this year.
However, new registrations of Pugs, French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs have declined by 42%, 39% and 34% respectively, putting these three breeds into the list of 'top five fallers' this year.
The Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG), which is made up of vets, national animal welfare organisations, scientists, and dog breed clubs has welcomed the news.
Dan O’Neill, Chair of the BWG said: “The drop in puppy registrations for these flat-faced breeds is a welcome step in the right direction, although these should be seen with some caution.
“We hope this is a sign that more and more puppy buyers, owners and breeders are considering the serious health and welfare implications for flat-faced dogs.
Snowflake previously had a squamous cell carcinoma mass on the right lower eyelid, which was completely removed in 2018.
However, her owner noticed an abnormal growth in the left eye, and brought her back to the RVC.
On presentation, Snowflake was bright and in good body condition, weighing 71kg.
Both eyes were open and appeared comfortable and visual.
Ocular reflexes and responses were also present as expected and there was no evidence of recurrence of the squamous cell carcinoma on the lower right eyelid.
Snowflake was, however, diagnosed with mild cataracts in her right eye deemed unlikely to interfere with her vision.
In addition, the mass of her left third eyelid was nonpigmented and displayed a poorly defined mass-like lesion, with an irregular surface on the leading edge, appearing consistent with a squamous cell carcinoma.
The team, led by Dr Maria-Christine Fischer, Lecturer in Ophthalmology, Dr Sara Lawrence-Mills, Senior Clinical Training Fellow in Anaesthesia, and Dr Carolina Palacios Jimenez, Lecturer in Anaesthesia, decided to undertake surgery.
They removed the third eyelid under sedation and applied local anaesthetic blocks and topical tetracaine eye drops.
Cryotherapy was then applied to the wound edge as an adjunctive therapy.
The RVC says that to date, there are few publications detailing anaesthesia in reindeer and so this protocol was a novel approach to maintaining a safe level of sedation in a well-domesticated animal.
The College added that the use of these nerve blocks to facilitate ophthalmic surgery has not been reported before and is in the process of being published.
Snowflake’s third eyelid was submitted for histopathology, which confirmed the diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma, which the team at the RVC was able to remove completely.
During the process, Snowflake’s daughter was with her so they both remained calm, and she has now made a full recovery and has enjoyed being reunited with her herd.
Maria-Christine said: “Snowflake had a cancerous mass on her third eye lid.
"Surgical removal of the third eyelid in a reindeer has not been reported before.
"We were pleased that we could perform the surgery with Snowflake under a standing sedation and with using local anaesthetics.
"As an ophthalmologist, I am committed to preserving vision so it’s rewarding that we were able to completely excise the tumour and did not have to remove the eyeball. It’s a very good outcome.
"I’m also pleased that Snowflake recovered quickly from the procedure, and we were able to share the protocol of the sedation and the local nerve blocks with other vets via a scientific publication.
"Sharing our knowledge will hopefully be beneficial for future ophthalmic surgeries in reindeer.”
* aka Mr Nick Dean.
The diffuser contains a blend of rose, lavender, and chamomile oils, which the company claims provides stress-relieving benefits during car journeys.
'On The Move' is part of the Calmex range, which includes a plug-in diffuser for the home and two nutraceuticals: a palatable tablet for dogs and a liquid formulation for cats.
Jackie Marshall, Technical Advisor at VetPlus, said: “We’re committed to developing products and solutions that allow vets to give their clients the best management options possible to ensure that pets are happy and healthy all year round.
“Combining the new in-car diffuser with the Calmex supplement and plug-in diffuser can be highly effective at supporting animals affected by many causes of stress, including loud noises, separation related anxiety, car travel, and environmental change.
"This gives vets the ability to recommend a truly multimodal approach to help animals cope better with stressful situations both in the home and on the move.
“The products can be used all year round to offer calming support for potentially distressing situations such as visits to the groomer, training and visits to the vet, as well as in the lead up to potentially stressful or busy events like Christmas or New Year’s Eve.”
VetPlus has also worked with behaviourists to develop a free app called Plasid.
Calmex users can access the app, which includes tracking tools, videos from behaviourists, and calming music to help stressed pets, by scanning the QR code on the product packaging.
Publishing Editor: Arlo Guthrie
Clinical Editor: Alasdair Hotston Moore MA VetMB CertSAC CertVR CertSAS FRCVS
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