Asked why the CMA had decided to launch the review, its Senior Director for Consumer Protection told BBC R4's Today programme this morning that: "the costs of many vet services are rising higher than the cost of inflation, and it can be really hard to find out how much it's going to cost you, both for routine treatments or if something goes wrong and you need to find emergency care for your pet."
George added: "There's many other [veterinary] services and costs that people cannot have predicted and they can find themselves unexpectedly facing some really high bills, and when other household bills are going up very steeply at the moment we want to do everything we can to make sure that people can predict how much it is going to cost to see a vet, both for routine stuff but also for things if there's a crisis."
The authority is also looking at whether there is enough transparency over practice ownership.
With the percentage of independent practices falling from 89% in 2013 to 45% by 2021, the authority says people may not be clear if their vet is part of a group which owns other vet practices in their area or that the services which are being sold to them (such as diagnostic tests or treatments at a specialist animal hospital) are provided by that group.
This, it says, could impact pet owners’ choices and reduce the incentives of local vet practices to compete.
The CMA is now asking veterinary professionals, people who supply veterinary products and services and pet owners to take part in the review by completing an online questionnaire: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-respond-to-the-veterinary-services-market-for-pets-review
In particular, it wants to hear practitioners' experiences of:
The questionnaire will remain open for six weeks.
The CMA will outline the issues it identifies and announce its next steps early in 2024.
The 12-month surgical guarantee covers professional fees, including consultations, anaesthesia and surgery, involved in rectifying a complication as long as the patient is in good health and the post-surgery instructions have been followed appropriately.
Clinical Director, Andy Moores, an RCVS-Recognised Specialist in Small Animal Orthopaedics, said: “We can never promise that surgery will be free of complications, but we are confident in our low complication rate.
"We are offering a surgical guarantee to demonstrate this confidence and to provide our clients with the reassurance that we will help them get through any post-surgical complications.”
Andy added: “Along with our highly competitive fixed-price fees we hope this guarantee will give owners financial peace-of-mind when their pet needs orthopaedic treatment at this difficult time.
"We do not know of any other specialist orthopaedic centre in the southeast that offers better value care.”
For free case advice, email: email@example.com
The company points to research which showed that 42% of cats and 28% of dogs have lesions which are only detectable on x-ray1.
Failing to identify teeth with root lesions can have a significant impact on patient welfare, causing ongoing pain and eventual tooth loss.
The first priority for the CVS clinical improvement project was to review how effective its first opinion small animal practices were at using radiography in dental examinations.
In July 2021, only 16.2% of dental cases had radiography performed and clinicians were mostly using visual examination to guide decision making.
The project then identified the barriers to using dental radiography as: a lack of dental radiography equipment in a practice, a lack of clinician confidence in taking and interpreting the radiographs and a belief that pet owners would not want to pay for it.
To address the first issue, CVS installed new dental radiography machines at over 104 sites, at a cost of £615,000 over the course of the year.
The company then upskilled its vets and nurses in dental radiography - looking specifically at getting good quality radiographs and interpretation.
Finally, the company conducted an audit of each participating practice’s dental radiology data, updating it each month and sharing the results with the practices..
One year on, CVS says the data shows that 43% of dental cases in project practices are now using dental radiography as part of their consultation.
In the best cases, some practices have been using radiography in 100% of cases.
Hub Clinical Lead Deborah Komianos said: “When you open a patient’s mouth and look inside, seemingly normal teeth are oftentimes not normal.
"So vets and nurses can risk missing periodontal disease.
“Dental radiology has historically been underutilised but we believe it adds valuable information to dental consultations and is an important decision-making tool.
“We’re thrilled with the early results in our practices.
"It shows there’s been a real change of mind-set and behaviour towards using X-rays in dentistry – as well as increased confidence in execution."
Broadline was a fipronil-based parasiticide which also contained (S)-methoprene, eprinomectin and praziquantel.
NexGard Combo, on the other hand, contains esafoxolaner together with eprinomectin and praziquantel for worming.
Both products are licensed for use in cats with or at risk from mixed infestations by fleas, ticks, mites cestodes, nematodes.
There's an explainer video about NexGard Combo on the Boehringer Academy website: https://www.boehringer-academy.co.uk/
Gabbrovet Multi is the first and only ready-to-use solution licensed to treat both cryptosporidium and E.coli diarrhoea in calves.
The company highlights a study of 334 calves with severe diarrhoea, where those receiving Gabbrovet Multi showed a faster and more effective response than those given halofuginone1.
Harry Walby, ruminant veterinary advisor at Ceva Animal Health, said: “Gabbrovet Multi is the first and only ready-to-use solution for the convenient treatment of both cryptosporidium and E.coli, two of the most common causes of neonatal scour in calves."
Gabbrovet Multi can be administered in milk or water.
It is available with a dosing cap and comes in 250ml, 500ml or 1l presentations.
Gabbrovet Multi also treats gastro-intestinal infections caused by E.coli in pigs.
For further information, contact your local Ceva Animal Health territory manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CVS practice aimed to change its prescribing culture by adopting an evidence-based, case-by-case approach and supporting its vets in only using antibiotics where absolutely necessary.
The practice identified the use of antibiotics in the treatment of cat bite abscesses (CBAs) as worthy of investigation.
Cefovecin, a third-generation cephalosporin and critically important antibiotic, is often used in the treatment of CBAs.
The practice first sought guidance from a dermatology specialist with an active research programme involving the study of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
It then developed a clinical guideline advising that if a cat has a discrete abscess, with no pyrexia (raised temperature) and no cellulitis, antibiotics are not required.
White Lodge then conducted an eight-month clinical audit across its Exmouth Hub, with the aim of measuring the effect of the new guideline.
The practice treated patients with CBA’s with NSAIDS, lancing and flushing (if necessary), and cleaning of the abscess.
Owners were advised to flush the affected area at home once daily.
An antibiotic awareness leaflet was given to clients with an explanation of the reasoning behind not prescribing antibiotics.
Cats presented 5-7 days after treatment for a nurse re-examination.
A consultation template was created for both the vet at initial presentation and another for the nurse’s post treatment check, to gather standardised information.
The measure of successful treatment was whether, on re-examination, the CBA site appeared free from infection and wound healing was evident.
If the wound had not started to heal or if there was infection or pyrexia, the treatment was deemed to have failed and further treatment was provided.
Analysis of the results showed that of the 22 cats included in the audit, 19 (86%) did not need antibiotics to successfully treat the abscess.
There was also a 32.6% reduction in the number of times cefovecin was dispensed in the eight-month period after the audit started, compared with the previous eight months.
Emily Parr, Head Veterinary Surgeon at White Lodge, said: “We think, due to lack of confidence in treatment without antibiotics as well as client pressure or expectation, the profession tends to default to the prescribing of antibiotics.
“However, this clinical audit has given our veterinary colleagues increased confidence in treating CBA’s without antibiotics.
"There has also been an improved client understanding in accepting treatment without antibiotics.
"Clients have also been positive when minimal intervention has been required, particularly as it eliminates the cost of antibiotics.
"This has had a positive impact on the vet-client relationship and trust in our practice.
“Antimicrobial resistance is continuing to threaten the efficacy and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections.
"So we hope that our CBA clinical audit outcome results will help to set a benchmark and shape clinical guidelines for the wider veterinary profession in this area.”
Emma, who graduated from the RVC in 2016, first spent five years working for the Poultry Health Services team in North Yorkshire, before moving to Avara to gain on-farm experience as an area manager.
She then rejoined the PHS Sheriff Hutton practice as the veterinary lead for the North East in 2022, opting to return to clinical work where her main interest is in turkeys focusing on gut health.
Emma has a post-graduate diploma in population health, statistics and epidemiology, and sits on both the APHA Avian Expert Group and the British Veterinary Poultry Association committee.
The judges were impressed with Emma's commitment to poultry as well as taking on several other roles on committees supporting the industry.
John Kenyon, Veterinary Manager at award sponsor Zoetis, said: “The poultry industry is looking to attract more vets to specialise in this sector and Emma is a great role model.
“The profession plays an important part in maintaining the high health and welfare standards of the UK industry and the award is a great way to promote career opportunities for young vets.
"Zoetis has sponsored this award since the introduction of the Young Farm Vet category in 2020 and we are proud to see the success past winners have achieved.”
Other finalists included Esme Chapman of Howells Veterinary Services, and Katerina Theakou of Crowshall Veterinary Services.
55 veterinary surgeons took part in the survey, which also found that only 37% of clinicians use FNA and cytology when investigating a suspected lipoma.
According to the survey, the biggest barriers to further investigations of lumps and bumps were cost (50%), short consult time (23%) and confidence in results (20%).
HT Vista, which earlier this year launched a cancer screening device for dogs which uses heat diffusion technology and AI to differentiate between benign skin masses and other tumours, is urging more practising vets to use an accurate screening process for early detection of malignant masses.
Dr. Gillian Dank, Board Certified Oncologist and Chief Veterinary Officer at HTVet, said: “There is no way to know that a mass is a lipoma based on palpation alone.
"The fact that a mass is subcutaneous, soft and circumscribed is not exclusive to lipoma and it could be a number of things including a mast cell tumour or sarcoma.
"On average a veterinary practice sees over 500 dermal and subcutaneous masses each year.
"We know anecdotally, and surveys like this confirm, that not every mass is aspirated – and that is why there is need for the HT Vista screening device.
"Every mass that comes in should be properly examined.”
“It’s interesting to see that the more experienced a clinician is, the less confident they are in diagnosing from palpation and this shows us that with experience we understand that our hands are not enough.”
Liron Levy-Hirsch, Managing Director of HT Vista, said: “The survey showed that vets are conscious of the cost to clients, and also feel pressured due to time.
"We have developed the HT Vista to complement FNA and cytology, and hope clinicians find it a useful tool.
"Firstly, it is quick and affordable to scan, and for those masses that are benign it removes the need for unnecessary FNA’s.
"Secondly, vets are often wary of cost, however if a mass is scanned and the results indicate that further investigation is needed, there is more rationale to spend the extra money to get the cytology results.
"Finally, the device can offer complete confidence that malignancies are not being missed, and if a mass is malignant a prompt treatment plan can be initiated.”
The resources comprise guidance materials, a health and wellbeing assessment, associate case studies, links to external support and information posters.
The company is also piloting a mindfulness app called Headspace, which is now freely available to everyone at Linnaeus, whether they are experiencing the menopause or have other needs.
Saskia Connell, People and Organisation Director at Linnaeus, said: “Menopause is a stage of life that is unique for everyone who experiences it – and can also affect the people around them.
"For those experiencing the menopause, sadly 45% say they feel their symptoms have had a negative impact on their work, according to the British Menopause Society.
"As an employer, we need to make sure they have our full support and a flourishing career.
One of Linnaeus' practices, Park Vet Group, has taken things a step further and introduced other wellbeing initiatives to support its associates with the menopause.
The practice offers confidential support to all associates who want to talk about any health concerns, plus open sessions to establish conversations about menopause.
Its team, led by Practice Manager Harriet Tims (pictured right), also introduced yellow 'Just to Make you Smile' toiletry bags containing sanitary products, tissues, hygiene wipes, deodorant spray and face wipes.
Anyone at Park can help themselves to the bags, or add products should they wish.
The company says the sessions will help veterinary staff learn more about the condition - which affects up to 20% of dogs in the UK annually1 - the causes and consequences of osteoarthritis pain, the main predisposing risk factors and the impact of chronic pain on central sensitisation.
The CPD will look at what steps practices can take to mitigate animal suffering and increase long-term owner compliance and will encourage practices to look at their current osteoarthritis management strategy.
Kai Crawshaw, Brand Manager at Animalcare, said: "Canine osteoarthritis is a growing concern for UK vets – latest figures suggest that over two million dogs are suffering, based on current population figures.
"Managing these cases can be challenging, but through this lunch and learn session, we aim to support veterinary staff and help them to expand their knowledge and implement an improved approach for managing canine osteoarthritis.’
The Committee has been named after the Supplementary Royal Charter 2015 which broadened the functions of the RCVS and allowed for a more flexible approach when dealing with complaints about professional conduct.
The Charter Case Committee can resolve cases where the conduct of a veterinary surgeon or nurse has fallen far below the level of conduct expected of them, but not so far as to warrant a full, public Disciplinary Committee hearing.
The Committee can deal with such cases without the need for a public hearing and can give veterinary surgeons or nurses either a confidential or a public warning about their future conduct.
A warning issued by the Charter Case Committee does not affect the individual’s registration status or their right to practise.
Eleanor Ferguson, RCVS Registrar, said: “The establishment of the Charter Case Committee plays a vitally important role in balancing our statutory role of upholding professional conduct standards and protecting animal health and welfare and public confidence in the professions, with our mission to become a compassionate regulator.
“The Charter Case Committee Protocol allows for the alternative resolution of certain cases where a veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse has engaged in behaviour that amounts to serious professional misconduct or has been convicted of an offence, but where it is not in the public interest for the matter to be referred to a hearing of the Disciplinary Committee because it is at the lower end of seriousness.
“The type of cases we envisage being dealt with by the Committee are those where the Code has been breached but where there is no ongoing risk to animal welfare or public confidence, and where the level of insight and personal reflection regarding their conduct is such that it can be resolved without the need for an onerous, stressful and expensive Disciplinary Committee hearing.
"We estimate that the CCC will deal with around 20 such cases per year.
“The most serious cases of professional misconduct will, of course, continue to be referred to Disciplinary Committee hearings.”
Following supply issues over the past 12 months, the company has gained regulatory approval to begin supplying Aqupharm through a new manufacturer.
Will Peel, marketing manager at Animalcare said: "We are aware of the challenges vets have faced over the past 12 months due to the shortage in supply, so we have been working hard to manage stock availability, however we are pleased that we are now able to supply the product on demand.
"We’d like to thank all our customers and wholesalers for their support and patience over the past year."
All existing Aqupharm products are available to order except Aqupharm no.3 which has been discontinued due to low market demand.
For product advice, contact: email@example.com.
For further information or for orders, contact your local Animalcare Territory Manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help veterinary practices engage with pet owners and help them understand the importance of eye health, TVM has produced a range of free educational materials including waiting room displays, informative web pages and social media packs.
The company has also published a page of information at www.tvm-uk.com/eyehealth – where pet owners can find out more about eye problems, how to spot them and learn what can be done about them.
Emma Hancox MRCVS, Veterinary Advisor at TVM said: "It can be easy for owners to miss the signs of problems with their pet’s eyes, but they can be extremely distressing for animals and be a sign of conditions ranging from cataracts and glaucoma through to conjunctivitis - all of which can be painful, and in the worst-case scenario, lead to blindness.
"We hope that National Pet Eye Health Awareness Week will help practices assist owners in understanding the importance of eye health and prevent more serious conditions occurring."
To request your board kit and pet owner leaflets, and download your free social media pack, visit www.tvm-uk.com/eyehealth or contact your Territory Manager.
The course will cover reptiles, pet mammals and captive birds.
Marie says the course will teach you how to approach exotic emergencies confidently, from clinical examination and forming differential diagnoses to medical and surgical approaches for common emergency presentations.
Marie will discuss both clinical management and the stabilisation and care of the critical patient, including fluid therapy, analgesia, contra-indicated medications and hospital cage requirements.
Welfare-focused euthanasia approaches will also be covered for different species.
Tickets cost £300 and the course is open to veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and students on a recognised veterinary or nursing course.
Lunch, tea, coffee and biscuits included.
First, the practice carried out an infection control audit to ensure its protocols were robust.
The audit covered the cleaning of clinical areas, non-clinical areas (including offices, reception desks, kltchens and bathrooms), and the personal hygiene of staff members (including hand hygiene and work wear).
Using using the Nationwide Laboratory practice cleanliness screening programme, Rosemullion then conducted environmental swabbing of 10 clinical and non-clinical areas around the practice, including theatre tables, kennels, telephones and door handles, to review contamination levels.
Results showed varying levels of bacterial contamination in both clinical and non-clinical areas.
Finally, Rosemullion assessed personal hygiene and the potential for cross-contamination between patients, colleagues and the environment.
Staff were asked to complete an anonymous ‘Hygiene Self-assessment Questionnaire’ which covered ten areas, including; disinfecting hands; wearing gloves, scrubs with short sleeves and dedicated work shoes, and changing into uniforms when arriving at work.
Amongst clinical staff, there was a 66.75% compliance.
The team then discussed the results, consulted a lab microbiologist and formulated an improvement plan, which included updating the practice cleaning processes (including the cleaning of new touch points), introducing new colleague uniform rules (including changing into uniform upon arrival at work), improving hand hygiene (including providing hand gels for all colleagues) and using sanitising wipes in all office areas.
One month after the policy revisions, swab tests were repeated. They found no bacterial growth in any of the 10 previously swabbed areas.
After two months the colleague questionnaire was run again.
It found clinical colleague compliance over eight personal hygiene indicators had jumped from 66.75% to 92.5% compliance.Abi Redfearn, Senior Veterinary Nurse at Rosemullion, said: “When we opened in 2021, we were keen to monitor our infection control - as part of providing a hospital level of care under the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme.
"With around 100 colleagues and hundreds of patients passing through our doors every week, we are an extremely busy practice – so infection control is paramount in maintaining high clinical standards.“By updating our protocols and taking simple steps - such as providing sanitising materials in high-touch areas – we’ve significantly decreased the risk of environmental contamination.
"Our project is now being used as an example to encourage other practices.”
Topics covered will include practical applications of enrichment for zoo species, options for reproductive control in pet ferrets, challenges of exotics out-of-hours care, veterinary care of invertebrates and decision-making in wildlife cases.
The Association says that this year, there will be a greater focus on masterclasses, practical sessions and roundtable discussions, and that there will be plenty of new research, case reports, case series and the most recent advancements in the field of zoo, wildlife and exotic animal medicine.
There will be dedicated streams covering zoo health, nursing, exotic pets and wildlife health, together with a stream for students and new graduates.
The social programme includes the student-mentor mixer, a wine and canapés evening, a gala dinner and silent disco.
Registration fees have been held at the same level as 2019: tickets for non-members range from £410 for one day, to £760 for all three; members get a discount.
On day one, Laura Playforth, IVC Evidensia’s Group Quality Improvement Director, will be looking at psychological safety and the adoption of a safety-critical culture in veterinary practice.
Sayaka Okushima from Pride Veterinary Referrals and Sarah Heath, IVC's Director of Sustainability, will be discussing the use of anaesthetic gases and ways to reduce them.
Other talks on day one will include: ‘Vets vs Nurses: Are we Blurring the Lines?’ and ‘The Criminal Underworld and Animal Welfare’.
On the second day, IVC referral clinicians will present lectures on various subjects, from handling emergency situations to mastering diagnostic testing equipment in first opinion practice.
David Owen, a Referral ECC Clinician at Vets Now in Manchester, will be talking about talking about emergency dyspnoea cases and how veterinary colleagues can cope with challenging situations efficiently.
Frances Bird, a European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery at Pride Veterinary Referrals, will be closing out the day with a discussion on treating respiratory disease from a surgeon’s perspective.
For the full programme, visit: https://london.vetshow.com/conference-programme?&filters.LOCATION=63903&searchgroup=ADD5CDE8-conference-programme-2023
The 'Lifelong Ear Partnership' resources, which were developed in conjunction with a panel of vets, are designed to help vets in practice improve their owner communication and achieve owner buy-in about otitis.
To that end, Dechra has developed various owner communication tools for use in practice or to refer owners to after the consultation.
They include an owner website: www.ear-inflammation.co.uk and a postcard with QR code links to educational videos which cover clinical recommendations, treatment options and the importance of revisits.
There is also a brochure for owners and an online 4D ear model: www.4d-earmodel.com, which demonstrates a healthy ear and an ear with mild, moderate or severe otitis.
Finally, Dechra has also launched an ear cytology webinar series on Dechra Academy: www.dechra.co.uk/academy.
The course consists of tips for everything from greeting the patient to performing and interpreting cytology slides.
Claire Westoby, companion animal brand manager at Dechra, said: “Otitis externa in dogs is not a quick fix and to successfully treat a case several factors need to be considered.
"Most cases call for a thorough investigation of the primary causes, a correct diagnosis and treatment of potential secondary dysbiosis, handling of perpetuating factors and constructing a long-term plan that ensures owner compliance and reduces the risk of recurrent problems.
“Our extensive new range of Lifelong Ear Partnership resources will ensure that vets can refresh their knowledge on otitis externa and educate clients on all aspects of the condition within a limited consult time.”
The webinar will allow veterinary teams to learn from three expert speakers how they can make small practical changes to have positive impacts in their own settings.
Helen Ballantyne, Chair of the UK One Health Coordination Group (UKOHCG) and both a human and animal health nurse, will provide a ‘human’ view of One Health and the strategies in the NHS.
She will highlight areas of excellent practice she has experienced, and from a One Health angle where the veterinary profession could learn from the NHS, and vice versa.
Fergus Allerton MRCVS, an Internal Medicine Specialist and lead on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) at Linnaeus will talk about, amongst other things, the optimal use of antimicrobials for infection control.
In collaboration with the NHS, he launched Veterinary Antibiotic Amnesty activity which saw a 19% reduction of antimicrobial use across the Linnaeus veterinary group.
Fergus will also talk about the PROTECT ME guidelines on the responsible use of antibacterials, such as for surgical antibiotic prophylaxis.
Simon Doherty, past-president of the British Veterinary Association and one of two BVA representatives at the Federation of Veterinarians in Europe, will focus on the history of One Health and One Agriculture; highlighting how improved communication and collaboration at the intersection of people, animals and the environment can drive productivity and sustainability in food production.
Simon will also share some of Vet Sustain’s farm animal resources and how the principles can be applied.
To register, visit: https://horiba.link/one-health-webinar
Phovia, which was launched in the UK last year, is a two-part FLE system consisting of a chromophore gel that is applied to the affected skin and a blue light LED lamp.
Vetoquinol says that when used together they produce light of varying wavelengths that penetrates the skin to different depths, helping to control bacteria and reduce inflammation on the surface of the skin and stimulating regeneration in the epidermal and dermal layers.
The unit is portable, and applications take four minutes once a week.
The authors of the Vetoquinol-funded study say that FLE has already been shown to support and accelerate natural skin healing, but this latest research shows that the benefits go beyond improvement in clinical signs.
The study looked at 35 dogs with a diverse range of skin conditions: 13 had interdigital furunculosis, 10 had deep pyoderma, 6 had wounds, 4 had pyotraumatic dermatitis, and 2 had perianal fistula on presentation.
Eight of 35 dogs were new cases, whereas the remaining 27 were undergoing recrudescence of a prior episode, including pyotraumatic dermatitis, wounds, deep pyoderma, interdigital furunculosis and perianal fistulae.
Thirty dogs (86%) achieved a clinical resolution: 18 with the Fluorescent Light Energy alone and 12 with the concomitant use of FLE and topical antiseptic shampoo.
Five dogs (14%) had a partial response and needed other therapies.
92% percent of owners attested to their pet’s enhanced quality of life, with 74% of dogs displaying at least a 50% improvement in owner-reported behaviour, mood, sleep and playing activities.
The study also reported a 46% reduction in caregiver burden.
Felicity Caddick, Technical Services Manager at Vetoquinol said: “Managing skin conditions often requires the long-term use of shampoos or topical therapies.
"Many owners find this aspect of pet ownership challenging, especially with larger dogs, or less cooperative animals.
"FLE can reduce or in some cases eliminate the need for topical therapies at home, not only simplifying the treatment process but also enhancing convenience and compliance.
"Sharing responsibility for administering ongoing treatment with their vet practice also removes some of the worry associated with their pet’s health.”
Vetoquinol also highlights that Phovia can offer vets a drug-free management option for skin disorders that aligns with the principles of antibiotic stewardship.
The offer runs until 17th September 2023 and vets who sign up for the face-to-face programmes will also get 25% off a practical short course.
The Small Animal Surgery course is split over two years, with a significant practical component and 10-days practical wet-lab training sessions.
Delegates learn about orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery, and neurosurgery.
The Small Animal Medicine course is also split over two years and covers all major canine and feline body systems.
On completion, delegates can also earn an ISVPS General Practitioner Certificate (GPCert) or achieve a Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) awarded by Harper Adams University.
Dr Charlotte French (pictured right), UK Head of Business Development, said: ‘When I qualified over 25 years ago, there was very little postgraduate education available.
"Over the years Improve Veterinary Education have been the leaders in development and delivery of world leading CPD.
"This is the opportunity for even more members of the profession to take advantage of that high quality education, enabling them to further their careers and improve animal welfare.’
The flagship programmes are run in various learning formats to support the different learning environments vets operate in and include:
The day will be led by Sonya Miles, BVSc CertAVP (ZM), CertAqV, MRCVS, RCVS Recognised Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine and WAVMA Certified Aquatic Species Veterinarian.
Lectures will look at techniques, protocols, potential drug options and combinations as well as blood sampling and hospitalisation techniques in a wide variety of exotic species.
Delegates will also be provided with lecture notes, a CPD certificate, refreshments and lunch, as well as goodie bags provided by sponsors Pinmoore Animal Laboratory Services Limited.
Sonya says the aim of the day is to dispel many myths associated with anaesthetising a wide variety of exotic species, including fish and amphibians, whilst simultaneously providing vets and nurses with the skills to undertake these often challenging and comparatively high-risk anaesthetics.
To book your place or for more information, email: email@example.com or book online at https://justexoticsevents.co.uk/dont-miss-out-on-our-latest-event
The sessions will be delivered by Andrew Kent, clinical director at Blaise and a small animal internal medicine specialist, Lara Dempsey, head of soft tissue surgery, Jacques Ferrerira, head of anaesthesia, Mike Farrell, head of orthopaedic surgery, and neurology clinician, Emma Suiter (pictured).
The talks will cover:
Client communication will also be covered, together with some orthopaedics for those with an interest in that area.
Andy said: “We’re building an incredible team at Blaise and are very excited at the prospect of sharing the specialist knowledge that our clinicians have with our wider veterinary community.
"Treating liver conditions can be incredibly complex and our educational programme presents an unrivalled opportunity to deep dive into this part of an animal’s body and how best to approach it.”
Tickets are available for £48 from https://www.ivcevidensiareferrals.com/Delivering-the-Best, with all profits going to the charity StreetVet.
Blaise Veterinary Referral Hospital in Longbridge is IVC’s first purpose-built pet hospital and will be open to accept referral patients from November 2023.
Miss Herdman faced three charges.
The first was that she indicated to a friend that she would supply diazepam and/or tramadol for use by their husband.
The second was that she supplied diazepam and/or tramadol and/or gabapentin.
The third was that she gave advice on the dosages of diazepam and/or tramadol and/or gabapentin.
Miss Herdman was not present at the hearing and was unrepresented, but the Committee determined that it was appropriate to proceed in her absence as she had been notified, was aware that the hearing was taking place and her absence was voluntary.
However, Miss Herdman had been in contact to indicate her pleas to the charges.
She admitted the intention to supply diazepam and/or tramadol and that she had provided advice on the dosages.
She also admitted that she had supplied diazepam but strongly denied that she had supplied tramadol and/or gabapentin.
Taking all the evidence into account (including messages sent by Miss Herdman and her admissions), the Committee found proven the charges in relation to the intent to supply and the advice on dosages.
The Committee also found proven the charge in relation to the supply of diazepam, but found not proved the charge relating to the supply of tramadol and gabapentin for several reasons, including the fact that the messages sent by Miss Herdman did not point unequivocally to her actually suppling each of the drugs to which she referred.
There was no suggestion that the diazepam was stolen from her place of work.
The Committee found that Miss Herdman’s actions had breached paragraphs 1.5 and 6.5 of the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses.
The committee judged that there were a number of aggravating features of Miss Herdman’s conduct, including that she was not qualified or authorised to prescribe medication to animals, let alone to human beings and that providing a controlled drug to a person who was already taking various painkilling medications was reckless.
The Committee also felt that a reasonable and informed member of the public would be very concerned to learn that a veterinary nurse had supplied a controlled drug to a friend for their personal use.
Regarding the sanction for Miss Herdman, Paul Morris, chairing the Veterinary Nursing Disciplinary Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “Drawing all the material together, and considering the matter as a whole, the Committee had to impose a proportionate sanction for an isolated incident of serious professional misconduct which arose out of a misguided attempt to help a friend.
"The conduct in question was entirely out of keeping with Miss Herdman’s usual practice and there is no real risk that it will be repeated.
"However, this case was much too serious to take no further action and no useful purpose would be served by postponing a sanction.
“The Committee considered that a warning or reprimand would not be sufficient to satisfy the public interest as veterinary nurses are trusted by the public to deal with medication responsibly and failure to do constitutes a severe breach of trust.
“The Committee therefore considered a period of suspension sufficient to meet the public interest in maintaining the reputation of the profession and declaring and upholding proper standards of conduct for members of the profession.
“The Committee also considered whether a removal order would be appropriate but concluded it would be disproportionate and that such a step would remove from the profession an experienced, competent and valuable veterinary nurse for no discernible benefit.
“It was decided that Miss Herdman’s registration be suspended for a period of three months – a period which is sufficient to mark the gravity of the misconduct while taking into account the circumstances in which it arose.”
Skin diseases and palpable masses are a common presentation in guinea pigs brought for veterinary care2.
However, few studies have thus far looked at the prevalence of spontaneously arising diseases in pet guinea pigs.
"Lumpy bumpy guinea pigs: a retrospective study of 619 biopsy samples of externally palpable masses submitted from pet guinea pigs for histopathology" retrospectively analysed 619 biopsy samples submitted for histopathology from pet guinea pigs that had presented with externally palpable masses.
The purpose was to determine the most common tissue origins of these masses and the most frequent pathological diagnoses, together with signalment data for the most commonly diagnosed lesions.
Of the 619 samples submitted from 493 animals, 54 (8.7%) had arisen from the mammary glands3 and 15 (2.4%) from the thyroid glands, with the remaining 550 (88.9%) involving the skin and subcutis, muscle (n = 1), salivary glands (n = 4), lips (n = 2), ears (n = 4) and peripheral lymph nodes (n = 23).
Forty-seven (7.6%) of the masses were diagnosed as inflammatory in nature, including dermatitis, panniculitis, lymphadenitis, cheilitis, myositis, sialoadenitis, abscess and chronic inflammation with osseous metaplasia.
Non-neoplastic, non-inflammatory lesions accounted for a further 31 (5.0%), namely cysts, hamartomas, hyperplastic lesions, polyps, ectopic bone formation and salivary gland steatosis.
The remainder of the samples were neoplastic in nature (541; 87.4%), with 99 masses classified as epithelial in origin, 347 as mesenchymal, 23 as round cell, five as melanocytic and eight as unclassified malignant neoplasms.
Of these, mesenchymal neoplasms were further subdivided into benign (288) and malignant (59).
Lipomas were the most common neoplasm diagnosed, accounting for 286 of all samples submitted.
Of all 619 samples included in the study, the eight most commonly diagnosed lesions were lipoma (46.2%), trichofolliculoma (12.3%), sarcoma (of various subtypes: 9.5%), inflammation (all sites 7.6%), lymphoma / leukaemia (3.4%), mammary carcinoma (4%), mammary adenoma (3.2%) and thyroid carcinoma (1.5%).
Overall these eight diagnoses accounted for 87.7% of all submissions from the externally palpable masses from the pet guinea pigs submitted for histopathology.
Melanie said: “Guinea pigs are an increasingly popular household pet.
"Skin diseases, including palpable masses, are a common reason for veterinary presentation. But few studies have been published to date that provide information for clinicians about these conditions.
“This study illustrates the importance of neoplasms of the skin and subcutis in pet guinea pigs, with over 87% of the cases analysed having one of eight diagnoses.
"While most of these neoplasms are benign, a substantial minority are malignant and identifying those lesions is especially important in treatment planning.
"Clinicians dealing with pet guinea pigs should also be aware that some externally palpable masses may arise from the thyroid or mammary glands rather than the skin or subcutis, and that male guinea pigs may also develop mammary lesions.”
The paper has been selected as ‘Editor’s Choice’ by the Journal of Comparative Pathology and will be free to access until September on Lumpy, bumpy guinea pigs: a retrospective study of 619 biopsy samples of externally palpable masses submitted from pet guinea pigs for histopathology - ScienceDirect.
Publishing Editor: Arlo Guthrie
Clinical Editor: Alasdair Hotston Moore MA VetMB CertSAC CertVR CertSAS FRCVS
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