0:06 Cortavance has new indication for canine atopy0:14 New BVDA Dental courses0:38 VetCT free for new grads for three months1:03 Boehringer Ingelheim Change One Thing cattle parasite campaign1:22 Eprecis now POM-V1:44 Virbac Bumps and Lumps materials for practices2:02 BSAVA euthanasia info focuses on pastoral care for owners and practices2:25: Support service for vets facing RCVS investigation3:21 And finally ..
The study1 was led by the RVC’s VetCompass Programme and is the largest study using anonymised veterinary health records to explore dry eye in dogs. The study included 363,898 dogs that were followed for a year to identify 1,456 dogs affected with dry eye.
The study found that one in every 250 dogs overall is affected by the condition, but certain breeds are especially prone.
The worst affected breeds were: American Cocker Spaniel (5.90%), West Highland White Terrier (2.21%), Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (1.91), Lhasa Apso (1.86%), English Bulldog (1.82%), English Bull Terrier (1.65%,) and English Cocker Spaniel (1.60%).
Other findings included:
The authors of the study have recommended that vets help reduce the frequency and impact of KCS by testing for the adequacy of tear production as part of the annual physical examination of all dogs but especially for the list of predisposed breeds as they approach advanced age.
Dr Dan O’Neill, Senior Lecturer, Companion Animal Epidemiology, at the RVC, and author of the paper, said: "We all love those glossy puppy dog eyes, but this study shows that sadly not every dog enjoys good eye health. This research identifies that flattened faces in some breeds makes these breeds more prone to this painful dry eye condition. Work is urgently going on to improve the health of many of these flat-faced breeds, but in the meantime the message from everyone who cares about dogs is to ‘stop and think before buying a flat-faced dog."
Rick Sanchez, European Specialist in Veterinary Ophthalmology says: "Taking a fresh dip into an old, dull looking disease like KCS has shown us there is more for us to learn than we thought. Ultimately, all of us, clinicians, nurses, researchers, breeders and dog owners are, in one form or another, care givers for our beloved animals. All of us need whatever new information we can set our eyes on to inform our next steps in improving canine ocular health. There’s no better eye opener than evidence-based scientific findings. I hope this research helps all of us raise awareness about canine KCS and that it helps us keep those animal eyes looking fresh and healthy, as they should.”
Bill Lambert, Health, Welfare and Breeder Services Executive at The Kennel Club commented: "These findings are important to help us to identify which dogs are most at risk of developing dry eye. Ultimately, this should help owners that may need support in spotting the initial signs, as well as ways to treat affected dogs and how to prevent it occurring in the future. The data from this fascinating research will also be used to collaboratively create strategies to tackle health priorities with the breed clubs of affected breeds."
Photo: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with KCS. By Rick F Sanchez BSciBiol DVM DipECVO CertVetEd FHEA.JPG
CVS says the new hospital, which will be based at Central Park, Avonmouth, will be custom-built with uniquely designed facilities, state-of-the-art diagnostic tools such as MRI and CT scanners, and a cutting-edge stereotactic linear accelerator for radiotherapy in cancer treatment, the only one of its kind for pets in England.
The hospital, which will open next summer, will employ over 100 people led by a team of Specialist veterinary surgeons and supported by residents, interns and registered veterinary nurses.
Planning permission has been granted for the project, and CVS is now appointing building contractors.
Richard Fairman, CEO of CVS Group, said: "We are extremely excited to be developing this innovative new specialist veterinary hospital in Bristol, providing the best animal care to pet owners across the South West. With state-of-the-art equipment and some of the highest qualified veterinary professionals, we are confident that the site will act as a centre of excellence in the veterinary world, and be a leader in Europe for cancer treatments.
"The new hospital signals our commitment to investing in cutting-edge technology to bring cancer treatment in pets to the next level. It will provide a number of employment opportunities and secure specialist veterinary skills in the Bristol area. We look forward to finalising development plans and opening the doors to pet owners in 2022."
The Suresign range consists of:
Shane Brewer, Veterinary Business Development Manager at CIGA Healthcare, said: "We are very excited to be branching out into the veterinary field with our very affordable veterinary rapid tests. With the recent increase in pet ownership over the previous year, it is important to offer vets and their clients an affordable alternative to the tests they are currently using."
Ciga says its tests are easy to perform and interpret, competitively priced and offer results in 5-10 minutes.
For more information (in due course), visit: www.suresignveterinary.com
The Legislative Reform Consultation took place between November 2020 and April 2021 and asked members of the veterinary profession and the public to give their responses to a package of proposals for future veterinary legislation designed to enhance the role of veterinary nurses, modernise RCVS registration, lead to a modern fitness to practise regime, and ensure the regulation of veterinary practices.
The proposals represent the biggest legislative reform since the 1966 Veterinary Surgeons Act.
In total the consultation received 1,330 responses, of which 714 (54%) were from veterinary surgeons, 335 (25%) from veterinary nurses, 93 (7%) from veterinary paraprofessionals, 73 (5%) from student veterinary nurses, 58 (4%) from members of the public, 40 (3%) from veterinary and industry organisations, including representative bodies, and the remainder from veterinary students and veterinary practice managers.
An analysis of the consultation responses covering each of the five core areas and their individual recommendations can be found in the final report, which is available at www.rcvs.org.uk/legislativereform.
After considering this report, Council voted by a majority to accept the recommendations, meaning that they are now formally adopted as RCVS policy and will form the basis for discussions on the need for new legislation with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).
Professor Stephen May has chaired the Legislation Working Party that developed the proposal since its inception in 2017 when he was RCVS President. He said: “We are very grateful to those individuals and organisations who took the time to complete this very important consultation on recommendations for the future legislative framework for the professions. We also appreciate the candour of those who were unsure about or opposed to the recommendations.
“When the Legislation Working Party met to consider the responses and the report, it decided that, while no substantive changes needed to be made to the principle-based recommendations, the points raised both against and in favour of individual recommendations gave us important material for additional consideration, and food for thought as to how any detailed proposals would be implemented once enabling legislation is in place.
“We look forward to submitting these recommendations to Defra formally, with a view to them becoming, in time, a bill put before Parliament to replace the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966. In so doing, this would establish a modern, flexible and comprehensive piece of legislation that would make sure the regulatory structure for the veterinary professions is fit for purpose for decades to come.”
As well as the main report of the Legislative Reform Consultation, RCVS Council also considered a series of interim measures that would be in line with the overall aims of future legislative changes, but which could be implemented without primary legislation.
The proposed interim measures included:
Council members voted on each of these interim measures on an individual basis – with the mini-PICs and the Charter Case Protocol being accepted by majority vote.
However, Council members voted against implementing the change to the standard of proof at this time, citing a number of concerns about the potential impact of it being implemented under the current concerns investigation and disciplinary procedures. Similar concerns had been put forward by many of those who responded to the consultation itself.
Eleanor Ferguson, RCVS Registrar, said: “The approved procedural changes will, I believe, lead to a significant improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of our disciplinary processes. The Charter Case Protocol will mean that, in suitable cases where a finding of serious professional misconduct at a full disciplinary hearing would likely only lead to a reprimand or to no further action being taken, a more proportionate and less time-consuming and expensive means of resolving cases will be available. However, it will still reflect the seriousness of the matters and continue to protect the public interest, welfare and the reputation of the profession.
“Furthermore, by phasing out the Case Examiner Group stage and instead referring concerns to ‘mini’ PICs, which will decide if the threshold of serious professional misconduct has been met, it will make our concerns investigation processes clearer and more streamlined and therefore more efficient. We look forward to publishing further details on both of these changes in due course.
“Although Council members accepted that a change of the standard of proof would be an integral part of introducing a modern fitness to practise (FTP) regime as part of any future legislation, they had significant concerns about the ‘interim’ recommendation to introduce it under the current arrangements, in advance of implementing a full FTP model, and so a majority felt that they could not vote for it.”
To read the full report of the Legislative Reform Consultation, including analysis of the responses, please visit www.rcvs.org.uk/legislativereform.
The collection draws together a selection of materials, including chapters from BSAVA Manuals, articles from Companion, webinars and Congress lectures.
The collection is divided into four areas: general information, client communication, client support and practitioner support. It includes things like:
Julian Hoad, Chair of the BSAVA Publications Committee said: “Death and taxes are the only two certainties of life, according to Benjamin Franklin! Our pets don’t have the worry of taxation but managing the end of life for them is something that all owners must face. It is probably the most challenging part of our veterinary work also – managing the emotional, sometimes highly charged, aspect of the situation, whilst maintaining an objective focus on the patient.
"This new collection provides a handy resource for this important area of veterinary practice. The collection will enable the recent graduate to gain confidence in dealing with these cases; tips for improvement that even the more experienced clinician will find useful are also included.”
The collection can be accessed via the BSAVA Library https://www.bsavalibrary.com/content/end-of-life---introduction at a cost of £20.00 for BSAVA members or £45.00 for non-members.
The first course will be overseen by Jodie Hughes, an RCVS and European specialist in anaesthesia and analgesia. The hospital’s inaugural resident will be Luisa Oliveira (pictured right), who earlier completed a rotating internship at North West Veterinary Specialists in Cheshire, and, more recently, an anaesthesia-specific one at NDSR.
Jodie said: “Luisa’s residency will comprise mainly the provision of anaesthesia to multiple animal species, ranging from the ‘simpler’ procedures to the most critical and complex, which we frequently encounter in our interventional cardiac procedures and emergency work.
“A significant component of the training will involve the management of pain, both in the acute setting (in the peri-operative period) and in the chronic setting, whilst dealing with our pain clinic patients.
“Luisa will also be trained in the management of emergency and critical care patients and will undergo rotations in other services to better grasp their requirements.
“As we work exclusively with dogs and cats, we will work in close collaboration with several other hospitals in the UK and continental Europe, to complement Luisa’s training with other species.
“As part of this, Luisa will be exposed to multiple advanced techniques, including ultrasound-guided regional nerve blocks and interventional procedures in our pain clinic.
Luisa said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to work alongside an incredibly experienced and skilled team at NDSR.
The training programme has been developed by Rui Pinelas, RCVS and European specialist in anaesthesia and analgesia at NDSR, who is optimistic there will be further training opportunities in the near future.
Rui said: “This was something NDSR has been keen to implement for some time and we had been having ongoing discussions to choose the perfect time.
“In terms of logistics, it took around three months for us to set up this anaesthesia residency, which was largely spent organising our partnerships with the other training facilities and undergoing an evaluation as to whether our facilities and case load would meet the specialist board’s strict requirements, which we are delighted they did.”
The new bars are designed specifically for owners who want a sustainable choice. They contain no harmful preservatives or foaming agents and are SLS and parabens free. Sue says that all the ingredients in the soaps have been selected to minimise their environmental impact and help maintain a healthy skin and coat.
Sue said: "Dog owners are environmentally conscious and recognise that in addition to their own carbon footprint their furry family member also has an important part to play when it comes to sustainability."
Apparently, Zurich’s Institute of Environmental Engineering has shown liquid soap has ten times the carbon footprint of bar soap: bottles need more energy and water to produce them, they are less efficient to transport, and many contain synthetic chemicals which can cause damage to the ecosystem if they get into water sources.
Sue added: “We need to make the same sustainable choices for our pets as we make for ourselves. One shampoo soap bar is the equivalent of two bottles of shampoo so they are not only good for the planet they are great for your pocket as well. It makes it easy for pet owners to make the right choice and reduce their pet’s carbon footprint without compromising on their care.”
For more information visit: https://virtualvetderms.com/login/product/antibacterial-shampoo-bar or https://virtualvetderms.com/login/product/soothing-shampoo-bar.
The ProfCon Investigation Support (PCIS) service is a free, confidential listening and support service funded by the RCVS and its Mind Matters Initiative mental health project but delivered independently by VetSupport.me, an organisation that already offers general support services to veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses.
The service is provided by a group of trained and experienced volunteers who will also be able to offer support to any veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse who is acting as witness.
Lizzie Lockett, RCVS CEO, said: “At the RCVS we recognise that being investigated in respect of alleged professional misconduct is a very stressful and trying experience that can knock confidence and, in some cases, lead to distress amongst practitioners.
“While part of the social contract of being members of regulated and protected professions is that, when accusations around professional misconduct are made, they have to be fully investigated by a regulator to determine if there is a case to answer. As a compassionate regulator we want to make sure that individuals going through this process can access the help and support they need.
“This service is staffed by a team of brilliant volunteers who already have experience in providing help and support on matters of mental health and wellbeing and have received additional training to augment their ability to provide emotional support to vets and nurses who may be under investigation.
“In our Strategic Plan for 2020-24, one of our key ambitions is to strengthen our credentials as a compassionate regulator that acts with empathy and understanding. The ProfCon Investigation Support Service is an important step in fulfilling this ambition, and I hope that it can deliver help to the people that need it.”
David McKeown, from VetSupport, added: “Whether via a phone call, an email conversation, or a meet-up over Zoom, our team of trained volunteers, all of whom are registered vets or vet nurses themselves, will support service users through the duration of an RCVS investigation.
“Through their support we will aim to help individuals going through this process maintain good mental health and wellbeing and strive to prevent more serious issues arising. The service is completely confidential and no conversations that individuals have with our volunteers will ever be shared with anyone else, including the RCVS. Nothing will be fed back to the College nor be used as part of the investigation process. It is also completely within the individual’s control as to how much information is shared with the VetSupport volunteer. There is no obligation to disclose any information other than perhaps a first name.
“We look forward to working with the RCVS to provide this very important service. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.vetsupport.me to find out more about the service and meet our team of supporters.”
The toolkit contains everything a practice needs to create its own lumps and bumps awareness campaign including social media posts, videos, newsletter content and client literature.
Up to 1 in 4 pets will develop cancer over their lifetimes1 and mast cell tumours account for 1 in 5 cutaneous neoplasms2, so early diagnosis of skin lumps and bumps is of course critical.
Neil Mottram MRCVS, Technical Product Manager at Virbac said: "Making the most of cuddle time with our pets, feeling for lumps and bumps, can make a huge difference to the early detection of skin abnormalities.
"Thanks to innovative new products like Stelfonta, the options available to veterinary surgeons to treat skin tumours in dogs has never been greater, so it’s an ideal time to educate pet owners on the importance of an early diagnosis".
The toolkit is available on the Virbac Resource Library which can be found by creating an account at https://vet-uk.virbac.com/home.html or from your Virbac Territory Manager.
As Ceva points out, the change gives veterinary surgeons an opportunity to get more involved in parasite control plans and help farmers develop a sustainable parasite control strategy on their farm.
Eprecis injectable contains eprinomectin, the only molecule with zero-milk withdrawal currently available for cattle on the U.K. market.
Ceva highlights that because Eprecis is an injection, there is no risk of product transfer between in-contact animals caused by licking1,2,3 a natural behaviour of cattle, potentially resulting in sub-therapeutic levels of product being absorbed. There is also no risk of reduction in efficacy if dirt or manure is present on the back of the animal4.
The company says injectable formulation results in less active ingredient per animal treated compared to eprinomectin pour-ons; for example using Eprecis injection, a 500kg animal receives 100mg eprinomectin, while a pour-on delivers 250mg per application.
To support the new POM-V classification, Ceva has launched a vet support pack to help veterinary professionals when talking to their farming clients about Eprecis, worming strategies and their parasite control plans. The pack contains a farmer targeted brochure, farmer Q&A and a practical guide with suggestions of when Eprecis can be used. It also includes an infograph for social media posts, a technical booklet and a vet Q&A to help answer the most common questions they may be asked. A series of social media posts are available for vet practices encouraging their clients to discuss worming with their vet.
Kythé Mackenzie BVSc MRCVS, ruminant veterinary adviser at Ceva Animal Health, said: “Ruminants can be parasitised by a range of nematodes, trematodes and external parasites, all of which can have an impact on health and production. A recent publication considered that helminth infections (GIN, lungworm and liver fluke) cost the UK dairy industry close to £145M per year5. Interestingly, the majority of these costs were attributed to lost production (£131M) rather than treatment costs (£14M).
“There is now documented resistance to eprinomectin in small ruminants6 (Haemonchus contortus in goats) and whilst not yet documented in cattle, action needs to be taken to try and delay/minimise this emergence. This requires the use of more sustainable parasite control plans to assist in managing refugia and allowing animals adequate exposure to the parasites to develop natural immunity. Parasite control plans should maximise health, welfare and production whilst minimising the unnecessary use of anthelmintics.”
In the short-term, orders of Eprecis injectable from veterinary wholesalers will be fulfilled by the current POM-VPS product that is in the supply chain before switching to the new packaging later in the season.
For further information contact your local Ceva Animal Health territory manager or email email@example.com.
The campaign came after the company surveyed livestock farmers in January, February and March this year, and found that cattle producers are struggling to implement changes.
The survey, which received 190 responses, investigated the extent to which beef and dairy producers are aware of methods to sustainably control parasites, how many are following best practice techniques, and what advice and support they need to make a change.
Sioned Timothy, Ruminant Technical Manager at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health said: “Reassuringly, 70% of respondents who are the main decision maker indicated that they were either very concerned or a little concerned about wormer resistance on farm. This level of awareness is positive since wormer resistance is on the rise, and the livestock industry must make changes to parasite control if we are to safeguard the effectiveness of wormers."
However, the survey indicated that farmers are not asking professionals such as their vet or SQP for advice on parasite control as much as they could. Only 55% of main decision maker respondents asked their vet for advice on parasite control planning as part of overall herd health planning, and that dropped to 21% for specific parasite control advice.
In addition, only 65% of main decision makers sought advice from an SQP when purchasing worming or fluke products, despite SQPs being qualified to provide parasite control advice at the point of prescription and supply.
Positively, over 60% of main decision maker respondents had already implemented some methods of sustainable parasite control, including quarantining and treating bought-in animals, managing pasture use, and calibrating and testing dosing guns.
However, more than half of the same respondents were aware of but had not implemented several other methods, including weighing or tracking growth rates of youngstock, testing individuals or groups of animals for parasites, and using preventative methods such as vaccinating for lungworm.
Sioned pointed out that nearly 25% of main decision makers had not implemented the calibration or testing of their wormer dosing guns, and a further 12% were not even aware of the practice. She said: “These producers are missing a simple opportunity to ensure that their cattle are dosed correctly. Under-dosing is one of the factors that drives resistance to anthelmintics on farm, and over-dosing increases costs unnecessarily.”
When respondents were asked why they haven’t implemented changes to their parasite control methods, 22% said they did not believe they needed to make changes, 20% don't have the necessary equipment or buildings, 37% said the cost of installing new/better equipment was a barrier, and 32% cited the cost of additional diagnostic tests or treatments.
The survey did highlight some positives. Victoria Hudson, Senior Brand Manager at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, said: “Respondents indicated a good appetite for change provided they could access the appropriate advice and support, including implementing weighing and tracking growth rates of youngstock (53%), testing for parasite burdens in individual animals (52%) and testing for parasite burdens in groups of animals (43%).
“Just over a third of respondents felt they might be able to quarantine and treat bought-in cattle, manage pasture, and use vaccination or other preventative measures. However, only 31% of main decision maker respondents felt they could make the easiest and simplest change: calibrating and testing dosing guns before use.”
One method of sustainable parasite control, targeted selective treatment, where the best performing animals in a group are left untreated, was not well understood or implemented by respondents (30% had implemented, 36% were aware of it but had not implemented, and 33% were not aware of it), and just under 35% felt that even with advice and support they would not be able to implement this method within the next three years.
Victoria said: “Unsurprisingly, over half of main decision maker respondents cited they needed funding to support new equipment/infrastructure to help them make changes to their parasite control practices, but there is a desire for more advice and support.
“Nearly 49% want help in understanding the parasite challenges on their farm, 54% want advice on which changes will most benefit their cattle, and just over 33% want more information on the different types of wormer products.
“However, survey results were conflicting on how farmers would get this advice and support since only 13% wanted more visits from their vet, and 11% from their SQP, despite these professionals being best placed to provide advice at an individual farm level.
“It shows that there is more work to do to help beef and dairy producers make the most effective and sustainable changes to parasite control. This is why we have launched Change One Thing, a campaign to support farmers in understanding and implementing the options available to improve the sustainable control of parasites.”
The campaign is also calling on farm vets to Change One Thing, relating to the information, support and advice that they give livestock farmers.
Victoria said: “It can be difficult for vets to have conversations with farmers about making changes to their parasite control practices, so we urge them to think about changing their approach to discussing the topic, especially if their client/customer has so far resisted making any changes.
“Being inquisitive, and asking questions, can be more effective than ‘telling’, and it’s important that farmers believe in the need to make the change, and that they can practically do it. Even small changes can make a big difference, and testing and trailing strategies tailored to an individual farm will help the farmer to see the benefits for themselves.”
Boehringer says that changes that farmers could make to improve their parasite control in a sustainable way, include:
Resources for farmers, vets and SQPs to Change One Thing are available on the Beat the Parasites website: www.beattheparasites.com/change-one-thing.
The ideas is to help ease new grads' transition into practice by giving them access to Specialist input for the management of their clinical cases.
The app provides a way for them to send case information (history, results, videos, photos) to a global team of Diploma-holding specialists across the entire range of specialties, from their mobile phone. They can then choose whether they want an instant call-back, a text chat, a written report or a virtual appointment.
To sign up for the free support, new graduates need to enter the code GRADUATE21 when they register on the app.
All new registrants will also be entered into a prize draw to win one of 50 ‘my first day’ survival kits – containing kit and goodies for their first day in practice.
Victoria Johnson, co-Director, said: “We know first-hand the pressures of starting your first vet job. We want to give all new graduates the reassurance that they always have instant access to specialist support, to help them grow and thrive in practice.
"Many practices have excellent in-house mentoring and clinical support, but there are times when it can be difficult to get hold of people when it’s busy. In addition, for challenging cases where referral may not be an option, the app enables vets to have specialist input and oversight within practice. Our mission is to help every vet be the best and feel their best every day, which is so important at the start of their career journey.”
Time on the app is automatically logged as CPD with quarterly certificates being generated for users. Additional services include the ability to book bespoke CPD, significant event reviews and live training sessions e.g. for procedures such as bone-marrow biopsy.
The app is downloadable for both iOS and Android systems.
For more information: https://www.vet-ct.com/gb/news/2021/jun/9/calling-all-new-vet-graduates
The 2-day course, which includes both theory and practical sessions, will be taught by Ingrid Tundo, lecturer and head of the Dentistry and Oral Surgery Department at the University of Edinburgh (pictured right), at IM3's Advanced Centre for Education near Dublin on the 10th and 11th August 2021.
The course will cover all the basic aspects of veterinary dentistry including oral examination and charting, dental radiography, local anaesthetic techniques and basic oral surgery including extractions.
The cost of the course is £600 and there's a 15% discount for BVDA members (so if you're interested in the course, then joining the BVDA is a bit of a no-brainer).
To register, visit: https://www.bvda.co.uk/education/courses/essential-dentistry-for-vets, or email Rob Davis (BVDA Education Officer) at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Virbac says HCA targets specific affected topical areas with negligible systemic absorption, to provide direct and rapid relief from inflammation and pruritus, delivering significant clinical improvement in atopic cases, both lesion and pruritus scores, after 14 days1.
Cortavance can be applied daily for up to 28 days and included within multimodal treatment plans for prolonged use to control atopy.
Cortavance is presented in a new ergonomic-shaped bottle allowing the user to accurately target the problem area at any angle, with its no-hand-contact spray applicators - 31ml and 76ml sizes.
For further information, contact your local Virbac Territory Manager.
The proceedings will begin at 10am with the formal adoption by RCVS Council of the Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2020, which will be published prior to the event.
The College will then answer any written questions that have been submitted about the Annual Report by veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses.
If you have any questions about the Annual Report, you'll need to submit them to RCVS Events Manager Deborah Rowlanes on email@example.com no later than Friday 2 July 2021.
RCVS President Mandisa Greene will then formally welcome the newly-elected RCVS Council members – Louise Allum, Danny Chambers, Tshidi Gardiner and Colin Whiting – onto Council for their four-year terms, and newly-elected VN Council members Susan Howarth and Donna Lewis for their three-year terms, as well as saying farewell to retiring members of both Councils.
After a short break, the AGM will reconvene at 11am to approve Kate Richards (pictured right) as President for 2021-22, Melissa Donald as Junior Vice-President, Mandisa as Senior Vice-President, and Niall Connell as Treasurer.
There will then be addresses from Matthew Rendle as Chair of Veterinary Nurses Council, and from Mandisa as the outgoing RCVS President for 2020-21, followed by the formal investiture of the new RCVS Officer Team.
There will then be closing remarks from Kate Richards as the newly invested RCVS President.
If you'd like to attend the AGM, you'll need to register here: www.rcvs.org.uk/agm21-registration.
Credelio Plus is a palatable, chewy, monthly tablet which contains milbemycin oxime for the control of the gastrointestinal nematodes: hookworm (L4, immature adult (L5) and adult Ancylostoma caninum), roundworms (L4, immature adult (L5) and adult Toxocara canis and adult Toxascaris leonina) and whipworm (adult Trichuris vulpis). Also for the prevention of angiostrongylosis by reduction of the level of infection with immature adult (L5) and adult stages of Angiostrongylus vasorum (lungworm) with monthly administration. Also for the prevention of heartworm disease (Dirofilaria immitis).
Credelio Plus also contains lotilaner for the immediate and persistent treatment of ticks (Dermacentor reticulatus, Ixodes ricinus, Rhipicephalus sanguineus and I. hexagonus) and flea (Ctenocephalides felis and C. canis) infestations in dogs.
Credelio Plus is licensed for puppies as young as 8 weeks and weighing 1.4 kg or more.
Tina Hunt, General Manager of Elanco UK/Ireland said: "The launch of Credelio Plus represents another exciting evolutionary leap for Elanco’s parasiticide portfolio.”
Cat Henstridge MRCVS, otherwise known as 'Cat the Vet' said: "As a companion animal vet, one of the common challenges I see from pet owners is the need to remember and administer multiple treatments to cover a variety of parasites.
"So a simple, easy-to-remember treatment will be welcomed by my clients who need a combination solution to protect their dogs from ticks, fleas and worms.”
To mark the launch of Credelio Plus, Elanco is inviting vets and nurses to register for an online event at which the astronaut Major Tim Peake will talk about the lessons he’s learnt about leadership and teamwork, performing in high-pressured environments and the future of medicine and science. He'll be followed by Cat Henstridge, who will give a presentation about the power of wider veterinary teams working ‘better together’ to support each other, and how practices can start to reconnect with their clients following lockdown.
Lepha McCartan, BVetMed MRCVS, Veterinary Technical Consultant, Elanco Animal Health, will also speak about Elanco’s ongoing work within the parasite space. There will also be a live Q&A where attendees can put questions to the panel.
To sign up for the launch event, visit https://www.myelanco.co.uk/brand/credelio-plus-launch-registration
Richard was elected to RCVS Council in 2020, having previously served as an elected member from 2008 to 2016.
Over the years, he has also been a significant and valued contributor to VetSurgeon.org, and his insight will be missed.
RCVS President Mandisa Greene said: “We thank Richard for his service to the RCVS over the past year and in his previous terms. We particularly thank him for his contribution to a number of committees he has served on during both his periods on Council including the Disciplinary, Finance & Resources and Preliminary Investigation Committees. We wish him all the best for the future.”
Professor Stephen May has now taken up the remainder of Richard’s term on Council, to July 2024, as he received the next largest amount of votes in the 2020 RCVS Council election.
Mr Eccles had first appeared before the Disciplinary Committee in November 2018 where he admitted a number of clinical failings regarding his diagnosis of a cat, the keeping of accurate and detailed clinical records, giving the animal appropriate treatment, surgery and care, and failing to provide the cat’s owners with adequate information on the cat’s care upon discharge.
After Mr Eccles admitted the two charges against him, and the Committee found him guilty of serious professional misconduct, the Committee then postponed its decision on sanction on the condition that Mr Eccles agreed to abide by a set of undertakings in the interim. They included: the preparation of a personal development plan, the enrolment of his practice in the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme, the appointment of a veterinary mentor, the completion of additional training and CPD, and his agreement to pay any costs of complying with the undertakings, including the appointment of and work undertaken by the appointed mentor.
At the resumed hearing last week, the Committee received evidence from Mr Eccles confirming that he had complied with all the original undertakings agreed to in 2018. It also considered some further undertakings that Mr Eccles had agreed to in October 2020 when his reconvened hearing was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. They included: confirming his compliance with the personal development plan he had drawn up in 2019, his practice achieving the Core Standards accreditation level within the Practice Standards Scheme, continuing to meet with his veterinary mentor, and undertaking additional CPD – all of which were found to be completed.
The Committee also heard evidence from both the veterinary mentor and Mr Eccles himself. In his evidence, Mr Eccles apologised to the owners of the cat for the care he had provided, admitting that he had let them and himself down by not having sufficient knowledge to recognise the cat’s needs and to provide him with a sufficient level of care. He also confirmed he was continuing to make improvements to his practice and that he had enjoyed the process of being mentored.
Dr Martin Whiting, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “In November 2018, Mr Eccles practice had fallen significantly short of an acceptable and adequate standard. He was a sole practitioner who had drifted away from professional standards.”
“The Committee today considers that Mr Eccles has met the undertakings which he accepted in November 2018 and again in October 2020 when the resumed hearing was adjourned owing to Covid-19. It accepts the College’s analysis as to how those standards have been met. It notes that Mr Eccles’ practice has achieved accreditation in Core Standards under the Practice Standard Scheme, something which is voluntary in ordinary practice. That is an exacting scheme. He has engaged with his mentor and had indicated that he will continue to do so as the need arises in order to maintain his development.”
Dr Whiting added: “The Committee also recognises that this was a single incident in a long career. It accepts that he has shown insight into his shortcomings. He understands what went wrong and why. The Committee was impressed with Mr Eccles’ statement of apology in his oral evidence today.”
“The Committee found the language which he used in answering its questions, as to the effect compliance with the undertakings has had upon him professionally, reassuring. He said he had been rejuvenated and stimulated; he had renewed enthusiasm for the profession. The Committee commends him for exceeding the minimum requirement of the undertakings, despite the stressful context of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
In considering its sanction for the original admitted charges from November 2018, the Committee considered that a reprimand and warning as to future conduct was the most appropriate and proportionate sanction.
The full findings for the case can be found at: www.rcvs.org.uk/disciplinary
The meeting, which is sponsored by Swann Morton, is the first in a series called ‘Let’s Talk About …’, where the idea is to get a small, representative group of eight general practitioners from around the country to come and put questions about a variety of different subjects to experts in their field, with the answers then being shared on YouTube for the benefit of colleagues not just in this country but around the world.
To apply to be one of the eight ‘questioners’ in ‘Let’s Talk About Small Animal Surgery', please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, county and a question.
If you'd like to just watch the event, you can register here now.
Note that there may (or may not) be an opportunity for spectators to ask questions on the night. So if you want a VIP seat at the table, email your question as soon as possible.
For more information about Swann Morton, and its diverse range of Sheffield-made products incorporating the latest sharps safety solutions to protect the welfare of your in-house team, visit: www.swann-morton.com
From now on, accredited General Practices will need to employ at least one Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN), whilst at Veterinary Hospitals all patients should now have a nursing plan in place, and an RVN will need to be on duty at all times.
Other changes to the PSS requirements include:
The full list of changes to the Practice Standards Scheme, together with the new module and award documents, can be found at: www.rcvs.org.uk/PSSreview.
David Ashcroft leads the team of PSS Assessors responsible for undertaking practice visits and assessing if they meet the required standards. He said: “The changes will come into force later in the year, at the same time as we are planning to return to in-person assessments, and so timings will be subject to government guidance on coronavirus and the easing of lockdown restrictions.
“As the PSS returns to in-person assessments, practices will have the usual three-month period between booking the assessment and the assessment taking place with which to familiarise themselves with the changes and the modules documents relevant to their accreditation.
“If anyone has any questions about the changes then please make sure to contact the Practice Standards Team on email@example.com and we will be happy to help in any way we can.”
The Congress, which is organised by Improve International, has separate streams for small animal medicine and small animal surgery and a dedicated veterinary nursing stream.
There will also be an exhibition of the latest innovations in veterinary products and services running alongside the lectures.
Helen Richmond, Head of Publishing at Improve said: “While technological innovation has made online congresses much more engaging and accessible over the last year, we felt the time was right to bring Vets North back in a face-to-face environment. Many of our previous delegates have already told us how much they are looking forward to being able to learn and enjoy some social time together again.
“As usual this year’s programme will include presentations and lectures from global experts, who will give advice and share knowledge that can be implemented in practice immediately. We would like to thank Elanco as our lead sponsor of this year’s Vets North and we also thank our other partners and sponsors for their support and loyalty during this difficult year.”
"Naturally, keeping delegates safe is our highest priority so we are working with the venue to ensure that the Government’s recommendations are implemented to the full and that Haydock Park is a COVID-secure venue.”
Early Bird tickets are available until the end of June.
For more information visit www.vetsnorth.com or call 01793 20805.
The company is also working with the UK charity to call for the creation of international standards in the training and deployment of sniffer dogs.
Earlier this week, Medical Detection Dogs announced the findings of its research on scenting COVID-19, confirming that dogs can play a major role in public safety through their ability to detect the virus’ odour.
Researchers will now move to trial the dogs at sites such as ports of entry and public spaces, where dogs can screen individuals rather than samples and contribute to the fight against the virus by detecting COVID-19 carriers.
Sniffer dog schemes are currently being piloted in countries including Finland, Russia, Italy and France, but there is currently no centralised best practice process for such programmes.
Medical Detection Dogs and Purina are calling for:
Medical Detection Dogs founder and CEO Dr Claire Guest said: “Sniffer dogs have the potential to make an important contribution to the fight against COVID-19 and future pandemics. Researchers around the world are urgently working to meet that need, but it is vital that we collaborate, share the knowledge we have gained on the incredible abilities of our dogs and formalise best practice in training and deployment.
"Along with Purina we want to call for international collaboration between organisations around the world on the implementation of disease detection and research. Our vision is to guarantee that dogs are well-treated and consistent in their performance, and support the reliable, safe creation of similar schemes in developing countries, where dogs could play a huge role in halting the spread of this disease and future pandemics.”
Jeff Hamilton, CEO at Nestlé Purina PetCare EMENA, said: “Purina and Medical Detection Dogs share a belief in the positive role and impact of dogs in society. These dogs could provide fast, effective and non-invasive diagnosis and help to create safer spaces for us all, but we should ensure that each of them is trained safely, humanely and able to effectively perform their important role in detecting COVID-19."
Procanicare contains three canine-specific strains of Lactobacillus bacteria, which the company says are proven to improve stool consistency, accelerate recovery following acute episodes of diarrhoea and improve well-being.1
The company also points to a number of studies which it says are evidence of the importance of supporting puppies' intestinal microbiomes.
'New puppy diarrhoea' is, it says, typically due to exposure to factors that are known to risk microbiome disturbance, such as diet change and going to a new home, at a time when the microbial population is at its more sensitive.2
Animalcare says other studies show that microbiome disturbances in early life can have a significant impact on health in adulthood.2,3
James Beaumont, Marketing Manager at Animalcare said: “We often hear from breeders, new puppy owners and vets that puppies which have had Procanicare seem brighter, have firmer stools and less flatulence. With the evidence mounting that the adult intestinal microbiome is shaped in early life and knowing the important and varied role that it has in wider health throughout life, we want to help vets proactively support the GI health of their youngest patients by providing Procanicare for them to trial, with no risk.”
SRUC, which is the biggest provider of veterinary nursing, livestock husbandry and animal care training in Scotland, says it will offer a core veterinary programme to address existing shortages in veterinary provision, in areas such as rural veterinary practice, food production, food safety and animal and public health.
The College is first establishing a working group to progress the plans for the school. The group will be chaired by Professor Sir Pete Downes, former Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee.
Sir Pete will be joined by Sheila Voas, Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland, former NFUS President Nigel Miller, SRUC Board member Jane Craigie, and Dr Kate Richards, who is a non-executive director on the SAC Commercial Board and currently the junior vice president of the RCVS, in line to become President in July.
Professor Caroline Argo, currently Dean of SRUC’s North Faculty, will lead the project for SRUC.
A report from BiGGAR Economics has found that the vet school could add £26 million GVA and 242 jobs to Scotland by 2030.
Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC, said: “We are an ambitious institution with a bold vision for the future. This is a ground-breaking model to expand access to educational opportunities and broaden the range of potential students who would not ordinarily be able to attend a vet school. It will also help solve existing skills shortages across Scotland.
“We see a key role of the new vet school in sustaining primary agriculture and hence food and drink productivity, with the welfare of both livestock and companion animals at its heart. The school will produce champions for best-in-class animal welfare in support of these industries, which will help improve productivity, effectiveness, and sustainability.”
“Building on the excellent new facilities we have already announced for Aberdeen and Inverness, there is a lot of work still to be done, but we are ready to seize the opportunity.”
Mr Chalkley faced three charges against him. The first was that he failed to identify some or all of the animals tested with Intradermal Comparative Tuberculin (ICT) tests at the farm.
The second charge was that Mr Chalkley had certified that he had carried out ICT tests on 279 animals at the farm and recorded the results on the accompanying paperwork but had, in fact, not adequately identified some or all of the 279 animals and had fabricated the skin thickness measurements recorded for some of them.
In addition, the charge alleged that Mr Chalkley’s conduct was dishonest, misleading and risked undermining government testing procedures designed to promote public health.
The third charge was that between June 2011 and September 2018, Mr Chalkley received payment of approximately £20,000 for ICT tests when, as a result of his conduct in relation to ICT tests at the farm, he was not entitled to such payment.
At the outset of the hearing Mr Chalkley admitted the first charge, that he had not adequately identified some of the animals.
On the third day of the hearing, during his evidence to the Committee, he admitted that his certification of the ICT testing was therefore misleading.
He denied the rest of the charges including that his conduct had been dishonest and that it had risked undermining government testing procedures designed to promote public health.
In considering the charges against Mr Chalkley, the Committee heard that discrepancies regarding the tests that were carried out on the farm in March 2018 were originally raised by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), on whose behalf Mr Chalkley carried out ICT testing in his capacity as an Official Veterinarian.
When Mr Chalkley gave evidence during the hearing, he explained that he had taken over TB testing for the farm in 2008 and that working conditions on the farm had been difficult throughout the whole period 2008 to 2018. He stated that due to the harsh weather conditions of early 2018, TB testing was difficult, and that the farmer needed to complete the test by March 2018 to avoid a financial penalty.
Mr Chalkley explained that one of the reasons for there being limited time available for him to carry out the test within the time required by the farmer was that he was due to provide veterinary cover at the Cheltenham races the following week and he was unable to find anyone else to cover the tests. Mr Chalkley also explained that during the tests on 5 and 8 March there had been limited farmhands available to assist in processing the cattle through the tests.
In the course of being asked questions by counsel for the RCVS, Mr Chalkley accepted that he had failed to identify some 45% of the animals he had injected on 5 March 2018 and had, in respect of each of the skin thickness measurements for those animals, randomly chosen a figure that he believed would be appropriate based on the breed, age and sex of the animal.
The APHA guidelines state that specific measurements should be made and recorded for each individual animal using callipers. Mr Chalkley said that he could not remember seeing the “pop-up” declaration which appeared when submitting the results to the APHA online and had never read it. He stated that he was not aware that he was making a declaration. However, he accepted that as an Official Veterinarian he was confirming that he had carried out the test properly. While he agreed that he knew that the test contained inaccuracies, he did not accept that he was being dishonest when he submitted the results.
Having considered all the evidence put forward by the RCVS and Mr Chalkley in his own defence, the Committee found that Mr Chalkley had acted dishonestly in deliberately choosing not to take the measurements on 5 March and had instead submitted fabricated alternatives, and so risked undermining public health by failing to carry out his duties as an OV.
The Committee also concluded that Mr Chalkley had been acting dishonestly, as he knew that he was submitting the test results as if they were the authentic outcome of a properly conducted test when in reality, they were no such thing.
The Committee did not accept Mr Chalkley’s evidence that he was unaware of the declaration which accompanied the submission of the test outcome. The Committee therefore found both the first and second charges proved.
In respect of the third charge the Committee found that this was not proven noting that the RCVS had not disproved Mr Chalkley’s explanation regarding his reasons for returning the £20,000 in fees he had received for carrying out TB testing at the farm from the APHA since 2011.
The Committee then considered whether the first two charges, both of which had been found proven, amounted to serious professional misconduct.
Ian Arundale, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “The Committee was prepared to accept that the respondent considered the risk arising from his actions as negligible. Nonetheless, in the Committee’s assessment a real risk existed due to the respondent’s actions and it was precisely the risk which the authorised testing procedure was designed to negate. The simple fact is the respondent could not be sure that each animal he assessed on 8 March 2018 had also been seen by him on 5 March 2018.
“However, the wider point with which the Committee was concerned related to the importance of any member of the profession or public being able to rely absolutely on the integrity of veterinary certification. Those parts of the Code and supporting guidance [concerning certification]… were unequivocal. It was very difficult to conceive of circumstances in which it could ever be justifiable to certify the outcome of a test which had not, in fact, been conducted in a way which was demonstrably valid and reliable. Such conduct was bound to be regarded as disgraceful by members of the profession and the general public.
“Honesty is the bedrock of appropriate certification and the Code and Guidance for the Disciplinary Committee is also unequivocal. Dishonesty in professional practice is always an extremely serious matter and the respondent’s responsibilities in the discharge of his functions as an Official Veterinarian were clear. On this occasion those responsibilities had been compromised.
“For these reasons, the Committee has come to the conclusion that the respondent’s conduct in relation to the facts found proved was disgraceful conduct in a professional respect.”
The Committee then went on to consider the sanction for Mr Chalkley.
The Committee heard oral evidence in mitigation, including from a former colleague who had worked with him in practice since 2006, as well as receiving a large number of written testimonials from various sources that attested to his honesty, integrity, willingness to help others, and charitable work in support of animal welfare.
Mr Chalkley’s counsel, in mitigation, highlighted his long and previously unblemished career, and characterised the conduct as an inexcusable but explicable error of judgement that was entirely isolated and out-of-character. Mr Chalkley’s counsel added that he had not done anything that he thought was seriously wrong, and there was no evidence that any harm had been done and that any risk to public health was not serious.
The Committee accepted that the conduct was isolated and out-of-character and that, furthermore, Mr Chalkley had made early and frank admissions to the APHA and that he had displayed a degree of insight, although the Committee was less confident that he truly understood the seriousness of the potential consequences of his dishonest conduct.
The Committee took into account the aggravating factors, including Mr Chalkley’s breach of trust of his position as an OV, the undermining of the integrity of veterinary certification, dishonesty and the potential public health impacts of his conduct.
Ian Arundale added: “The Committee considered that, having regard to the mitigating features which it had identified, a suspension order would be sufficient to send to the profession and the public a clear signal about the importance to be attached to accurate certification. The Committee considered that in the particular circumstances of this case, a period of three months suspension would be sufficient to achieve this objective.”
The full findings for the case can be found at: www.rcvs.org.uk/disciplinary
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