Virbac says Michelle is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in companion animal reproductive biology.
She graduated from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, before completing a residency at Cornell University and becoming board-certified in Theriogenology.
She earned a PhD in physiology at Cornell University and is currently a Full Professor at Oregon State University.
Michelle is also a member of the WSAVA Reproduction Control Committee which recently previewed its new Global Guidelines for Reproduction Control during WSAVA Congress in September.
Dr Neil Mottram MRCVS, Technical Manager at Virbac said: "The UK has the highest rate of surgical castration in Europe, but with new WSAVA global reproduction control guidelines expected to be published imminently, increasing evidence on the effect of surgical castration on long-term health and even the UK’s leading animal welfare charities updating their guidance on neutering dogs, there’s no better time to review practice neutering policies.
"In line with an evidence-based approach, we want to pose the question: is surgical castration right for every dog?"
The new Chestergates ophthalmology service will offer a wide range of treatments for eye conditions, including: cryotherapy, corrective lid surgery, rhytidectomy, nasal fold ablation, cherry eye and scrolled cartilage, keratotomy, keratectomy, pedicle conjunctival graft, corneo-conjunctival transposition, bioimplants for corneal reconstruction, glaucoma diagnosis and monitoring, management of dry eye (KCS) and neurological dry eye, retro-bulbar disease investigation and treatment, cataract assessment, and intracapsular lens extraction.
The service will be led by Chestergates Advanced Practitioner in Ophthalmology, Endika Garcia MRCVS DVM PGCertSAOphthal.
Endika graduated in 2016 from the University of Valencia, completed a rotating internship, then worked for a few years in different hospitals in Spain, before moving to the UK, enrolling on the BSAVA Certificate in Small Animal Ophthalmology and being awarded Advanced Practitioner status.
Endika will be supported by a 25 strong specialist nursing team, four nurse students, one lab technician, two sterile technicians and a team of receptionists and support colleagues.
Consultations and surgical procedures will be offered at Chestergates Veterinary Specialists on Mondays and Thursdays between 8am and 5pm.
All entrants to the survey will also be able to enter a draw to win a £50 Amazon voucher.
Jenny Langridge (pictured), Editor of Veterinary Woman, said: “This is our third annual survey and we are seeking the opinions of both Veterinary Woman readers and the wider professions to highlight the key issues affecting women in the veterinary sector.
"We’re not just asking questions, we’re offering veterinary professionals a chance to take part in an ongoing conversation about the very real issues that women face in the veterinary workplace.
"The more diverse the information we can collate about these topics, the more we can work towards achieving changes that help for women to thrive in the professions.”
All data and responses will remain strictly anonymous.
Dr David Reese, Director of VetCT Australia and a Diplomate in veterinary diagnostic imaging will present: "Leveraging CT to Diagnose and Manage Unusual Pets", followed by a Q&A session.
David said: “This webinar is a fantastic opportunity to share knowledge about optimising imaging for exotic animals to reach an accurate diagnosis.
"The field of exotics imaging has rapidly advanced in recent years.
"With the increasing use of CT alongside traditional radiography, we can see so much more and provide high-quality reports to our client practices that empower them to give great care.
"We’re excited to support Exotic Vet Support with this CPD programme.”
Attendees will also receive an exclusive discount for the Exotic Vet Support Asia-Pacific (EVSAP) Conference 1st-2nd March 2024 in Sydney.
A recording of the webinar will be available after the live session, and for attendees of the EVSAP Conference.
Register here: https://vetct.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_i_8KgMbPSeGZ-i7AbxaDqw#/registration
The nurse, who admitted the charges against her, successfully applied for anonymity at the outset of the case, on the basis that the shock factor of the removal of the animals' heads could greatly upset members of the public and veterinary staff, leading to a backlash which would present a threat to her safety.
The Disciplinary Committee heard that the nurse, who was working as a locum, asked a permanent member of staff if she could take a couple of skulls from the strays, because she had a friend who 'cleaned up' dead strays and wildlife and displayed the skulls at home.
The College’s case was that the nurse’s actions amounted to serious professional misconduct because she failed to afford the dead animals with the respect and dignity they deserved, there was a risk to human health because she failed to comply with biosecurity measures, and her actions had the potential to undermine public confidence in the profession.
Although she admitted that her conduct fell short of what was expected, the nurse countered that her actions were not intended to be disrespectful to the animals, that she was an animal-lover who had three cats of her own, and that her actions were not malicious but misjudged.
Weighing up the case, the Committee found that the aggravating features of her conduct were around biosecurity and abuse of her professional position, while in mitigation it found that there was no financial gain in her actions and that it was a one-off incident.
Kathryn Peaty, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “The respondent’s conduct represented a biosecurity risk.
"Any body part would be in some degree of decomposition.
"As the cats were strays, it was unclear as to whether or not they had been in good health.
"Although the respondent transferred the body parts to her home and kept them in the freezer in cadaver bags, there was a risk that they could leak.
"In short, her actions were not without risk to human or animal health.
“The respondent abused her professional position.
"She had an obligation to treat the cadavers with respect.
"Her professional position gave her access to the cadavers.
"She abused her professional position by severing the cats’ heads and, using a scalpel, body bags and other equipment she pursued an interest of her own, rather than performed the role she was employed to undertake.
"Although she may say that she obtained permission to remove the cats’ heads from a permanent member of staff, she was a Registered Veterinary Nurse and therefore an autonomous professional.
"Whatever permissions she received should not have made her believe she had a licence to act as she did.”
Considering the appropriate sanction, the Committee took into account her relative youth and inexperience, the fact she made open and frank admissions at an early stage, the fact she made efforts to avoid a repetition of the behaviours, the insight she had shown into why her conduct was wrong, and the amount of time that had passed since her conduct relative to the total length of her four-year veterinary nursing career.
The Committee also considered positive character references from fellow veterinary nurses with whom she worked and trained.
Kathryn added: “The Committee considered that a reprimand was the sanction it should impose.
"A reprimand marks the Committee’s view of the respondent’s behaviour, thereby satisfying the public interest.
“The Committee did consider issuing a warning as to future conduct, but it had no concerns that the respondent would fail to follow the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses in the future.
"It therefore rejected a warning as an appropriate alternative.”
The full findings of the Disciplinary Committee can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/disciplinary
Henry won the title in recognition of his work tackling bird flu, as the outbreak of this devastating disease spread across the country this summer.
A total of 140 nominations were received for this year’s Zoetis-sponsored award, which celebrates vets who have made a significant impact in the first stages of their professional career.
The judging panel comprised BVA President Anna Judson, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) President Sue Paterson, National Veterinary Lead Ruminant and Equine at Zoetis UK Ally Ward, and last year’s award winner vet Hannah Hunt.
In addition to his work tackling bird flu, the judges also acknowledged Henry’s role in encouraging other young vets to join the poultry industry.
After graduating from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in 2018, he began working at Crowshall Veterinary Services, Norfolk, providing dedicated consultancy and Official Veterinarian (OV) provision to the poultry/gamebird industry across Great Britain and internationally.
This has seen him working through the recent bird flu outbreaks, holding multiple OV panels, and preparing for export changes associated with Brexit.
Henry is also a mental health first aider and trustee of regional rural mental health charity You Are Not Alone (YANA), deputy rotation lead for the new RVC poultry rotation, which takes its first students in 2024, and is also co-lead of his practice green group through which he has steered his practice to the top Green accreditation for sustainability with Investors in the Environment.
In his role as external lecturer for the RVC, Henry provides opportunities to engage with avian population medicine for new members of the profession.
Henry said: “To be named BVA Young Vet of the Year is a huge honour and it means all the more having heard about the outstanding work, dedication and skills of the other two finalists.
I’m delighted that after a challenging few years the poultry sector has been highlighted tonight, as all those involved have worked tirelessly to overcome the largest animal health outbreak the UK has experienced in recent times - I hope that winning this award will encourage more young vets to consider joining us in the poultry sector.
"It’s extremely rewarding work.”
Henry was shortlisted alongside vet Rebecca Hampson, who co-founded animal welfare charity Veterinary Education Malawi, and equine vet Camilla Church, who set up her own practice, Perth Equine Vets.
BVA President Anna Judson said: “The standard of nominations this year was outstanding. It sounds cliché, but we really did have our work cut out when choosing the finalists.”
Photo: Young Vet of the Year Henry Lamb with finalists Rebecca Hampson, BVA President Anna Judson and Camilla Church.jpg
The company says many in the profession are unaware of what PCA's can do, which means they're often not used to their full potential and instead wind up doing the cleaning.
The CVS PCA Hub is intended to help staff develop all of the attributes required of a great veterinary PCA, with courses covering theatre practice, dispensary, lab skills, consulting skills, neonatal care and inpatient care.
Training ranges from short bite size learning to an in-depth Level 2 Certificate in Veterinary Care Support Apprenticeship.
The PCA Hub has been made available to all CVS staff in both clinical and non clinical roles, and the company says many of the courses are free or trainees can use their CPD allowance.
Rob Kelly, Head of Clinical Veterinary Education at CVS, said: “We want our Patient Care Assistants to have better job satisfaction and to make their day-to-day jobs more rewarding.
"We also want practices to understand the skills they have and to use them to their full potential, whilst freeing up other clinical staff to do other jobs.
“So this new hub for the first time provides all of the training, resources and support required by our Patient Care Assistants - in a one-stop-shop.
"The courses have been specifically designed to provide our PCAs with their own continuous professional development.
"A lot of PCAs will also go on to become student vet nurses, so giving them this foundation will hugely help them with their future studies.”
Located on the Longbridge regeneration site near Birmingham, Blaise Referrals is IVC's first purpose-built, multi-disciplinary hospital in the UK and the company says it provides a blueprint for its future hospitals, with a clinician-led building design and a nurse-led clinical floor, both of which are fairly new practices for the profession.
Blaise Referrals will accept patients from first opinion practices across the UK and offer a wide range of services including orthopaedic and soft tissue surgeries, neurology, cardiology, internal medicine.
The hospital has a state-of-the art intensive care unit with a dedicated ICU team which can support other hospital departments with its advanced facilities.
The 36,000 square foot hospital also boasts a 1.5T Siemens MRI, a 64 slice Siemens CT scanner, multiple ultrasound machines and both fixed and digital radiography machines.
The team at Blaise is led by clinical director Former Member and hospital director Julie Davis, both of whom have been hard at work over the last year amassing a team of veterinary professionals across multiple disciplines including Jacques Ferreira as head of anaesthesia, Jennifer Raj as head of internal medicine and Carlo Anselmi as head of diagnostic imaging.
Andy said: “We’ve worked incredibly hard to get to this point and I know I speak on behalf of the whole team here at Blaise when I say we are thrilled to officially be able to welcome pets and owners from all around Birmingham and the Midlands.
“Recent years have seen an ever-increasing need for specialist referral services in the veterinary industry and we are here to answer that demand by providing excellent high-quality and professional care for pets who need it.”
Remend Corneal Gel is used to aid the healing process of superficial corneal ulcers in dogs, cats and horses while Remend Dry Eye Lubricant Drops is designed to give long-lasting moisture and lubrication for dry eyes in dogs.
The clinic offers Specialist care primarily for patients with osteoarthritis pain, but also those with chronic pain caused by other conditions, such as cancer, dental and ear diseases, spinal disease and feline hyperaesthesia syndrome.
BVS says cats and dogs coming to the clinic will get the highest level of care with a specialist assessment from Jo, who also also works closely with the orthopaedic and neurology services to offer a global and holistic approach.
The assessment will identify signs of chronic pain, gauge the severity, and also evaluate the impact of the condition on the animal’s quality of life.
Jo says it is important to identify these conditions as early as possible, as instigating pain management early helps to dampen down pain signals and reduce overall upregulation of the pain pathways.
To that end, Jo uses validated clinical metrology instruments (owner questionnaires) to measure the severity of pain, especially during initial appointments.
Should a condition be detected, Jo and her team will be able to offer pharmacotherapy, intra-articular and epidural injections and acupuncture.
Jo also works closely with physiotherapists and hydrotherapy services, which can be used as adjunctive therapy.
Jo said, said: “Many cats and dogs will experience chronic pain. These cases need to be thoroughly investigated to ensure that the cause of pain is properly identified and treatment quickly provided. We are very pleased to be able to open our new chronic pain clinic for cat and dog owners in the South West today to provide this essential service.”
Robexera is a COX2 NSAID formulation which delivers anti-inflammatory pain relief with a once-a-day dosing regime2,3,4.
The product is presented as a flavoured chewable tablet for easier administration by pet owners.
For simplicity when dispensing, it comes in four strengths with colour coded boxes, perforated blisters and a set of PIL sheets that convert to prescribing envelopes in each pack.
Charlotte Read, Krka’s UK Key Account Manager, said: “Delivering reliable, cost-effective perioperative pain relief for soft tissue surgery is an everyday concern for veterinary practices, while OA is the most common cause of chronic pain in dogs5.
"This is why we’re particularly pleased to announce the first generic robenacoxib, Robexera.
“Bioequivalent to the originator product6, Robexera provides fast-acting and targeted pain relief, giving enhanced value to veterinary practices and enabling them to offer their clients improved affordability, particularly for those whose animals are on long term pain-management programmes or have other health issues.”
Viktor Kozjan, General Manager Krka UK, added: “The launch of Robexera is further confirmation of Krka’s commitment to develop solutions that are tried and trusted but also flexible and affordable for our customers and their clients.”
Robexera is now available to order from all national UK veterinary wholesalers.
The company points to a survey of 1000 dog owners it conducted in July which found that 77% would put many of the top ten signs of Cushing's down to ‘old age’.
According to research carried out by CM research in July 2018, for every 100 cases of Cushing’s syndrome treated, a further 57 are suspected but not diagnosed.
The ‘Prime Suspects’ campaign will encourage dog owners to become a ‘Cushing’s Detective’ and look out for signs in their dogs.
To help, the company has developed a series of characters to illustrate the signs of Cushings: Panting Patsy, Leaky Larry, Lazy Lynn, Greedy Gus and Little Patch.
A nationwide pet-focused multimedia campaign will support the ‘Prime Suspects’ initiative and will include TV and print advertising, online banners, pay per click advertising and social media to engage owners and encourage them to seek advice from their vet if they suspect Cushing’s in their dog.
Dechra has also launched Cushing’s Connect, a digital platform single resource hub to help vets keep up to date with current best practice in managing Cushing’s.
The hub has information and tools to enhance diagnostic protocols, advice and literature covering pathophysiology, diagnosis and ongoing case management including treatment protocols and monitoring schedules, and interactive guides and videos by top veterinary specialists.
There's also a client communication toolkit with owner-focused resources to encourage dog owners to spot the signs and seek help from their vet.
The case report can be in any area of small animal nursing, from nurse clinics to critical care.
The submission needs to include a short synopsis of the case, using the following outline:
All case report submissions will be assessed with successful candidates chosen to present at BSAVA Congress.
Presentations will be limited to up to eight minutes, with two to three minutes of questions, overall lasting 10 minutes.
There's an award for the overall best-case report, judged on the unique aspects of the case, presentation quality, ability to present within a time frame, and response to questions.
The BSAVA is encouraging submissions from veterinary nurses who have not had the opportunity to lecture before, although everyone is welcome.
Kelly Eyre RVN, BSAVA Congress Committee member said: “The VN Case Reports are a great opportunity for aspiring nurses who would like to become speakers at BSAVA or other events and discuss an interesting case from their career.
To submit your case, email Kelly.email@example.com with ‘Case report’ as the subject line.
‘Is neutering dogs doing more harm than good?’ (BVA Congress Theatre, Thursday 16th November 2023 at 10.30am), will explore the latest research into the science of neutering and its impact on dog health and welfare, particularly on behaviour, and will also consider the role of non-surgical alternatives.
The session will be chaired by BVA President Dr Anna Judson, joined by:
The BVA says statistics from its Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey show that among clients who chose to neuter their dogs last year, only 6% picked non-surgical options.
Awareness of these options is low, with vets reporting that 9% of their clients had requested information about non-surgical options when considering neutering, such as sustained-release implants to suppress testosterone production in male dogs.
Among those who considered non-surgical options, clients cited the cost and need for repeat treatments as their main concerns (mentioned by 67% and 58% of vets, respectively), followed by individual variation in the effect and duration of non-surgical alternatives (22% of vets).
Anna said: “Canine neutering is a firmly established part of preventive pet healthcare in the UK, but it is also very much a live discussion within the veterinary profession, with a healthy ongoing debate around its merits and risks, based on evolving evidence.
"BVA’s survey shows low awareness among clients about all available neutering options for their pets, with only a tiny percentage choosing to go down the non-surgical route.
“Our BVA Congress discussion will offer vet professionals in small animal practice insight into the latest research on neutering, including potential longer-term impacts on a dog’s health and behaviour, and views on what that might mean for how vets discuss neutering options with clients.
"The panellists will also share useful tips on how to deal with clients’ questions about surgical and non-surgical options for their pets.”
This adds to the company's existing lab network, which also includes Southfields Veterinary Specialists Diagnostic Laboratory and the Dick White Referrals Diagnostic Laboratory.
In addition to its lab services, the company also offers in-house diagnostics, imaging and technology solutions, telemedicine services and rapid diagnostics.
In the UK, the company will offer KeyScreen, a DNA-based GI parasite screening solution, AIS RapidRead, an imaging technology that enables diagnosis in under ten minutes, and coming soon, Nu.Q, a system that measures nucleosomes to screen and monitor for canine cancer.
Antech will be at the London Vet Show this year, where veterinary teams will have the chance to hear from the company's head of clinical pathology, Dr Butty Villiers and head of anatomic pathology, Dr Rachel Pittaway, about the latest innovations and diagnostics developments.
230 vets took part in the survey1.
75% reported that they see rabbits affected by dental disease regularly.
GI stasis came in second place at 54%, followed by obesity at 52%.
They were followed by respiratory tract infections (21%) mobility disorders (19%), urinary disease (10%) and pododermatitis (10%).
Purina says the three most common diseases are all intrinsically linked to the feeding of poor-quality diets and despite substantial improvements in nutritional knowledge among rabbit owners, 57% of rabbits are still being fed inappropriately.
Claire Hamblion, Supreme’s Marketing Director said: “Owners want to do the right thing, but all too often lack of awareness about nutrition leads to poor health and wellbeing.
"The great news is that progress is being made.
"Well over half of UK rabbit owners now take their pet to the vet at least once a year2, and 79% of vets say that nutritional knowledge among rabbit owners has significantly improved.
"We’re keen to build on this and are proud to offer not just high-quality species-specific nutrition but a range of educational materials as well as free samples to help veterinary teams engage with owners”.
The reasons are: above average increases in veterinary salaries, advances in veterinary medicine which mean practices can now offer ever more complex but expensive treatments, veterinary practices becoming more business-focused and now charging fair prices for services that they have in the past subsidised, and the cost of providing out-of-hours care.
One reason for the increase in veterinary salaries is the fact that historically veterinary surgeons and especially nurses have been relatively badly paid, although for vets that was always mitigated by the expectation of practice ownership later in their career, something which is no longer a realistic prospect for many.
Veterinary salaries have also been driven higher by the reduction in EU vets coming to work in the UK post-Brexit, although the report shows that UK trained vets and vets from the rest of the world are starting to pick up the slack.
The BVA report says it recognises that it is 'challenging' for clients to accept that rising bills are in part because of increased salaries, but they need to increase further still, pointing to the fact that NHS consultants earn around £100K per annum after four years, whilst vets earn around half that.
The submission also points to developments in veterinary medicine and technology which allow for far better standards of care, but which come at increased cost, notably in advanced imaging, dental work and laboratory services which increasingly involves specialist input.
The BVA also highlights the fact that veterinary practices have become more business savvy, especially since the 1997 decision by the RCVS to allow people and organisations other than veterinary surgeons to own practices.
With that came an influx of business skills and a prioritisation of financial considerations.
Lastly, the report points to the ongoing burden of providing out-of-hours care.
Unlike in most European countries, British vets must provide 24 hour emergency first aid and pain relief to animals, the costs of which have increased considerably as practices which used to provide the service in house at a loss, have increasingly opted to outsource it to veterinary service providers which charge commercially realistic prices.
The submission also discusses the cost of prescriptions, noting how important it is that veterinary practices are able to charge for the time and work it takes to issue a prescription, which despite an above-inflation increase, still only costs around £18.
Finally, the BVA addressed the issue of transparency over practice ownership, saying that whilst it is not aware of any data concerning whether pet owners select a practice based on its ownership, it nevertheless "supports the principle of improved transparency of ownership to help increase customer awareness and enable consumers to make an informed choice".
British Veterinary Association President Anna Judson (pictured) said: “In our submission to the CMA, we have explained the complex challenges facing the profession, alongside highlighting the value of veterinary care.
"The CMA’s review will provide valuable insights, but it is essential that any recommendations are informed with full knowledge and understanding of today’s veterinary landscape and the pressures the profession is operating under, including workforce shortages.”
In all, the submission seems a detailed and fair representation of the reasons for increasing veterinary costs, although there is no mention of the impact of the increasing regulatory burden (such as the cascade), other than, ironically, the need for more regulation at a practice level, as well as of individuals.
It will be very interesting to see what the Competition and Market Authority concludes.
After all, there is no reason whatsoever why veterinary practices shouldn't charge a price which reflects the costs of providing the service, or that veterinary professionals should not be paid reasonably for their knowledge, skills and experience.
The problem is that as the industry has started to charge commercially viable rate for an increasingly higher standard of more advanced care, so the true cost of providing that care has become clear.
Maybe the industry is in danger of trying to sell a Rolls Royce service to marketplace of people who either can't afford or don't want to spend more than the cost of a Ford Focus.
If that is true, the only logical conclusion is that either society will have to accept that pet ownership is a luxury for a smaller group of people who can afford it, or the industry will have to adapt its offering, in other words offer a lower level of cheaper care in order that more people can experience the joys of pet ownership.
The latter of those will be ideologically challenging for a profession bound by its oath that "my constant endeavour will be to ensure the health and welfare of animals committed to my care", not to mention pet owners who often want the best that the profession can offer, despite not always having the wherewithal to pay for it.
Boehringer says Senvelgo controls blood sugar levels usually within a week1,2 without the risk of symptomatic hypoglycaemia and without the need for twice daily insulin injections.
Studies have shown that around 1 in 200 cats develop diabetes4,5 - somewhere around 55,000 in the UK - of which 20% are euthanased within a year: 10% because of owners not wanting to inject with insulin, and a further 10% because of lack of success or compliance with insulin.3
This new treatment, with its once-daily oral treatment regime and simple dosing according to bodyweight, could have a significant impact on those numbers.
On top of which, there's no need for glucose curves to determine dosage, it's easily stored and doesn't need refrigeration, and it creates less waste than insulin (1 reusable oral syringe vs 180 insulin syringes).
Samantha Taylor BVetMed(Hons) CertSAM DipECVIM-CA MANZCVS FRCVS said: "This is the development in diabetes management we have been waiting many years for; a practical oral therapy to treat this challenging disease.”
To support vet professionals with using Senvelgo, Boehringer has produced a toolkit that includes a veterinary management guide, CPD webinar, cat owner leaflet and homecare journal, along with websites for vets and cat owners.
The company says its new design is modular, allowing veterinary practices to customise kennels to their requirements now, and then upgrade them and add components as their needs change over time.
Options include dimmable daylight lighting or Casco Pet’s DRC Lighting System with three modes: Daylight (white), Recovery (red), and Cleaning (blue UVA), built-in thermostatically controlled heat mats, an illuminated glass whiteboard for easy recording and viewing of patient notes, integrated IV stand and pump holders, an internal ceiling vent and ventilation kit and an integrated plug socket and USB port .
Matthew Bubear, CEO, Casco Pet, said: “Our new generation of WellKennels, which have been designed to meet the dynamic demands of modern veterinary practices, allow practitioners to elevate the care they provide today while ensuring sustained adaptability for the needs of tomorrow."
WellKennels are certified by the International Society of Feline Medicine and are part of FearFree’s Preferred Product Program, the global initiative dedicated to preventing and alleviating fear, anxiety and stress in pets.
The new WellKennels will be unveiled at the London Vet Show, ExCel London, 16-17 November, on Stand H35.
Visitors to the company's stand will be invited to make a donation.
Anyone not attending the show, but who nevertheless wants to support this charity's work, will be able to do so via social media.
VetCT says it is hoping to raise a total of £6000 to fund the training of local veterinary teams in wildlife medicine.
Head of Communications, Liz Barton said: “We are learning so much about the far-reaching and important work of WVI through our charity partnership - how they are helping to preserve biodiversity and support the conservation of species, which is absolutely key to global sustainability.
"Education is core to everything we do at VetCT, and we are excited to be raising funds that will be used to support local vets and nurses to undergo comprehensive training in wildlife medicine, enabling the dissemination of knowledge and expertise to support conservation projects globally.”
Olivia Walter, Executive Director of WVI, said: “We are incredibly excited at the prospect of launching our education initiative with the support of VetCT and LVS delegates.
"Training local veterinary teams to provide exceptional care to wildlife is vital to the longevity and success of conservation projects.
"In addition to raising funds and awareness of our work, the direct clinical support from the VetCT experts is helping us to continue providing much needed veterinary input to conservation efforts around the world.”
WVI representatives, including Matthew Rendle RVN and Dr Asumah of the Wildlife Division, Forestry Department, Government of Ghana, will be on VetCT stand D44 at 12:30-1:30pm on Friday 17th November.
The charity will also be on Millpledge Veterinary stand J60, which also supports the work of WVI.
Dr Kalisz faced a total of nine charges (including 41 sub-charges).
The first was that in July 2020, she failed to carry out a clinical examination of the dog, failed to adequately interpret test results, failed to ask for help interpreting the results, and undertook an emergency Caesarean section without sufficient need to do so.
The other charges related to undertaking a colotomy without sufficient justification and without exercising sufficient clinical judgment throughout the procedure.
For both the Caesarean section and the colotomy, Dr Kalisz faced charges that she failed to obtain informed consent from the owners and failed to inform them that the colotomy had been carried out, or of the potential risks of the procedure, and also failed to provide enough information about aftercare.
It was also alleged that Dr Kalisz had demonstrated continual lapses in professional judgement, including failing to appropriately manage the spaniel’s worsening condition when it was presented to the practice again later, and that the clinical records in relation to the surgery were dishonest and/or misleading.
Dr Kalisz admitted serious professional misconduct, admitting to 29 of the sub-charges, while the remaining 12 sub-charges were denied.
The Committee found 30 of the sub-charges proven, with the remaining 11 not proven.
The Committee the considered aggravating factors, including the fact that Dr Kalisz's conduct led to the spaniel’s death, the colotomy was reckless and Dr Kalisz did not take steps to inform anybody or make a clinical record for the colotomy.
In mitigation, the Committee considered the fact that it was single and isolated incident (albeit one that spanned a number of days), that no other members of the clinical team involved raised concerns during the procedure, and the effect Covid had upon the veterinary profession.
The Committee found that of those charges proven, the ones relating to performing the colotomy, failing to manage the spaniel’s subsequent care and failing to mention the colotomy amounted to serious professional misconduct.
On deciding the sanction, the Committee took into account the mitigation submitted on behalf of Dr Kalisz and the written testimonials produced including the fact that she was young and inexperienced, had admitted her failings at an early stage, had made subsequent efforts to avoid a repetition of such behaviour and that a significant amount of time had passed since the incident.
The Committee also considered that Dr Kalisz had shown an exemplary level of insight, showing remorse for her actions, undertaking substantial continuing professional development, and finding appropriate ongoing professional mentorship.
The Committee was impressed by the character testimonials from veterinary co-workers, both current and at the time of these events, as well as from clients.
It was, the Committee said, apparent from those testimonials that Dr Kalisz had been open and honest with them about the charges and was considered to be an excellent, committed veterinary surgeon.
Paul Morris, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf said: “The Committee found that this was a single isolated incident, which involved serious lapses of clinical judgement.
"It was therefore concluded that, despite Dr Kalisz’s actions being reckless, the extensive mitigation and the high level of insight, coupled with steps taken to avoid repetition, meant that there was negligible future risk to animal welfare.
“The Committee did not consider it necessary to issue a warning to Dr Kalisz about her future conduct, on the basis that the Committee has concluded that there is little risk of repetition, so considered that a reprimand would be an appropriate sanction in this case.”
CVS says the use of ear cytology in OE is beneficial, both as a diagnostic and to evaluate the response to therapy.
However, in 2019 the company looked at 26,269 of its patients and found that ear cytology was only being used in 19.2% of cases, in line with the rest of the profession.
Only 11% of cases were being provided with in-house point-of-care cytology, whilst 8.2% had it performed externally.
80.8% of patients with OE were being prescribed antibiotics without cytological support, with 5% of these the highest priority critically important antibiotics (HPCIAs).
This low level of cytology use in primary care was suspected to be a major contributory factor to the significant use of unnecessary antibiotics.
To support its practices, CVS first looked at the barriers to performing ear cytology interventions, which were identified as a lack of confidence in using the microscope (particularly focusing on x100 and identification of pathological events), a perceived lack of time, insufficient or poorly working equipment, a lack of access to equipment, and the perception that cytology does not change the treatment choice or outcome.
As a second step, a minimal list of cytology equipment was developed to ensure that all sites had the right kit.
New equipment was then supplied to a practice if it did not meet minimum standards.
The company then produced education and resource materials, including new guidelines, imagery and video guides, to upskill both its vets and nurses.
The training focused on: equipment maintenance, cleaning and troubleshooting, how to use the microscope – including x100 magnification and the slide oil immersion technique, how to identify pathological changes, and time management to get a consultation done – including swabbing, microscope analysis, diagnosis and client consultation.
Each site was then provided with its own data, so that it could monitor progress.
Elizabeth McLennan Green, CVS Clinical Director for the North, said: “One of our goals with this project was to minimise the number of antibiotics prescribed without associated diagnostics, and to use ear cytology to guide therapy and response to treatment for the benefit of our patients and clients.”
“We know that low ear cytology interventions are an issue across the profession. We wanted to do better. So ear cytology has been our first and longest running clinical improvement project.
"We’re thrilled with the brilliant results our colleagues are now achieving.”
There's a video presentation about the project here: https://vimeo.com/875515008/bdc3ee5920
Photo: Emily Spencer, Head Vet at Castle Vets
In a statement given to the Veterinary Record earlier this year, the College said:
"In 2017, our commitment to equality for our LGBTQ+ employees, members of the professions and other stakeholders, was cemented when we became a Stonewall Diversity Champion, with the aim of ensuring that all people in the community are accepted, without exception, within the veterinary professions.
In subsequent years this commitment has been demonstrated by the establishment of our Diversity & Inclusion Group, for which LGBTQ+ representation is a key component and has been incorporated into both our internal and external diversity and inclusion strategies.
Focusing on our internal diversity and inclusion strategy, the insight from Stonewall and our internal LGBTQ+ group, has aimed to make the RCVS a safe space for people from the LGBTQ+ community by creating a fully inclusive workplace.
These insights have also fed into the profession-facing work of the Diversity & Inclusion Group and its strategy.
After six years as a Stonewall Diversity Champion, we have decided this year not to renew our contract with the organisation, on the basis that we feel we no longer need to work with an external organisation to continue to deliver on our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
The RCVS will continue to demonstrate allyship and be a safe space for all groups within the LGBTQ+ community, as demonstrated by the fact we are creating a staff network representing RCVS colleagues from marginalised communities.
We may in future decide to work with another accredited organisation, but until the staff network is in place, no decisions have been made. For example, we have recently brought in a staff policy regarding how best to support RCVS employees who are going through the process of gender reassignment, reiterating the current legal position, how to report experiencing or witnessing transphobic discrimination, as well as advice for colleagues supporting those undergoing gender reassignment and those who have family members going through the process. We are grateful for Stonewall for working with us over the past six years and helping us, through its Workplace Equality Index, to finesse our policies and procedures in relation to LGBTQ+ rights and issues and drive forward our agenda to be a diverse and inclusive workplace and regulator."
The publication of the guide follows a study of vet professionals published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery which revealed that the main barriers to blood pressure measurement are a lack of time (72.8%) and situational hypertension (92%)1.
Vet professionals also thought the main barrier for owners was cost (80%) whilst the least problematic aspect is the longer consultation needed to accommodate a blood pressure measurement (48.8%).
The guide has been written to address these concerns and empower vet nurses to run nurse-led clinics for older pets.
Written by RVN, Beth Kirwan, the guide provides information on the benefits of vet nurse-led senior pet clinics, which can either be free or paid, together with hints and tips on how to get started and promotion.
The guide also covers the importance of a senior health-check questionnaire, tips on preparing and setting up a clinic, a 10-point health check providing guidance on what should be covered and information on additional senior pet tests that can be carried out, such as blood pressure checks for senior cats aged seven years or older to help identify feline hypertension.
Beth said: "I was really excited to be asked by Ceva to create this resource for veterinary nurses and grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge.
"I have been a nurse for over 22 years, and I am passionate about making our nurses feel valued in practice.
"Nurse clinics are a really good way to do this, but I feel that setting up a senior nurse clinic service in a practice creates so much value in many ways and for every member of the practice, from the receptionists to the vets.
"Our RVNs are the stars of the show with senior nurse clinics; they bring so much experience, care and compassion and are a great reflection of our practice values.
"They often have the time that the vets don't have and will go home knowing they made a difference to a pet and an owner, or a family.
"Veterinary nurses can help identify disease early, support the owners with home adaptations or new medicine regimes.
"They can also educate the clients in senior and super senior care as our pets are living longer and provide quality of life and end of life support.
"The benefits are huge; as well as a financial benefit support like this will bond clients to a practice for life.
"We are all businesses, but we need to be caring businesses.
"I hope the guide provides inspiration to many nurses and empowers them to set up a new service or helps them to improve their current one."
Dr Sarah Caney, RCVS recognised Specialist in Feline Medicine who led the study said: “Our recent survey had more VN participants than vets, showing just how enthusiastic and engaged nurses are when it comes to assessing blood pressure in cats.
"Owners very much appreciate nurse clinics and I’m delighted to hear that there is a new senior pet clinics guide to support nurses in setting up and running successful clinics.”
The new hospital, which is led by a large team of internationally-renowned Specialists, supported by residents, interns and registered veterinary nurses, will over time employ over 100 veterinary professionals.
CVS says the site will offer the latest technology and treatments in all small animal disciplines including: general surgery, orthopaedics, neurology and neurosurgery, internal medicine, ophthalmology, cardiology, dermatology, oncology and dentistry, as well as dedicated anaesthesia, analgesia, diagnostic imaging and intensive care departments.
There will be a multi-disciplinary approach, with a team around every patient, to ensure the best outcome for the animal.
CVS says BVS's oncology department, with its stereotactic linear accelerator for radiotherapy, will offer most advanced cancer treatment for cats and dogs in Europe.
The site also has the latest CT and MRI scanners and a separate feline unit.
On arrival, clients are taken to a special customer experience zone by a dedicated client liaison officer to ensure their pet is comfortable and they are fully informed about their procedure.
Delphine Holopherne-Doran, Clinical Director at Bristol Vet Specialists, said: “Our advanced facilities and eminent colleagues will mean we can provide the best animal care to pet owners across the South West, and we have invested in cutting-edge technology to bring cancer treatment in pets to the next level.
"So we know that this site will become as a centre of excellence in the veterinary world.”
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