The company says that as a community interest company, it can help to bridge the gap between charities, which provide help only for those who are eligible, and commercial practices, which are becoming increasingly unaffordable as they are acquired by corporates and private equity companies.
The rules governing CIC companies mean that their assets can only be used for their social objectives and there is a limit to the money that can be distributed to shareholders: 5% above the Bank of England base rate to a maximum of 35% of profits.
Animal Trust does not charge consultation fees, so all pets are initially seen free of charge. If it turns out there’s nothing wrong, there's no charge. If treatment or medicine is required, prices are published on the website, so clients can see exactly what everything costs.
Founder Owen Monie says: “We are here to provide a comprehensive vet service for people who earn a real, living wage. We want to deliver the best access to good vet care and to remove the barriers that stop people getting care for their animals – that’s why we provide free consultations. This means pet owners can get professional advice without worrying about having to pay a consultation fee. If no treatment is needed – there’s no fee. It’s as simple as that.”
Owen says that large corporations argue they can bring better management, efficiency and innovation to the sector, and claim that costs have gone up in part due to advances in animal medicine and clients’ expectations.
"That may well be true, but big isn’t always better. In addition to its legal status as a CIC, Animal Trust lives by a set of core values (straightforward, accessible, sustainable and fair) that are becoming increasingly meaningful to customers and clients as an alternative to companies who appear to be only interested in the bottom line. There isn’t an NHS equivalent for animals – so is becoming a CIC the model that all vet practices should be looking to adopt?"
The campaign comes after the Association carried out a survey of 1000 of its members which found that 79% had been affected or diagnosed with a chronic illness or condition, such as migraine, anxiety and depression, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, or the menopause.
During the campaign, there will be four webinars:
All webinars are free to attend.
At the end of the campaign, the BVNA will invite veterinary practices to make use of a new digital tool kit, designed to support practices to develop protocols that help veterinary nurses suffering with a chronic illness or condition.
Alex Taylor BVNA Junior Vice President said: "This campaign means a great deal to myself and the rest of the Council Members who are part of the BVNA chronic illness campaign task and finish group. Every one of us has had to deal with our own challenges as working as a veterinary nurse with a chronic illness or condition - we know how it feels and we want to help and make a real difference to people’s lives.
"As well as offering support to affected nurses, we also wanted to reach out to their colleagues, line managers and employers. We felt that having empathetic, supportive and well-informed colleagues is a key part of helping those affected by chronic illness to thrive in the workplace.
"Everyone deserves to be given the chance to reach their full potential in their job role and having a chronic illness should not be a barrier to achieving this. This campaign will not only raise awareness, but provide essential resources to those who need it, which after seeing the results of our recent survey, is very much needed."
Recordings of the webinars, the CIC toolkit, podcasts and further information will all be available to download from the BVNA website: https://bvna.org.uk
The company points to research which showed that in the US, and despite the importance of annual health checks, 45.7% of cats did not visit a veterinary surgeon in the year the study was conducted. Of those, 41% cited the reason as their “cats did not get sick or injured.” Only 16% said they did not have the money to pay for a veterinary visit.1,2
Apparently, a more recent poll by International Cat Care (ICC) also found that 50% of cat owners struggle to get their cat into a carrier, which is obviously a barrier to taking their pet to the veterinary clinic.
To help more cats get to the vet, International Cat Care has developed educational materials and a range of training aids including free online training videos, podcasts, emails and giveaways. They're available at: https://icatcare.org/international-cat-day.
Dr. Michael McFarland, Chief Medical Officer at Zoetis, said: "Many cat owners find it incredibly difficult and stressful getting cats into a carrier. As a result, many are reluctant to take their cat to their veterinarian unless they have a major health issue.
“Cats are intelligent animals and we want owners to know that they respond well to training. The ICC survey found that owners who use positive training and rewards find it much easier to get their cats into a carrier, so we are delighted to support the #BeCatCurious campaign this year.
“Visits to the veterinarian and giving medicines when needed are essential if we want to keep our pets healthy and protected, for example against parasites. So, encouraging owners to be more curious and to learn something new with their cat can not only strengthen the bond between them but also make life easier and healthier for cats and their owners.
The company says most other providers have restrictions for older pets, commonly for dogs over the age of 8 and cats over 10. As a result, the customer often feels trapped to stay with their current insurer.
Petsure offers cover for a range of veterinary fee levels, from £1,000 to £15,000 regardless of pre-existing medical conditions. Each policy can cover a combination of up to eight cats or dogs on a single policy and gives the option of tailoring the level of cover for each pet, including the option of sharing the bill. There is also a choice of 4 add-on covers including travel and holiday cover.
There are no exclusion periods when switching from an existing insurer with like for like cover.
The company also offers 24 hour video consultations via FirstVet.
Scott Miller MRCVS said: "Every day I see pets come into my clinics with worried owners. Worrying for the wellbeing of your pet is expected but worrying about the cost of treatment should not be a concern. That's why I'm so thrilled that a product has launched to ensure our furry friends with most pre-existing conditions can be treated and pet-prejudice is no longer an issue."
For more information, visit www.petsure.com or call 03301281862.
As well as marking the 60th anniversary of the first RCVS-accredited Animal Nursing Auxiliary training scheme, the profession has also recently reached another milestone: 20,000 veterinary nurses on the Veterinary Nurses Register.
The Diamond Jubilee events include a series of webinars covering the past, present and future of the profession, with presentations from eminent veterinary nurses, including:
The RCVS will also be running a series of podcasts with prominent members of the profession. Each podcast episode will have a different host, reflecting on an area of veterinary nursing that they are passionate about.
The first webinar and podcast episode are available to watch and listen to on the Diamond Jubilee webpage www.rcvs.org.uk/VNdiamonds.
Matthew Rendle RVN, Chair of the Veterinary Nurses Council, said: “The veterinary nursing Diamond Jubilee celebrations are a fitting way of paying tribute to veterinary nursing – a profession that does so much for animal health and welfare. The celebrations will look back on all that has been achieved by the profession and give us an opportunity to engage with RVNs to come up with ideas for how we can continue to advance and develop our amazing profession.
“I am particularly happy about the fact that, earlier this month, I was informed that we have reached the milestone of 20,000 veterinary nurses on the Register which is an amazing achievement. When the VN Register was launched in 2007 there were just over 7,000 members of our profession – the fact we have almost trebled in number since then shows just how far we have come in a short space of time as invaluable members of the veterinary team providing professional care for the nation’s animals.”
Anyone wishing to take part in the celebrations can share their memories or pictures of veterinary nursing on social media, using the hashtag #VNDiamonds
The figures, published as part of the RSPCA's Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, showed that the UK's 12 million dogs are over four times more likely to be the victims of intentional harm compared to cats, about which there were 14,825 incident reports.
There were also 3,226 incidents of deliberate harm to horses and 811 to rabbits.
RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “We say we’re a nation of animal-lovers and that dogs are man’s best friend. And yet, every year, we see many dogs coming into our care bearing the physical and mental scars that were inflicted at the hands of the very people who were meant to keep them safe and love them unconditionally.
"Some of the cases I’ve seen have left me in tears and still stay with me today. Every time my own RSPCA rescue dog, Flo, comes to curl up beside me on the sofa I wonder what she suffered at the hands of people before she was found wandering the streets of London with a badly broken leg. Did someone do that to her deliberately? It doesn’t bear thinking about.
"But, tragically, that’s the reality for so many dogs. We’ve seen some of the most unimaginable cruelty inflicted on these gentle, sweet creatures. We’ve seen them beaten, drowned, set on fire, and poisoned. Our officers have been able to save some of them; getting to them just in time and finding them collapsed, bloodied, and hopeless. Others have died at the hands of their tormentors, but none should experience such cruelty.”
For more information, visit: www.rspca.org/stopcruelty.
According to the charity, hens have been badly neglected by the world of evidence-based academic research, with only two known papers written about their welfare.
However, researchers are now starting to take an interest and it is hoped that the new forum, nicknamed The Coop, will pave the way for ground-breaking studies around the world into hen welfare and hen keeping.
Jane Howorth MBE, Founder of the BHWT, said: “The research about to be undertaken ranges from exploring how hens benefit our mental health to seeking good veterinary care and appropriate drugs. They will also examine how the pet hen population has grown over the years and reasons for keeping them, and which homegrown remedies are used and which work.
One of the first bits of research to be supported by the BHWT is a study called ‘From the Backyard to our Beds’ by Jenny Mace BSc, MSc AWSEL, FHEA, Visiting Lecturer on the MSc in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law at the Centre for Animal Welfare at the University of Winchester.
The survey will collect data on the care-taking practices and attitudes towards chickens of non-commercial chicken carers, and you can take part here: https://winchester.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/from-the-backyard-to-our-beds-the-spectrum-of-care-in.
Jenny said: “To my knowledge, this research constitutes the first quantitative study to distinguish between ex-commercial and ‘standard’ chickens. It is also the first to enquire about some niche care-taking practices, such as the use of hormonal implants as a possible means of healthcare in hens.
“The results should be fascinating and I urge all backyard chicken keepers/rescuers to make sure their experiences are captured by filling out this survey. Thank you so much!”
The BHWT is also supporting work undertaken by Keiran Ragoonanan, a student at the Royal Veterinary College in London, who is investigating backyard chicken husbandry and feeding practices in the UK.
For more information visit: https://www.bhwt.org.uk/hen-health/take-part-in-ground-breaking-research-to-help-pet-chickens/
Hospital director David Walker said: “Ewan Ferguson has been providing our dermatology service for many years and with Hilary joining him, we will now be able to provide a full-time service to support our referring vets, their clients and pets.
He added: “We are really delighted that Hilary is joining the dermatology team at Anderson Moores. Her passion for dermatology is infectious and with a particular interest in chronic ear disease, I’m sure she’s going to be very busy!”
Hilary has been a past Board member and organiser of the scientific meetings for the British Veterinary Dermatology Study Group, a member of the In Practice editorial board for 20 years and a past chief examiner for the RCVS Small Animal Medicine Certificate. She continues to act as a mentor for the BSAVA PGCertSAM course and as an assessor for the RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Dermatology.
Hilary has worked in first opinion and referral clinics around the south west, including running her own dermatology referral service within several veterinary practices. From 2018 to 2021, she had been working as lead clinician in dermatology at Langford Vets (University of Bristol).
Hilary said: “I’m very excited to be joining the fantastic team at Anderson Moores and really looking forward to helping make a difference with the new dermatology service we’ll be offering.
For more information, visit www.andersonmoores.com.
The updated standards document applies to the awarding organisations and higher education institutions that set the veterinary nursing curricula, the centres (such as further education colleges) that deliver the courses, and the affiliated RCVS-approved training practices where SVNs undertake their placements.
The updated standards were approved by RCVS Veterinary Nurses (VN) Council in February 2021 after feedback from stakeholders.
There are six overarching standards within the framework, which also provide guidance on how the individual standards can be evidenced. The overarching standards are: learning culture; governance and quality; student empowerment; educators and assessors; curricula and assessment; and effective clinical learning.
The College says the new Standards Framework, which draws together all the previous separate guidance for awarding organisations, centres and training practices, allows greater flexibility for how training can be delivered.
Julie Dugmore, RCVS Director of Veterinary Nursing, said: “During 2020, accreditations and quality monitoring audits were conducted against the RCVS Standards Framework for Veterinary Nurse Education and Training. Feedback from all involved was positive but reflected a need for clarification in some areas and further examples to assist with evidencing compliance.
“Since February 2021, four accreditations have been conducted against the updated standards, the results of which demonstrate a positive move towards the outcomes based approach to accreditation and quality monitoring.”
The full set of standards can be read online at www.rcvs.org.uk/standards-framework-vn.
The association began to produce client information leaflets in 2011, to help its members provide information to clients about the safe use of the drugs that they prescribe and dispense for the patients under their care. Over the years the range of leaflet groups has expanded to include canine and feline behaviour and exotic pets, as well as medicines.
Designed to be printed easily in practice, all the leaflets have the option to add practice details if required. The new additions for June are Antihistamines, Ferrous sulphate, Fluconazole, Hydrochlorothiazide, Imipramine, Leflunomide, Travoprost and Trimethoprim/Sulphonamide, with authors including Polly Frowde, Hannah Hodgkiss-Geere, and Fergus Allerton.
Julian Hoad, Chair of the Publications Committee said: “We are proud to have hit this impressive milestone; we know that our client information leaflets are of great use to our members to help them keep their clients informed and we aim to add to this number every year.”
The client information leaflets are provided to BSAVA members as part of their member benefits and are also available for non-members to buy as part of the ‘Formulary Plus’ online subscription. You can find them in the BSAVA Library here.
The statistic came to light as a result of Ceva's Mercury Challenge1, in which veterinary practices from around Europe took blood pressure readings from over 10,000 cats over seven years old, 4000 of which were from the UK.
The Challenge results, which were recently presented at Ceva Cat Expertise 2021 by the international feline medicine specialist, Dr Andy Sparkes, showed that more than 40% of cats enrolled in the Mercury Challenge were hypertensive, with a blood pressure about 30% higher than the blood pressure value found in healthy cats.
Ceva says this high percentage suggests that feline hypertension may be even more common than suspected, especially in the ageing cat population, with the mean age of hypertensive cats found to be 13 years old in the Challenge.
The study also found that up to one in three cats had both hypertension and chronic kidney disease (CKD). Feline hypertension is also associated with hyperthyroidism.
Jodie Tanner, veterinary surgeon at Lime Tree Vets in Staffordshire who participated in the Mercury Challenge said: “We were surprised by how many of the cats whose blood pressure we measured as part of the Mercury Challenge were actually hypertensive and were taken aback at the number of hypertensive cats which lacked clinical signs or target organ damage.
"These hypertensive cats would have previously gone undetected prior to us screening our older patients and they would probably have only presented when they had advanced target organ damage, such as blindness.
“Measuring blood pressure in cats is now incorporated into our bespoke preventative health care plan – The Pet Plus Membership – and our ‘Gold Plan’ is tailored to our patients over eight years of age.
"Included in the Gold Plan are twice yearly blood pressure checks, so we can pick up hypertension cases as early as possible, and the plan also includes twice yearly urine screens and yearly blood screens to pick up other common diseases seen in older cats such as hyperthyroidism and CKD.”
Ceva has a range of resources available to support veterinary practices, including those that want to set up vet nurse blood pressure clinics. There's a digital hypertension tool kit available by registering at www.easethepressure.co.uk, where you will also find information on the Hypertension CPD Hub, an Ease the Pressure pack containing resources to support vet practices, owner communications materials and information about Ceva’s online Hypertension Ambassador CPD course. A vet practice social media pack is also available.
For further information, visit www.easethepressure.co.uk or contact your local Ceva territory manager.
Vetbromide is presented as a 600mg double divisible tablet for both large and small dogs, and for greater flexibility with dose titration. Tablets are blister packed for ease of storage and dispensing, with a four-year unopened shelf life.
Alongside the launch, TVM has prepared a range of product support materials, including: product guidelines, treatment and monitoring guidelines, seizure management ‘lunch and learn’ sessions, and pet owner information.
TVM has also created a free e-learning tool which takes veterinary staff through the process of diagnosing, treating and monitoring dogs with suspected epilepsy.
Will Peel, product manager at TVM said: "The addition of Vetbromide to our epilepsy range allows vets more flexibility when treating epileptic patients. To further assist vets, we are also offering a wide range of free literature and in-practice support to ensure that veterinary staff are up to speed on such a common, yet at times complicated, topic.’
For more information, visit www.tvm-uk.com/epilepsy, or contact your TVM UK Territory Manager.
The Disciplinary Committee heard that in 2018, when Dr Dyson was employed as Head of Clinical Orthopaedics at the Animal Health Trust (AHT), she completed a research project: ‘Influence of rider: horse body weight ratios on equine welfare and performance – a pilot study’, for which she had previously been given the go-ahead by the AHT’s Clinical Research Ethics Committee. The results of the study were then submitted to the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour: Clinical Applications and Research for publication.
After peer-reviewing the project paper at the request of Journal Editor Karen Overall, Dr Matthew Parker, a Senior Lecturer in Behavioural Pharmacology at the University of Portsmouth, was concerned by the lack of a Home Office licence and asked for details of the licence or an explanation of why the project didn’t need one, and for the paper to be re-submitted.
In reply, Dr Dyson then emailed Ms Overall saying: “We have a former Home Office Inspector on our AHT Ethical Committee and two current licence holders (Named Veterinary Surgeons) who are fully conversant with the current legislation ... I also sought informal advice from a current Inspector. All were fully aware of the protocols to be employed and gave me assurance that in their opinion Home Office approval would not be required”.
Ms Overall then asked Dr Dyson to obtain a letter from the Home Office to support this position.
On 24 December 2018, Dr Dyson sent Ms Overall a letter purportedly from a Home Office Inspector called Dr Butler who, she explained, had advised her during the planning phase of the project. In the letter, the fictitious Dr Butler confirmed that their advice was sought for the project and that in their opinion, a Home Office Licence was not required.
Ms Overall then sent the letter to Dr Parker for further review, who decided to contact Dr Martin Whiting, Head of Operations at the Home Office Animals in Science Regulation Unit (ASRU) to ask if he knew of Dr Butler.
Dr Whiting confirmed that the Home Office had no record of employing a Dr Butler as an Inspector and that they were in the process of making further inquiries into the matter.
After Dr Whiting’s reply was forwarded to Dr Dyson, she replied to him saying that she thought the studies’ procedures did not meet the criteria for the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA), but that this was questioned by peer reviewers.
She said that her decision to send Dr Butler’s letter was one that she would ‘eternally regret’ and that she was ‘an inherently honest person’.
She explained that she was under a huge amount of pressure in her personal and professional life and that she was ‘fully aware that [she] acted completely inappropriately and she requested the incident be overlooked’.
In March 2019, Dr Dyson sent a letter to William Reynolds, Head of the Home Office ASRU, in which she expressed remorse for writing the letter. Mr Reynolds subsequently raised a concern with the RCVS about Dr Dyson’s alleged behaviour.
Dr Jane Downes, who chaired the Disciplinary Committee, and spoke on its behalf, said: “The Committee heard from Dr Dyson that she had no recollection of several events detailed in the charge, including writing the letter from Dr Butler and sending the email to Ms Overall which contained Dr Butler’s letter. She accepted that the letter was dishonest and that it should not have been sent. However, she also claimed that, as she could not remember writing the letter, she did not act dishonestly.
The Committee heard testimonials from several witnesses who held Dr Dyson in high regard, including colleagues from the AHT, who attested to her integrity.
However, there were many dubious claims made by Dr Dyson throughout the hearing, including that the Home Office Inspector that she referenced as ‘my friendly inspector’ was someone who could have given informed consent to a project as Dr Dyson confirmed that she had met the individual briefly, around two and a half years ago at a drinks reception.
In reaching its decisions, the Committee considered Dr Dyson’s previously impeccable character, the written and verbal testimonies from witnesses. They also considered that during the hearing, Dr Dyson explained that at the time she fabricated the letter, she was under a lot of work and personal pressures, including managing a workload amidst colleagues’ resigning or going on maternity leave and it being the anniversary of her dog having to be humanely destroyed.
However, it did not accept Dr Dyson’s claims that she had amnesia at this time, and considered that she had not owned up to her wrongdoing until it was discovered. Although Dr Dyson maintained her actions were not pre-meditated, the Committee considered that, in the case of the forged letter, a certain amount of planning and careful thought was involved. The Committee believed that Dr Dyson knew what she was doing at the time, but acknowledged she may subsequently have blanked out what she did.
The Committee found all but one of the allegations proved and confirmed that it “was satisfied that the writing and sending of that letter was the culmination of a course of dishonest conduct.”
Committee Chair Dr Downes said: “In assessing [the evidence of] Dr Dyson the Committee took into account the difficulty faced by any Respondent appearing before their Regulator and also the various interruptions occasioned by issues which had to be dealt with during her evidence. Whilst [Dr Dyson is] undoubtedly highly qualified and highly respected, the Committee nevertheless considered her evidence lacked credibility and was not reliable.”
The Committee found that Dr Dyson’s conduct had breached parts of the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons and amounted to serious professional misconduct.
Dr Downes continued: “The Committee determined that it was important that a clear message be sent that this sort of behaviour is wholly inappropriate and [was] not to be tolerated. It brings discredit upon Dr Dyson and discredit upon the profession.
"For whatever reason, Dr Dyson chose not to respond to Ms Overall’s email on 30th November 2018 in an honest and straightforward way. Instead, she lied about the makeup of the AHT Ethical Committee in order to cloak her response with authority.
"She also lied about having received advice from a current Inspector for the same reason. In the Committee’s view, she made a conscious decision to provide a dishonest response. She no doubt believed that would be the end of the matter.
"When that did not work, she lied further in the email to her co-author, Andrew Hemmings, claiming to have a letter from her friendly Inspector. When that too did not work, she impersonated a Home Office Inspector in creating the ‘Dr Butler letter’.
"She then added a false declaration to the manuscript, which she subsequently submitted to the Journal along with an email containing yet further lies. That was all done in a blatant and wilful attempt to deceive Ms Overall ... into believing the contents of the correspondence to be true, that confirmation a Home Office Licence was not required had been obtained and all was therefore well with the submitted manuscript.
"There was no rush, or urgency to have the paper published and the actions were not done in a moment of panic. No doubt she had not planned the entire course of events in advance, but instead reacted to each new obstacle that came her way, but her overall course of dishonest conduct spanned over three weeks.
“The Committee was well aware of the impact and ramifications for Dr Dyson of any decision to remove her from the Register but had to weigh her interests with those of the public.
"In doing so it took account of the context and circumstances of the case, all matters of personal mitigation, as detailed above, Dr Dyson’s undoubted distinguished international career and reputation and the need to act proportionally.
"However, for all the reasons given above, the Committee was of the view that the need to uphold proper standards of conduct within the veterinary profession, together with the public interest in maintaining confidence in the profession of veterinary surgeons, meant that a period of suspension would not be sufficient and that the only appropriate and proportionate sanction in all the circumstances of this case was that of removal from the Register."
The patient was a four-year-old Labrador called Vinny who, in 2019, became the first dog in the UK to receive a BioMedtrix canine ankle replacement system, implanted by Wear's Head of Orthopaedic Surgery, RCVS Specialist Neil Burton, assisted by Maciej Krukowski.
That first surgery, on Vinny’s right ankle, was successful. However, two years later he needed similar treatment to his left leg.
Neil said: “Vinny first presented to us at Wear Referrals in 2019 with hind limb lameness.
“He was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in his hock joints bilaterally due to a developmental condition called osteochondrosis of the talus causing him ongoing pain and lameness. We operated on the right ankle, with Vinny becoming the first dog in the UK to have this ankle replacement system placed.
“Vinny was significantly more comfortable on this limb postoperatively but his lameness progressively worsened in the left hind limb. The decision was made to perform the same surgery on the left ankle, making Vinny the first dog in the world to have this surgery performed bilaterally.
“Vinny has made another fine recovery from surgery and is now off medication, meaning he can exercise unrestricted and pain-free without a lifetime reliance on painkilling drugs.
“For our team at Wear to be able to offer him this pioneering surgery has been a great opportunity. He’s now a unique case, being both the first UK recipient of this BioMedtrix joint replacement as well as the world's first bilateral ankle replacement with the same system.”
For more information, visit www.wear-referrals.co.uk.
Matthew's address looked at the significance of 2021 as veterinary nursing’s Diamond Jubilee – representing 60 years since the first RCVS-approved Auxiliary Nursing Assistant course.
He spoke about how this was likely to be a year of firsts for the profession, including the awarding of the first Certificates in Advanced Veterinary Nursing, the recruitment of the first VN Practice Standards Scheme Assessors and the first time there would be 20,000 veterinary nurses on the RCVS Register.
He also spoke about the planned activities to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee including webinars, podcasts and the publication of an eBook about the history of the profession.
Matt said: “For my own first podcast I interviewed Jean Turner who – I don’t think she’ll mind me saying – has been a member of the profession for a good chunk of the last 60 years.
“She’s a real professional hero of mine and I had a fascinating conversation with her about what has changed, what hasn’t changed and what really needs to change!
“Speaking to Jean reminded me that we all stand on the shoulders of giants. Where we are as a profession is down to those who came before us and we owe it to them, and future generations of veterinary nurses, to make sure we are always progressing and improving.”
Matt said that with RCVS Council’s adoption of the proposals for legislative reform in June this year, the veterinary nursing profession had a bright future ahead of it, with protection of title and a bolstered role in areas such as anaesthesia being included in any future legislation.
“I still sometimes hear my veterinary nursing colleagues refer to themselves as ‘just a veterinary nurse’. Whenever I hear it said, I challenge it.
“With the Diamond Jubilee celebrations this year I think we will be making a very big challenge to that mindset, and it will remind all veterinary nurses that we are brilliant professionals, with a long and proud history and that we are a force for good in society.”
Dan, who is a novice runner, will be running the 13.1 miles between Newcastle and South Shields on Sunday 12 September. He said: “You’d think that lockdown would be the perfect opportunity to train hard and then breeze through the ‘world’s biggest and best half marathon’ but, perhaps like many others, I ate cheese and drank wine for 18 months, so the challenge is now really on.
“I’m raising funds to help save the rhino because the conservation of these magnificent animals is so important and I hope the added pressure of supporting the charity will propel me across the finish line. I’m also excited to be running in Newcastle at a time when Medivet is growing its presence in the North-East of England.
“Running in the rhino suit will be tough but it has an internal fan which I hope will keep me cool on the day. Let’s hope the weather will be kind!”
Donations to support Dan's fundraising can be made at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DanSutcliffe1
The app allows trainers to store and share medical records and treatment plans, identify horses and, with a Bio Thermo chip, monitor temperature non-invasively.
In Ireland, the Irish Horse Racing Board (IHRB) requires every yard keep a Blue Book which has to be submitted monthly. In the Blue Book, every medication given to every horse is recorded, with the amounts, the name of the medication and its batch number all written in by hand. EquiTrace enables a trainer to email the blue book information direct from their mobile phone.
Vincent O’Connor, senior vet at Sycamore Lodge Equine Hospital on the Curragh, Ireland, says he has found the app very easy to use and particularly appreciates the way it suggests stand down periods required for intraarticular medication, where injections into different joints require different numbers of days withdrawal before competition. The experience of John Oxx, whose winner I Know I Can was disqualified because of a positive test for TCA (triamcinolone acetonide) on 2 July 2020, is a case in point. Dr Lynn Hillyer, IHRB Chief Veterinary Officer and Head of Anti-Doping, stated that the minimum recommended stand down time for TCA would be 14 days but added that the stifle is a complex joint and can be associated with longer excretion times than might be expected.
Kevin Corley said: "Keeping a horse’s identity straight might seem a simple thing, but when you have a yard where staff and horses can change frequently and records are kept in the office, far away from the stables and fields where the horses are, it is not as easy as you think. I remember a time when I was called out to genetically test four two year olds, each valued at over €50,000 because their registration documents had been lost before they had been filed and no one knew which one was which."
EquiTrace has been in trials in Ireland, England, USA, Sweden and Italy and Kevin says every yard which has tested the app has kept it in operation.
EquiTrace is a subscription service, with a basic service for $1/€1 per month per horse and a premium subscription at $2/€2 per month per horse. A scanner available from EquiTrace as a one-time cost is required to operate the system, ranging in price from €250 to €400 or USA $350 to $550.
EquiTrace works with all ISO-compliant microchips but some of the service offerings are dependent on the type of chip in the horse.
EquiTrace is available on Apple and Google appstores. Establishments with over 200 horses can contact EquiTrace directly to arrange a subscription. Current clients include DK Weld in Ireland, Ramsey Farm and Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky, USA, Kinsale Stud in the UK and Avantea in Italy.
For more information, visit: https://equitrace.app
Jurox says the reformulation will also help reduce waste associated with unpreserved ampule formulations and will help streamline portfolios with a requirement for only one buprenorphine listing.
Dr Dan Cripwell BSc (Hons) BVSc CertAVP (EM) CertAVP PgCert (VPS) MRCVS, Advanced Veterinary Practitioner and senior veterinary technical advisor at Jurox (UK) Limited, said: “I am delighted that Jurox can provide the UK veterinary market with this evolution of our multidose buprenorphine formulation. We constantly strive to provide the veterinary profession with first class clinical and technical support and our ability to perform in-house product research and development is also a great strength; this allows us to remain agile enough to make adaptations in an area where not much has changed in the past few years.
“In this instance, we were able to examine what improvements could be made to our existing drug portfolio and respond to the profession’s feedback with the redevelopment of the commonly utilised opioid analgesic, buprenorphine. Our hope is that, as well as the recent mixing claims added to the product licence, this development will encourage the best clinical use of the drug and, in turn, improve patient experience and outcome.”
For more information, contact your local Jurox account manager, phone 0800 500 3171, visit www.jurox.com/uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The webinar is the first of several events which will focus attention on patients owned by the estimated 80% of owners who feel that their pets with canine osteoarthritis (OA) may be suffering from off-days that can be associated with breakthrough pain¹.
During the session, Matt will explain the impact breakthrough pain has on the pet and owner and how to approach it more effectively using analgesic and rehabilitation tools and strategies.
James Beaumont, Marketing Manager at Animalcare, said: “Veterinary surgeons have told us that they estimate that nearly half of their canine OA cases on daily NSAIDs experience breakthrough pain.²
"Additionally, a proportion of pet owners state their dogs experience off-days and believe their pet suffers as a result of the condition³."
Animalcare says that some of the main factors in osteoarthritis breakthrough pain can include variable plasma drug levels between doses, intermittent treatment protocols or poor owner adherence with the vet’s recommendation, flare-ups and disease progression.
To register for the event, visit: https://tinyurl.com/43bm8mdx. All those who register will also be able to view a recording and enter a free prize draw for the chance to win tickets to attend London Vet Show live in November.
Mr Seymour-Hamilton made previous unsuccessful applications for restoration in 1995, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Mr Seymour-Hamilton was originally removed from the Register in 1994 following an inspection of his veterinary practice premises in Orpington, Kent, that found that the condition of the practice, including the equipment and facilities, were of such a risk to animal health and welfare that it brought the profession into disrepute.
In considering his current application, the Committee had to take several factors into account, including: whether Mr Seymour-Hamilton had accepted the findings of his original hearing; whether he demonstrated insight into his past conduct; protection of the public and the public interest; the future welfare of animals committed to his care should he be restored; length of time off the Register; his conduct since removal; and evidence that he’d kept up-to-date in terms of the knowledge and skills required of a practising veterinary surgeon.
Mr Seymour-Hamilton accepted the facts of the original charges but did not accept the conclusions of the two veterinary surgeons who inspected his practice, who, he claimed, had falsely accused him.
As a result, the Committee concluded that Mr Seymour-Hamilton did not accept the seriousness of the original findings against him, nor had he demonstrated any insight into either the original charges, nor what was required of him to enable a successful application for restoration.
Judith Webb, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “The Committee is driven to the conclusion that the applicant has displayed total disregard for rules and regulations. In his evidence he stated that he is professionally competent to spay a cat and he had done so in Calais. This was in recent years and whilst struck off by the RCVS, and after more than 25 years out of the profession. He was unable to see that he had done anything wrong in this.”
As to protection of the public and the future welfare of animals committed to his care, the Committee found that Mr Seymour-Hamilton continued to display a lack of understanding of the role and purpose of regulation. He had shown no insight into previous decisions or of what was required of him to enable a successful restoration, despite being given advice in that regard. He presented no compelling evidence to indicate that he would be safe to practise veterinary surgery were he to be restored to the Register.
Regarding Mr Seymour-Hamilton’s conduct since removal from the Register, the Committee found he did not demonstrate sufficient relevant conduct in relation to his fitness to practise. The Committee noted that, on previous occasions, he had indicated he had illegally practised veterinary surgery and admitted using his own animals to experimentally administer new and untested remedies.
The Committee found that, in relation to the 27 years since removal from the Register, Mr Seymour-Hamilton had not undertaken the prolonged, intensive and formal retraining needed to ensure he was now fit to practise. It also found that, since the last restoration hearing in 2020, Mr Seymour-Hamilton had undertaken very little continuing professional development, maintaining that he was too busy with his work relating to herbal remedies to attend formal veterinary training.
Judith Webb added: “He claimed that he does not find it difficult to keep up-to-date, because he is able to perform online searches if he is in need of information. He thinks that he is competent to operate even after 27 years out of the profession, and maintains that he could operate now. In the view of the Committee, the applicant is totally unaware of current veterinary principles such as it being an evidence-based profession, use of clinical audit and reflective learning. He does not appear to have accepted the purpose of the regulator in protecting public interest, including maintaining public confidence in the profession, nor its role in upholding professional standards and promoting animal welfare.
The Committee considers that where some 27 years have passed since the applicant has practised, there will inevitably be a serious risk to the welfare of animals if he is restored to the Register. In addition, the Committee is firmly of the opinion that it would not be in the public interest for the application for restoration to the RCVS Register to be granted in this case.”
The full documentation from the restoration hearing can be found at: www.rcvs.org.uk/disciplinary
The company points to research which found that 89% of the veterinary profession wants to play a more active role in the sustainability agenda1.
For that reason, Boehringer says it put sustainability at the heart of Aservo EquiHaler, which uses no propellant gasses and the container for which is made from up to 50% recycled materials.
Now Boehringer has launched the first recycling programme for a prescription medicine in the UK to support the responsible disposal of the Aservo EquiHaler.
To join the programme, you need to visit: https://equihaler.uk/recycling, set up a TerraCycle account and register your practice. Boehringer says it only takes 10 minutes.
Once signed-up, a Boehringer Ingelheim Territory Manager will arrange for a collection box to be delivered, along with supporting practice display posters. When the box is full, there is a free pick-up service.
Practices that sign-up for the programme before 31st July 2021 will be entered into a prize draw, with the chance to win a year’s supply of ethically-sourced chocolate for their practice.
The company says Locox TT has been developed to have high levels of EPA and DHA Omega-3, with independent lab analysis showing it contains over four times more Omega-3s than the market leading supplement.
The new product also chondroprotective ingredients and antioxidants.
Locox TT comes in tablet form: 1-2 tabs per day, with no loading phase required.
Will Peel, TVM UK’s product manager said: "Locox TT has undergone extensive independent testing so vets can be assured that the information they give to pet owners is verified and can be trusted.
"With an abundance of joint supplements on the market, we believe it is important that vets are able to make informed decisions when selecting their chosen brand, by providing clear, trustworthy information, alongside a high-quality product.’
TVM says it will be making client leaflets and waiting room questionnaires to help pet owners identify the symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs.
For more information, visit www.tvm-uk.com/locoxtt or contact your local TVM territory manager.
Dr Henry faced one charge, that in January 2020 she wrote and/or signed an undated letter confirming that a ewe had died in transit to the surgery due to dystocia and peri-parturient stress, when in fact she had euthanised the animal at the veterinary practice the day before. The letter, which was addressed 'To whom it may concern’, was on practice letterheaded paper and signed "Louise Henry MRCVS".
The second part of the charge outlined that her conduct concerning the letter was dishonest.
The Committee heard that the ewe was lambing and brought to the practice by a client. Dr Henry was on-call at the time and advised a Caesarean section. The client agreed and Dr Henry delivered two live lambs and one dead lamb.
Dr Henry was concerned about the welfare of the ewe post-surgery because of the risk of peritonitis and advised that the ewe should be euthanised.
The client agreed to the ewe being euthanised and then asked Dr Henry to write a letter in which it was stated that the ewe had died in transit on route to the practice. Dr Henry agreed to write the letter in which she falsely certified that the ewe had died in transit.
The letter came to light when the practice director found it in an insurance file. The practice arranged an investigatory meeting with Dr Henry where she admitted that writing the letter was an error of judgement. When asked about her conduct, Dr Henry explained that the client had subsequently been dissatisfied with the letter she had written and asked her to change it. She refused to amend the letter and told him that it was wrong of her to have written it in the first place and that she regretted having done so.
Dr Henry told the Committee that she valued integrity very highly and that she was deeply ashamed that she had been prepared to write the dishonest letter.
The Committee heard several testimonials from people who had worked with or studied alongside Dr Henry, who all attested to her skill as a veterinary surgeon and that they had no concerns about her integrity and honesty. She self-reported her actions from January to the RCVS and from the outset admitted the facts of the charge. During the hearing, Dr Henry submitted that her action of dishonest false certification amounted to disgraceful conduct in a professional respect.
Dr Martin Whiting, chairing the Committee, and speaking on its behalf, said: “The Committee considered that, in this case, the aggravating features were limited and the mitigating factors extensive. There was no premeditated dishonesty or financial gain involved, there was no actual harm or risk of harm to an animal or human and this was a single incident in an otherwise unblemished 13-year career. The Committee found that the shame and remorse expressed by Dr Henry were entirely genuine. Her conduct on this occasion was entirely untypical of her practise.
“After careful consideration, the Committee concluded that the substantial mitigating features permitted it to take the somewhat unusual course of issuing a reprimand in a case involving dishonesty. In taking this course, the Committee attached significant weight not only to the isolated nature of the event but also to the genuine insight shown by Dr Henry and the lasting impact this event has had upon her. In the Committee’s assessment, a reasonable and fully informed member of the public would, in this particular case, regard a reprimand as a sanction which protected the public interest in the profession and upheld its standards.”
The full documentation for the hearing can be found at www.rcvs.org.uk/disciplinary
Cancer Care for Pets offers both clinical and palliative care for pets with cancer, supporting the work of the first opinion team at Donaldson's and taking referral cases from far and wide.
Neil and Kirsty have worked in practice together in the Yorkshire area for seven years, working with owners and families to create treatment plans involving diagnostic investigations, specialised imaging, surgery, chemotherapy and palliative care.
Neil said: "As far as we know, we are one of very few services to offer this combination of veterinary and nurse-led consultations, where comprehensive cancer treatment and care plans are developed together with owners. We have worked hard to instil our team approach where, following surgery and treatment, the Cancer Care team, the owner and the referring practice are all involved in the pet’s ongoing care and wellbeing."
Kirsty said: “Neil and I do many of our consults together. Neil will give his clinical overview and I will help owners to process and understand the treatment and the next steps for their pet.
“It was incredibly important to us to create a friendly, welcoming environment in our new dedicated consultation area at the hospital. We need people to trust us and be honest about how fit and well their pet really is, in the knowledge we are not automatically going to tell them there is nothing we can offer them. Treating cancer is about life, not managing a death, and making sure that the pet’s life – even if it is limited – is as good as it can be.”
Neil said: "The Cancer Care for Pets team will be working alongside the wider Donaldson’s veterinary and nursing teams and we are keen to learn from each other. The facilities at the hospital are second to none, particularly our new purpose-built consultation area, the practice’s new CT scanner and the high spec operating facilities. Donaldson’s also has a well-respected rehabilitation and pain clinician with whom we can work closely to help our older patients to keep mobile, flexible and maintain activity levels.”
Neil and Kirsty are supported by a third member of the Cancer Care for Pets team, oncology nurse Jenna Carrick RVN.
Cancer Care for Pets is now accepting referrals. Contact: email@example.com or 01484 242911.
2021’s event will see over 70 hours of CPD across eight themes, with speakers including Megan Brashear and Helen Wilson, clinical lead for ECC at Langford Vets, University of Bristol.
RCVS President Mandisa Greene will open Congress with reflections from the past year. She'll be followed by the keynote speaker, Marie Holowaychuk, who will be sharing her knowledge and experience around health and wellbeing.
Dan Lewis – ECC specialist at Vets Now, who planned the veterinary Congress programme, said: “In 2020, the world of live events changed, and in November we delivered our first ECC virtual Congress to great success.
"Not only do we feel it is the right decision for everyone to continue our ECC Congress as a virtual event, but the format brings a huge number of opportunities for delegates, exhibitors and speakers, who joined us from all across the world.
"The interactive platform we’re using is cutting edge and it provides so much more than just webinars. Like last year, there will be live content, an interactive exhibition hall and more opportunities than ever for delegates to network and learn from some of the world’s leading veterinary experts discussing emergency and critical care.
"Our programme again this year has been carefully tailored to provide an inclusive learning experience for vets and vet nurses no matter what stage they’re at in their career, from students through to specialists.
"All being well, we will be back in Leeds for the ECC Congress in November 2022.” Full four-day tickets for delegates will range in price from £60 to £199 and ticket-holders will be able to access all the sessions on-demand for up to a month following the event.
To book your ticket, visit congress.vets-now.com
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