The product is marketed in a 10ml pack and has an expiry date of December 2017. The batch number is 6231-90D.
The 1ml syringe within the pack has 'Lbs' printed as the unit of measure instead of kg, which could lead to an incorrect dose being administered to dogs.
Any queries about returning this product should be addressed to:
Mr Ken Allen Qualified Person and Quality AdvisorE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgTelephone: + 02830 264435
Specifically, Ms Hodgkinson was alleged to have placed five orders between 1 September 2013 and 1 April 2015:
The medications for charges (i) to (iii) above, were intended for her own personal use, as she had previously at various times been prescribed Codeine, Naproxen and Amitriptyline after being involved in a serious car accident in November 2012, as a result of which she suffered from chronic back pain and other problems.
Charges (iv) and (v) above, were intended for her dog, ‘Minnie’, but the dosages ordered were incorrect. The medications were never removed from the practice or given to Minnie, but were instead returned to the wholesaler.
From the outset Ms Hodgkinson admitted the charges against her, although she believed that other staff at the practice had placed similar personal orders and that she had been given permission to do so as well. Ms Hodgkinson also accepted that the facts amounted to disgraceful conduct in a professional respect.
The Committee accepted Ms Hodgkinson’s admission of the charges and, accordingly, found the charges proved. The question of whether the facts amounted to serious professional misconduct was, however, a matter for the Committee’s judgement, notwithstanding Ms Hodgkinson’s admission.
In reaching its decision, the Committee took into account Ms Hodgkinson’s assertion that she believed she had been given permission to order medication through the practice. She did admit however that she must have been mistaken in that belief. The Committee also took note of the College’s submission that a number of aggravating features were present which amounted to serious professional misconduct, namely: the potential risk posed to animal welfare; Ms Hodgkinson’s ignorance of fundamental legislative provisions; a breach of trust placed in her by virtue of her RVN status; the fact that the misconduct was repeated over a period of time; and a lack of awareness of professional responsibilities at the time of the conduct. The Committee therefore had no hesitation that the conduct did amount to serious professional misconduct.
The Committee then turned to the question of sanction. A number of mitigating factors were put forward in Ms Hodgkinson’s defence including the fact that a period of lengthy suspension or removal from the register would result in her losing an offer of employment, the fact that up to the relevant conduct she had had an unblemished career and the fact that she had made early admissions of guilt and shown insight into her misconduct.
The Committee decided that a period of 10 months’ suspension would be appropriate and proportionate in this case.
Chitra Karve, who chaired the Committee and spoke on its behalf, said: "The length of the period of suspension…is intended to reflect this Committee’s view, assisted as it has been by the experience and knowledge of a practising RVN and a veterinary surgeon, of the seriousness of the respondent’s conduct in its totality and of the need for the message to go out to all veterinary professionals that the ordering of POMs without the authority of a valid prescription is a most serious instance of misconduct. In such circumstances the personal mitigations that a practitioner might place before a Disciplinary Committee, whilst not immaterial, is inevitably of limited persuasion. And that is what this Committee has concluded in this particular case, having reflected carefully on the mitigation factors placed before it.
"Having weighed the matters of personal mitigation against the fact that a rudimentary knowledge of the governing legislation was effectively all that was required of the Respondent to ensure that the misconduct complained of did not occur, it is the clear view of the Committee that it would be failing in its public duty were it to do anything less than to impose a period of suspension from practice and the least period of suspension that is appropriate in this case is one of ten months. The Committee therefore instructs the Registrar to act accordingly."
This study was conducted in collaboration with the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition as part of a larger study, led by Prof Claire Hughes at the University of Cambridge Centre for Family Research.
Researchers surveyed 12-year-old children from 77 families with one or more pets of any type and more than one child at home. Children reported strong relationships with their pets relative to their siblings, with lower levels of conflict and greater satisfaction in owners of dogs than other kinds of pets.
The authors say this research adds to increasing evidence that household pets may have a major influence on child development, and could have a positive impact on children’s social skills and emotional well-being.
Pets are almost as common as siblings in western households, although there are relatively few studies on the importance of child-pet relationships.
Matt Cassells, lead researcher, said: "Anyone who has loved a childhood pet knows that we turn to them for companionship and disclosure, just like relationships between people. We wanted to know how strong these relationships are with pets relative to other close family ties. Ultimately this may enable us to understand how animals contribute to healthy child development."
He added: "Even though pets may not fully understand or respond verbally, the level of disclosure to pets was no less than to siblings.
"The fact that pets cannot understand or talk back may even be a benefit as it means they are completely non-judgmental. While previous research has often found that boys report stronger relationships with their pets than girls do, we actually found the opposite. While boys and girls were equally satisfied with their pets, girls reported more disclosure, companionship, and conflict with their pet than did boys, perhaps indicating that girls may interact with their pets in more nuanced ways."
Waltham researcher Nancy Gee, a co-author of the study, said: "Evidence continues to grow showing that pets have positive benefits on human health and community cohesion. The social support that adolescents receive from pets may well support psychological well-being later in life but there is still more to learn about the long term impact of pets on children’s development."
The new rules will make it illegal to sell puppies younger than eight weeks and require anyone breeding and selling three or more litters of puppies a year to apply for a formal licence.
Those needing a licence, including online sellers, will also be required to display their permit in any advertising, and to give owners information about the five welfare needs that owners must meet under the Animal Welfare Act.
The penalty for breaking the new law will be an unlimited fine and/or up to six months in prison.
The plans also cover how pet shops, boarding houses and riding stables are licensed, introducing a single 'animal activities licence' to improve the process and make enforcement easier.
Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: "Everyone who owns a pet or is looking to introduce one into their life will want to know that the animal has had the very best start to life. Yet for thousands of puppies born each year to irresponsible breeders, from smaller operations to larger puppy farms, their first weeks are spent in cramped and squalid conditions without the care and attention they need. That is why we are cracking down on the worst offenders by strengthening the dog breeding licence and giving councils the power they need to take action.
With more and more pet sales now taking place on the internet, it’s right that this market is subject to the same strict licensing criteria as other breeders and pet shops so that consumers are not misled. The plans announced today will help people choosing new family pets to be confident the animals have been properly bred and cared for from birth and are ready to move safely to their new homes.
Gudrun Ravetz, President of the British Veterinary Association, said: "This is a significant step in the right direction to improve the welfare of puppies and dogs in the UK, an issue our members are extremely concerned about as increasing numbers of poorly bred puppies are brought into veterinary practices.
"Poorly bred and badly socialised puppies cause terrible health and welfare problems for dogs so it is right that Defra has made irresponsible dog breeding a priority. We particularly welcome the move to make the sale of a puppy under eight weeks illegal, the reduction in the number of litters bred requiring a formal breeder’s licence, and the moves towards a single animal activities licence. In the future we would also like to see that anyone breeding from a dog should be required to register with their local authority.
"For these new measures to work in practice local authorities must have the necessary resources and support to fully enforce the legislation, supported by local veterinary expertise.
"We hope the new legislation will encourage owners to stop and think about where they’re getting their puppies from to tackle irresponsible breeding both at home and abroad. Prospective owners should do their homework and always use the puppy contract and information pack to make sure they ask breeders the right questions for a happy, healthy puppy."
The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust have welcomed the announcement.
Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, Paula Boyden said: "As the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust welcomes the Government’s review of animal establishments licensing in England and the range of measures it sets out.
"We are particularly pleased that it will be illegal to sell a puppy below the age of 8 weeks and that there will be tighter licensing rules which will require sellers of pets to display their licence when advertising. We also applaud the move towards a risk based single licensing system which will incorporate those breeders that have gained UKAS approval rather than exempting them.
We believe that Local Authority Inspectors need support to enforce these tighter licensing rules. As such, moves to mandate the use of Model Conditions and for inspectors to be offered training and standards to be set is most welcome."
Metacam is the first NSAID to be licensed for use in guinea pigs, and with it come the first guidelines for appropriate pain relief in this species.
Molly Varga, BVetMed DZooMed MRCVS, RCVS Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, said: "Guinea pigs have evolved to hide pain and once obvious signs are visible it often indicates that the animal is no longer coping and its welfare has potentially been compromised. Appropriate pain management in guinea pigs is therefore vital, particularly after soft tissue surgery and regardless of whether signs of pain are visible, to ensure an enhanced recovery and optimal welfare."
Boehringer says that although signs of pain can be difficult to identify in guinea pigs, there are a few which indicate that the patient needs assessment and treatment:
Grinding teeth (a slow steady grind of the molars, different from chattering)
Reluctant to move or walk
Shivers or quivers, can sometimes see rippling along the body
Sits hunched, with hair spiky
Loss of appetite
Breathing may be heavy and laboured
The company adds that as the only licensed NSAID for use in guinea pigs, Metacam 0.5 mg/ml oral suspension should be considered for use in all soft-tissue surgery cases in this species.
Alongside the launch of the new indication, Boehringer has produced:
An interactive online dosage calculator to help with quick dose calculations. The company says higher doses can be used based on clinical judgement, allowing for tailoring of doses to individual cases.
A dosing dish and syringe to help owners administer Metacam at home.
A series of expert short videos, supported and narrated by Zoo and Wildlife Medicine specialist Molly Varga. The video series includes a guide to recognising pain in guinea pigs, dosing regimes and an owner video for accurately administrating Metacam at home.
The dosage calculator and the expert videos are available at https://www.boehringer-academy.co.uk. The dosing dish and syringe can be ordered directly from your Boehringer Territory Manager.
At the outset of the hearing, Ms Giles admitted that between 1 August 2012 and 21 June 2016 she had failed to respond to reasonable requests from the RCVS to share her CPD records – these requests amounted to 11 letters, two emails and three telephone calls. Of these attempts to contact Ms Giles, she responded to just one email. This was in May 2016 in which she issued an apology (and an explanation that she had moved address) and offered to provide certificates proving that she had undertaken CPD – despite the fact that no such evidence could in fact be produced.
During the proceedings the RCVS asserted that Ms Giles had failed to comply with several crucial aspects of the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses – namely that all members of the profession are expected to undertake at least 45 hours of CPD over a rolling three-year period in order to keep their professional skills and competences up-to-date, that these CPD records should be provided upon request and that members of the profession must comply with reasonable requests from the RCVS.
In her evidence Ms Giles said that she knew she should have responded to these requests but admitted that she did not originally regard the requests as important and thought that the matter would 'go away' if she did not respond. When it became clear that this was not the case she said she found it difficult to face up to her obligations. She also admitted that her failures to respond were unprofessional and that she now has an appreciation of the importance of undertaking CPD in terms of keeping up with changing practices and advances in veterinary and nursing practice.
Having found the charges against her proved and finding her guilty of disgraceful conduct, the Committee then considered its sanction against Ms Giles. The Committee took into account the seriousness of Ms Giles' failings in that she made repeated decisions not to comply with requests from the RCVS over a protracted period of four years.
Professor Alistair Barr, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: "Your failures show, inevitably, a disregard for the regulatory responsibilities of the RCVS to police veterinary nurses' obligations to fulfil their CPD requirements."
He added: "The RCVS can only seek to ensure compliance with those obligations at one step removed, namely by requesting information from its registrants that they have complied with their CPD obligations. They are in this respect, therefore, heavily dependent on the cooperation of registrants to provide full, honest and prompt responses to their reasonable requests for confirmation of their compliance. It is that which has been sorely absent in this case."
The Committee heard mitigating evidence on behalf of Ms Giles including witness statements and letters from current and former colleagues which complimented her communication skills with work colleagues and animal owners and in which it was accepted that she is a "valued member of the veterinary nursing profession."
The Committee also recognised that she had shown insight into her failings, that she had not attempted to excuse the failures to respond to the RCVS and had been making efforts to keep records of her CPD.
However, the Committee decided that a suspension from the Register would be the most appropriate sanction. Professor Barr said: "The mitigation that has been advanced on your behalf has been considered by the Committee and that has served to reduce the period of suspension that a bare account of the facts pertaining to the charge laid against you might suggest is appropriate.
"In the result that mitigation has persuaded us that we would be acting consistently with our public duty by imposing a period of suspension of two months. In imposing that sanction we have noted the evidence as to your professional competence and your other professional qualities. The Committee trusts, therefore, that once you have served your period of suspension you will return to the practice which you say you love."
The university has 'hired' 'Simba', 'Tia' and 'Fern' to join its interview panel during recruitment sessions at the university’s Sighthill campus.
The dogs are let loose amongst applicants taking part in a group discussion about Labradors, their features and their biological needs, as academic staff assess students vying for a place on the nursing programme.
The university says there is a serious point behind the dogs’ participation, with their presence helping staff assess applicants’ ability to communicate with both animals and humans – a core skill for someone embarking on a career as a veterinary nurse.
The dogs also helped create a tension-free atmosphere in the room, encouraging the candidates to relax and perform to the best of their ability.
Jodie Smith, lecturer and programme recruitment officer, said: "Having dogs present in interviews, in particular good quality Labradors, tests the aptitude of potential students for dealing with animals.
"Their presence also helps the assessors hone in on candidates' intuitive skills for working with dogs, which make up a large proportion of the patients in any veterinary practice.
"Each year we have very tough competition for places on the BSc (Hons) veterinary nursing programme. Incorporating dogs into the selection procedure allows applicants to display their skills in an authentic setting and greatly helps the decision-making process."
Macie was rushed to the PDSA's emergency out-of-hours service after swallowing an eight-inch kitchen knife (click to enlarge image right).
Owner Irene Paisley took the puppy to the PDSA after it began choking. She said: "Macie was making a squeaking sound – I thought she’d swallowed part of a toy. Then she was sick, but there was no sign of a toy and she started choking."
Having lost her previous Staffie to cancer just two months earlier, Irene feared the worst.
"I was terrified. Poor Macie was still choking and, by the time we arrived at the vet’s, there was blood coming out of her nose. The loss of our previous dog was still very raw and the thought of losing Macie, who had only been with us for two weeks, was devastating."
The young puppy was admitted, and x-rays immediately revealed the severity of the situation. The knife handle had passed through Macie’s stomach and into her intestines, while the tip of the knife was still in her gullet. She underwent emergency surgery straight away.
Irene said: "I couldn’t believe it when they said Macie had swallowed a knife. I have no idea where she got hold of it – she could have pinched it out of the dishwasher, but no-one saw what happened. None of us could sleep that night as we knew Macie might not survive."
Happily, the operation was a success and the following morning Macie was transferred to the PDSA Pet Hospital in Shamrock Street, where her recovery began.
PDSA Vet, Emily Ronald, said: "I’ve never seen an x-ray like Macie’s. She was extremely lucky to survive. Her saving grace was that she swallowed the handle-end first – the blade-end would undoubtedly have pierced her organs, likely causing fatal injuries.
"The morning after surgery, she was bouncing all over the place as if nothing had happened. Macie has been back for frequent check-ups over the past two weeks and we’re pleased she’s recovering and healing well."
Expressing her gratitude to PDSA, Irene said: “Although she’s only young, Macie is already a big part of the family. She brings us so much joy and happiness, and means the world to the children. Without PDSA, she wouldn’t have received her life-saving treatment and wouldn’t be here today.”
Emily added: "Macie is just one of the lucky pets to benefit from PDSA’s emergency service which has received generous funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Thanks to their support we’re able to provide thousands of life-saving treatments across the UK."
The new qualifications are the Level 6 Graduate Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing and the Level 7 Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing.
They differ from the previous Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing in that the qualification is smaller, more focused (being a 60 credit qualification rather than an 120 credit one) and specific to the veterinary nurse’s subject of choice, which is designed to make it both more appealing and easier to fit with the demands of your professional and private life.
The proposals for a new post-registration qualification framework for the profession grew out of a recommendation of the VN Futures Report and Action Plan published in July 2016, which said that the joint RCVS and BVNA project should "canvas opinion on the scope, level and delivery of post-qualification awards for veterinary nurses". This would aim to open up more and different career paths for veterinary nurses.
The proposals were developed by a Post-registration Qualification Working Group and consulted on last summer. The consultation received a large number of responses from the profession which then fed into further revisions that were approved by the VN Education Committee in April.
Racheal Marshall, Chair of VN Council (pictured right), said: "This is a fantastic development for veterinary nursing in terms of professional development and showcasing the full range of skills and experience that we possess.
"The course criteria that we have approved have already received a great deal of interest from both Further and Higher Education providers. We hope to work constructively with them on developing their courses to ensure that they meet the standards we have set out and that they are maintained over time.
"By allowing greater focus on particular designated areas of practice I think these courses will really open up some significant opportunities for VNs, who can choose to go down a designated path, whether that is in, for example, anaesthesia, emergency & critical care, pharmacology or even non-clinical routes such as education and teaching, research skills and leadership.
"This is a great step forward for the profession and we look forward to working to develop the first Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing courses and seeing the first cohort of veterinary nurses sign-up to it."
It is hoped that, in time, once the qualifications have bedded in and enough members of the profession have undertaken and completed the certificate, they may act as a pathway to a formal Advanced Veterinary Nurse status, similar to the relationship between the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice and Advanced Practitioner status for veterinary surgeons.
Both VN Education Committee and VN Council will be looking at the issue of this status over the coming years.
The full details of the framework for the new qualifications – including the candidate enrolment process, candidate requirements, assessment methods, guidance on curricula and the accreditation and reaccreditation standards – can be found in the committee papers for VN Council at www.rcvs.org.uk/who-we-are/vn-council/vn-council-meetings/8-may-2019/
Any veterinary nurses or Higher/ Further Education institutions who are interested in the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing should contact the RCVS VN Department on email@example.com or 020 7202 0788.
The College says that the number of veterinary nurses removed at the beginning of this year is significantly down from 2016 when 692 VNs were removed for non-payment.
Throughout the course of last year’s renewal period emails and texts were sent to members of the profession reminding them that the fee was due for payment on or before 31 December. Letters were also sent to those for whom the College holds neither an email address nor mobile telephone number.
The College has now published a list with the names of all those veterinary nurses who have been removed from the Register and who have not, as of Friday 13 January, been restored.
It is recommended that practices check the list (available to download from www.rcvs.org.uk/registration/about-the-vn-register/) to ensure that any veterinary nurses they employ are on the Register and are therefore able to carry out medical treatment and minor acts of veterinary surgery as defined under Schedule 3 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act.
Those who have been removed from the Register of Veterinary Nurses and who wish to apply to be restored can do so by contacting the RCVS Registration Department on 020 7202 0707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nutrition Certificate allows applicants to expand their knowledge of cat and dog nutrition and apply their learnings in practice. The comprehensive qualification explores recent advances in diet formulation and case-based feeding and challenges students via a combination of reading materials, self-paced research and workbook assignments. The certificate is an equivalent study level to the first year of a degree course and runs over a nine month period (up to 180 hours of study) involving assessments which span four units, including:
On graduation, students will be awarded a 'Certificate of Canine and Feline Veterinary Health Nutrition' and can place Cert CFVHNut as post-nominals after their name.
Carly Nairn, Head Veterinary Nurse at Seymore Vets, completed the course last year. She said: "The course allowed me to immediately take new learnings and use them as part of my daily work in practice. I have been able to advise clients on the direct link between nutrition and specific illnesses, providing them with more accurate, in-depth information, helping pet owners gain a greater understanding of their pets.
"The Nutrition Certificate is certainly a challenging course, but the knowledge, greater understanding and daily transferable skills are most certainly worth the effort."
Royal Canin is offering bursaries to a limited number of applicants, allowing for a 30% discount in course fees. To apply for a bursary, applicants should contact their local Veterinary Business Manager for an application form or, to enrol without the assistance of a bursary visit: www.coape.org.
Nutrition Certificate courses run twice a year, with a February and September intake: applications for February 2017 close on Tuesday 31st January.
The Boehringer Academy (www.boehringer-academy.co.uk) contains hundreds of hours of CPD material on equine, companion and production animals. It comprises a mixture of webinars, podcasts, short videos and downloadable documents, which can be viewed at any time. The site keeps a CPD log for each user and provides downloadable certificates.
Boehringer’s Small Animal Marketing Team Leader, Jemima Mead said: "We already have just over 15,000 vets and nurses in the UK and Ireland currently registered with the Academy.
"New and existing members are eligible to receive the Boehringer Academy colouring book. They simply have to visit www.boehringer-academy.co.uk and complete their profile. In addition, everyone completing their profile will be entered into a draw to win an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil."
In the UK, the product is marketed under the brand names Vetofol and Inductofol.
An issue of coring has been reported, where the shearing off of a portion of the 20mm bromobutyl bung occurs as the vial is pierced to withdraw the product. This may result in particles from the bung entering the product and potentially being drawn up into the syringe upon extraction of the product from the vial. It may also result in the bung not resealing fully after use.
If you have any queries in relation to the recall or require details of the product in other markets, contact Mrs Deborah Curran Tel. +4428 30264435 or email email@example.com.
It was alleged that in September 2015, she had acted inappropriately by striking a Shih Tzu/Toy Poodle cross puppy called Arnie on his head.
The hearing commenced on Tuesday 3 January 2017 with evidence being given by the owner of the animal ("TC"). However, the corroborating witness, who was also the complainant in the case, failed to attend the hearing to give evidence.
Efforts were made by the College to contact the complainant and remind her that she had been summoned to appear before the Committee – however, she still chose not to attend the hearing to give evidence. In response to her non-appearance the Committee decided that her written evidence was inadmissible as there would be no opportunity to cross-examine her about the discrepancies between her account and that of TC.
Miss Faulkner’s counsel then made an application to the Committee that the College had failed to sufficiently prove its case to the requisite standard such that it would not be necessary for her to adduce any evidence in her defence. The Committee granted this on the grounds that there were clear inconsistencies in the evidence given by TC at different stages of the investigation and during the hearing itself.
Chitra Karve, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: "The Committee was unable to conclude that TC was a reliable witness. Given TC’s centrality to the case the Committee is unable to be satisfied so that it is sure that her account of events as outlined in her oral evidence is accurate. Accordingly, the Committee is not satisfied that the College has proved to the requisite standard that the respondent did in fact strike Arnie to the head as alleged.
"Accordingly, the Committee accepts the submission made by the respondent that the College has not adduced sufficient evidence upon which it can find the facts alleged in the charge to be proved. Therefore, it is not necessary for the Committee to consider this matter any further. There is no case for the respondent to answer."
Reporter Andy Davies spoke to Charlotte Debbaut MRCVS, a veterinary surgeon from Belgium working at the Tindale Veterinary Practice in Gloucestershire, where there are 13 vets with eight different nationalities. He also interviewed Matthew Pugh MRCVS and Ovidiu Oltean MRCVS from Belmont Veterinary Centre, a mixed practice in Hereford which employs five foreign nationals out of a team of 13 veterinary surgeons.
Finally, he talked to John Blackwell MRCVS at Brownlow Veterinary Group in Shropshire, where Brexit had already caused a Croatian member of his team to refuse a permanent position and return to Ireland.
Congratulations to the RCVS and BVA press offices, who will have been hard at work behind the scenes.
The practice says that because thiamine deficiency in cats is generally rare, the number of recent cases seen in the UK has been a cause for concern amongst veterinary surgeons.
Symptoms may include severe weight loss or anorexia, vomiting, impaired vision, dilated pupils, tremors and seizures. Prompt treatment is needed, usually in the form of thiamine injections, an oral supplement and an immediate change of food as a precaution.
Laurent Garosi RCVS & European Veterinary Specialist in Neurology at Davies Veterinary Specialists said: "In 20 years I have only seen a handful of cases. My concern is that there may be many more cats out there in need of a diagnosis which is why we are building awareness and supporting our referring vets in the diagnosis of this condition."
To that end, Laurent posted on the subject on Facebook, which immediately went viral, with more than 1.1 million people reached and 9000+ shares.
Davies Veterinary Specialists has followed Laurent's post with support and advice for pet owners, explaining the symptoms to look out for and the emergency measures to take. The practice has also sent more detailed information direct to its referring practices:
What are the signs of thiamine deficiency in cats? Initially most cats will show anorexia and some degree of vomiting preceding neurological signs which include fairly rapid onset of impaired vision, dilated pupils, ataxia, vestibular signs, tremors and seizures.
How do you diagnose thiamine deficiency? It is based on a combination of factors: clinical presentation, MRI findings, which are fairly typical (although not pathognomonic) and response to thiamine supplementation. Absolute confirmation is technically difficult and not widely available: direct measurement of thiamine in the blood may not reflect deficiency, as this is not a good reflection of tissue concentration of Thiamine. Indirect methods are functional tests looking at effects of thiamine or lack of it: demonstration of reduced transketolase activity in red blood cells which is not readily available for most veterinary practices, or other indirect methods such measuring abnormal metabolites such as organic acids in the urine.
What are the causes of thiamine deficiency in dogs and cats? There are three main causes: 1) inability to absorb thiamine due to gastro-intestinal disease, 2) inability to process thiamine due to liver disease and 3) decreased level of thiamine in food. The latter can be caused by the heating process used for food preparation (thiamine is destroyed by heat), addition of sulphur dioxide or sulphite preservatives to meat which inactivate thiamine and feeding food rich in thiaminase activity such as some raw fish. Therefore all-raw fish diet in cats can be a cause of thiamine deficiency.
What to do if you suspect you have a cat with thiamine deficiency and whose diet consists of a product being recalled? Unless the cat is showing neurological signs, the first step is to stop the diet and switch to another diet not listed in the recall. Thiamine supplementation (intramuscular injection) is advised in the first instance in a case with compatible neurological signs. Other causes for the neurological signs must be considered in the case of failing to respond to Thiamine injections within 24-48 hours.
DVS says it is working closely with their referring vets to raise awareness and diagnose any affected animals.
For more information, visit: www.vetspecialists.co.uk and www.facebook.com/DVSvets/
Set up in 2012, the programme was developed to raise the standards of care and welfare of cats in the veterinary clinic, and to provide veterinary surgeons with practical solutions to problems that they face when dealing with their feline patients. The programme is also designed to boost business by strengthening the bond between the clinic and its feline clients.
Four years later, with 732 practices accredited worldwide (369 in the UK) and a further 1,000 US practices accredited under the American Association of Feline Practitioners scheme licensed from ISFM, the programme has become a well-recognised global standard in feline veterinary care. Last October, it was the winner of the 2016 Veterinary Record Innovation Award.
ISFM says it has now signed six new commercial partners for the scheme: Boehringer Ingelheim, Ceva Animal Health, Elanco, Idexx Laboratories, Merial and Royal Canin, and will be working with these partners to expand the programme further.
Dr Andy Sparkes, Veterinary Director of International Cat Care, ISFM’s parent charity, said: We are delighted to see how many clinics around the world have focused on becoming cat friendly and we can only expect this to grow again in 2017 with our new partners on board. We are looking forward to a very cat friendly 2017!"
Clinics interested in joining the scheme should visit: www.catfriendlyclinic.org for further information, including an extensive library of photographs from already-accredited clinics to provide inspiration and ideas.
Addison’s disease is caused by a reduction in corticosteroid secretion from the adrenal glands. Symptoms can include lack of appetite, tremors or vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, low heart rate, muscle weakness, low body temperature and collapse. If left untreated, Addison’s disease can present as an acute, life-threatening emergency.
Zycortal is the only European licensed treatment for the disease. It is a prolonged-release suspension used as replacement therapy for mineralocorticoid. Dechra says it has proved highly effective in clinical trials with more than 80% of dogs responding positively to treatment1.
The golden rules are available at: www.dechra.co.uk/goldenrules.
Dechra has also produced a series of six video presentations to help veterinary surgeons in their diagnosis and treatment and created a dedicated owner website - www.myaddisonsdog.co.uk - to help owners understand the condition and monitor their pet's progress.
Dechra Brand Manager Craig Sankey said: "Addison’s can be a hidden disease but Zycortal presents a very visible answer. With the wealth of expertise from the endocrinologists, the Five Golden Rules should be an important reference tool for vets.
"We hope that the series of resources we have produced, used in partnership with Zycortal, will make the diagnosis, treatment and management of dogs with Addison’s an easier journey for both vets and owner."
The plan is designed to help mimic the way cats eat in the wild and so provide them with both physical and mental stimulation. It also encourages cats to hunt, explore, climb and play – activities which boost cats’ positive behaviour and wellbeing.
Developed by feline behaviour specialist Dr. Sarah Ellis and Dr. Lizzie Rowe at International Cat Care, the plan is also designed to help to prevent overeating and promote a balance between energy intake and energy output, in order to avoid weight gain, as well as encouraging weight loss in overweight cats.
It is estimated that there are 10 million pet cats in the UK1 and the charity points to data which suggests that 39 – 52% of them are overweight or obese2,3, something which is a major health and welfare issue4-9, and can ultimately lead to early death10.
The charity says research shows that current feeding practices are contributing to this obesity epidemic, with a number of factors associated with a cat’s modern lifestyle leading to overeating. For example, most cats need little or no exertion to obtain their food, making it more likely that the calories they take in through eating will outweigh the calories they use up through exercise (leading to weight gain). Furthermore, the way we feed our cats generally does not match the lifestyle they were designed for, resulting in a lack of mental stimulation and reduced opportunity to express natural, instinctive hunting behaviours. This can lead to boredom, apathy, anxiety, frustration and stress in cats, resulting in reduced wellbeing and potentially the development of problem behaviours.
Sarah said: "By making a few simple changes to the way we feed our cats, we can help them to live longer, healthier and happier lives."
The plan recommends:
A detailed version of the feeding plan, along with the full report behind the development of the plan, can be found on International Cat Care’s website:
A short version of the feeding plan can also be found there.
The Veterinary Hospital and Surgery acquired the Magdalen Arms in late 2014 and started work on the conversion of the listed building in March 2015, with particular care needed to preserve original features including its Dutch gables and the falcon logo of local brewery Lacon’s, which is incorporated into the brick work.
The new hospital was officially opened at the end of February, with the Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Malcolm Bird, and local 2012 Paralympic gold medallist Jessica-Jane Applegate unveiling the plaque. More than 1,000 local people came to have a look round, many bringing their canine friends.
Clinical Director Elissa Norman said: "In recent years we had outgrown our original surgery and it started to become difficult to offer the level of service we wanted to within the space we had.
"We knew that the Magdalen Arms, in addition to being a well-known local landmark, offered all the space we needed, a central location and plenty of parking. The structure of the building made the conversion quite complex but the final result is beyond our expectations and we can’t wait to see the reaction of our clients when they bring their pets to us for the first time."
"We now have staff on site with patients 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, plenty of parking and we can offer full access for disabled clients all of which were a priority for us. The reception area is spacious and inviting, the consult rooms are well equipped and the new cat ward will create a less stressful environment for our feline patients.
"Watching this much-loved building take shape as a brand-new hospital with all the facilities we need for our patients, their owners and our staff has been special and I’m looking forward to helping it take on a different role within the community. While the building work is now finished, we have lots of plans to develop the service we offer further over the next few months."
"We are grateful to the Mayor Malcolm Bird and to Jessica-Jane for helping us celebrate the opening of the hospital and it was great to welcome so many local people and show them around as they have been so supportive during the conversion. It is clear that the building holds a strong place in many of their memories but that they are as excited as we are to see the amazing transformation that has taken place. We look forward to serving them and caring for their pets in the years ahead."
Tyrina, pictured centre right, has worked at the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals for almost four years, a vet nurse for 10 years and a champion of animals since she was a child.
In addition to her work for the PDSA, she is also the head nurse of The Wildlife Retreat department at Hilltop Farm Animal Sanctuary and helps rear kittens for Cats Protection, particularly during their busy summer months.
Tyrina's love of animals is not restricted to cats, dogs and wildlife in the UK, though. Her passion has taken her all around the world, including an elephant sanctuary and tiger sanctuary in Thailand. She plans to go to China next year to help with panda conservation work.
The people who nominated her for the award described her as inspirational: a champion for animals with extensive knowledge and incredible commitment.
Tyrina was presented with her award by David Catlow, the Clinical Director at Blue Cross last week.
David said: "Tyrina is held up as an inspiration for her tireless passion for helping pets, and she’s clearly highly regarded by her peers and her clients. When she’s not at the practice, she’s filling her spare time with looking after animals. Tyrina is a very deserving winner of this year’s award."
Tyrina said: "I was absolutely gobsmacked to win the award. It’s an amazing feeling and I really feel honoured. It means so much to me to get this recognition from my peers, simply for doing something that is my passion in life."
The company, which until now has only offered loans to practice clients for veterinary treatment, is now offering practice staff loans of £1,000-£25,000 for periods ranging from 1-5 years at an APR from 7.9%, with joint applications acceptable.
Stewart Halperin, BVMS, MRCVS, founder and CEO of CarefreeCredit (pictured right), said: "I first started the company to enable other vets to provide interest-free loans to clients facing large bills for uninsured pets.
"Since then, I’ve been thinking of other ways to help practice staff in our profession and realised a quick and simple low-cost loan facility would be a great way to go beyond helping their clients to helping the staff themselves in their daily lives.
"Now, with just a simple phone call taking just 5 minutes, veterinary staff can easily access the finance they want for whatever purpose they need."
For further information call 0345 313 0177.
The Davies Therapy and Fitness Centre has been developed following two years of planning with the intention of supporting referring practices.
Run by a team of Chartered Veterinary Physiotherapists, hydrotherapists and anaesthetists, it has a large hydrotherapy suite, a therapeutic exercise area and gym, an outdoor exercise area, four spacious consultation and treatment rooms and a bright and airy reception.
Services include physiotherapy, rehabilitation, underwater treadmill therapy, soft supports, splinting and orthotics, fitness and conditioning and acupuncture and pain management clinics.
Good rehabilitation is pivotal to the recovery process following injury or surgery and for the management of long-term conditions such as arthritis. DVS says owners are more likely to be compliant with veterinary rehabilitation and fitness programmes if they can fully understand the importance of the process by working with a friendly, professional team, preferably at a bespoke centre.
Diane Messum, Head of Physiotherapy said: "Our mission is to work with referring practitioners to treat every pet, and their owner, with the utmost care and compassion throughout the entire veterinary process. We aim to minimise pain and restore the animals we treat to their maximum physical and mental wellbeing, with the provision of expert therapy, fitness and pain management."
To find out more visit www.vetspecialiststherapy.co.uk
The company is offering up to £50* worth of vouchers to use at J.A.K Marketing Ltd when purchasing GI diets (including canine and feline recovery packs). It is also offering a ‘buy three get one free’ deal on its recovery packs, which also come with complimentary Get Well Soon counter displays for practice receptions.
To promote its range of complete liquid diets for tube feeding critically ill patients, Royal Canin is giving practices which order three packs a free Vygon Vet Nutrisafe tube feeding kit worth £9.49. The kit contains 12 syringes, a drawing up straw and three different sizes of feeding tubes. The company says its liquid diets are specifically designed for tube feeding, offer precise nutrition for critically ill patients and can be accurately delivered with the Vygon tube feeding kits.
For further information, contact your Royal Canin Veterinary Business Manager.
* Spend £199 on GI diets (including canine and feline recovery packs) and receive a £20 voucher from J.A.K Marketing Ltd., spend £399 and receive a £50 voucher. The vouchers will be emailed direct to the practice from J.A.K. There is a 14 working day lead time on this. All offers are valid for the UK and NI and end on 31 March.
Dechra Veterinary Products Brand Manager Craig Sankey said: "Hyperthyroidism is a common endocrine disorder that affects thyroid production in older cats. It’s a lifelong condition that requires careful understanding and management by both vets and owners.
"The video presentation aims to illustrate how, with flexibility and precision, you can take control of hyperthyroidism and restore the natural poise of your hyperthyroid patients."
To watch the film and enter the competition, visit: www.dechra.co.uk/3greatreasons.
Competition closes February 28th 2017.
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