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BSAVA Scientific Newsletter

Welcome to the latest edition of the scientific newsletter. This newsletter is intended to help support an evidence-based approach to veterinary medicine and includes details of recently published research and relevant scientific news and events, covering a range of subject areas and small animal species. Please note that access to the full articles featured is not provided via this newsletter (unless the article is already open access).

We really want to make sure that these newsletters and interesting and valuable to you, so if you have any suggestions for content or features, please do not hesitate to get in touch at [email protected]

Featured article

"Pathology and Prevalence of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: A Study of 398 Pet Reptiles"

Read the full blog post here

Following November’s antibiotic amnesty, this blog highlights the work done by a group of researchers studying antimicrobial resistance in pet reptiles. Identifying susceptible, intermediate and resistant strains to commonly prescribed antimicrobials, the paper focuses on some of common pathologies of reptilian disease and identifies some of the evolving species that pose antibiotic-resistant zoonotic risks to exotic pet owners.

Cristina RT, Kocsis R, Degi J, Muselin F, Dumitrescu E, Tirziu E, Herman V, Darau AP, Oprescu I (2022) Pathology and prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria: a study of 398 pet reptiles Animals 12 (10), 1279

Journal Watch

1)Exploring companion animal caretakers' attitudes, perceptions and behavioural drivers of antimicrobial use within the social context of veterinary care

Frey E, Kedrowicz M, Hedgpeth MW (from Journal of Small Animal Practice)

Conversations about antimicrobial use can be reframed to include alternatives to antimicrobials as part of the treatment plan, and clients can be empowered to play a more active role in their animals' care. Veterinarians can apply core communication skills to advance antimicrobial stewardship principles and thereby contribute to preserving the effectiveness and availability of antimicrobials while preserving the trusting relationship and shared decision-making between clients and veterinarians.

2) Guide to diagnosing and treating neoplasia in ferrets

Dias S (from In Practice)

Statistics for the actual incidence of neoplasia in pet ferrets are not currently available; however, multiple case reports of different types of neoplasia in this species are described in the literature. The majority of tumours are seen in animals older than three years of age, and multiple types of neoplasia can occur in the same ferret. This article provides an overview of the most common ferret neoplasms seen by general veterinary practitioners, and aims to help practitioners approach these cases with more confidence.

3)Sex disparity in oronasal presentations of canine transmissible venereal tumour

Strakova A, Baez-Ortega A, Wang J, Murchison, EP (from Vet Record)

The canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT) is a contagious cancer spread by the direct transfer of living cancer cells. CTVT usually spreads during mating, manifesting as genital tumours. However, oronasal CTVT is also occasionally observed, and presumably arises through oronasal contact with genital CTVT tumours during sniffing and licking.

Other news/resources: 

Survey on sources of stress for veterinary professionals

Researchers at Harper & Keele vet school are collecting data for a major study looking at the significance of various stressors amongst vet surgeons and nurses. The findings will be used for a range of analyses, primarily to identify the largest sources of stress for people at different stages of their career. This information will be used for the development of evidence-based education and training initiatives for the industry. Findings will be shared with all individuals and organisations that participate in the study. The survey is available here and see also our Research Notice Board

BSAVA’s first affiliated group for veterinary nurses

The Veterinary Nursing Dermatology Group is BSAVA’s first affiliated group for veterinary nurses. Dermatology is a field where the veterinary nurse can play a pivotal role, assisting vets in the work up and treatment of cases in clinic and supporting clients in the management of skin conditions at home. Registered veterinary nurses, student veterinary nurses and even animal nursing assistants and vets involved with potential dermatology nurses are welcome to join; they can do so at www.vetnursedermgroup.co.uk where more information about the group can be found. And join us the day before BSAVA congress for our pre congress meeting; join the group for more information.

Newly awarded BSAVA PetSavers grants 

The following projects were awarded funding by the PetSavers grant awarding committee:

  • Evaluation of synovial cytokine concentrations in dogs with degenerative joint disease, immune mediated polyarthritis and septic arthritis (total funds, £2000) being undertaken by Seb Griffin as part of his BSAVA Clinical Master’s Degree at Vet4Life Vets in Teddington. This aims to analyse biomarkers in joint fluid of canine patients with septic arthritis, degenerative joint disease, or immune mediated polyarthritis to investigate the presence of significant differences that could aid the rapid diagnosis of these debilitating conditions.
  • Reusable vs disposable drapes: does their use affect post-operative wound complication rates in routine surgeries? (total funds, £9053) by Hannah James and colleagues at VetPartners in York. This will explore whether using reusable versus disposable surgical drapes leads to higher rates of post-operative wound complications in dogs and cats undergoing surgical neutering to enable practitioners to make best choices for their surgeries.
  • Assessment of hypercoagulability in dogs with ischaemic cerebrovascular infarcts (total funds, £7566) by Sophie Wyatt and Stefano Cortellini at the RVC. Dogs with ischaemic CVIs will be examined for evidence of abnormal platelet function or a hypercoagulable state, and associations with patient outcome determined, to better understand and manage stroke cases.
  • Effectiveness of low-level laser therapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis-associated pain in client-owned dogs (total funds, £10,000) by Chiara Adami and colleagues at the University of Cambridge (jointly funded by PetSavers and The Debs Foundation). Examining effectiveness of low-level laser therapy to treat osteoarthritis-associated pain in dogs, to improve quality of life and reduce the need for pharmacological therapy.

PetSavers in print

These papers deriving from PetSavers-funded studies have recently been published:

  • As part of a BSAVA PetSavers-funded master’s degree by research supervised by Professor Mandy Peffers, Christine Pye reviewed evidence behind pharmaceutical treatment options for canine osteoarthritis, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, piprants, monoclonal antibodies, adjunctive analgesics, structure modifying osteoarthritis drugs and regenerative therapies. Advances in the pharmaceutical treatment options for canine osteoarthritis. is published in the October issue of the Journal of Small Animal Medicine (JSAP).
  • As part of a study exploring how to maximise erythrocyte recovery from blood-soaked surgical swabs to return to patients experiencing haemorrhaging, Ivan Kalmukov and colleagues at Fitzpatrick Referrals tested a cell salvage device, showing it efficiently recovered canine red blood cells in an ex vivo setting, with direct suction achieving higher volumes of salvaged blood than swab rinsing.Ex vivo evaluation of a novel cell salvage device to recover canine erythrocytes was published in the November issue of Veterinary Surgery.
  • A study by Matt Green, Laurent Garosi and colleagues used SAVSNET data to investigate how epileptic dogs are managed in UK first opinion practice, including 517 dogs. Thirteen percent of dogs received anti-seizure drugs at first presentation; the odds of administering anti-seizure drugs were about 14 times larger in dogs presenting with cluster seizures, and the most frequently chosen anti-seizure drugs were phenobarbital and imepitoin. This work was published in the November issue of JSAP as Approach to initial management of canine generalised epileptic seizures in primary-care veterinary practices in the United Kingdom.
  • Insulin expression in β cells is reduced within islets before islet loss in diabetic cats published in JSAP, derived from a master’s degree at the University of Cambridge by Valeria Bergomi under the supervision of Dr Kate Hughes. This reported reduced insulin expression before islet loss in diabetic cats which may reflect a feline equivalent to human DM stage between prediabetes and irreversible loss of islets. The study showed the value of using CUBIC imaging technology to render tissue transparent investigating 3D islet microanatomy of cats.
  • Grant call opens for PetSavers Research Fellowship

    The BSAVA PetSavers Research Fellowship is open for applications. It aims to support academics in early stages of their research career, targeting the period immediately after gaining a postgraduate research qualification and helping them establish themselves as independent researchers. It requires active mentorship from a senior scientist and guaranteed research time from the recipient’s institution.

    Funding of up to £70,000 is available over a 2-year period for research costs and travel, with up to 30% of the total grant for research-specific salary or stipend costs.

    Applicant suitability can be demonstrated by the following:

    • Possession of a veterinary qualification (veterinary surgeon or registered vet nurse)
    • Completion of a postgraduate research degree (PhD, MRes or MPhil)
    • Within the early stages of a research career (starting a research post within the last 10 years)
    • Currently in post or with an offer of a guaranteed post of at least 3 years’ duration if awarded
    • Having received less than £250,000 of funding from external sources

    Applications must be received by midnight on 28th February 2023. Further information

    New guidelines for cat friendly veterinary interactions

    This consensus document produced by an international group of cat experts provides a definitive guide to handling cats.

    World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) updated global pain guidelines available:

    An updated version of the WSAVA’s Global Pain Guidelineshave recently been published in JSAP. This article is freely available online and is already the most-downloaded JSAP article of 2022.

    Read a good paper in Journal of Small Animal Practice?

    The JSAP editorial board is considering articles for our annual best paper awards. If you have read a really good paper published in issues between October 2021 and September 2022, please let us know via [email protected] by 15th January 2023.

    Interested in working on the Journal of Small Animal Practice?

    JSAP is considering some new, non-specialist, roles on its editorial board to help oversee our clinical reviews, case reports and ‘images in small animal practice’ articles. If you are interested in joining the editorial board, or acting as a reviewer for JSAP articles, please contact [email protected]

    Behaviour webinars available

    The British Veterinary Behaviour Association runs a number of webinars which are hosted by BSAVA with a discount for members. Details available from https://www.bvba-org.co.uk/webinars

    Upcoming Events: 

    Association of Charity Vets

    The ACV conference will be held at Cambridge Vet School on 4th and 5th February 2023.

    Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists

    The AVA is partnering with the Royal Society of Medicine (in London) to deliver a hybrid meeting on Visceral Pain on Friday 27th January 2023. Some of the most globally most eminent speakers on this subject are presenting, and there is the option for either in person or online attendance. The meeting will be recorded and will be available for 60 days. Please visit the website.

    The World Congress of Veterinary Anaesthesia is to be held in Sydney in March 2023.

    The AVA conference will be held in Warsaw, Poland, from 7th – 9th September 2023.

    British Veterinary Orthopaedic Association

    The BVOA 60th anniversary autumn scientific meeting will be held on 12th-14th October 2023 at the Tower Hotel, London, with a theme of ‘Back to the future orthopaedics”. See also below for details of their Spring meeting.

    British Veterinary Zoological Society

    BVZS Conference 2023 will be in Aston, Birmingham, 3rd – 5th November 2023.

    European Association of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging

    EVRA EVDI Joint Conference will be held in Dublin, Ireland, from 18th - 23rd June 2023.

    BSAVA Congress pre-congress meetings (22nd March, Manchester)

    The following groups are planning to hold Spring meetings in Manchester on the day before BSAVA Congress. Keep an eye on the Congress website for the latest updates, or visit the society websites for further details.

    Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists(theme is “Optimising anaesthesia in your practice”)

    Association of Veterinary Soft Tissue Surgeons

    British Veterinary Behaviour Association(theme is “Rescue and Rehabilitation - behaviour and the animal’s living environment”)

    British Veterinary Neurology Society

    (Midland Hotel, theme is “Dealing with extremities – how to manage conditions of the distal limb”)

    British Veterinary Orthopaedic Association(Midland Hotel, theme is “Dealing with extremities – how to manage conditions of the distal limb”)

    Veterinary Cardiovascular Society

    Veterinary Nursing Dermatology Group

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