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Vet News

  • Australian veterinarians – global challenges

    Friday, Dec 22 '17 06:24

    This paper discusses the wide range of roles that Government veterinarians play both in Australia and globally. The paper was presented as a plenary session at the National Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference. Read more...

  • Survey of equine castration techniques, preferences and outcomes among Australian veterinarians

    Wednesday, Dec 20 '17 03:25

    Objectives (1) To collect the perceptions of veterinarians performing equine castrations in Australia on techniques, preferences and outcomes, (2) to investigate veterinarian use and experience with the Henderson castrating instrument and (3) to investigate potential associations between demographics, castration methods and techniques, and complications. Design Online survey of members of the Australian Veterinary Association’s Special Interest Group, Equine Veterinarians Australia (EVA). Methods A link to the survey was included in the EVA e-newsletter and practices on the EVA website were contacted by telephone and follow-up email. Fisher’s exact test was used to determine associations between ligation and complications. A generalised linear model with a negative binomial family was used to determine associations between count response variables and categorical independent variables. Results Responses were obtained from 138 veterinarians (response rate, 13.1%) who performed 5330 castrations over 12 months. Castrations were most commonly performed in the field, on anaesthetised horses, using emasculators, via an open approach and without ligation of the spermatic cord. Estimated complications after use of emasculators were swelling (25%), haemorrhage (5%) and infection (5%). The Henderson instrument was used by approximately 10% of respondents and its use for castration was associated with fewer reports of postoperative swelling compared with emasculators (P = 0.002). Rates of evisceration with the Henderson and emasculator methods were comparable (0.43% and 0.9%, respectively). Conclusion Castration preferences varied widely among survey participants. Reported complication types and rates were comparable to those reported previously in other countries. Perceptions that the Henderson instrument was associated with less swelling should be investigated further via a prospective controlled investigation. Read more...

  • Effect of reducing inspired oxygen concentration on oxygenation parameters during general anaesthesia in horses in lateral or dorsal recumbency

    Tuesday, Dec 19 '17 07:51

    Objective To compare the effects of two concentrations of oxygen delivered to the anaesthetic breathing circuit on oxygenation in mechanically ventilated horses anaesthetised with isoflurane and positioned in dorsal or lateral recumbency. Methods Selected respiratory parameters and blood lactate were measured and oxygenation indices calculated, before and during general anaesthesia, in 24 laterally or dorsally recumbent horses. Horses were randomly assigned to receive 100% or 60% oxygen during anaesthesia. All horses were anaesthetised using the same protocol and intermittent positive pressure ventilation (IPPV) was commenced immediately following anaesthetic induction and endotracheal intubation. Arterial blood gas analysis was performed and oxygenation indices calculated before premedication, immediately after induction, at 10 and 45 min after the commencement of mechanical ventilation, and in recovery. Results During anaesthesia, the arterial partial pressure of oxygen was adequate in all horses, regardless of position of recumbency or the concentration of oxygen provided. At 10 and 45 min after commencing IPPV, the arterial partial pressure of oxygen was lower in horses in dorsal recumbency compared with those in lateral recumbency, irrespective of the concentration of oxygen supplied. Based on oxygenation indices, pulmonary function during general anaesthesia in horses placed in dorsal recumbency was more compromised than in horses in lateral recumbency, irrespective of the concentration of oxygen provided. Conclusion During general anaesthesia, using oxygen at a concentration of 60% instead of 100% maintains adequate arterial oxygenation in horses in dorsal or lateral recumbency. However, it will not reduce pulmonary function abnormalities induced by anaesthesia and recumbency. Read more...

  • Genome sequence of an Australian strain of canid alphaherpesvirus 1

    Tuesday, Dec 19 '17 07:35

    Objective Characterisation of a complete genome sequence of an Australian strain of canid alphaherpesvirus 1 (CHV-1) and its phylogenetic relationship with other varicellovirus species. Methods Standard pathology and PCR methods were used to initially detect herpesvirus in hepatic tissue from an infected 4-week-old Labrador Retriever puppy. The complete CHV-1 genome was sequenced using next-generation sequencing technology followed by de novo and reference assembly, and genome annotation. Results The CHV-1 genome was 125 kbp in length and contained 74 predicted open reading frames encoding functional proteins, all of which have counterparts in other alphaherpesviruses. Phylogenetic analysis using the DNA polymerase gene revealed that the newly sequenced CHV-1 clustered with canid alphaherpesvirus isolated from the UK and shared a 99% overall nucleotide sequence similarity. Conclusion This is the first complete genome of an Australian strain of CHV-1, which will contribute to our understanding of the genetics and evolution of herpesvirus. Read more...

  • Analysis of the costs of veterinary education and factors associated with financial stress among veterinary students in Australia

    Tuesday, Dec 12 '17 09:57

    Objective To investigate the course-related and other costs involved in obtaining a veterinary education in Australia and how these costs are met. The study also aimed to identify sociodemographic and course-related factors associated with increased financial stress. Methods Students from seven Australian veterinary schools were surveyed using an online questionnaire. A total of 443 students participated (response rate 17%). Responses to survey items relating to finances, employment and course-related costs were compared with sociodemographic factors and prior research in the area of student financial stress. Results Respondents reported spending a median of A$300 per week on living costs and a median of A$2,000 per year on course-related expenses. Over half of respondents received the majority of their income from their parents or Youth Allowance (56%). A similar proportion (55%) reported that they needed to work to meet basic living expenses. Circumstances and sociodemographic factors linked to perceived financial stress included requiring additional finances to meet unexpected costs during the course; sourcing additional finances from external loans; an expected tuition debt at graduation over A$40,000; being 22 years or older; working more than 12 hours per week; living costs above A$300 per week; and being female. Conclusion The costs involved in obtaining a veterinary education in Australia are high and over half of respondents are reliant on parental or Government income support. Respondents with certain sociodemographic profiles are more prone to financial stress. These findings may have implications for the psychological health, diversity and career plans of veterinary students in Australia. Read more...

Vet News

  • How can we overcome loneliness?

    Saturday, Jan 6 '18 03:00

    Loneliness is an epidemic and a major risk factor for premature death, recent research suggests. So what can we do to prevent and overcome it? Read more...

  • How to identify papular urticaria

    Tuesday, Dec 19 '17 02:00

    Learn about papular urticaria, a skin reaction to insect bites. We examine the symptoms and causes of the condition, along with treatment and prevention. Read more...

  • Squirrels and stroke treatment: What's the connection?

    Tuesday, Nov 21 '17 07:00

    The process by which the brains of ground squirrels are protected against low oxygen during hibernation could lead to a new treatment for ischemic stroke. Read more...

  • Your dog could help you live longer

    Saturday, Nov 18 '17 07:00

    Your pooch is not just great company. A new study finds that our four-legged friends could reduce the likelihood of premature death. Read more...

  • Bugs in the basement? Here's why

    Saturday, Nov 11 '17 02:00

    A new study of arthropods in 50 U.S. homes suggests that their diversity is influenced more by access to the outdoors than the behavior of human residents. Read more...