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Anaesthesia of the geriatric patient

Alessandra Mathis

Alessandra Mathis DVM CertVA DipECVAA MRCVS is European Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia. Alessandra graduated from the University of Perugia (Italy) in 2003, after which she worked in general veterinary practice in Italy for three years. During this period Alessandra really enjoyed the challenge of facing a variety of cases every day, but soon became keen on Anaesthesia and felt that she wanted to specialise in the subject. Alessandra decided to visit Anaesthesia departments in a number of veterinary institutions, mostly in North America. Alessandra then undertook an Anaesthesia Internship at the Royal Veterinary College in London followed by a three year Residency in Anaesthesia and Analgesia at the Royal Veterinary College during which she gained her RCVS Certificate in Veterinary Anaesthesia. Alessandra then joined Willows in 2011 and became a Diplomate of the European College of Anaesthesia and Analgesia in 2012. Alessandra is particularly interested in the anaesthesia of the critically ill patient and in pain management. She enjoys working as part of the team of highly qualified and dedicated specialists at Willows, and helping to keep the veterinary and clinical support staff up to date with the latest anaesthetic and intensive care techniques. Alessandra is the daughter of a dog breeder and a diplomat. She grew up mostly in Italy, but also lived in Australia and Switzerland and always with several dogs and cats. She particularly loves Dachshunds and has owes a miniature wired haired one, Sheldon. Although Alessandra misses the Italian sun and food, her family and Italian friends, she feels as though she has gained a second family at Willows!

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Nutraceuticals and own label nutraceuticals and pet foods

Paul Boland

Paul Boland BVSc MRCVS was a Partner at Alder Veterinary Hospital, Liverpool for 22 years until he sold the business 3 months ago. He lectures on Canine Reproduction to the fourth years Students at Liverpool University. Combining herbs, nutraceuticals, acupuncture and more recently natural stem cell enhancers, he is able to treat a large proportion of his patients naturally. Paul is a writer for the magazine What Doctors Don’t Tell You and his website is

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“Happy Heifers” (learning from the Welsh Dairy Youngstock Project the keys to successful heifer rearing)

Owen Atkinson

This webinar will be presented by Owen Atkinson, RCVS Specialist in Cattle Health and Production. Owen will present the findings of a recent pan-Wales survey of dairy heifer rearing which include some fascinating indicators to what makes for successful youngstock management, and opportunities for vets to improve value to their clients (as well as offer new services). To elaborate a bit more, this detailed survey on dairy youngstock rearing was conducted by private practitioners on 75 dairy farms throughout Wales during April and May, 2015. It is one of the largest studies of its kind ever to be conducted in the UK. The findings not only give a snap-shot “state of the nation” for heifer replacement rearing, from colostrum management, to feeding practices, to age and weight at service and calving, but also indicate some valuable success factors which can underpin veterinary advice and strengthen our existing evidence base. As heifer rearing/replacement costs are the second largest component of milk producers’ cost of production (after feed), there is understandably a huge amount of interest in this area currently. One thing that was abundantly clear from the project was the huge potential for improvement – whether by reducing disease, reducing calf mortality, or reducing age at first calving. There is no shortage of opportunity for vets to lead the way in better youngstock management, and this Webinar will be invaluable to those wishing to do so.

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Feeding Raw Food Diets to Dogs and Cats: What is the Evidence?

Marge Chandler

The feeding of raw meat based diets to dogs and cats has received increasing attention in recent years. Raw meat based diets can be divided into two main categories: commercial and home-prepared. Proponents of feeding raw meat based diets claim health benefits for the diets, which are so far largely unproven and not based on scientific research, but seem plausible to well-intending pet owners who want to feed a diet that will optimize health and wellness for their pets. The vast majority of homemade diets, including raw diets, are not complete and balanced, and do not meet AAFCO, NRC or FEDIAF standards; this includes diets published in books and websites. Much of the raw poultry and meats bought for human consumption are contaminated with bacteria as it is assumed that they will be cooked. The FDA is currently investigating prevalence of pathogenic bacteria in dog and cat foods labelled as raw and sold through retail stores. When handling raw food the preparer must be scrupulous in hygiene, and small children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised should not be handling it. The feeding of whole bones will not balance the diet and may cause oesophageal or intestinal obstruction and dental damage. The cleanliness standards for raw commercial diets are higher, although few of them meet AAFCO, NRC or FEDIAF requirements. Good research into feeding of raw diets is very limited. Marge Chandler is a consultant in small animal nutrition at VetsNow Referrals (Glasgow) and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Edinburgh. She has a MS (Animal Nutrition) and a DVM from Colorado State University (CSU). She did residency training in small animal internal medicine and veterinary clinical nutrition at CSU and Massey University (NZ). She is Co-Chair of the WSAVA Global Nutrition Committee, Chair of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition Education Committee, Executive Board member of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition, and charter member of the European Veterinary Nutrition Educators Group.

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Rabies: Pet Passports and Increased Risks

Paula Boyden

Paula Boyden will discuss Rabies: Pet Passports and Increased Risks. Changes to the rules of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) that were introduced at the beginning of 2012 meant that the preparation time for a dog to enter the UK was significantly reduced from around 7 months to just 3 weeks. This has resulted in a marked increase in dogs entering the UK, and with it, one might argue, an increased risk of disease. Whilst the incidence of rabies across the EU has decreased significantly in recent years, the EU is now covers a much larger area with some 26 Member States. So what is the real risk of disease? Rabies is an emotive subject and must be taken into consideration, but so should other diseases associated with travelling pets, not all of them covered by PETS. This webinar will cover the legislation associated with movement of dogs into the UK, explore the impact of the changes made and the role of the veterinary surgeon. Paula graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London in 1992. She spent 11 years in general practice before moving into industry in 2003. Paula joined Dogs Trust as Deputy Veterinary Director in 2010 and was promoted to Veterinary Director in 2011. Paula is currently treasurer of the Links Group, a founder member of the Association of Charity Vets and board member of the Blue Dog Trust (which focuses on dog bite prevention). She is also a member of BVA’s Veterinary Policy Group and BSAVAs International Advisory Committee. Paula has 2 Golden Retrievers, Phoebe and Charlie.

Liver Fluke: 2, Animal Health: 1; how to get EVEN

Andrew Forbes

Andy Forbes graduated from Edinburgh University, Scotland, with a degree in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery and subsequently spent several years in general veterinary practice in the United Kingdom, southern Africa and New Zealand. He joined the Animal Health industry in the late 1970s, firstly with Elanco/Lilly Research and subsequently with MSD AgVet and then Merial, and worked in the industry until 2013 in a variety of technical positions based in the UK, the USA and most recently France. He now lectures regularly at the School of Veterinary Medicine in Glasgow and is involved in a number of research projects there and at other veterinary schools. He is currently the chairman of the parasite control technical working group (TWG) of Animal Health Ireland. His scientific interests centre primarily on ruminants with a focus on parasitology and endemic diseases, on which he has published over 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He completed a PhD on parasitic gastroenteritis in cattle at Ghent University in Belgium in 2008 and is a Foundation Diplomate of the European Veterinary Parasitology College. He is a past president of the British Cattle Veterinary Association and the British Association of Veterinary Parasitology. He is currently an Honorary Professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine at Glasgow University in Scotland. When not travelling, he spends his time on a small farm in Hertfordshire, where his wife, any of three sons, a flock of sheep and a dog live or on a small property on the shores of Loch Lomond.

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Treating Wildlife within the Law

Liz Mullineaux

As previously explained by Michael Stanford (The Webinar Vet 12th March), the legislation affecting wildlife rehabilitation can be problematic for both vets and rehabilitators, risking prosecution for both if not followed correctly. This webinar will make some suggestions, based upon the presenter’s personal experience, as to how vets can work alongside wildlife rescue centres in a practical way that both ensures animal welfare and fulfills the legislative requirements. Liz is a practicing vet who has been involved in wildlife rehabilitation for 20 years and holds a clinical doctorate in this subject. She is currently Scientific Advisor to Secret World Wildlife Rescue. Her main interest is the appropriate veterinary care of wildlife casualties. She is co-editor of the BSAVA Manual of Wildlife Casualties.

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Noise Phobias

Valerie Jonckheer-Sheehy

Year in, year out veterinary practices are inundated with questions from frantic dog owners about their anxious pets. Who gets challenged with these questions? You do. The Vet Nurse is the first in line to receive an array of challenging questions from desperate dog owners. Overwhelmed by the array of different techniques and products that can supposedly help to ameliorate this condition? During this webinar, Veterinary Behaviour Specialist, Dr Valerie Jonckheer-Sheehy will guide vet nurses on best practice advice regarding the treatment of Noise Phobia. She’ll give essential tips on recognising dogs suffering from this condition as not all dogs are as scared as they may seem to be at first glance and those that appear “ok” may not be. Dogs that are truly affected by this condition are stressed, their welfare is compromised and they must be treated to safeguard their well being. Furthermore, dogs suffering from a noise phobia may also be affected by other anxiety disorders. Correct handling of these cases is crucial
and will be discussed in detail during the webinar.

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Join the veterinary health informatics revolution – SAVSNET, ticks, antibacterials and effect of client deprivation

Alan Radford

The Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) was recently developed in the UK to improve companion animal-disease surveillance at local, regional and national scales by reusing data from participating veterinary laboratories and veterinary practices ( SAVSNET Ltd is a not-for-profit, charitable company, established between University of Liverpool and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA). SAVNSET collects anonymised electronic health records (EHRs) in real-time from participating veterinary practices using compatible versions of practice management software (currently PremVet, RoboVet and Teleos), on a consultation-by-consultation basis, including animal signalment (including species, breed, sex, neutering status, age, vaccination and treatment history, weight, insurance and microchipping status), clinical free text and owner’s post-code. A compulsory, single-question questionnaire is appended at the end of each consultation allowing the attending veterinary surgeon or nurse to categorise the main reason for the animals presentation (currently gastrointestinal, respiratory, pruritus, tumour, trauma, renal, “other sick”, vaccination, “other healthy” or post-operative check-up). This allows SAVSNET to collect a usable syndrome badge in real-time for every consultation. From labs the data gathered include for each test performed the species tested, sampling and diagnosis dates, sample type, diagnostic method and result, postcode area (first 1 or 2 letters of the postcode) of the submitting veterinarian. Here we will review how SAVSNET works and how people can benefit from participation, showcasing the work of SAVSNET using a pot pourri of recent outputs such as tick bites, firework phobia, rabbit health, effect of owner deprivation on health care, and the use of antibiotics in practice. Alan’s has two main interests in his research career. The first stems from his PhD and is on the genetic diversity and evolution of pathogens, especially viruses. Recent projects include canine parvovirus, canine coronavirus and feline calicivirus. He is currently working on a project to reappraise the role of old and potentially new pathogens in respiratory disease in dogs and cats. In working with these pathogens, Alan became aware of a distinct gap in knowledge concerning how common these pathogens are in veterinary practice, and whether some outbreaks of disease were being missed. This led Alan and colleagues to develop an interest in using big data to survey companion animal diseases, and ultimately to the establishment of SAVSNET (the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network – SAVSNET collects large volumes of anonymised data from participating veterinary practices and diagnostic laboratories, and uses it to identify significant trends in the diseases seen by veterinary surgeons in practice.

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Health Problems of Chelonians

Sean McCormack

Sean McCormack will discuss Health Problems of Chelonians. Sean qualified from University College Dublin Vet School after first studying an undergraduate degree in Animal Science at the University of Essex. He started his veterinary career working in a domestic, exotics and zoo practice in Kent. After working in a domestic and exotic pet practice in West London, he joined the team at Richmond Vets in November 2012 where he has set up a dedicated exotic pets service. Having studied Animal Science in Essex before his Veterinary degree, he has a broad base of knowledge in zoology, anatomy and physiology of a wide range of animal species. During Vet school he completed Zoo Medicine elective modules, with placement at Dublin Zoo and over the years has kept and bred a huge variety of reptiles, amphibians and other exotic pets. He is a member of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and the British Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS).