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Dogs Trust issues call for research funding applications

With a deadline of the 25th of March 2020, Dogs Trust, a UK dog welfare charity, is calling for preliminary applications from researchers seeking funding for projects which positively impact dog welfare. These include: The genetic basis of disease or reduced welfare in dogs, canine behaviour, healthy ageing in dogs, epidemiology of disease and the welfare of dogs suffering from chronic diseases.

Paula Boyden the Dogs Trust Veterinary Directo said: “Applications for projects can cover an enormous range of topics, so long as the focus remains on improving our understanding of dog welfare. In the past, we have seen research that has looked into the health risks of breeding dogs with short muzzles and another led to the discovery of a genetic variant that predisposes some dogs to the agonising condition Syringomyelia.”

“The applications we receive will go through a rigorous two stage assessment process. We accept projects with timeframes of between approximately one and three years, depending on the subject area.”

Bushfire smoke kills animals living far away from fire zones

Wildlife researchers from Charles Sturt University have found that the Australian Smoky Mouse is the first animal from an area outside of the fire burn zones to die due to inhaling the toxic smoke from the bushfires. These mice were over 20 kilometres away from the burn zones. The researchers warn that the deaths of these mice present major concerns for the ongoing bushfire conservation interventions. 

Dr Andrew Peters, one of the researchers on the team said: “Now that we know that bushfire smoke can kill wildlife at large distances from the fires, it is possible wildlife have been impacted across far greater areas of Australia than previously thought.”

Covid-19: BVA responds to report of human-to-animal transmission in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) reported that a pet pomeranian dog had tested positive for the Covid-19 virus and had been placed in isolation. The infection is likely because of a human-to-animal transmission. 

In response to this, the British Veterinary Association Daniella Dos Santos president said: “We are particularly keen not to cause any unnecessary concern that could lead to pet abandonment. We would emphasise that at the moment, there remains no evidence that pet animals can be a source of infection of Covid-19 for humans or other animals, or that they become sick. The main source of infection remains human-to-human transmission. Our advice for pet owners who have been instructed to self-isolate because of infection or risk of infection with Covid-19 is to keep your pets isolated with you but restrict your contact with them as a precautionary measure until more information is known about the virus and routes of transmission. Practising good hygiene is absolutely essential. Owners should always wash their hands before and after any interaction with an animal and avoid being licked by their pet. If a pet shows clinical signs, please do not take it to the vet; call your vet practice for further advice.”

For more advice on Covid-19, please visit this website:

Feline-friendly tactics help boost the bottom line

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) released their findings on a study that shows the results of its 2019 Cat Friendly Practice survey. The Cat Friendly Practice is an instructional program by the AAFP that helps practices reduce the stress in cats and increases their welfare. The results show that practices who were a ‘Cat Friendly Practice’ saw a 98 percent satisfaction rate, 82 percent reported seeing increased visits from cat patients since implementing the program and 78 percent said they had seen a boost in revenue.

Heather O’Steen, CAE, chief executive officer of AAFP said: “Implementing just a few simple, cat-friendly strategies can make a huge difference in the experience for the cat, caregiver, and your entire veterinary team,”

Bill battles student debt crisis in US

US Congress has introduced the Veterinary Education and Training Minimizes Educational Debt (VET MED) Act (HR 6134) which means that veterinarians will be able to defer student loans while completing residency programs, interest-free.

Kurt Schrader, a representative from Oregon and supporter of the act said: “There is a debt crisis in the veterinary community. “This bill will help ease the repayment burden by allowing recent graduates to defer their loans while they are in residency and internship programs. This is an important step in fostering the talents of the next generation of veterinarians.”

RCVS offers COVID-19 guidance

The Royal College of Veterinary Science (RSVC) has produced a document offering advice and reassurance to veterinarians about the Covid-19 outbreak. The document says: “Our guidance is designed to be workable and applicable to wide-ranging scenarios, and is there to support you to effectively risk assess, and make clinical and professional judgements relevant to the context before you. However, we acknowledge that in these exceptional circumstances, you may need to depart from the best practice advice set out in the guidance in order to safeguard yourself and your colleagues, as well as public health.”

To read the document, please click here:

Student-led vet charity hits road

Veterinary students from the University of Nottingham and veterinary nursing students at Nottingham Trent University have launched a charity called Vets in the Community after three years of community funding. This is a fully-equipped mobile clinic that will allow students from any year to go around Nottingham to give veterinary help to those in need. The students will be under supervision from the university-based clinicians. The services this charity will give out to the homeless and vulnerably housed individuals include; vaccines, microchips and flea and worm treatments.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public

If you are worried about the outbreak of Covid-19, please visit this website for advice on how to avoid infection, how to spread infection and what to do if you are infected.

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