News Bites for 3 December 2021

US vets collaborate in first of its kind AMR study

 

Veterinarians in America are collaborating with researchers at South Dakota State University and the US Department of Agriculture on a study of antimicrobial use and resistance on commercial swine farms. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is classified by the World Health Organization as one of the greatest threats to human and animal health, global food production and agriculture.

 

The first of its kind project is notable for incorporating participation by industry, academic, government and public sources. As part of the study, veterinarians with Pipestone Veterinary Services will collect anonymised data taken from their swine farming clients to university researchers for bacterial isolation and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Initial results from the study are expected to be released in 2022, and it is hoped that the results will provide greater insight into antimicrobial resistance on animal health and production-related indicators.

 

While Australia is a world leader in minimising the use of antibiotics in food production animals, AMR may grow if we do not continue to improve our use and understanding of antimicrobials. Read more

 

University of Queensland Dayboro vet clinic to close

 

The University of Queensland (UQ) has announced plans to close its veterinary training clinic in Dayboro, north of Brisbane. UQ has proposed to consolidate and move its veterinary clinical teaching facilities to UQ Gatton. The proposed closure will bring an end to a 34-year-long journey of partnership centred on a shared passion for animal health, wellbeing and production.

 

“We’ve made some great memories with our patients, their terrific owners and the broader Dayboro community. From cats to goats, turtles to budgerigars, camels to pigs, we’ve seen it all, and we’ve been honoured to help save and care for countless animals. The clinic’s proposed closure will also impact our remarkable staff. Their tireless commitment and dedication has been the constant key to health and happiness for our clients. Over the years this clinic has changed the lives of thousands of animals and their families,” said Professor Nigel Perkins, Head of UQ’s School of Veterinary Science. Read more

 

Once-daily meal might have health benefits for dogs

 

A recent study from the University of Arizona suggests feeding certain breeds of dogs only once a day may help keep them cognitively sharp and prevent liver, pancreas and urinary tract disorders.

 

Researchers compared the effect of different feeding schedules on 24,238 dogs across nine broad health categories including cardiac, dental and neurological health. They also evaluated the impact of feeding frequency on cognitive function for over 10,000 dogs. After controlling for factors such as age, breed or sex, the researchers found that certain dog breeds that were given only a single meal per day appeared to have lower odds of nine types of age-related canine health problems, including cancer, dental issues, cognitive decline, and gastrointestinal, liver, kidney, or urinary disorders.

 

However, it is still too early to recommend that owners change their dog’s feeding regimes, with further research required into the role obesity plays in the development of age-related conditions. Read more

 

Veterinary shortage in the United Kingdom continues to bite

 

In the United Kingdom, people who are considering buying dogs and cats for Christmas are being asked to check if they have access to a vet before they buy due to the overwhelming vet shortages caused by Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, which is also potentially affecting meat supplies, according to a report in the Guardian.

 

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has urged caution after a rise in demand for veterinarians due to the increase in pet ownership during lockdowns and the UK’s new legal requirement for Brexit health checks on food exports to the EU.

 

The BVA’s comments come just days after the Food Standards Agency (FSA) warned meat and poultry producers that the shortage of meat inspection vets might impact the supply of meat over Christmas.

 

“If you are thinking, we should be having a puppy or a kitten or whatever, then part of the due diligence, really, of thinking ‘how am I going to look after that animal right through its life?’ would be to think, where will I access veterinary care for this animal?” said the BVA’s senior vice-president, James Russell. Read more