Editorial Being a veterinary clinician can be one of the most exciting and satisfying jobs. These two words come after two others: hard and challenging. If we add the word: allergy, then things can get more complicated. Throughout history, itch has been a major concern for owners and clinicians. Ruling out the different aetiologies, searching for an accurate diagnosis followed by an adequate protocol therapy is the main goal of every medical discipline. Many advances have been made in allergic diseases in dogs and cats in the past two decades. Still, as a chronic and relapsing disease, allergic dermatitis can be frustrating and disappointing for practitioners and owners. In the era of global communication and social media, people have become more demanding for results and sometimes suspicious to the ordinary medical approach. On the other hand, alternative diagnostic tools and new therapy methods are getting more and more popular.
As scientists, it’s our duty to have a critical approach to every diagnostic tool we use in order to offer an accurate diagnostics. Nevertheless, in dermatology practice, some tools are often overused and misinterpreted: two common and generalized examples are the use of IgE serology for Atopic dermatitis or Western Blot method for AFR diagnosis, respectively. The lack of appropriate diagnosis and fear of medical treatment’s side effects create a wide range of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). The promise of ‘natural approach’ or ‘no side effects therapy’ makes them so attractive to society more reactionary to the ‘industry’. Even in the case of usefulness, very little is published on veterinary literature and very few RCT (Randomize Control Trials) studies have been done. If the world trend is to normalize these methods, then we must find some kind of balance between the right application of evidence-based dermatology and a serious scientific approach to CAM.
We all have pet hates – everyone does; it’s quite normal.
For example: when someone takes the last packet of flea product off the dispensary shelf and doesn’t list it for re-ordering; or, dirty dishes are left in the staff room sink after lunch; or, someone doesn’t refill the kettle for the next person (who only has a 2 minute break during afternoon consults)...
It is not good when those pet hates start to fester and produce negative emotions. It’s hard to be positive all the time…or at least I think it is. And, it is alright to have negative thoughts but having them hour after hour or day after day can really have an impact on how you’re feeling and your mental health. Sometimes it can be too easy to slip into negativity without recognising it.
If you want to reduce negative behaviours then encourage the positive ones – in yourself first and then in the rest of the team.
If you start to feel overwhelmed with negative thoughts, look around you and appreciate the simple things, even if it’s only for a few minutes; maybe it’s a dog playing with a ball in the park or it’s the wind and rain whistling in the trees. Smile and saying hello to someone as you walk down the street – try it! It’s amazing how people, who are strangers, then smile back. Help someone else – that may be helping someone onto the bus or giving up your seat on the busy underground for someone who is laden with bags.
Direct your attentions away from the negative thoughts and flip them on their head.
There is a caveat to this which we need to be aware of...occasionally, our negative thoughts can help focus us or make us determined to make a change, so do check-in the reason for the negative thought - if it justified then make a note what needs to change and how and then move on – don’t dwell on it.
Chair, FECAVA Mental Helath & Wellbeing Working Group
In 2009, the Law of Animal Welfare in Serbia was established. I deliberately say “established” instead of “implemented”, because now in 2019, even after ten years, we are still waiting for this law to fully come to life.
According to many experts, the Law of Animal Welfare is one of the best in the Balkans region, and even in the EU. This is a “no kill” law. On one hand, it aims to deal with stray dog and cat population problems humanely by providing the necessary framework for the CNR (catch – neuter-release) program to develop. On the other hand, it protects companion animals from the “free will” of the owner to euthanize the dog or the cat just because they are moving or are having a baby.
The 44th World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress was held from July 16to 19, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.
One day before the Congress, the VIP Summit meeting was held. The main topics of the meeting were regional inequities in the availability of veterinary medicines which result in differing abilities of animal healthcare professionals to provide appropriate animal care. The lack of essential medicines can have a substantial negative impact on animal welfare. The Joint Position Statement on Regulatory Harmonization was signed by WSAVA. FECAVA, represented by its President Wolfgang Dohne and Vice President Denis Novak, indicated its support to the Joint Position Statement.
As part of the Congress Program, FECAVA’s past President Monique Megens gave a presentation on the effects of selective breeding on the health and welfare of the dogs with extreme conformations.
The second joint meeting of the Federation of Asian Small Animal Veterinary Associations (FASAVA) and FECAVA with their respective Presidents Dr. Geoffry Chen from China and Wolfgang Dohne from UK was also held at the Congress. Discussed items included: Congress protocols, canine Vector borne diseases and invitations to future continental conferences.
Next year, the joint WSAVA / FECAVA Congress will be held from September 23 to 26 in Warsaw, Poland. We are also happy to announce that the next joint WSAVA / FECAVA Congress was confirmed. It will be hosted in 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal.
Didier-Noël Carlotti Award Laureate
We are happy to announce this year's Didier-Noël Carlotti Award (DCA) laureate - Assistant Professor Dr. Bogdan-Alexandru Vitalaru from Romania.
He was selected for the Award by the DCA Committee and will receive it at the opening ceremony of the 25th FECAVA EuroCongress in St. Petersburg.
In Ceuta, a case of rabies diagnosed in a puppy arrived from Morocco
Ceuta, the Spanish autonomous city on the north coast of Africa, has confirmed a case of rabies this June in a three-month-old puppy, which was illegally brought to a shelter from Morocco. The facilities, where the puppy was kept were closed and over 100 animals were quarantined and some killed. 36 people in relation to the facilities have been evaluated and vaccinated if necessary. Although the city has extended the operational vaccination campaign, it is free and mandatory for all cats, dogs and ferrets.
This is the first case of rabies in Ceuta after 2012, when it was confirmed in a stray dog. The authorities are now investigating the border control failure and plan to reinforce it. Check for more >>> Check for more>>>
World rabies day 2019 – Rabies: Vaccinate to Eliminate
September 28, 2019 will be the 13th World Rabies Day, the global day of action and raising awareness for prevention of rabies. This year’s theme focuses on vaccination and holds the title Rabies: Vaccinate to Eliminate. It is important to be aware that we can each contribute in our way to the global fight against this devastating disease.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has prepared fact sheets, easy-to-use tools and videos, which are available to all for use and sharing the information: Check for more>>> You can also organise an event and register it with the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) to publicise it more globally. To plan and promote your event, check the GARC web page: Check for more>>>
The 5th meeting of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare
The 5th meeting of the Animal Welfare Platform took place on June 18 in Brussels. It was the penultimate one for the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, who announced the extension of the Platform until June 2021.
The presentation of the results of the Commission Control Plan for the official controls on online sales of dogs and cats was among the topics on companion animals. Check for more>>>
A bill to increase jail sentences for animal cruelty cases in the UK
New legislation has been laid before British parliament on June 26, which could punish the worst animal abusers with tougher prison sentences. The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill would increase maximum jail sentences for animal abusers to five years (from the current six months) which would make it one of the toughest punishments in Europe. If passed into law, it will come into effect in two months after it receives Royal Assent. Check for more >>> Check for more>>>
French video campaign against abandonment of pets
More than 100.000 animals are abandoned in France every year, which is more than in any other European country. The problem reaches its peak during the summer holidays with more than 60.000 cases. In a new video campaign, released before summer, the animal protection association la Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis is using the hashtag #NonAlAbandon (No to Abandonment), trying to shock and raise awareness of the problem. Check for more >>>
Global repository of available guidelines for responsible use of antimicrobials in animal health
The World Veterinary Association (WVO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) created a global repository of available guidelines for responsible use of antimicrobials in animal health, in order to serve veterinarians in their fight against antimicrobial resistance. The list currently contains 75 guidelines, action plans and promotional material on prudent use of antimicrobials from different countries, listing the authors, language and the species covered. The list will be continuously updated. Check for more >>>
New fitness test for pugs from Germany
Over the last two years, the German kennel club (VDH) has been working with the Federal Veterinary Chamber and the German Veterinary Society to introduce measures to improve the health of the breed. Professor Dr. Ingo Nolte of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover has developed a standardized, treadmill fitness test, which is carried out under strictly controlled conditions. The aim is to establish the healthiest possible pool of pugs for breeding.
The test can now be conducted at the veterinary medicine faculties of the universities in Gießen, Hannover, Leipzig and Munich. The German Society for the Support of Canine Research (GKF) is funding the test, so it is offered free of charge for the next two years.
The French Kennel Club Société Centrale Canine (SCC) has presented the biennial health report for the years 2017 and 2018, that takes stock of the health of the dogs registered in the L.O.F. (Livre des origins français or the Book of French Origin is a French listing of purebred dogs). The report shows the incidence of important genetic diseases in French dogs: hip and elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, hereditary eye diseases and deafness. Included is also an updated list of genetic tests, listed by breeds, that have been validated by the Scientific Commission of the SCC. Check for more>>>
FEDIAF’s statistics on the European pet industry
At its Annual General Meeting in Prague, the European Pet Food Federation (FEDIAF) released its yearly statistics on the European pet industry “Facts & Figures 2018”, which is showing overall sales growth. According to the report, there are approximately 75.3 million cats and 65.5 million dogs living in the European Union, and 103.8 million cats and 85.2 million dogs throughout all of Europe. Figures show that pet owners remain committed to providing good nutrition and care for their pets. Check for more >>>
Final Report of 87th OIE General Session
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has published the Final Report from its 87th General Session, which was held in Paris from May 26 to 31 under the chairmanship of Dr Mark Schipp (Australia), President of the Assembly.
The 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW), organized by the International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) and the Kennel Club, was held from May 30 to June 1 in Windsor, UK. Major goals of the IDHWs are to promote collaboration and networking and sharing of information and resources. Posters from the workshop are now available on the IPFD webpage (registration is required): Check for more>>>
New SVK-ASMPA Position paper on ticks in dogs and cats
The Swiss Association for Small Animal Medicine (SVK-ASMPA) has published a new Position paper on ticks in dogs and cats, which was created in cooperation with European Scientific Counsel Companion Animal Parasites (ESCCAP). The document is available in German language: Check for more>>>