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Debriefing in small animal practice
Sadly, too many veterinary colleagues chose to end their own lives this past year, one of them a classmate of mine; being a veterinarian is a high-risk profession. We need to make a change!
To be accepted into veterinary studies, you need to excel in school. Only a chosen few among girls (and a few boys) succeed. We challenge each other to keep on excelling in the veterinary field.  
Post graduation, we struggle to cope with work from a psychological stand-point. We´re not ready for the day to day reality in work as small animal practitioners. Sometimes we fail: to find the right diagnosis; to save the animal; or, we even make mistakes, sometimes fatal.
We fear to be exposed in social media by dissatisfied clients.
We have spent five years learning to deal with complex medical issues and at best, a day or two on communication. 
When we lack the ability to deal with client dissatisfaction, fear, anxiety or grief it wears us down. Perhaps we label the client as an annoying client in the staff room, perhaps we even make a joke to distance ourselves from our communication break-down. It´s understandable . We are not trained for these situations and we´re expected to deal with them ourselves. With time, client meetings will run more smoothly but until then, we will risk becoming emotionally exhausted.
I think that we need reflection and debriefing in our profession, both at the university level and also as a routine component of small animal practice. This will provide us with the tools to help us in client communication.
Having a strong foundation at work through improved communication with clients will allow us to be better equipped to separate work and private life. We will be better equipped when personal matters become overwhelming like divorce, supporting bullied children or sick parents. We need to be trained to leave work behind mentally as well as physically when we walk out the door.
It´s about time to realize we need tutoring and debriefing in small animal practice. Just as obvious as we need to know ten differentials in a vomiting dog.  

Maria Karlsson, Swedish Specialist in Diseases of Dogs and Cats

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Karin Möstl, DVM
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Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat

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interactive CPD calendar for May and June!

FECAVA has formed a new Mental Health and Wellbeing Committee and our aim is to gather evidence on how mental health issues are affecting the profession in Europe by: recognising the different issues; sharing ideas; providing a place to signpost sources of information and developing a tool kit that can be adapted to individual practices and countries.
We will be sharing information and initiatives from each country every month in our newsletter. Mental Health and Wellbeing is an important topic for our profession and affects all who work in our practices: vets, nurses, animal care assistants and receptionists.
To start with, we would like to share this short piece that was recently published in the Veterinary Record in the UK about stress.
How do you deal with stress?  Is it spent with the dog, out walking, reading a book…take time out to do what works for you to relax.

Welfare story

During our first castration and neutering project in the Balkans, we treated a female dog with a vaginal tumour. Apart from the tumour, she also had a heavy vaginal discharge, but was otherwise in a relatively good condition. At the time, we had no idea what we were dealing with. Our projects in the Balkans continued and we encountered similar pathology in both female and male dogs with increasing frequency.
Volunteer Group SVSP

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On April 11-12 of this year, the European Board of Veterinary Specialization (EBVS) held its annual assembly in Brussels. EBVS President Jimmy Saunders welcomed representatives from the 27 EBVS™- recognized Colleges who had gathered together for a two-day meeting to discuss the current challenges, opportunities and future possibilities facing veterinary specialization in Europe and worldwide. The EBVS is continuously working with colleagues across the profession to improve the quality and access to specialist veterinary care and services. Guest speakers included FVE President Rafael Laguens, ESEVT Director Dr. Pierre Lekeux and Dr. William Fenner from the American Board of Veterinary Specialization. FECAVA Vice-President Denis Novak was invited to speak about the state of veterinary specialization in Eastern European countries and of the need to promote specialization in those countries where there is currently a lack of training opportunities for colleagues. Dr. Tatiana Krasnova and Dr. Alexander Subbotin from Russia followed and offered their perspective on the potential for growth of veterinary specializations and continuing education in Russia.
The fruitful meeting ended with the presentation of the EBVS award for outstanding contribution to veterinary specialization in Europe, that this year went to Dr. Jörg Andreas Auer, Diplomate of the European and American Colleges of Veterinary Surgery (DipECVS/DipACVS), a role model for many of us driving veterinary care to the highest possible level.

World animal vaccination day
On the initiative of HealthforAnimals and the World Veterinary Association, April 20 was proclaimed as World Animal Vaccination Day. It seems that nowadays we are forgetting how much benefits vaccines have brought us and millions of animal and human lives they have saved. The current state, where we achieved good control over some of infectious diseases, should not mislead us into thinking that diseases such as rabies, parvovirus, distemper, etc. are no longer a threat. Without vaccinations, this state may only be temporary.

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FECAVA president Wolfgang Dohne’s opinion on vaccinations in The Telegraph
Similar to human medicine, in veterinary field the “anti-wax” movement has pushed the percentage of vaccinated animals dangerously low and is thereby hurting the “herd immunity” of the population. The Telegraph has published Dohne’s insight on this problem and a worrying fact that certain diseases might re-emerge. He warns that veterinarians and pet owners must remember the severity of those diseases in order to ensure high vaccination rates and protection of the population.
EPRUMA best-practice framework for the use of vaccines in animals
The European Platform for the Responsible Use of Medicines in Animals has published a new publication on the use of vaccines. In their guidelines they wish to raise the awareness on the benefits of vaccinations and recommend best practice for vaccine use. They highlighted the importance of animal vaccinations as part of “One Health” plans in protecting against infectious diseases and important role vaccines play in reducing the need for antibiotics and combating antibiotic resistance.

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MSD changing Bravecto packaging with a pug in Belgium 
In an effort to improve the characteristics and wellbeing of brachycephalic breeds, it is inappropriate to use photos of these breeds for packaging and promo material. Belgium Small Animal Veterinary Association (SAVAB Flanders) has highlighted the issue to the MSD, which responded positively and changed the packaging of Bravecto chews for small dogs, that previously contained a picture of a pug.

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Irish Government is considering banning the sale of pups online
During the consultation on Irish animal welfare guidelines (which came into effect in January 2019), irregularities in animal welfare had been exposed and a lot of important submissions had been made. The Irish Government hopes to amend the Dog Breeding Establishment Act before the end of the year.

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Jane Ladlow received The Simon Award from BSAVA for her work on BOAS surgeries
The Simon Award is received by a BSAVA member for their special contributions in the field of veterinary surgery. Jane's main area of clinical research is brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome; the assessment of airway function in these dogs, and the development of effective surgical strategies for them. She is clinical lead of the BOAS Research Group at University of Cambridge, which is currently carrying out an important research about the development of the nostrils in brachycephalic breeds.
First reported case of likely dog-to-dog transmission of leishmaniosis in the UK
The RVC has recently diagnosed a case of leishmaniosis in a dog from the UK that has not traveled to endemic areas. Dog-to-dog transmission has previously been reported (dog bites from an infected dog, infected blood transfusions), but not in the UK. This case serves as a reminder to veterinarians, that alternatives to sand-fly transmissions exist and we must also pay attention to conditions like leishmaniosis in non-traveled dogs.

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FECAVA meetings with Corporates at BSAVA Congress
The 62nd annual BSAVA Congress was held at the beginning of April in Birmingham. It is the largest European event, offering small animal veterinary CPD. FECAVA was represented at the congress by President Wolfgang Dohne, Vice President Denis Novak, Honorary Treasurer Danny Holmes and FECAVA UK Director Patricia Colville. The FECAVA Team had various successful meetings with representatives of different corporate groups, providing veterinary services in the UK and in other European countries.


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