In the lead-up to the federal election the former federal government announced it would not provide $4 million in funding for a project submitted under the Caring for Country program by the Save The Tasmanian Devil Program. The Devil Island Project would have enabled the relocation of Tasmanian devils from insurance populations, that are free of the fatal facial fungal disease decimating the species in the wild, to be safely enclosed behind a 4.8km fence across the Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmania’s east coast. Similar plans are being prepared for a 40km barricade in the state’s north-west.
While he refused to commit to funding the project if the Coalition won government, federal environment minister Greg Hunt instead said his intention would be to work with Zoos Victoria and the Tasmanian government on a Tassie devil recovery program, and to: “work to preserve, protect and help the population of Tassie devils recover.” Continue reading Federal funding denied for devil program
Feline patients are notoriously challenging: some are difficult to handle, others become so stressed at the vet their blood glucose skyrockets, and the mere scent of a vet is enough to manifest profound physiological changes including pyrexia, tachypnoea and dyspnoea. But according to feline specialist Andrea Harvey, there is much the average vet can do to make cats more comfortable.
Harvey, a UK-qualified feline specialist who relocated to Australia last year, has been working in conjunction with the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) on its ‘Cat Friendly Clinic’ scheme since 2005.
The program is designed to provide veterinary clinics with educational resources to reduce the stress to cats visiting the vet, and acknowledging veterinary clinics that do make measures to make their clinics as least stressful as possible for cats.
“None of this is really rocket science,” Harvey said. “But I think that often as vets we are good at focusing on complex problems and missing the small simple things that make a big difference, and I am absolutely adamant that this forms an essential foundation for feline medicine.”
Harvey graduated from Bristol University in 2000, when feline medicine was in its infancy (the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, now the go-to publication on any feline affliction, was launched in 1999).
“I was exceptionally lucky to be mentored and inspired as an undergraduate by feline specialists such as Tim Gruffydd-Jones and Andy Sparkes around that time,” she said. “When I went out into practice I realised how much cats were still being treated like small dogs and second class citizens, and I just wanted to do a better job with them than that.” Continue reading Cat-friendly crusader Andrea Harvey
A University of Queensland trial of a new injectable treatment for canine cancer has shown early results in slowing down and ultimately reversing the growth of a tumour.
UQ PhD candidate and veterinarian Moira Brennan said the vaccine was in the early stages of testing and had apparently worked for its first patient, a dog with an inoperable terminal mast cell tumour.
“The treatment, which stimulates an immune response in the tumour, has been tolerated exceedingly well in the first dog trialled – a rottweiler named Jackson,” Brennan said.
“We were pleased that Jackson’s tumour, which had failed to respond to traditional chemotherapy, appears to have disappeared as a result of this experimental treatment.”
The long-term effects of the treatment are unknown, and Brennan is recruiting other dogs with untreatable mast cell tumour or malignant melanoma to join this trial. Continue reading Early canine cancer succes
About 75 per cent of dogs worldwide are free to roam and reproduce, thus creating locally overabundant populations. Problems caused by roaming dogs include diseases transmitted to livestock and humans, predation on livestock, attacks on humans, road traffic accidents, and nuisance behavior.
Nonsurgical fertility control is increasingly advocated as more cost-effective than surgical sterilization to manage dog populations and their impact.
The aims of this review were to 1) analyze trends in numbers of scientific publications on nonsurgical fertility control for dogs; 2) illustrate the spectrum of fertility inhibitors available for dogs; 3) examine how differences between confined and free-roaming dogs might affect the choice of fertility inhibitors to be used in dog population management; and 4) provide a framework of criteria to guide decisions regarding the use of nonsurgical fertility control for dog population management. Continue reading Nonsurgical fertility control for managing free-roaming dog populations: a review of products and criteria for field applications
A prospective clinical trial to compare the effects of age and reproductive status on postoperative pain was conducted in 145 female cats undergoing ovariohysterectomy using injectable anaesthesia. Continue reading Effects of age and reproductive status on postoperative pain after routine ovariohysterectomy in cats
With ram sale season in full swing, buyers are being urged to protect their flocks from unwanted diseases by asking for a Sheep Health Statement.
The SHS has been designed for use across Australia to help sheep producers in taking a risk-management approach to their farm biosecurity.
It provides information on flock history, Ovine Johne’s Disease vaccination and . . . → Read More: Snag a statement to protect your flock
Transport of animals is a stressful procedure often resulting in significant losses for the slaughter plant. This study aimed to determine whether or not pigs would benefit from a loading density (low density (LD)) (179 kg/m2) below the normal EU standard loading density (normal density (ND)) (235 kg/m2).
Eight similar, 550-km-long road journeys were followed in which fattening pigs were transported across Germany from farm to slaughter plant. During each journey all pigs were transported at LD (n=4) or ND (n=4). Continue reading The effect of reduced loading density on pig welfare during long distance transport
Veterinary and human drug pharmaceutical company Pfizer plans to close its Sydney manufacturing plant in two years.
The company’s Perth plant will not close.
Pfizer Australia has announced a phased exit of its West Ryde plant, affecting about 140 employees.
The plant produces tablets and capsules for animals and humans.
Manufacturing operations director Justin Mathie said the decision had been . . . → Read More: Pfizer to close Sydney plant
Have you ever had a case with symptoms that do not seem to make sense, where all the laboratory tests, radiographs and ultrasounds are normal, yet the animal is not well? Then perhaps it is time to expand your ability to diagnose and treat these cases with acupuncture.
Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body, which have the ability to alter various body functions to produce homeostasis. Acupuncture points differ from the surrounding skin, having a higher concentration of nerve bundles, blood vessels and lymphatics. Stimulating these points causes the release of many neurotransmitters and hormones, which in turn regulate the blood flow, normalise autonomic function and relieve pain.
Scientific studies have shown an increase in endorphins, an increase in red and white cell counts and an increase in cortisol levels in the blood stream after an acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture also relieves muscle spasms, stimulates nerve regeneration and stimulates the body’s defence mechanisms. Clinical evidence shows that acupuncture affects all major physiological systems of the body. It can be used alone or in conjunction with mainstream medicine and surgery, to achieve better patient outcomes. Continue reading Acupuncture update: thinking outside the square