My new passion is swimming, and I’m quite proud of it. I realise that to Australians this is about as interesting as the remarkably witty comment to Scots about “what’s under your kilt” whenever we wear one. But that’s the point?
Us poor Scottish people don’t do swimming. Although, like you, we live on an island; and although, like you, we’re a bit rough around the edges; unlike you, none of our watery bits ever gets above two degrees; and we’re simply not that rough and tough. Continue reading Kiwipost: Mark Bryan writes from New Zealand.
There’s something exciting about exploratory abdominal surgery. Whether you’re in small animal, large animal or exotics practice, you can’t always predict whether the procedure will be routine or whether you will “peek and shriek”, to borrow an increasingly popular phrase being bandied around at veterinary conferences and surgery workshops.
That element of the unknown is increased when dealing with wildlife species which traditionally receive less veterinary intervention – often not until they are at death’s door.
Wildlife species bred in captivity are monitored closely and represent a population for whom veterinary access and intervention are more accessible and potentially more timely. But when things go wrong with a captive-bred animal which just happens to be an endangered species, whose ongoing health and reproductive capacity is vital not only for the individual animal but for the future of their kind, there’s additional pressure to restore the animal to perfect health. Continue reading Clinical Zoo: Helping out a gecko with no name
Low food availability leading to reductions in Body Condition Score (BCS; 0 indicates emaciation and 5 obesity) in sheep often coincides with low temperatures associated with the onset of winter in New Zealand. The ability to adapt to reductions in environmental temperature may be impaired in animals with low BCS, in particular during pregnancy when metabolic . . . → Read More: Reduced cortisol and metabolic responses of thin ewes to an acute cold challenge in mid-pregnancy: implications for animal physiology and welfare
Veterinary specialist radiologist Graeme Allan will be awarded a Doctor in Veterinary Science (DVSc) this year in recognition of his prolific contribution to the field of veterinary diagnostic imaging.
The DVSc is a rare honour, awarded to outstanding researchers whose body of work is deemed to have made a consistent and distinguished contribution to veterinary science. Candidates submit a collection of original publications for assessment by examiners who are considered pre-eminent in their respective research field.
The unusual thing in Allan’s case is that his clinical research was undertaken while running a busy private specialist practice. As such he is the first Australian veterinarian in private practice to receive the DVSc by examination.
His thesis, ‘Radiological Studies of Disease in Companion and Zoo Animals’, is a compilation of more than 45 years of collaborative studies looking into a range of conditions, including pioneering studies on contrast radiography, oesophageal dysfunction, radiotherapy for treatment of cancer in companion animals right through to new forms of rickets in rex kittens, osteochondrosis in the cheetah and osteocondritis in snow leopards. Continue reading Veterinary radiologist receives highest academic honour
AIMS: To determine the perceptions of a sample of veterinarians in New Zealand regarding pain and pain management in rabbits and guinea pigs.
METHODS: Questionnaires were distributed to all members of the Companion Animal Society, part of the New Zealand Veterinary Association. The questionnaire gathered information on the demographics of respondents, obtained an assessment by veterinarians of the level of pain associated with clinical procedures for rabbits and guinea pigs, established the willingness of respondents to perform these, obtained information on the anaesthetics and analgesics used during these procedures, and the factors associated with selecting different types of drug.
The level of knowledge of respondents and interest in continuing education regarding pain recognition and management in these species was also assessed. Continue reading Attitudes towards perception and management of pain in rabbits and guinea pigs by a sample of veterinarians in New Zealand
New Zealand’s Massey University has led the wildlife response to the oil spill caused by the grounding of the Rena cargo ship on Astrolabe reef at the entrance to the port of Tauranga, in October.
The National Oiled Wildlife Response Team is trained, managed and co-ordinated by specialists at the university’s New Zealand Wildlife Health Centre in Palmerston North, under contract to Maritime New Zealand.
Its members include vets, pathologists and wildlife technicians. Regional councils around the country also contribute personnel.
Wildlife veterinarians Kerri Morgan and Helen McConnell co-ordinate the wildlife response and are assisted by other university veterinary staff, including Brett Gartrell and veterinary residents and technicians.
Gartrell, who manages the wildlife response facility, said staff have treated more than 400 animals at the centre.
“We have a three stage system to stabilise, clean and then rehabilitate animals,” he said. “All animals affected by the oil are washed but it takes a number of days for them to regain waterproofing.”
Birds with specific health issues are held in an intensive care unit led by one of four Massey vets. Massey wildlife veterinarian Micah Jensen said the birds the unit have treated have had a range of ailments.
“There are birds that have picked up respiratory infections, one had a cloacal prolapse, another had a corneal ulcer,” Jensen said. Continue reading Massey vets on hand for oil spill response
We arrived at a dairy farm the other day to find out just how much of a shambles dairy farming currently is in New Zealand. Of course, we all know things are changing fast, but none of us ever guessed it could slump so low.
There were three of us, on farm at 4AM, to pregnancy scan and record an 800 cow herd. We pulled most of the gear out of the car, got set up, and went back to the car to find we had managed to somehow lock it with our car keys and –most distressing of all- all our phones inside.
No problem, we had most of our gear and could carry on scanning while someone broke into it and unlocked it. Plenty of half-employed drongos on a dairy farm to do this in five minutes. So we started up scanning.
But modern dairy farms have changed. And, when it comes to a bit of breaking and entry, not for the better. Nobody employs drongos anymore. These days on Kiwi dairy farms the vast majority of staff are likely to be from overseas and have a tertiary degree. So, if they’re not from Europe with a science degree, they’re from the Phillipines with a veterinary degree, or Asia with an agricultural degree.
So, a little over 3 hours later when we came to wash up we found that nobody had broken into our car because nobody had any idea how to. Worst still, even if they could, it would be simply unthinkable for them to carry out such a wanton act of crime. On the farm that day, including us, were 8 people from 7 nationalities with at least 9 degrees amongst us, and not a single Kiwi. Continue reading Kiwi Post July 2011
In a consignment of sheep brains from NZ, to be used in Europe as negative control material in scrapie rapid screening test evaluations, brain samples from 1 sheep (no. 1512) gave the following initially confusing results in various screening tests: the brainstem repeatedly produced negative results in 2 very similar screening kits (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA]-1, ELISA-2), . . . → Read More: Atypical scrapie/Nor98 in a sheep from New Zealand
The recent earthquake in New Zealand’s second largest city, Christchurch, rated a bone-rattling 7.1 on the Richter scale – the same as San Francisco’s 1989 quake and larger than Haiti’s January quake. It occurred along a previously unknown fault line and sent sleeping residents into full earthquake defence mode.
Animals affected by the quake also suffered 40 seconds of thunderous rocking and rolling. Many animals simply fled, and 497 cats and dogs were registered with the Canterbury SPCA Track-A-Pet service, from when the quake struck on the fourth, to the 30 September (compared to just 81 in the previous year). Cats made up 90 per cent of this total because they were free to just ‘take off’. Dogs were less able to flee because of their confinement. Just two people were injured, no-one was killed, and a few animals suffered minor injuries from falling objects.
Happily, 246 animals were reunited with their owners in September alone, either by using the SPCA Track-A-Pet service or by returning home voluntarily. Continue reading Panicked pets flee from quake
For the fifth consecutive year, veterinary students at Massey University, New Zealand, have shed their clothes to pose for a “tasteful” fund-raising calendar.
Proceeds from NZ vet nudes with a cause the sale of the Barely There 2010-2011 calendar will pay for the students’ traditional “halfway-mark” trip, where they will participate in team-building exercises such as caving and . . . → Read More: NZ Vet nudes with a cause