Veterinary News Crunch Weekly Digest – 1 May 2020
COVID-19—Students lift each other up through social media
“Although social media is often associated with poor mental health because of bullying and negative posts, I am genuinely thrilled to see how veterinary students are using it to become a positive voice during this pandemic.”
Check out this article written by one of our VetX Thrivers, the recently graduated Trusten Moore on how veterinary students across the United States are lifting each other up using social media!
Rule out common illnesses before testing for COVID-19, AVMA says
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has stated that veterinarians should consult public and animal health officials before testing animals for COVID-19. Instead, the AVMA calls on veterinarians to first rule out any other common illnesses beforehand.
An excerpt of the statement reads: “The clinical picture of SARS-CoV-2 infection in animals is not well-described, because there have been so very few cases in animals,” the association said in a statement.
“Based on what is known from experimentally induced SARS-CoV-2 infections in animals; those few SARS-CoV-2 infections that animals have incidentally acquired from people; and what is known about other coronaviruses (including SARS-CoV-1), animals may present with a combination of fever, lethargy, and clinical signs of respiratory (e.g. coughing, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, nasal discharge) and/or gastrointestinal (e.g. vomiting, diarrhea) illness.
“These clinical signs are not at all unique to SARS-CoV-2 and, as such, veterinarians are strongly encouraged to rule out more common causes of these clinical signs in animals before considering testing for SARS-CoV-2.”
Coronavirus testing now available for vets and VNs in England
The UK Government has now included the veterinary sector in those that can apply for testing of coronavirus. Veterinary workers who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 can book a test online to either be tested at a drive-through station or take one at home. Test results will be sent back after a maximum of 72 hours.
Environment secretary George Eustice said: “We recognise the vital role our key workers play in supporting our nation at this challenging time, and have already introduced a series of measures to support those working in the food and drink, waste, water and veterinary medicines sectors. Testing is now open to all employees in these critical industries and to members of their households who are showing symptoms. This means those who do not test positive are able to return to work as quickly as possible.”
You can book a test here: https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/
BSAVA publishes vaccination and neutering advice for practice clients during lockdown
The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) has published advice for veterinary clients to help them understand whether or not their pet can be neutered or vaccinated during the lockdown. This advice has been produced in an easy-to-read format.
Professor Ian Ramsey vice president of BSAVA said: “These information sheets should give concerned pet owners the knowledge and reassurance they need about vaccination and neutering protocols during the challenging circumstances of COVID-19 lockdown. Produced by the profession, for the profession, they should help busy practitioners in their communication and support for their clients. As Government guidance continues to evolve, we will update the documents accordingly, to ensure pet owners always have access to the latest information to support the health and welfare of their pets.”
You can download the advice here: https://www.bsava.com/Portals/0/resources/documents/vaccination-guide-pf.pdf?ver=2020-04-23-163829-607 https://www.bsava.com/Portals/0/resources/documents/neutering-guide-pf.pdf?ver=2020-04-23-163821-027
Additional tigers, lions at Bronx Zoo test positive for SARS-CoV-2
Since having one tiger test positive for COVID-19 at a zoo in New York, health officials have found that other tigers and lions at the zoo have also been infected with the disease. Using a new form of testing using faecal matter instead of anaesthesia, six additional big cats have tested positive. It is thought that these animals were infected by a zookeeper who had coronavirus but was asymptomatic.
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) made a statement saying: “We tested the tigers and lions out of an abundance of caution and will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus. The testing of these cats was done in veterinary laboratories and resources used did not take from those being used for human testing,”
RCVS staff and Council members raise over £3,500 for homelessness charity
The staff and council members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) accomplished a virtual relay race for charity, raising over £3500 for Shelter, a charity that provides help and advice for those facing homelessness. 47 members of the RCVS, including RCVS President Niall Connell, walked, ran, cycled or mobile scootered 2.6 miles each sharing their accomplishment using the hashtag #TwoPointSixChallenge.
Niall Connell said: “This is an amazing achievement and I am very glad I could do my part in scootering the distance that others variously ran, walked and cycled in order to raise money for this very worthy and important charity. As a housing charity Shelter has been hearing from more and more people who, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, are worried about losing their jobs and their homes, getting into debt and keeping their families safe and so we are very glad to help them meet this increased demand for help. I am particularly grateful to the many people who have made a donation so far as a result of the relay, particularly during these straitened times. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.”