Veterinary News Crunch Weekly Digest – 22 May 2020
Nevada veterinarians OKed to assist human docs amid COVID-19
Nevada state governor, Steve Sisolak has announced that veterinarians in the state are able to volunteer with the Battle Born Medical Corps. They’ll be helping to battle COVID-19 by patient monitoring, vaccine administration, and more.
The proposal written by Jon Pennell, MS, DVM, and Leonard Cooper, DVM says: “By including veterinary professionals in the Battle Born Medical Corps and permitting the profession to serve within public health departments, hospitals, and medical facilities, veterinary responders will be poised to alleviate the burden on and collaborate with interprofessional emergency response teams during this public health crisis,”
Sniffer dogs could join battle against COVID-19
Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Durham University, alongside charity Medical Detection Dogs, have begun researching and planning how they can train dogs to sniff out signs of COVID-19. They have previously shown that dogs can sniff out the symptoms of malaria and so the teams are hoping to provide these sniffer dogs to airports where they can identify signs of the virus of incoming travelers.
Medical Detection Dogs CEO and co-founder Dr Claire Guest said: “In principle, we’re sure that dogs could detect COVID-19. We are now looking into how we can safely catch the odour of the virus from patients and present it to the dogs. The aim is that dogs will be able to screen anyone, including those who are asymptomatic and tell us whether they need to be tested. This would be fast, effective and non-invasive.”
RCVS releases report on second COVID impact survey
Looking at the impact of COVID-19 on the veterinary industry, RCVS has released a second report detailing the trends of business and workers. 251 responses were gathered showing the differences from the first report released in April:
“Fewer practices being affected by veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses having to self-isolate with suspected COVID or COVID-like symptoms. In the April survey some 30 percent of respondent practices were affected by this compared to 20 percent in the May survey.
A majority of respondent practices (69 percent) were seeing a reduced caseload, including some routine work, whilst 26 percent had limited their caseload to emergencies only. In the April survey, the overwhelming majority of respondent practices (97 percent) had limited their caseloads to emergency or urgent cases only. This change may be attributed to the fact that, on 9 April, the RCVS released a new framework to help veterinary professionals decide what treatments it is appropriate to carry out during the pandemic.
There has been an improvement in practice turnover with the most frequent response from respondents (46 percent) being that there had been a 25 percent to 50 percent drop in turnover, while just 6 percent of practices reported a more than 75 percent reduction in turnover. In the April survey 42 percent of respondents reported a 51 percent to 75 percent fall in turnover, while 24 percent of respondents reported a fall in turnover of more than 75 percent.”
Lizzie Lockett, RCVS CEO, said: “This latest survey has identified some positive trends in terms of a slight uptick in business, including turnover, and fewer incidences of staff having to take time off with COVID or COVID-like symptoms.”
New veterinary colleges aim to open in COVID-19 era
With the lockdown due to COVID-19 slowing production in business around the world, two new veterinary colleges are still aiming to open amid the chaos. Officials from Long Island University (LIU) and the University of Arizona say that they are still on track to welcome their first veterinary students in August however they are questioning how this course will be taught – in person or through online lessons.
Randy Burd, senior vice president for academic affairs at LIU said: “[A] full inaugural class of 100 highly competitive students are registered and will begin their studies in August. Like other colleges and universities in the New York metropolitan area, we are developing plans to ensure compliance with federal, state and local guidelines that may be in place for on-campus learning in the fall. With the health and safety of our students top of mind, we are also preparing for various COVID-19-related contingencies to ensure our fall semester proceeds as scheduled.”
‘Dog not just for lockdown’ campaign as puppy searches jump 120%
After searches for a new puppy in the UK increased by 120%, dog charity Dogs Trust has changed its slogan from ‘A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas’ to ‘A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Lockdown’. They have also released a quiz for people searching for a puppy which allows them to see if they really are ready for the commitment of owning a dog.
Owen Sharp, Dogs Trust’s Chief Executive said: “We’re encouraging potential dog owners to carry out our new test to see if you’re Dog Ready. Are you ready to be chief pooper scooper? Are you ready to forego a lie in ever again? As well as more serious questions around vet treatment and preparing for emergencies.”
SPVS 2020 Salary Survey released
The Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) has published its survey from 1,582 respondents from across the veterinary profession to show the pay benchmarking tool.
The findings show:
- “typical package for a first-year vet is worth £33,500
- across all respondents the median value of the salary package was £46,400 for small animal/exotic vets
- in equine practice it was £42,206
- in mixed practice it was £40,333
- median salaries for qualified nurses ranged from £21,663 to £28,875 depending on seniority”
SPVS said the survey “will undoubtedly be a useful benchmark as the profession grapples with new ways of working that are likely to be with us for many months to come”.
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