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Families of infected animals may suffer the most
birds
Scientists studied cormorant-like birds during breeding season on the Isle of May National Nature Reserve.

Edinburgh scientists explore wild seabird infections
 
For the first time, research suggests parasite infections in some wild seabirds can have a serious impact on how well their relatives do - having a greater impact on them than the infected birds themselves.

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh say their findings could also have implications for the conservation of other wild animals.

While it is not clear why infections in some birds can affect others, researchers suggest it may be due to the impact it has on the ability to nurture young, or the fact that infected chicks need more care.

Edinburgh scientists worked with those from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. They studied cormorant-like birds during breeding season on the Isle of May National Nature Reserve, off the east coast of Scotland.

Worm infections in parent birds or their nestlings were found to have a greater impact on others in the family group, than the infected birds themselves.

In their experiments, the researchers treated either the parents or chicks with anti-worming injections. They discovered this could have positive results for others in the nest.

When parents were treated, chicks born early in the breeding season had improve survival chances. If chicks born early in the season received treatment, their parents gained weight. Parents of the treated chicks also went on to breed earlier in the next breeding season, giving those offspring a better chance of survival.

However, chicks born later in the season to parents that had received worming treatments were found to have a slightly poorer chance of survival, while the parents of treated chicks born late in the season went our to lose weight.

Scientists suggest this may be due to the fact that those born later are more at risk of secondary infection, and food is in short supply.

Lead researcher Hanna Granroth-Wilding said: "Our knowledge of disease in wild animals has tended to focus on the individual, but our study shows that we need to pay more attention to the broader consequences of disease to fully appreciate the role that it plays in wild populations, especially those whose numbers may be under threat."

Image © Mark Newell

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ISFM announces first veterinary nurse conference

News Story 1
 The International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) - the veterinary division of International Cat Care - has announced its first annual conference dedicated to veterinary nurses. The day offers an opportunity to meet up with colleagues and enjoy more than five hours of stimulating CPD.

The conference is being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Stratford-Upon-Avon, on Saturday 15 September 2018. Tickets are £95 per person and include lunch, coffee breaks, downloadable proceedings and CPD certificate. For details and to book your place visit www.eventbrite.co.uk  

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WSAVA awards Australian vet with 'Next Generation’ award

Australian vet Dr Guyan Weerasinghe has been crowned winner of the WSAVA ‘Next Generation’ Veterinary Award. The award recognises those who graduated within the last 10 years and have made a significant contribution to the welfare of companion animals and the veterinary profession as a whole.

Besides maintaining a small animal caseload, Dr Weerasinghe works for the Queensland Government’s Department of Agriculture where he is involved with animal disease surveillance and increasing the public health risks in veterinary practice. He also collaborates on various One Health projects across Australia and gives regular talks on the impact of climate change on animal health and welfare.

Dr Weerasinghe will receive his award at the WSAVA World Congress 2018 (25-28 September).