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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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New online dental resource for vets and horse owners

News Story 1
 The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has launched a new online dental resource for vets and horse owners.

The veterinary section of the resource is aimed at primary practice equine vets who are performing dentals for clients as part of a routine care programme. Information includes 'how to perform a thorough oral exam,' guidelines for charting, and a list of BEVA equine vets with postgraduate qualifications in equine dentistry.

Free to BEVA members, the new resource is supported by a range of practical courses, veterinary CPD, workshops and webinars. To find out more visit the BEVA website 

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Bristol Veterinary School is hosting an event for aspiring vets and vet nurses, to allow them to experience life as a student and find out what itís like to work in veterinary medicine. The one-day event, called VetQuest, will be held at the Langford Campus and includes a tour, talks on admissions and work experience, and the chance to take part in practical sessions. Taking place on Saturday 27 October, the event is primarily aimed at 11-12 year olds and costs £50, including lunch. There are a limited number of subsidised tickets for £10. To book, visit VetQuest 2018