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Pet owners with heart failure ‘less likely to be readmitted’
Thirty-four per cent of pet owners were readmitted within 60 days, compared to 53 per cent of non-pet owners.
Study suggests higher proportion of non-pet owners are readmitted 

New research suggests that patients with heart failure are less likely to be readmitted to hospital within 60 days if they are pet owners.

Out of 191 patients who took part, 44 owned at least one cat or dog, while 147 did not. Findings published by the Animals & Society Institute suggest 34 per cent of pet owners were readmitted within 60 days, compared to 53 per cent of non-pet owners.

Internal medicine specialist Dr Lili Barsky carried out phone interviews with patients who were admitted to hospital between January 2015 and March 2017. A chi-square test was used to investigate correlations with readmission rates, demographic attributes and clinical attributes between pet owners and non-pet owners.

According to the research paper, no correlation was observed between readmission rates and the variables of pet species or the number owned, socioeconomic class, age, gender, alcohol and tobacco use, ejection fraction, coronary artery disease and clinical management.

Although pet owners tended to be younger, there was no significant difference in the other attributes. Both the readmitted and non-readmitted pet owners endorsed comparable levels of stress and happiness associated with their animals, and identified their pets as ‘companions’.

Enquiring about pet ownership and experience could also be a useful tool in building rapport between patients and physicians, Dr Barsky concluded.

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.