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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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Charity reveals it treated thousands of pets with dental issues last year

News Story 1
 Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has revealed that its veterinary team performs dental procedures on more than 170 animals every month. Last year the charity says it extracted hundreds of teeth from more than 800 animals and carried out thousands of routine scales and polishes.

To combat the problem, Battersea is urging pet owners to get regular dental checks at their vets, implement a daily oral care routine, feed a good dental chew and only give toys that are designed for dogs, including gentle rubber toys that are less wearing on the teeth. 

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Voting opens for RCVS council elections

Eligible veterinary surgeons can now vote in this year’s RCVS Council elections. Four out of the 10 candidates are already on council and are standing for re-election: David Catlow, Mandisa Greene, Neil Smith, Susan Paterson. The remaining six candidates are not currently on council: John C Davies, Karlien Heyman, John Innes, Thomas Lonsdale, Matthew Plumtree and Iain Richards.

Further information on the candidates can be found on the RCVS website: