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New blood test to help vets spot liver disease in dogs
Out of 250 dogs tested, those with liver disease were found to have significantly higher levels of miR-122.
Test created using insights from human medicine 

Vets and doctors have teamed up to develop a blood test that could spot the early signs of liver disease in dogs.

The test is set to be launched worldwide and could help vets to identify damage and start treatment early.

As well as saving many lives, it will reduce the number of dogs that have to undergo invasive liver biopsies, according to the University of Edinburgh.

Diagnosis of liver disease in dogs is challenging and spotting the early signs of damage is key to treatment. Current diagnosis is based on biopsies, which are expensive and can lead to complications.

Vets at the University’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies worked with medical doctors to look at blood levels of the molecule miR-122 in dogs. In humans with liver disease, the molecule is found in high levels.

Out of 250 dogs tested, those with liver disease were found to have significantly higher levels of miR-122, compared with healthy dogs and those with different diseases that did not affect the liver.

Lead veterinary researcher, Professor Richard Mellanby, said: “We have found a specific, sensitive and non-invasive way to detect liver damage in dogs. We hope that our test will greatly improve outcomes by allowing vets to make rapid and accurate diagnosis.”
 
NHS doctor Dr James Dear, who co-led the study, added: “I am delighted that the blood test we developed to improve the diagnosis of liver disease in humans can be used to help dogs too.”

The team plan to launch a testing kit worldwide.

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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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News Shorts
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).