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Results of UK’s first major neutering audit revealed
Neutering in cats produced less abnormalities than in dogs and bitches.
Over 30,000 neutering cases produces benchmark for the veterinary profession

A major audit of the routine neutering of cats and dogs across UK veterinary practices has been completed. Veterinary practices will now be able to measure their performance against the national average.  

VetAUDIT, originally an independent project now under RCVS Knowledge, has revealed the following key data points:

  • over three-quarters of cases presented with no abnormalities
  • between 8.2 per cent and 9.1 per cent of cases required medical treatment or surgical intervention due to abnormalities
  • approximately one in ten cases were deemed abnormal but did not require further treatment
  • the fatality rate of all cases was 0.1 per cent
  • neutering in cats produced less abnormalities than in dogs and bitches
  • spays resulted in more complications than castrates in both cats and dogs.

“Benchmarking is a great way to compare how your practice is performing compared to the national average” explains Bradley Viner, chair of the Quality Improvement Advisory Board at RCVS Knowledge and part of the vetAUDIT team.

However, Viner added the caveat that the data “needs to be the first stage in a quality improvement process… We have to recognise that we work in complex systems that do not always function perfectly. Recognising that we can always do things better and discouraging defensive behaviour are the first steps in driving forward quality of care”.

Practices can read the full results and include their own data in the audit with free-of-charge analysis at https://vetaudit.rcvsk.org

 

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Veterinary Evidence Student Awards winners revealed

News Story 1
 The first winners of the RCVS Knowledge Veterinary Evidence Student Awards have been revealed.

Molly Vasanthakumar scooped first prize for her knowledge summary comparing the ecological impact of woven versus disposable drapes. She found that there is not enough evidence that disposable synthetics reduce the risk of surgical site.

Second prize went to Honoria Brown of the University of Cambridge, for her paper: ‘Can hoof wall temperature and digital pulse pressure be used as sensitive non-invasive diagnostic indicators of acute laminitis onset?’

Edinburgh’s Jacqueline Oi Ping Tong won third prize for critically appraising the evidence for whether a daily probiotic improved clinical outcomes in dogs with idiopathic diarrhoea. The papers have all achieved publication in RCVS Knowledge’s peer-reviewed journal, Veterinary Evidence.  

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News Shorts
Animal Welfare Foundation seeks new trustees

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) seeks three new trustees to help drive the charity’s mission to improve animal welfare through veterinary science, education and debate.

Veterinary and animal welfare professionals from across the UK may apply, particularly those with experience in equine and small animal practice and research management. Trustees must attend at least two meetings a year, as well as the annual AWF Discussion Forum in London.

For more information about the role, visit www.animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk. Applications close at midnight on 13 August 2019.