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Equine vets 'at risk of overwork and burnout'
Ashley hopes the findings will promote action within the equine industry to protect the mental health and wellbeing of its community.
Study highlights the impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of the equestrian industry.

Equine vets could be at risk of overwork and burnout as they manage their responsibility to protect public health in emergencies, new research suggests.

The study by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) examined how the challenges of COVID-19 impacted equine vets, horse owners, farriers and welfare centre managers.

To understand how the pandemic affected different groups, the researchers interviewed 22 members of the equestrian community in Aberdeenshire and two welfare centre managers in England.

Their findings show that the mental health and wellbeing of vets and horse owners were negatively affected during the pandemic, with obstacles to communication and limitations on horse–owner interactions being significant sources of distress and frustration.

However, the study does highlight several positive outcomes for wellbeing during the pandemic, resulting from actions by the equine community to overcome social isolation and financial pressures. 

PhD student Ashley Ward, who led the research, said: “From this study, we have been able to better understand the importance of human-animal interactions and the role that horses played in lessening the detrimental impacts of isolation and anxiety associated with uncertainty around lockdown. 

“It is also of note that the pro-social actions undertaken by individuals to benefit the community had the potential to improve the wellbeing of those undertaking the activities - as well as the community they sought to benefit."

She added: “It is hoped that such information will promote action within the industry to protect the mental health and wellbeing of its community, using actions which combat the issues raised in this research.” 

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Prestigious veterinary awards open for nominations

News Story 1
 Nominations for the prestigious PetPlan Veterinary Awards 2022 are now open, with five accolades up for grabs including: Practice of the Year; Vet of the Year, Vet Nurse of the Year, Practice Manager of the Year and Practice Support Staff.

Anyone can nominate an outstanding veterinary professional or practice for an award, from colleagues to pet owners, friends and family. Nominations remain anonymous, and Petplan will send everyone who receives a nomination a certificate to display in their practice.

Nominations can be made at petplanvet.co.uk and remain open until Monday 10 January. 

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News Shorts
New online CPD otitis podcast created

A new 15 minute podcast on treating animals with otitis has been created by Dechra Veterinary Products. Featuring general practice vet Carolyn Kyte and veterinary dermatology specialist Natalie Barnard, the two vets will discuss their experiences treating otitis, and why owners are significant in successful treatment.

Dechra Brand Manager Carol Morgan commented: "What Carolyn and Natalie bring to the table with their new podcast for the Dechra Academy is a light and insightful discussion about communication and education being the keystone for better otitis outcomes and how vets can improve on their consultation skills to handle cases better."`

The podcast, called 'Think Differently about Otitis', is available to access for free on the Dechra Academy on-demand learning platform here.