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New blood test for heart disease in companion animals
The test can detect heart disease in cats and dogs before symptoms appear.

Test has the potential to ‘revolutionise’ veterinary diagnostics.

Researchers in Scotland are developing a revolutionary new blood test for companion animals that detects the early stages of heart disease.

The test is being developed by MI:RNA Ltd – a spin-out firm of Scotland's Rural College - to accurately identify heart disease in cats and dogs before the appearance of symptoms.

It works by collecting a simple blood sample, which is then analysed by artificial intelligence (AI) for biomarkers of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers say the test, ‘NEMO’ (NExtgen Mirna testing with Optimisation), could 'revolutionise' veterinary diagnostics by allowing for the earlier detection of disease.

“The next few months are incredibly exciting for MI:RNA Ltd as we launch our first product,” commented MI:RNA CEO, Dr Eve Hanks.

“Our team has pulled together to work towards a successful launch and, luckily, we have a great veterinary community behind us. We will continue our relationship with SRUC as we begin our production animal research and identify new disease targets.”

MI:RNA intends to expand its reach globally to support owners, farmers, animals, and the environment.

While the initial test focuses on utilising blood samples from animals, it has the potential to be used with milk, faeces, urine or saliva.

Scientists are conducting further studies to adapt the test for use in farm animal production, initially to detect Johne’s disease in cattle and later, cardiac testing for the equine market.

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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.