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Study reveals high ketosis risk

Three quarters of dairy herds under threat, says research

A paper presented at the International Conference on Production Diseases in Farm Animals has suggested that three in four commercial dairy herds are at risk of ketosis.

Using data collected from 4,709 transition cows, across 130 dairy farms in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, it was revealed that 39 per cent had ketosis.

It was also revealed that more than 75 per cent of the commercial dairy herds tested were likely to be at high risk of developing diseases during the calving period as a result.

Authors Geert Vertenten, of Elanco Animal Health, and Anna Berge, of the epidemiology unit at Ghent University in Belgium, used two sets of data, taken from between July 2011 and September 2012, to compile their evidence.

For their research, they monitored ketosis levels in cows seven to 21 days after calving, and found that there are some key indicators vets can look for when assessing if ketosis is causing a problem within a herd.

According to the research, indicators include if there is a five per cent or more annual incidence of displaced abomasums and if there are more than 10 per cent of cows at a body condition score of four or above, three weeks prior to calving.

If more than 40 per cent of the cows have higher than a 1.5 to one ratio of fat to protein at the first milk recording after calving, it is another indicator that ketosis is causing an issue within a herd.

"The audit data supports the observation that subclinical ketosis is indeed a hidden disease," said Vertenten. "It is important that vets can identify where there are opportunities to make positive interventions that will improve the health and welfare of the herd."

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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News Shorts
Second edition of BSAVA's Thoracic Imaging manual released

The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) has released the second edition of the BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Thoracic Imaging.

This edition provides new knowledge, gathered from CTs and MRIs, some of which can be applied to radiographic interpretation.

The first section explores different imaging modalities for thoracic imaging, including recommended uses. The second section illustrates features of normalcy and disease in the main anatomic compartment of the thorax.

This includes structured information about thoracic imaging interpretation and individual body systems.

There is also a new chapter exploring how artificial intelligence could be applied to the practice.

Tobias Schwarz and Peter Scrivani, who edited the book, said: "We are grateful to the many radiologists and other specialists from around the world who contributed to this manual by writing chapters, supplying images, and providing feedback.

"Our aim was to ensure that the manual was as up-to-date, accurate and comprehensive as possible."

Print copies can be purchased in the BSAVA store, with a digital version in the BSAVA library.