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‘More research’ needed on CBD oil - BVA
BVA said there is a lack of robust evidence to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of CBD in pets.
Small pilot study suggests it can reduce epileptic seizures 

The British Veterinary Association has said more research is needed on the potential benefits and risks of cannabidiol (CBD) before proper regulation is brought in.

This follows a new pilot study by Colorado State University, which found that CBD oil could reduce the frequency of seizures in dogs with epilepsy, when given alongside conventional treatment.

The small study of 16 dogs assessed the short-term effect of CBD on seizure frequency. Nine dogs were treated with CBD for 12 weeks, while seven received a placebo. All dogs continued to receive standard anticonvulsant drugs, including phenobarbital and potassium bromide.

Of the dogs who received CBD, 89 per cent saw a reduction in the number of seizures they experienced. Researchers said there was a significant correlation between the degree of seizure reduction and the amount of CBD concentration in the dog’s blood. The findings have been published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Responding to the study, BVA said there is a lack of robust evidence to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of CBD in pets.

Junior vice president Daniella Dos Santos said: “The use of cannabidiol (CBD) to treat pets is a live issue in the veterinary profession. While research is ongoing to look into its efficacy and risks, there is currently a lack of sufficient robust evidence to demonstrate health benefits and safety of CBD use in pets.
 
“The veterinary medicines regulator has stated that any products containing CBD must be regulated as a medicine, supported by scientific evidence and rigorously tested. At present no CBD-based products have been granted veterinary marketing authorisation in the UK.”

Pet owners who are concerned about their pet’s health should speak to their local vet for professional advice on safe and effective treatments, she added.

The Colorado team are now working on further research to determine whether a higher dosage could reduce seizures by more than 50 per cent. The study, which launched in January last year, aims to enrol 60 dogs. 

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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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News Shorts
BEVA survey seeks views about antibiotic use in horses

Equine vets are being invited to participate in a BEVA survey that aims to find out more about antimicrobial resistance in equine veterinary practice.

Designed by researchers at the University of Liverpool and incoming BEVA president Tim Mair, the survey aims to fill gaps in knowledge about how antimicrobials are being used in equine practice and the landscape of resistant infections encountered in equine practice.

Researchers hope the results will lead to a greater understanding of the role of antimicrobial treatment and antimicrobial resistance in horses and protect antibiotics for the future of equine and human health.