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Study shows value of transverse sectioning for canine alopecia
Researchers took skin biopsies from 31 dogs with alopecia.

Method “can provide further diagnostic information with no additional risk for the patient”.

A new study by researchers at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and the University of Glasgow has highlighted the value of the transverse section technique for assessing dogs with alopecia.

The study, published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice, assessed whether the technique could enhance the diagnostic benefit from skin biopsies of dogs with alopecia.

Researchers took skin biopsies from 31 dogs with alopecia suspected of having a range of atrophic, dysplastic and inflammatory diseases of the hair follicles and or adnexal glands.

The team bisected the samples vertically - with one half embedded in the traditional vertical orientation and the other sectioned transversely -  before reviewing the sections independently of each other.

“As expected, the team observed substantial overlap in the principal pathological features in the 90 paired vertical and transverse sections,” explained Professor Ross Bond of the RVC. “There were also numerous examples where one or other of the two sectioning planes yielded superior visualisation of key features.”

Researchers added that transverse sectioning frequently complements traditional vertical sectioning when evaluating follicle diseases in dogs.

'Transverse sectioning a portion of the biopsy may be especially valuable in evaluating the phase of hair growth in the specimen and when key histopathological features, such as inflammatory processes, affect relatively small numbers of adnexa within the specimen,” the team explains. “It is also of value in evaluating the number, size and arrangement of follicles within compound follicles and follicular units."

JSAP editor, Nicola Di Girolamo, concluded: “This relatively simple modification of sample processing can provide further diagnostic information with no additional risk for the patient, and as such has a relevant application in a large number of dogs.”

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Boehringer Ingelheim to host online Christmas comedy special

News Story 1
 Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) Animal Health is set to host a live Christmas comedy event to provide entertainment and festive fun for veterinary professionals.

BI Animal Health's Christmas Comedy Cracker is a free online event, designed to help veterinary professionals sit back and relax at the end of what has been a difficult year for the whole profession.

The event will take place online at 8pm on Thursday 17 December. Comedian Rhys James will host and the line-up also includes ventriloquist Nina Conti, comedian Zoe Lyons and musical comedy troupe The Noise Next Door.

To register your place for free please visit 

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VMD and VPS announce joint open information day

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) have announced a joint open information day covering topics such as veterinary medicines regulations, antimicrobial resistance, scientific advice and novel therapies.

Taking place on Wednesday 18 November, the virtual event will take the form of a series of pre-recorded webinars and a 'Slido' Q&A session. Links to the webinars and full instructions on how to use Slido will be available on on 18 November. To join the mailing list for the event, email