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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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New series shares recipes for pet-safe festive treats

News Story 1
 Battersea has launched a new Christmas baking series across all it's social media channels, to teach owners how to make pet-safe treats for dogs and cats.

The two-part series will show dog owners how to make Christmas dog treats using xylitol-free peanut butter and banana. Meanwhile, cat owners will be taught how to use rolled oats and turkey to make a festive snack for their pet.

Battersea also reminds pet owners of the importance of insuring that animals maintain a healthy balanced diet and adds that these food items should only be given as a treat.

To view the series, please visit Battersea's YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Image (c) Battersea. 

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Confirmed on Tuesday (15 December), the outbreak was found in captive birds and poultry at a premises near Willington, South Derbyshire. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been placed around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Further information about the outbreaks and the latest government advice can be found at