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Humboldt penguin undergoes sight-saving surgery at Chester Zoo
Munch's (pictured) surgery was performed by the team at Eye Vet, which kindly donated its time and equipment to support the zoo despite the financial difficulties resulting for the pandemic.

Vets and keepers pull together to treat animal despite financial impact of COVID-19.

The veterinary team at Chester Zoo has performed rare surgery to restore the sight of a four-year-old Humboldt penguin that was diagnosed with cataracts.

Keepers noticed that the penguin, named Munch, was having trouble navigating his enclosure and that his eyes had become misty. He was also swimming much slower than usual and was struggling to dive for fish at feeding time.

“Typically, Munch would confidently make his way around his home and so as soon as we noticed a change in him we immediately called in our vet team,” said parrots and penguin keeper, Sophie Bissaker.

“Penguins can live up to the age of 30 and so it’s unusual for a bird so young to develop a loss of sight but that’s where we suspected the problem might lie.”

The veterinary team discovered that Munch had cataracts, with little sight left in his left eye and no vision at all in his right. The deterioration was so severe that the team decided specialist treatment was the only option to save Munch's vision.

Veterinary ophthalmologist, Iona Mathieson, said: “I’ve been in the veterinary field for almost 24 years and Munch was the very first penguin I operated on – they’re not regular clients that’s for sure! Unfortunately, because his quality of life was impacted by the diminished sight, surgery was the only option we had available to us.

“We’re really happy to report that the surgery was successful and we are hopeful that Munch will make a full recovery.”

After surgery, Munch was kept away from the rest of the group in the main penguin pool. Though he was joined by his life partner Whurly during his recovery.

He is now back in the main penguin pool and, with daily eye drops to aid his healing, is moving and feeding more confidently every day.

Images (c) Chester Zoo.

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VetCT app offered to students and new graduates

News Story 1
 The VetCT app is being offered for free to students and new veterinary graduates for their first three months in practice. The app provides a service for vets to send case information to a global team of Diploma-holding specialists, who can provide advice and support via instant call-back, text chat, written report, or virtual appointment.

Time on the app is automatically logged as CPD with quarterly certificates being generated for users. Additional services include the ability to book bespoke CPD, significant event reviews, and live training sessions such as surgical procedures.

The app is downloadable for both iOS and Android systems. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
HORIBA to host CPD webinar

HORIBA has announced that it will host an online CPD meeting focusing on 'Exotic Parasites - The Importance of Testing in The Imported Dog'. Ian Wright (BVMS, MSc, MRCVS), head of ESCCAP UK and Ireland, will present on the importance of testing protocols in diseases of imported dogs.

The meeting will provide attendees with an overview of emerging veterinary diseases with a particular focus on exotic parasites, and discuss the importance of accurate testing protocols and equipment, alongside a final Q&A session.

The webinar will take place on Thursday July 1, from 19.30pm to 21.00pm BST. For free registration and more information visit the Horiba website or