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Focus archives


March 2022

Irish vet student’s South African adventure

April 2022

Parasite Control in Sheep: Four Key Actions

May 2022

Euthanasia in horses — most commonly used methods in field conditions

June 2022

Resident wild birds as potential disseminators of antimicrobial resistant bacteria

July 2022

What’s it like to work abroad as a vet?

September 2022

Water quality and parasite contamination in public water amenities

December 2022

Vector-borne diseases: One Health approach is vital


January 2021

Calfmatters Survey – common health issues
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health conducted its fourth Calfmatters Survey across Ireland and the UK in June 2020. While the survey examined common calf-health issues such as scour and pneumonia, the findings suggest that farmers are acutely aware of the positive benefits of good biosecurity and disease prevention in all aspects of calf management. Here, we present the findings of the survey in full

A review of calf housing
John Donlon MVB PGDip VCP MRCVS PhD student, University College Dublin Herd Health Group, is one of the contributors to the new CalfCare leaflet on calf-housing design recently produced by Animal Health Ireland’s CalfCare Technical Working Group. Here, he looks at the important role that housing plays in preventing disease and producing healthy, happy calves

Osteoarthritis in cats
About 40% of all cats have clinical signs of osteoarthritis but often these signs are infrequently recognised and, as a result, the condition is underdiagnosed. In part one of a two-part series, Sorrel Langley-Hobbs MA BVetMedDSAS(O) DipECVS FHEA MRCVS, chair in small animal orthopaedic surgery, RCVS specialist in small-animal surgery and Dr Edwina Gilldea MVB MRCVS, Zoetis companion animal veterinary lead, outline the prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of the condition

February 2021

Pig HealthCheck Programme – new opportunities for practitioner engagement
Dr Carla Gomes, programme manager, Pig HealthCheck Programme, Animal Health Ireland, outlines the details of a new programme focused on the pig sector

Osteoarthritis in cats _ part 2
About 40% of all cats have clinical signs of osteoarthritis but often these signs are infrequently recognised and, as a result, the condition is underdiagnosed. In part two of a two-part series, Sorrel Langley-Hobbs MA BVetMed DSAS(O) DipECVS FHEA MRCVS, chair in small animal orthopaedic surgery, RCVS specialist in small-animal surgery and Dr Edwina Gildea MVB MRCVS, Zoetis companion animal veterinary lead, outline the treatment, pain-management options and what the future hold for cats with osteoarthritis

March 2021

An enhanced BVD programme and the end in sight
Maria Guelbenzu, programme manager, bovine viral diarrhoea and infectious bovine rhinotracheitis,  Animal Health Ireland, outlines next steps to be taken to achieve BVD freedom in 2023

Future Vet Congress review: mastitis treatment and parasite control
Leon Duffy BAgrSc DVM Cert DHH, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health vet adviser, reports on two of the key topics featured at the company’s recent ‘Future Vet – Cattle Practice 2021 and Beyond’ virtual congress: udder health and mastitis treatment; and parasite control in a changing regulatory environment

April 2021

The forgotten value of scoring and charting
It is very easy to fall into the habit of performing a quick probe and visual sweep prior to starting a dental scaling but by doing so, a vast amount of vital information is overlooked. John Breen BSc VN looks at scoring and charting and the vital roles they play in detecting and diagnosing disease in cats and dogs

An introduction to the practicalities of cow comfort
The cow deserves a ‘life worth living’, the farmer deserves to make a living, and the consumer deserves to buy food that is both safe and aligns with their life choices. Here, vet and herd-performance consultant, Martin Kavanagh outlines the critical elements that are key to managing a successful farm system

May 2021

Protection protocol: nurturing a dam and pups in a shelter maternity unit
Michelle Tobin BSc RVN outlines a protocol for the protection and nurturing of a dam and her puppies in a biosecure shelter maternity unit

Delaying anthelmintic resistant parasite development on sheep farms
In an effort to combat the development of anthelmintic resistance on sheep farms in Ireland, four key actions have been identified by industry experts from Teagasc, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, UCD and veterinary representatives. The four key actions that have been selected are cost-effective and easy for farmers to implement. With the support of the veterinary profession, the overall aim will be to slow the development of anthelmintic resistance and increase the lifespan of the currently available anthelmintic treatments. In this article, Maura Langan MVB, Vet Advisor, Norbrook, explores the four key actions

June 2021

Cannabis: legislation, regulation, vet clinical use and toxicosis – an international perspective
An overview of recent research on what vets need to know about cannabis and its impact on animal health, in particular, cannabis toxicosis in pets, from an international team of veterinary writers: Nancy De Briyne and Sarah Moody, Federation of Veterinarians of Europe; Danny Holmes, Holmes Veterinary, St Anthony’s Veterinary Hospital, Caherslee, Tralee; Ian Sandler and Enid Stiles, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, Ottawa, Canada; Dharati Szymanski, American Veterinary Medical Association, Schaumburg, Illinois, USA; Stephan Neumann, Companion Animal Clinic, Institute of Veterinary Medicine, University of Goettingen, Germany; and Arturo Anadón, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. This is an extract from the full article published in Animals, 2021, available at

July 2021

Alternatives to antibiotics: probiotics, the gut microbiome and immunity
Dr TB Barragry PhD,MSc,MVB, MRCVS, Dip ECVPT discusses the role probiotics can play in providing an alternative to antibiotics and assisting in disease avoidance

Communication innovation supports vet’s role in driving change in animal health management
A OneHealth approach underpins national and global efforts to tackle antimicrobial resistance. For many farmers and vets, this will involve making changes to daily routines and practices in animal health management. In this article, Áine Regan, a behavioural scientist with Teagasc, and Alison Burrell, a chartered health psychologist working in Animal Health Ireland, explain the psychology behind changing animal health management on the farm, and outline plans for a communications-based innovation targeted at vets for supporting bottom-up behaviour change

August 2021

Life under COVID-19 restrictions for Ireland’s dog Population
Dr CL Corridan BVMS PhD MRCVS discusses what changes in society and individual household routines, brought about by COVID-19 restrictions, have meant for dogs

Dental abscess in a chimpanzee: a case study

John Breen BSc VN, regional sales manager with iM3 Dental, reports on the treatment of a dental abscess in a chimpanzee from a troop in Dublin Zoo

September 2021

Osteoarthritis In Cats
Osteoarthritis (OA), a form of degenerative joint disease (DJD), is the most common cause of chronic pain in mammals, including cats, writes Norma Brady MVB MVM, CAE veterinary manager, Zoetis. More than 90 per cent of adult cats may have  radiographic evidence of OA, with the presence/severity of disease expected to increase by >10 per cent each year

October 2021

The New Veterinary Regulation – key changes
Dr J. G. Beechinor MVB, MVM, MSc, PhD, CDipAF, MRCVS, Director of Veterinary Sciences, Health Products Regulatory Authority, outlines the main changes affecting veterinary practitioners and nurses that will arise in relation to Regulation 2019/6, the so-called New Veterinary Regulation (NVR). Dr Beechinor is a member of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA)

Assessing the Irish dry period ​​​​​​​​​in light of upcoming European Regulations
Suzanne Naughton MVB explores the implications of new European Regulations for veterinary practice in relation to the dry period and mastitis control in 2022

Looking to next stage in our BVD eradication journey
The 2021 BVDzero Congress took place virtually in July and, although this meant not getting together in person, it did allow delegates from around the world to attend. The live sessions attracted over 200 people from throughout Europe, South America, New Zealand and Australia as well as closer to home with vets and farmers from Ireland and all parts of the UK being represented


November 2021

Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction: old disease, new tests
Pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) is the most common endocrinopathy of horses and ponies with up to 30 per cent of older animals affected (Equine Endocrinology Group booklet), writes Siobhan McAuliffe MVB DACVIM Cert RA. It is predominantly a disease of older animals (>13 years) but there have been cases in animals as young as seven years

Best practice protocols for use of antiparasitic drugs on farms in Ireland
Dr J. G. Beechinor MVB, MVM, MSc, PhD, CDipAF, MRCVS, director of veterinary sciences, Health Products Regulatory Authority, offers some tips on developing best practice protocols for the use of antiparasitic drugs on farms in Ireland

Biosecurity Assessment for Broiler and Layer Flocks 
Dr Carla Gomes DVM, MVPH, PhD, Dip.ECVPH, Animal Health Ireland, provides an overview of biosecurity in the poultry industry

December 2021

The CellCheck Tool Box – veterinary and farmer resources for the dry period
Michelle McGrath BAgriSci MAnSci DipSFP MVB, assistant CellCheck programme manager, Animal Health Ireland (AHI), offers an overview of the resources AHI are providing to help veterinary practitioners and farmers prepare for the new legislation in 2022


January 2020

Calf scour: focus on cryptosporidiosis
Brigitte Duquesne DVM, technical manager ruminants and Saul Harvey MVB MRCVS, area manager Ireland, Huvepharma UK and Ireland, outline how to control cryptosporidiosis on the farm

Nutrition: from birth to weaning
Supplying heifers with adequate nutrition to enable them to hit target growth rates, is fundamental to them calving with adequate body size, close to 24 months of age and, therefore, maximising their subsequent lifetime productivity, writes Dr Jessica Cooke BSc PhD, research scientist, Volac

Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis in the dairy herd
Maria Guelbenzu, bovine viral diarrhoea and infectious bovine rhinotracheitis programme manager, Animal Health Ireland, updates us on the latest data, research, and pilot programme relating to infectious bovine rhinotracheitis in Ireland

February 2020

How to decide when to transfer a horse with colic
Dr Camilla Quattrini outlines the fundamental steps that can guide the veterinarian in the decision-making process when referring a horse with colic

Down a worm hole: first steps in designing a deworming plan
In this article, Siobhan McAuliffe MVB DACVIM, Fethard Equine Hospital, Co. Tipperary looks at designing anthelmintic or deworming plans for ‘major’ parasites in horses

March 2020

Differential diagnoses for poor-doing horses
Bryan M Waldridge DVM MS DABVP DACVIM, Park Equine Hospital, Kentucky, discusses the common causes of ill thrift in horses

Preventing hypocalcaemia using a negative DCAD diet
Navaratnam Partheeban MRCVS, dairy technical specialist, discusses preventing hypocalcaemia using a negative dietary cation-anion difference diet

Assessment of oral supplementation in trace elements on gestating cows with mange mites
The aim of this study, conducted at the Univerity of Liège, is to assess the efficacy of the bolus galenic to supply trace element needs of gestating Belgian Blue with scabies

Slight increase in national bovine TB stats
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine recently released the national herd incidence for bovine tuberculosis, which showed that, as of December 31 2019, it stood at 3.72%, marginally up on 2018 (3.51%) and 2017 (3.47%)

April 2020

The importance of detecting subclinical cases of bovine respiratory disease
Bovine respiratory disease is a complex, multifactorial disease process which can have negative effects on growth rates and future performance within the herd. It occurs as a result of a combination of animal, management, environmental and pathogen factors, explains Sarah Campbell MVB MRCVS, Veterinary Advisor, MSD Animal Health

Basic dentistry - the best equipment for the best job
Veterinary dentistry has long been a neglected field in medicine but with increased knowledge, better equipment and increased awareness, dentistry is quickly becoming a profitable part of the practice, providing as much as 20% of the clinic’s annual revenue, writes Ingela Ericsson BA BSc VN

Anthelmintic resistance in dairy calves
James O’Shaughnessy, senior research officer at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, discusses anthelmintic resistance in dairy calves

Redwater infection – clinical signs and treatment
Babesiosis, or redwater, is a cattle disease caused, in Ireland, by the protozoan parasite Babesia divergens transmitted by the tick Ixodes ricinus. The disease is associated with animals grazing on rough pastures and can result in production losses in addition to possible mortality, writes Natascha Meunier, programme manager, Beef HealthCheck, Animal Health Ireland

The importance of the parasites we can’t see
Lesley Hobson MVB, companion animal veterinary manager, Zoetis, discusses the importance of treating the parasites that we can’t see, such as lungworm and roundworm and highlights the role that the European Scientific Counsel Companion Animal Parasites plays in this

May 2020

Case study: Canine heartworm disease diagnosed in Ireland
Esther López Bailén DVM, internal medicine intern, University College Dublin Veterinary Hospital, presents an intriguing case study detailing the detection, diagnosis and treatment of heartworm in a Staffordshire bull terrier-cross

AHI parasite control survey – the results
Animal Health Ireland’s Natascha Meunier, programme manager, Beef Healthcheck and James O’Shaughnessy, chairman of Parasite Control Technical Working Group, report on the findings of a parasite control survey carried out among private veterinary practitioners

Poultry red mite – prevalence, problems, prevention
Maureen Prendergast MVB CertVR CertES (Orth) PhD MRCVS, technical manager for Integrated Livestock at MSD Animal Health, highlights the prevalence of and the dangers posed by the poultry red mite

June 2020

Dental care: a prophylactic approach
John Breen BSc. VN outlines the importance of prophylactically treating dental disease, something that can often be overlooked by both vets and nurses

Porcine proliferative enteropathy – an update on prevalence, problems, prevention
Maureen Prendergast MVB CertVR, CertES (Orth) PhD MRCVS, technical manager for integrated livestock at MSD Animal Health, looks at the problems associated with porcine proliferative enteropathy caused by Lawsonia intracellularis

Swine dysentery due to B. hyodysenteriae – a re-emerging problem worldwide
Control, treatment and eradication of Brachyspira hyodysenteriae from infected farms is complex and time-consuming. A combined approach of thorough treatment and management practices may assist in a successful eradication, as Frédéric Vangroenweghe DVM MSc PhD-Vet Sci PhD-Appl Biol Sci Dipl. ECPHM explores below

Alternatives to antibiotics? Eubiotics, the microbiome and immunity
With the ever decreasing list of currently available antibiotics, the growth of resistance to them, and the dearth of new and novel antibiotics arriving into the marketplace, it has never been so timely to develop and deliver new, effective and proven alternatives to traditional antibiotic substances. In a comprehensive report, Dr Tom Barragry PhD MSC MVB MVM MRCVS Dip ECVPT, introduces us to eubiotics as one such alternative

July 2020

Otitis externa in dogs
Anita Patel BVM DVD FRCVS, RCVS specialist in veterinary dermatology explores the reasons why we don’t always succeed in preventing recurrence of otitis externa in dogs

Special considerations for the older patient
Maria Mulvihill DVM focuses on the work up and preventative care for a number of conditions that occur frequently in older animals

Prevention and control of ovine abortion: test, don’t guess
In this article, Elisabeth A Innes, David Longbottom and Morag Livingstone from Moredun Research Institute and Sarah Campbell from MSD Animal Health, focus on the two main causes of ovine abortion, Toxoplasma gondii and Chlamydia abortus. They present the transmission routes of the pathogens and explore diagnostics, disease prevention and control strategies

Lungworm – the problems
In this article, Ruth Vernon BVSc CertCHP MRCVS will look at immunity, diagnosis and possible risk factors that have changed the clinical picture of lungworm seen today

August 2020

Dental radiography – giving you the bigger picture
Dental radiography is an essential tool in helping to identify, diagnose and treat oral health issues and underlying dental problems. Here, Ingela Ericsson BA BSc VN, provides an overview of the role of technology in managing and future-proofing oral healthcare

Spontaneous septic arthritis in juvenile dogs
The role that technology plays in the diagnosis of septic arthritis, as well as the clinical features and treatment of this uncommon condition, are reviewed by Carolin Fischer DVM, Laura C Cuddy MVB MS DACVS-SA DECVS DACVSMR DECVSMR MRCVS, and Turlough McNally MVB DACVS-LA, DECVS, MRCVS, Veterinary Specialists Ireland, Summerhill, Co. Meath

Salmonellosis remains an underlying threat in the Irish dairy herd
Salmonellosis has been of long-standing concern within Irish dairy herds, particularly in the south of Ireland. However, with the expansion and intensification of the national dairy herd in recent years, this concern is now spreading across the country, writes Suzanne Naughton MVB, MSD Animal Health veterinary technical advisor

Lungworm – the solutions
Last month’s article on Dictyocaulus viviparus – the cattle lungworm – covered its life cycle, epidemiology, immunity, and the diagnostic challenges it can pose. In this article, Ruth Vernon BVSc CertCHP MCRVS looks at what can be done to minimise the impact of this parasite and associated clinical disease on farms

September 2020

CANDIE – the oldest dog on the planet
Tumour cells have spread between dogs globally for the last 11,000 years and all are directly linked to the first dog’s original tumour, writes Dr David Duffy, director of Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland, and an assistant professor of Wildlife Disease Genomics at the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience at the University of Florida

Anticipating separation anxiety in dogs post Covid-19 lockdown
Sinnéad Oakes MVB MPH Cert ESM, Interchem Ireland discusses the predicted rise in separation-related behaviour facing pet owners and veterinarians as people return to normal life after lockdown

Pandemics – the origin of the diseases
Dr David Duffy, director of Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland, and assistant professor at the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience at the University of Florida, and Dr Jenny Whilde who holds a PhD in Behavioural Ecology from Trinity College Dublin, discuss the accelerating rate of zoonotic diseases and why the blame lies firmly at the feet of humans

Vet-farmer communication in a ‘new normal’
Leon Duffy, technical adviser at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health reports on the recently published FarmComm survey, carried out to better understand farmers’ needs in relation to animal health, veterinary consultations and communication

Salmonid alphavirus – monitoring infection and disease on Irish salmon farms
Ireland has a unique salmon-farming sector, the health and welfare of which is paramount. Here, Dr Marian McLoughlin MVB PhD Dip. ECAAH MRCVS, RCVS specialist in fish health and production, outlines the clinical signs, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of salmonid alphavirus, which causes pancreas disease in farmed Atlantic salmon, and the monitoring systems in place to prevent infection and disease

October 2020

The art of selling dentistry
Veterinary professionals are driven by their compassion for animals and seeing their role as financially motivated is conflicting. The concept of ‘selling’ in veterinary medicine often has negative connotations, but it shouldn’t be the case. A veterinary practice is a business and it needs to make money to pay wages, invest in better equipment and, most importantly, to improve overall level of patient care, writes John Breen BSc VN

Challenges of the older feline friend
Increasing veterinary healthcare and welfare standards mean that our pet cats are living longer, but an ageing population brings with it its own challenges. In this article, Sarah Collins DipAVN(Medical)RVN, VTS(ECC), Cert CFVHNut, ISFM programme manager, International Cat Care, looks at some of the common changes which can affect the older cat and how we can be better prepared

The cost of not vaccinating: a case study
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health’s 2020 BVDzero case study award scheme culminated recently with two virtual online sessions in which the authors of the top 10 studies presented their cases. Paul Crawford, a self-employed veterinary consultant and farmer based in Larne, presented a bovine viral diarrhoea case report of incursion into a naïve herd in Northern Ireland, and we present the details of his report here

Micronutrient deficiencies and disease in transition cows
Sinnéad Oakes MVB MRCVS discusses the metabolic and immunological challenges of the transition cow and the role micronutrients play in helping to fight disease challenge in this period

November 2020

Inducing timed ovulation in the mare
Susan Salter BSc Hons BVM&S MRCVS and Jonathon Pycock BVetMed PhD DESM MRCVS compare and contrast various ovulating agents used to induce ovulation in mares at breeding, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages, efficacy and welfare implications associated with each

Is it septic? How to confidently diagnose a septic joint in the horse
David M Bolt, senior lecturer in Equine Surgery at the Royal Veterinary College Equine Referral Hospital outlines the clinical signs, diagnostic mechanisms, and management of septic arthritis in horses

Osteoarthritis pain and inflammation – the new science
In part one of a two-part series, Duncan Lascelles BSc BVSc PhD FRCVS CertVA DSAS(ST) DECVS DACVS; Scott Knauer MS; Katherine Walker BS; and Cynthia North DVM MS explore the underdiagnosis of osteoarthritis in dogs, the impact of chronic pain, and treatment options available

December 2020

Assessing Irish dairy cow welfare
In this article, Muireann Conneely MVB PhD, research officer in dairy cow welfare, Teagasc, Moorepark discusses a study conducted by Teagasc in association with the University of Nottingham and Wageningen University and Research, to assess the welfare of dairy cows in Irish pasture-based systems, and to investigate the prevalence of and risk factors for lameness

What is that coughing calf telling you?
When faced with the problem of pneumonia in a group of animals, data collection and observation are essential in gaining a good understanding of what is going on, writes UK-based vet, Dr Tim Potter BVetMed PhD MRCVS

Fluke forecast from Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Each year, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), in collaboration with Met Éireann, predicts the risk of disease caused by Fasciola hepatica/liver fluke infection in livestock. This year’s forecast is based on meteorological data gathered between May and October 2020 by Met Éireann. This report is published here, in full, as a useful resource for all large-animal veterinary professionals

Osteoarthritis pain and inflammation – the new science
In part two of a two-part series, Duncan Lascelles BSc BVSc PhD FRCVS CertVA DSAS(ST) DECVS DACVS; Scott Knauer MS; Katherine Walker BS; and Cynthia North DVM MS continue the exploration of the underdiagnosis of osteoarthritis in dogs. Following on from the impact of chronic pain and treatment options available, this sequel addresses issues relating to inflammation and pain

Importance of ergonomics in dentistry work
Poor ergonomics, particularly in relation to veterinary dentistry, not only negatively impacts our physical health but can, in the long-run, affect our mental wellbeing and overall health too, writes Ingela Ericsson VN



January 2019

Calf health: the good, the bad and the ugly
Hazell Mullins BVM BVS, Abbeyville Veterinary Hospital, Cork, presents three calf health-specific case studies, highlighting the good, the bad and the ugly of all three scenarios, as well as treatment plans and outcomes

February 2019

Investigating back pain in horses
Equine orthopaedic expert, Carolin Gerdes, provides a comprehensive overview of investigating back pain in horses, diagnostics and treatment options available

March 2019

Importance of trace elements in cattle fertility and productivity
With trace elements playing such a critical role in the fertility, productivity and welfare of dairy and beef cattle, it is vital that veterinarians proactively engage with their farming clients at this time of year. This helps to ensure nutritional requirements are factored into herd health management, and that appropriate diagnostics are taking place, writes Dr Renée Lodder BVSc BCom, technical veterinarian, Europe, Bimeda Animal Health Limited

The role of the vet and vaccination in BVD eradication
Significant strides have been made in controlling bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) infection since the national eradication programme was introduced with many questioning whether the need for BVD vaccination still exists. Suzanne Naughton MVB veterinary technical advisor, MSD Animal Health, seeks to answer this question

Stamping out digital dermatitis
Sara Pedersen BSc (Hons) BVetMed CertCHP DBR MRCVS, RCVS-recognised specialist in cattle health and production, explores the cycle of digital dermatitis infections and the ways to stamp it out

April 2019

A review of BVD TASAH investigations in 2018
Dr Maria Guelbenzu, BVD programme manager, Animal Health Ireland, provides an overview of the Targeted Advisory Service on Animal Health in 2018

Fertility: from conception to the cow
Suzanne Naughton, veterinary technical advisor, MSD Animal Health, looks at cow fertility including conception, fertility control methods and how management changes affecting foetus and heifer can impact on subsequent fertility

Musculoskeletal Scintigraphy in Horses
Claire Hawkes BVSc MSc CertES (soft tissue) Dip ECVS, Curragh Equine Diagnostics, Co. Kildare, discusses scintigraphy as a useful diagnostic tool for vets and its role in improving horse welfare

May 2019

Diagnosis and management of Feline diabetes – what's new?
Diabetes mellitus is not a single disease but a manifestation of various pathophysiological processes. David B Church BVSc PhD MACVSc MRCVS vice principal, The Royal Veterinary College, outlines these processes and looks at what has changed in their management over the last decade

Allergen immunotherapy in practice: a refresher
Kathryn Cuddy MVB CertAVP(VD) MRCVS Skinvet Ireland, Co. Cork provides a refresher course on the use of allergen immunotherapy in the treatment of canine atopic dermatitis

June 2019

Understanding and eradicating BVD
Every two years, the BVDzero Awards, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica GmbH, take place to encourage the search for both clinical and subclinical cases of bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) in cattle herds, to increase the awareness of the disease and help to reduce its prevalence. The awards attract interest and submissions from across Europe. Here, we present an abstract of three Irish case studies submitted to these awards, that have contributed to greater understanding and awareness of the disease

Congenital Portosystemic shunts in dogs
In part one of a two-part series, Ronan A Mullins MVB DECVS, European specialist in small animal surgery and assistant professor of small animal surgery at University College Dublin, provides a comprehensive overview of congenital portosystemic shunts

New research reveals gaps in parasite prevention
Research commissioned by MSD Animal Health has revealed that most dog owners aren’t aware of the need for year-round treatment against fleas and ticks

Nutrition that goes beyond skin deep
The most common causes of skin problems are attributed to parasites such as fleas, ticks, lice and mites; environmental allergies; and adverse food reactions. Targeted nutrition can play a key role in supporting cats and dogs with any of these issues, writes Clare Hemmings Cert CFVHNut, Royal Canin

July 2019

Case study: Ocular the laziosis in a travelled dog
Theo de Waal PhD MRCVS, associate professor, School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD; Amanda Lawlor BAgrSc, senior technical officer, School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD; and Susan Roulston MVB MRCVS, present a case study on the discovery of eyeworm in a three-year-old dog, and subsequent treatment of thelaziosis

Canine Portostysemic Shunts: Part 2
Ronan A Mullins MVB DECVS, European specialist in small animal surgery and assistant professor of small animal surgery at University College Dublin, provides his second instalment of a comprehensive overview of congenital portosystemic shunts

August 2019

Managing chronic pododermatitis
Dr Tim Nuttall, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, discusses the causes, diagnosis and treatment of chronic interdigital furunculosis or pododermatitis

Canine ophthalmic emergencies
Ocular emergencies can be daunting as they require rapid assessment and diagnosis. Treatment needs to be timely, appropriate and often aggressive to provide relief of pain and potentially save vision and the globe. In part one of this article, Natasha Mitchell MVB DVOphthal MRCVS, reviews globe proptosis, glaucoma, lens luxation and sudden onset blindness

African swine fever: the need for increased vigilance
African swine fever (ASF) is a haemorrhagic disease of pigs that has a devastating impact on affected animals, often with mortality rates of 95-100%. The disease is spreading across the world and, within the last two years alone, ASF has spread to nine previously unaffected countries in Europe and Asia resulting in devastating losses for the pig industries there. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) provides a comprehensive overview of the virus and advises on the real need for vigilance

September 2019

The forgotten pet: an update on the healthcare of rabbits
Rabbits are the third most popular companion pet after cats and dogs. A recent survey by leading UK animal charity, the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals1 found that, although 2% of adults in the UK own a pet rabbit, the health and welfare of this animal still lag far behind those of cats and dogs, writes Bairbre O’Malley, Bairbre O’Malley Veterinary Hospital, Bray, Co. Wicklow

Canine ophthalmic emergencies – part 2
The first article on canine ophthalmic emergencies, which featured in the August issue of the Veterinary Ireland Journal, reviewed globe proptosis, glaucoma, anterior lens luxation and sudden onset blindness. This follow-up article reviews ocular trauma leading to eyelid lacerations, corneal lacerations and corneal foreign bodies, along with melting corneal ulcers and descemetocoeles. These conditions are common presentations to general practice, and require prompt treatment for the best possible outcome, writes Natasha Mitchell MVB DVOphthal MRCVS

Bovine mastitis – current control methods in the face of AMR concerns
Dr James Breen BVSc PhD, DCHP, MRCVS, associate professor of veterinary medicine and science at the University of Nottingham, presented at the 2018 London Vet Show on the topic of bovine mastitis. The specifics of his lecture, which looked at various approaches to mastitis therapeutics and control in the context of antimicrobial resistance concerns are featured in the following article

October 2019

The prevalence of intestinal parasites in dogs and cats in the greater Dublin area
Parasites of the intestinal tracts of dogs and cats are important from both clinical and public health perspectives. However, in recent years, there has been little research on the prevalence of intestinal parasites in Ireland.1 This encouraged University College Dubliln veterinary student, Allison Mangan, to carry out a summer research project aimed at investigating the prevalence of intestinal parasites in dogs and cats

The benefits of early calf vaccination against BRD
Cara Sheridan MVB MRCVS Cert DHH, ruminant technical vet MSD Animal Health, explores whether we are acting in time to control bovine respiratory disease in our herds

November 2019

Ensuring clinic and personnel biosecurity in an equine hospital: developing an infection control policy
In this article, Samantha Feighery BSc (Hons) RVN, Rossdales LLP outline ways to implement infection control and biosecurity policies and protocols for your practice and details the different components that a basic biosecurity plan should contain, for example preventative measures hygiene, staff training, protective clothing, barrier nursing and isolation protocols

Dogs Trust – 10 years on
Ten years after opening its rehoming centre in Dublin, the Veterinary Ireland Journal caught up with vet, Desre Daly, about what it is like to work in an animal shelter that has helped rescue, rehabilitate and rehome thousands of dogs

The role of nutrition in managing obesity
With research showing that more than two thirds of dogs and more than a third of cats are overweight, Caroline Burke BSc RVN, outlines the important role of nutrition in managing these companion animals’ weight


January 2018

Bloat in young calves
Cases of bloat in calves, including a condition found in both dairy and beef herds, have increased in recent years in both the UK and Ireland and around the world. Dr Jessica Cooke BSc PhD, Volac, Hertfordshire, UK, discusses how bloat can affect the abomasum

Knowledge Transfer – supporting calf health on Irish farms?
Elizabeth A Lane MVB PhD DiplECAR PGCAP, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Backweston Campus, Co Kildare discusses knowledge transfer in terms of calf health on Irish farms, in a follow-up article to last month’s Knowledge Transfer – do the numbers reflect fertility?

February 2018

Pregnancy optimisation using frozen semen - VIEW
Andrea Ryan MVB CertEM (StudMed), Kilcash Equine Clinic, Kilcash, Clonmel, Co Tipperary outlines how to optimise pregnancy rates in mares using frozen semen

When should I refer my neonate? - VIEW
There are no hard and fast rules for referral as many factors will influence whether an individual animal is referred, writes Kevin TT Corley BVM&S PhD DECEIM DACVIM DACVECC MRCVS, Veterinary Advances Ltd, Co Kildare

Lameness or neurological disease?
Martin Furr DVM Dipl ACVIM PhD MA Ed, Specialist in Equine Internal Medicine, Oklahoma State University, US, outlines how to differentiate between lameness and neurological diseases

March 2018

Dry-period management: key to success of the dairy herd
Perspectives on dry-period management are outlined by John Cook BVSc DCHP MRCVS RCVS-recognised specialist in cattle health and production, Yew Tree House, Cumbria, UK

Postpartum discharges: myths and reality
John Cook BVSc DCHP MRCVS, RCVS-recognised specialist in cattle health and production, Yew Tree House, Cumbria, UK, discusses the presence of postpartum discharges in dairy cows

April 2018

What’s new in canine atopic dermatitis?
Kathryn Cuddy MVB CertAVP(VD) MRCVS, of Skinvet Ireland, provides an overview of the international guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of atopic dermatitis

Johne’s disease control – are there lessons we can learn from the UK?
What can we learn from progress with Johne’s disease control in the UK which would benefit Ireland, asks Peter Orpin, director,, Park Veterinary Group; and Dick Sibley, director,, West Ridge Veterinary Practice, UK

European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education: 2015-2020 strategic plan review
Deirdre Campion MVB PhD MRCVS, associate professor, veterinary biosciences and veterinary pharmacology, University College Dublin’s School of Veterinary Medicine, outlines the EAEVE’S 2015-2020 strategic plan and what it means for the Irish veterinary practitioner

May 2018

Case report: ocular presentation of lymphoma
Animal Care Hospital, Douglas, Cork, outlines the clinical signs, investigations and diagnosis of ocular lymphoma in dogs

Infective endocarditis in the companion animalInfective endocarditis in the companion animal
Lisa A Murphy DVM DACVECC, staff criticalist, Veterinary Speciality Centre of Delaware, US; and Reid K Nakamura DVM DACVECC DACVIM (Cardiology), cardiologist, Veterinary Speciality and Emergency Centre, California, US, provide a review of endocarditis in small animal patients

June 2018

The role of pork in human infections
Andrea I Estevez-Garcia DVM PhD and her international team present research on hepatitis E viruses as emerging pathogen in Latin America and developed countries

Pet probiotics
Keelan McNamara BSc, research and development scientist, AnaBio Technologies, discusses the benefits of the growing pet-probiotic market

Corneal disease and treatment
Mike Woods MVB Cert V Ophthal MRCVS, Primrose Hill Ophthalmology Referral Centre, Dun Laoghaire, provides a synopsis of a practical guide to corneal disease as presented at the VICAS Annual Conference 2018

July 2018

A research update from the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine
The team at University College Dublin's School of Veterinary Medicine present an update on the new research developments taking place within the School

Successful management of otitis externa
General approach to chronic or recurrent otitis and the best management steps are discussed by Tom Nuttall BSc BVSc CertVD PhD CBiol MSB MRCVS, RCVS specialist in veterinary dermatology, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, Scotland

Ocular emergencies
Ocular emergencies can be daunting as they require rapid assessment, diagnosis and treatment, writes Natasha Mitchell MVB DVOphthal MRCVS, recognised specialist
in veterinary ophthalmology, Eye Vet, Limerick

August 2018

EPIC change to the management of mitral valve disease
An EPIC change to the management of canine mitral valve disease is discussed by Jenny Wilshaw BVetMed MRCVS, PhD Student, Royal Veterinary College, London, UK

Subcutaneous ureteral bypass: is your patient a candidate?
Laura Cuddy MVB MS DACVS-SA DECVS DACVSMR DECVSMR MRCVS, specialist in small animal surgery and sports medicine and rehabilitation, Veterinary Specialists, Co Meath, reviews this novel treatment for ureteral obstruction

September 2018

Case report: feline acromegaly
Roisin O’Mahony MVB MRCVS Cert AVP (SAM) GPCERT SAM ESVPS, Animal Care Hospital, Douglas, reports on the possibility of acromegaly as a cause of diabetes mellitus in cats

Update on infectious bovine rhinotracheitis
Dr Maria Guelbenzu, programme manager for bovine viral diarrhoea and infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, Animal Health Ireland, reports on diagnosis and treatment of infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, as well as a new pilot eradication programme that has been established

October 2018

Case reports: neurology at NOAH
Dr William McCartney MVB Dipl ECVS DSAS (Orth) PhD C Eng MIMECHE FRCVS (RCVS, ECVS and VCI-recognised), North Dublin Orthopaedic Animal Hospital (NOAH), reports on two neurology cases presented to its specialist centre in Baldoyle

The added value of a One Health approach
Companion animal vets play a vital role in the One Health movement, according to Eithne Leahy DVM BA MSc, who writes about this movement in the context of companion animal practice

November 2018

AMR – a challenge to vets, farmers and herd health
At CAVI 2018, Donal Lynch MVB Cert DHH, from Donal Lynch Veterinary Practice and XL Vets, hosted a session on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the challenges it poses to veterinary practitioners and farmers. In this article, Donal revisits this most serious topic and the impact of AMR on herd health

Vets urged to play their part during World Antibiotic Awareness Week
November 12-18 is World Antibiotic Awareness Week and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) is calling on vets to handle and administer antibiotics with care

Influenza D virus in cattle
Research was conducted this year at the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, Department of Agriculture, Food, and Marine Laboratory Services to determine whether influenza D virus was present in cattle in Ireland and to investigate epidemiologic factors that might be related to this virus. Orla Flynn, a scientist at the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, outlines the process and outcomes

Integrative equine sports medicine
Sinead Devine MVB cVMA, certified animal chiropractor and assistant professor in Equine Clinical Studies, University College Dublin examines the increased use of complementary and alternative methods to manage lameness conditions in equines and decrease the risk of re-injury

December 2018

The many costs of heifer mastitis
Heifer mastitis can be a significant problem for some herds, threatening production and udder health in the first and subsequent lactations. Catherine McAloon, University College Dublin School of Veterinary Medicine and member of Animal Health Ireland’s CellCheck Technical Working Group, explores the many costs associated with heifer herd mastitis

A national animal welfare strategy for Ireland
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) is the lead Government department on policy matters that relate to the welfare of animals. Recently, the DAFM announced a public consultation on its intention to develop a national strategy to guide its approach to animal welfare over the next five years, writes Martin Blake, chief veterinary officer at the DAFM


March 2017

Change to EBI base means refocusing of genetic targets
George Ramsbottom, dairy specialist, Teagasc Oak Park, discusses the Economic Breeding Index and how its changes will affect the breeding targets for Irish dairy herds

Herd health challenges in springtime
Eoin Ryan MVB MVM DipECBHM, assistant professor in farm animal clinical studies, University College Dublin and European specialist in bovine health management, writes that is imperative that farm animal veterinarians respond to meet the herd health demand at springtime

Periparturient immune suppression in dairy cows
Niall Jackson MVB MSc, ruminant technical consultant – Ireland, Elanco Animal Health, outlines how to maintain dairy cow health during the critical early lactation period

Beef cow research programme
Assessing the impact of infectious diseases on key reproductive and health traits in Irish suckler beef herds, is outlined by Dr Mervyn Parr BAgrSc PhD and Professor David Kenny BAgrSc PhD DipStat DipMolMed DipLeadDev, Teagasc, Animal and Grassland, Research and Innovation Centre (AGRIC), Grange, Co Meath; and Damien Barrett MVB MVM MSc Cert CHP DipECBHM, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Backweston, Celbridge, Co Kildare

April 2017

Diagnostic techniques in two rare canine conditions
Aideen Moore MVB GpDI, locum for the Pet Emergency Hospital, The Irish Blue Cross and Villages Vets, Argyle and Bainbridge, Co Dublin, outlines a case report featuring two rare conditions – perinephric cyst associated with a ureteral fibroepithelial polyp and suspected subclinical chronic pancreatitis in a dog

Stem cell therapy
Dr William McCartney MVB Dipl ECVS DSAS (Orth) PhD MRCVS RCVS VCI and ECVS recognised specialist, North Orthopaedic Animal Hospital, Dublin, discusses mesenchymal stem cells and their role in successful stem cell therapy

UCD Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories: an overview
The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories are an integral part of the UCD Veterinary Hospital with their primary role to support the clinical teaching of the School of Veterinary Medicine, writes Dr Bryan Markey MVB PhD MRCVS, associate professor of veterinary microbiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin

May 2017

Canine diabetes mellitus
Diabetes mellitus is a common endocrinopathy in dogs and can be a frustrating disease to manage, both for the owner and the veterinarian, write Sivert Nerhagen DVM and Carmel T Mooney MVB MPhil PhD, University College Dublin Veterinary Hospital

Introduction to monoclonal antibodies
Biological therapy is the latest area being explored to help improve the health and quality of life of companion animals, writes Lesley Hobson, veterinary manager, Zoetis

Nutraceutical support for dogs and cats with gastrointestinal problems
Dr Daniel Sinteoan DVM, veterinary technical support manager, Mervue Laboratories, provides an in-depth review on the symptoms, causes and treatment of gastrointestinal problems in companion animals

Importance of cattle productivity and national performance in a greener environment
Cara Sheridan MVB MRCVS Cert DHH, vet adviser, MSD Animal Health, discusses the impact of controlling cattle diseases on national cattle productivity, performance and greenhouse gas emissions

Vaccination in the eradication of bovine viral diarrhoea
Niall Jackson MVB MSc, Ruminant Technical Consultant – Ireland, Elanco Animal
Health Ireland, outlines the role of vaccination as we move towards eradication of bovine viral diarrhoea

Practical guidance in providing advice on farm-specific parasite control
Rebecca Carroll, programme manager, Beef HealthCheck Programme, Animal Health Ireland (AHI), discusses a new leaflet developed by the AHI’s Parasite Control Technical Working Group, which provides a framework for veterinary practitioners drawing up a parasite-control plan

June 2017

Agri-science: the next generation
Following his highly commended entry at this year’s BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, second-year student, Niall Lyons, spoke to the Veterinary Ireland Journal about his project submission on the science behind milk proteins

Health Products Regulatory Authority: veterinary medicines report
Lisa Woods BSc, scientific officer and Michael McDonald PhD, Department of Veterinary Sciences, Health Products Regulatory Authority, Dublin, discuss suspected adverse event reports of veterinary medicinal products in the 2015-2016 period

University College Dublin’s Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis
Simon More, professor of epidemiology and risk analysis, University College Dublin’s School of Veterinary Medicine, outlines what the Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis does and how the centre provides scientific advice in support of national policy decision-making on a broad range of issues relating to animal health and welfare

BCF install first new GE Revolution ACT computing tomography system
Dragon Veterinary Centre in Cheltenham is the first veterinary practice to install the latest GE digital computed tomography scanner from BCF Technology

July 2017

Spay/neuter – what’s the evidence?
Should we still be routinely recommending gonadectomy in all of our patients, asks Laura C Cuddy MVB MS DACVS-SA DECVS DACVSMR MRCVS, specialist in small animal surgery, sports medicine and rehabilitation, Veterinary Specialists, Summerhill, Co Meath

A complete nutritional approach to dermatosis
John O’Connor MVB MRCVS Cert Mgmt (Open), veterinary marketing manager, ROYAL CANIN discusses the importance of healthy nutrition when treating dermatosis in companion animals

Case report: diagnosis complications in an English Bulldog
Tom Mullany MVB Cert VC MRCVS, Nutgrove Veterinary Hospital, Rathfarnham and Louise O’Leary MVB, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University College Dublin, present a case report on the peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia complicating the diagnosis of additional congenital defects in a young English Bulldog

August 2017

Weight management for the whole practice
Being overweight can lead to pets becoming uncomfortable and less able to play and exercise. It may also cause or exacerbate other diseases such as osteoarthritis, diabetes mellitus and neoplasia. If not addressed, obesity can lead to a shortened lifespan and also affect an animal’s quality of life, writes Shelley Holden RVN CertSAN, Royal Canin weight management specialist

Vets urged to look out for lungworm
Research indicates that nearly three-quarters of Irish and UK vets (74%) have experienced a case of lungworm in their practice, or have heard of a case occurring locally, in the past 12 months. A new campaign is urging vets to encourage monthly lungworm preventative treatment and avoid the tragedy of losing an animal, as this update from Bayer outlines

September 2017

Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis
The future control of infectious bovine rhinotracheitis in Ireland is outlined by Joanne Cregg, technical adviser – Ruminant Division, MSD Animal Health

Effective liver-fluke control
As liver fluke continues to be a threat to livestock farmers across the country, Matthew Colston, ruminant technical consultant veterinary surgeon, Elanco Animal Health, outlines a four-pronged approach to effective control

Rebecca Carroll, programme manager, Beef HealthCheck Programme, Animal Health Ireland, and member of the Animal Health Ireland Parasite Control Technical Working Group, discusses the tick-borne disease, Bovine babesiosis, more commonly known as redwater

Industry Q&A
With over 47 years’ experience in Ireland’s agri-industry, Mike Magan, chairman, Animal Health Ireland, and dairy farmer, discusses herd-health challenges and the unique symbiotic relationship between vets and farmers with Shauna Rahman

October 2017

Antimicrobial resistance – an update
Dr Gabriel J Beechinor, director of veterinary sciences, Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) provides an update on European developments to control antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

Paramphistomum spp in Irish livestock
A previously unidentified Paramphistomum spp, has now been identified in sheep flocks and deer herds; Sharon Magnier, ruminant technical adviser, MSD Animal Health, looks at the impact this will have in Irish livestock

Importance of Lignocaine in farm-animal practice
Brendan Smyth, chair of Veterinary Ireland’s animal welfare committee, discusses Lignocaine, its importance in farm-animal practice, and Veterinary Ireland's efforts to ensure that it is made available again to the farm-animal practitioner

November 2017

Management of the isolation unit when nursing a foal with rotavirus
The isolation centre is an area of the equine hospital that requires strict management in order to maintain biosecurity, writes Michelle McDonald RVN, veterinary nurse, Active VetCare

Cyathostomins: disease, resistance, control and new diagnostics
Nikki Walshe, equine clinician and lecturer in equine clinical studies in University College Dublin, outlines the presentation and management of the equine intestinal parasite, cyathostomins

December 2017

Mastitis control: an ongoing and evolving challenge
Despite the widespread implementation of mastitis control strategies, mastitis remains a major challenge to the worldwide dairy industry, writes Alistair Couper BVMS MRCVS, technical and marketing manager, ruminant, Hipra UK & Ireland

Pre-season training
Tommy Heffernan MVB gradcertDHH, Nuffield International Farming Scholarship award recipient, outlines why the drying-off period is so important

Teat sealants before calving
The administration of internal teat sealant to in-calf heifers before calving is discussed by Niamh Ryan MVB, formerly AGRIC, Jimmy Flynn, Noel Byrne, Sinead McParland, AGRIC, Teagasc, Moorepark; and Seán Arkins, University of Limerick

Knowledge Transfer – do the numbers reflect fertility?
Elizabeth A Lane MVB PhD Dipl ECAR PGCAP, superintending veterinary inspector, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Backweston Campus, Co Kildare, outlines the Knowledge Transfer programme