TB control strategy I WOULD like to challenge the assertion by some of our specialist species divisions that the BVA’s recent position on controlled shooting as part of the badger cull policy is ‘inappropriate’ (VR, May 23, 2015, vol 176, pp 551-552). BVA’s decision to withdraw support for the use of controlled shooting as part of the badger culling policy was taken by our Council following consultation with our committees (Ethics and Welfare Group and Veterinary Policy Group), our specialist divisions (including the British Cattle Veterinary Association, Sheep Veterinary Society and Pig Veterinary Society) and our wider membership. The Council was presented with two opposing but equally well-considered viewpoints. Our two standing committees and the two species divisions with a direct interest (BCVA and the British Veterinary Zoological Society) agreed with the need for badger culling to remain part of the comprehensive strategy to eradicate bovine TB, but their advice on the methodology was at variance. So the Council had a difficult and important job to weigh up the evidence, consider the different views and arrive at a position that was based on the available evidence and ethical considerations and also took account of BVA’s previous statements on the issue. BVA had called for an Independent Expert Panel (IEP) to assess the use of controlled shooting and, at the end of year 1, had called on Defra to implement the IEP’s recommendations in full to achieve an improvement in the effectiveness and humaneness the following year. We had made clear that our continued support was entirely dependent on this caveat. When the second year of culling failed to demonstrate conclusively that controlled shooting could be carried out effectively and humanely based on the criteria set by the IEP, the only credible option for BVA was to withdraw support for controlled shooting in light of the evidence. It is difficult to argue that the continued use of controlled shooting for badger culling is appropriate when another more humane and effective method that has been tried and tested is available. Of course we recognise that for some of our members our position doesn’t go far enough, while for others it goes too far.

But the process by which we arrived at the position stands up to scrutiny. Our position is therefore wholly appropriate and consistent with our previous statements on badger culling, taking into account the available evidence and the wide range of views expressed by our members. John Blackwell, President, BVA, 7 Mansfield Street, London W1G 9NQ e-mail: [email protected] doi: 10.1136/vr.h2977

was stuck: I flicked into ‘vet mode’ and the rest of the hour was a complete waste of time. There were frequent albeit friendly discussions on medical politics – young vets and young doctors, the public’s high expectations, how nice it must be to be a vet: dinner-party talk. This has happened before; a therapist seeing me as a veterinary surgeon first and a human being second. I mentioned this to a friend who has found similar. What are we going to do? The profession is lauded by all parts of society, which contributes to the mental depression in the first place. When seeking help this laudation is in danger of derailing the very help that we need. Name and address withheld


Mental health and seeking help ONCE again Veterinary Record has carried an article on stress and mental health issues within the profession (VR, May 9, 2015, vol 176, p 481). This is a recurrent subject and indeed so it should be. Vets have a significantly higher suicide rate than the general population and there has been much research into why we have made ourselves more at risk. Getting good help is essential. From personal experience, I can applaud the Vets Helpline for getting me through my own dark periods. I feel that, because so many factors relate to events specific to veterinary work, to have someone at the end of the phone who knows our industry is reassuring. Notwithstanding the above, I have, like many in our profession, been through periods of psychotherapy over the years and, as I am still alive, one has to assume that these have been beneficial. However, we have a problem. Perceived or not, the big stumbling block in therapy is to be seen as a human being and not as a veterinary surgeon. Last week I decided that I ought to see a psychiatrist rather than another therapist this time and an appointment was made. I attended in jeans and a t-shirt, which I thought was neutral, but within a few minutes I had to reveal my profession. Ten minutes then lapsed while I listened to how the psychiatrist’s dog was not treated properly and it had died, and how he was devastated by this. It really didn’t help me, the patient, but I

doi: 10.1136/vr.h2979


Adverse event reports relating to Augmentin THE Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) would like to make veterinarians aware of a recent increase in the number of adverse reaction reports we have received for Augmentin Intravenous Powder for Solution for Injection (amoxicillin and clavulanate) (GlaxoSmithKline). Over the past three months we have received a significantly higher number of reports relating to Augmentin. They all involved hypersensitivity reactions, including allergic oedema, urticaria and allergic pruritus. We notified veterinary practices of a similar issue in 2011 concerning Co-amoxiclav, which also contains amoxicillin and clavulanate. Augmentin is authorised for use in humans and is used by veterinary surgeons under the cascade system. It is not authorised for use in animals and, therefore, no safety or efficacy studies have been carried out relating to its use in animals. We have spoken to both GlaxoSmithKline and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). GlaxoSmithKline has confirmed that it has not altered the manufacture of the product and it is not aware of any batch June 6, 2015 | Veterinary Record | 601

Letters defects. Some practices were requested to return samples of a batch for testing and this testing confirmed that the product was within manufacturing specifications. GlaxoSmithKline and the MHRA also confirmed that they were not aware of an increased number of reactions or reports from humans relating to this product. We would like to encourage practices to report all adverse events to the VMD using our online reporting form (www.gov. uk/report-veterinary-medicine-problem). As Augmentin is not authorised for use in animals, GlaxoSmithKline has no obligation to investigate these cases or report them to the VMD. We would also like to remind vets that any human adverse reactions to authorised human medicines should be reported to the MHRA (https:// yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/) rather than the VMD. Gillian Diesel, VMD, Woodham Lane, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3LS e-mail: [email protected]


DYER, F. (2011) Co-amoxiclav Powder for Solution for Injection or Infusion. Veterinary Record 169, 450

doi: 10.1136/vr.h3001


Acute respiratory disease in Irish wolfhounds IRISH wolfhound owners have been concerned for many years about acute respiratory disease in the breed. Their

602 | Veterinary Record | June 6, 2015

experiences are that it is severe, often recurrent and can be fatal (Clercx and others 2003, Greenwell and others 2014). As a result of owner concerns, we have been investigating this condition in conjunction with the breed health group for the past two years. This study required owners to complete a questionnaire providing the clinical details and outcome of their affected dogs. The results of 59 cases were presented at the recent BSAVA congress (Bodey 2015). They indicated the development of acute respiratory disease in wolfhounds is multifactorial. Treatment protocols varied for the 59 dogs, including many different medications and a variety of antibiotics. There was no evidence that any particular treatment combination or particular antibiotic led to a significant improvement in outcome in affected dogs. We are currently looking to expand this initial study and enrol as many wolfhounds with acute respiratory disease as possible. We will use these cases to perform a more comprehensive review of this condition. We would primarily like to determine whether this is one condition with a single aetiology or multiple aetiologies presenting in a similar way. We would therefore like to hear from clinicians who have managed acute respiratory disease in Irish wolfhounds. In particular, we would like to gather data on the clinical features of the disease, responses to treatment and outcomes. Although this study will be largely retrospective, we are very keen to hear of new cases and would like to follow their clinical progress where possible. We hope that by expanding this study we will be able to understand and manage this condition more thoroughly and improve the outcome for wolfhounds with acute respiratory disease. We would appreciate

it if colleagues could contact us using the details below to discuss any cases that they feel might be suitable for the study, which may also involve completing a short questionnaire. Angela Bodey, Abbey House Veterinary Hospital, Morley, Leeds LS27 8AG e-mail: [email protected] Mark Dunning, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire LE12 5RD e-mail: [email protected]


BODEY, A. (2015) A retrospective questionnaire based study of pneumonia in the Irish wolfhound. BSAVA clinical abstracts at congress. Birmingham, April 9 to 12, 2015. CLERCX, C., REICHLER, I., PEETERS, D., MCENTEE, K., GERMAN, A., DUBOIS, J. & OTHERS (2003) Rhinitis/bronchopneumonia syndrome in Irish Wolfhounds. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 17, 843-849 GREENWELL, C. M. & BRAIN, P. H. (2014) Aspiration pneumonia in the Irish wolfhound: a possible breed predisposition. Journal of Small Animal Practice 55, 515-520

doi: 10.1136/vr.h3000

Adverse event reports relating to Augmentin.

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