Simple D.Immitis Test Key To Early Heartworm Diagnosis

Simple D.Immitis Test Key To Early Heartworm Diagnosis

Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) is a seriously debilitating disease of dogs throughout southern Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South America. Though not yet established in the UK, climate changes and the presence of mosquitoes capable of transmitting the parasite highlights the benefits a simple and reliable D.immitis diagnostic test with real-world practicality.

What Is Dog Heartworm?

Heartworm, or Dirofilaria immitis, is a thread-like parasitic worm that infects the heart, lungs and blood vessels of wild and domestic dog species as well as ferrets, bears, seals, sea lions and, more rarely, cats and humans.  Heartworms form a congestive mass in the heart of an infected animal severely restricted the circulation of blood through the lungs and around the body.

Dogs suffering from heartworm infestation can show symptoms including weight loss or anorexia, a soft but persistent cough, lethargy or a reluctance to exercise, rapid or difficult breathing, decreased appetite, swelling around the chest or abdomen and – in the worst cases – sudden collapse and even death.

Changing-up: The Risk of Heartworm In The UK

Heartworm is a ‘vector-borne’ parasite transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Immature D.immitis larvae are injected, by mosquito bite, into the bloodstream of a domestic or wild population dog. With hundreds of others, they grow into adult heartworm forming a tangled, congestive mass in the dog’s blood vessels, organs and heart. Mating, they produce more larvae which are taken up by a feeding mosquito to continue the cycle of infection.

Vector-borne diseases require a ‘perfect triangle’ of hosts, vectors and a transmissible parasite. The UK already has a population of dog hosts and the mosquitoes capable of carrying the infective larvae, though a cool climate keeps the mosquito population low. Increased foreign travel under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), together with illegal dog imports heightens the risk of dogs arriving in the UK with a D.immitis infection. Climate change is likely to increase the numbers, lifespan and spread of the home mosquito population.

Early Detection of Heartworm Is The Key To The Cure

Dogs suffering from heartworm can be treated with a combined regime of medication and rest. Some degree of preventative treatment may also be available for dogs travelling to areas where D.immitis infection is more common. Your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise on the best course of action for you and your dog.

Where infection by, or exposure to, heartworm-carrying mosquitoes is suspected an immediate visit to your vet is essential. Vets and veterinary laboratories are equipped to carry out a range of procedures, including X-ray, ultrasound, ECG and highly specific veterinary diagnostic tests to detect clinical and early-stage signs of heartworm infection.

FASTest Heartworm Ag is a simple, 15-minute test for detecting specific Dirofilaria immitis markers (antigens) in whole blood, plasma or serum from dogs thought to have been exposed to infected mosquitoes. Test data shows the clear, colour-change test to be 98.6 % sensitive and 99.1% specific. Storage at room temperature (15-25° C) and long shelf life makes the all-in-one test kit a practical and economical veterinary field and laboratory diagnostic test.

Visit our website to see our full range of Veterinary Products www.vetlabsupplies.co.uk or contact us on 01798 874567.

Clinical vs Mycological: Cure of Microsporum Canis after pulse therapy with itraconazole

Clinical vs Mycological: Cure of Microsporum Canis after pulse therapy with itraconazole

Antibiotics have become the treatment of choice for many if not most bacterially mediated medical conditions. Antibiotic treatments are traditionally based on maintaining the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of the active agent in vitro. However, the key to the effective application of antibiotics, and other bio-active medication is combining the optimal dosage with the optimal re-dosing time interval.

Dosing Regimens

Experimental research has compared phased dosing regimens to those that work by maintaining a constant level of the active agent. Results showed that effective treatment was possible – even enhanced – when drug concentrations were not retained above the MIC over the entire treatment period. Further studies demonstrated that prolonged periods of dose suspension, interspersed between administered doses, could produce temporarily higher in vitro drug concentrations resulting in more rapid destruction of the target bacterial, fungal or other invading cells. Further, with antibiotics, the decrease in antibiotic concentration between doses could produce a ‘post-antibiotic’ effect which might help slow the worrying increase in antibiotic resistance.

Microsporum Canis After Pulse Therapy

Treatments using this so-called ‘pulse therapy’ has proved effective not only in the application of antibiotic therapies but also with medications relying on more conventional drug types. Research published in the October 2018 edition of Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery describes the results of treating Microsporum Canis infection in cats using a regime of alternating ‘one week on one week off’ applications of itraconazole.

Microsporum Canis is a feline dermatophytosis contagious via direct contact with material from other infected animals. Triazoles, such as Itraconazole, are cyclic carbon-nitrogen molecules known to be potent antifungal agents thanks to their inhibiting of the synthesis of ergosterol, a vital component of fungal cell membranes.

The work of Christopher Puls et al working at Elanco Animal Health, Greenfield, Indiana and published in the Journal showed that orally administered itraconazole in such a ‘pulsed-dose’ therapy ‘produced a clinical cure and facilitated and reduced the time to mycological cure compared with untreated controls’.

Interestingly, the authors reported that ‘Similar to previous studies, clinical cure [97.5% after 9 weeks – assessed using a Woods lamp] in the current study was achieved earlier and cure rates were greater than mycological cure rate [60% after 9 weeks], suggesting that clinical cure will often precede mycological cure’.

Detecting the possible presence of subclinical Microsporum infection requires a sensitive and reliable test that can be performed on the widest range of appropriate source material including hair roots, dandruff, scabs and skin scrapings. Vetlab Supplies is one specialist who offers Mykodermo Assay Trio, which is an innovative diagnostic test simplifying the detection of the most clinically significant dermatophytosis: Microsporum spp (M.canis, M.gypseum, M.pesicolor), Trichophyton spp (T.verrucosum, T.menta grophytes) and Epidermophyton spp.

No Deal Brexit?

No Deal Brexit?

Challenge Or Opportunity for Official Vets

A no-deal Brexit will take the UK out of EU animal welfare legislation. Maintaining animal welfare standards at the UK border will increase the workload of Official Vets in Border Inspection Posts, abattoirs and in veterinary laboratories. Training and deploying the necessary vets and support personnel will be a challenge to animal welfare and an opportunity for the veterinary profession.

EU Animal Welfare and UK Law

The welfare of animals traded within the EU is covered in Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). This document recognises in law the sentient nature of wild, commercial and companion animals. EU member states are legally bound to respect the welfare of animals in agriculture, fisheries, transport, laboratory research, development, and even space travel.

Animals brought into the EU, including the UK, must be checked and certified to EU standards. These standards are enforced at approved Veterinary Border Inspection Posts (BIPs). In the UK, the key personnel at these veterinary BIPS are the government authorised Official Vets (OVs).

Official Vets Crucial To Cross-border Animal Welfare

DEFRA defines an OV as a private practice vet who works on behalf of an EU member state. British OVs work on behalf of the UK’s Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) monitoring compliance with a range of animal and public health regulations including commercial animal export certification and the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).

Official Vets are in high demand, not only at BIPS, but in abattoirs, veterinary testing laboratories and other establishments where animal welfare and public health is a significant concern. Until 2011, the role of Official Vet was listed on the UK’s Shortage Occupation List, meaning that candidates could be sought from countries outside of the UK and EU.

Shortfall In Veterinary Professionals Risk To Animal Welfare

A no-deal Brexit will leave the UK outside of the TFEU welfare standards. Animals traded across UK-EU and UK-worldwide borders will require Export Health Certificates (EHC) signed by Official Vets. Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss, estimated that this extra work will require an increase of 225% in the number of OVs.

Removal of roles such as veterinary surgeon and veterinary laboratory scientist from the UK Shortage Occupation list means that veterinary recruitment is restricted by government immigration policy. A Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) survey showed a significant number of veterinary staff originated in the EU. The survey concluded that “…the UK veterinary profession will suffer considerably if European veterinary surgeons, and to a lesser extent European veterinary nurses, are no longer welcome here…”

RCVS findings are reinforced by the 2015 British Veterinary Association (BVA) survey which showed that 40% of UK veterinary practices took over 3 months to recruit professional staff or were forced to withdraw their vacancy altogether. A further 2018 BVA survey also showed a shortfall of 11.5% in vets and 7.6% vet nurses.

Opportunity and Challenge Of A No-deal Brexit

The UK traditionally aspires to the highest welfare standards in traded animals. Separation from European regulations could create the freedom to set new and higher welfare standards in the movement of commercial, companion and wild animals worldwide.

However, increased trade among countries with lower standards, apparently promising cheaper food imports, may drive UK farmers to resist higher standards and even press for less regulation. Whatever standards are adopted post-Brexit, the number of vets and vet professionals needed to monitor and maintain those standards in BIPs, abattoirs and veterinary laboratories is almost certain to increase. Meeting that need will be a challenge and an opportunity for the whole veterinary profession.

Visit our website www.vetlabsupplies.co.uk and see our full range of veterinary equipment and consumables.

StreetVet Homeless Pets Charity

StreetVet Homeless Pets Charity

Officially Registered

Registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and now an officially listed Registered Charity, StreetVet provides a comprehensive ‘out on the streets’ veterinary diagnostics, treatment, welfare and owner education service for the pets of Britain’s homeless.

StreetVet: How It All Began

StreetVet began with just two vets out on the streets of London back in 2016. Armed with only what veterinary supplies and equipment could be fitted into a backpack, ‎Jade Statt and Sam Joseph set out to honour the bond of loyalty they had witnessed between one homeless man and his dog.

Back then, Gary Spall, with his staffie-cross Lola, was among the homeless still to be found on the streets around Covent Garden, London. Lola, a rescue dog from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home shared every moment of Gary’s street life, building a mutual bond of loyalty and dependence. Gary attributed his survival through the worst of times to Lola, telling news reporters: “I don’t know what I’d do without her… It’d break me if I ever lost her.”

Homeless Pets: A Reason to Keep On Keeping On

As with Gary, a pet on the streets provides more than simply companionship for many homeless. A dog or, less usually, a cat or other animal provides a focus for living and a reason just to keep on going. Unfortunately, loved as they are, street pets can find themselves excluded from the professional veterinary healthcare, diagnosis and treatment expected for homed pets. A particular worry for the homeless is who will look after their pet if and when a stay in hospital becomes unavoidable.

StreetVet, now with 300 volunteers on its books, and supported by animal charity Blue Cross, also links homeless pet owners into the charity StreetKitchen with support for their owners too. Owner education is one of the key service points that StreetVet offers, giving owners the vital information they need to understand the particular health risks to pets of a life on the streets.

Continuing Care: Vaccinations and Follow-ups

Emergency care, veterinary diagnosis and treatment is only part of the animal charity’s work with Britain’s homeless pets. Just as with any pet and owner fortunate enough to a have a roof over their heads, regular health checks, vaccinations and follow-up appointments are all part of assuring a pet’s continuing well being even after the crisis has passed.

Now an officially registered charity, StreetVet operates in Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Plymouth, Birmingham, Cheltenham, Southampton as well as in London and Cornwall. In their first year and a half, over 200 street dogs were vaccinated, microchipped (now a legal requirement), treated for fleas and medicated against parasites such as lungworm. Other pets were prescribed pain relief and some even received surgery.

Veterinary and Public Support: Vital for Pet Charities

As with all charities helping people or pets, StreetVet and Blue Cross are dependent on the generosity of the public, veterinary professionals and specialists in veterinary supplies and equipment. Vetlab supplies helps support animal charities through preferential relationships in the supply of veterinary laboratory equipment, laboratory consumables and diagnostic test kits.

Contact us about our Charity Discounts! Telephone: 01798 874567 and we will be delighted to help you.

Giardiasis Symptoms Explained

Giardiasis Symptoms Explained

Diagnosis Needs This Test

New research reveals how the Giardia parasite causes intestinal tissue damage that allows other pathogens to flourish. However, the symptoms of giardiasis in animals (and humans) are not necessarily confirmatory. For vets, monoclonal antibody-mediated diagnostic Giardia test kits provide rapid, accurate detection both the active disease (trophozoite) and the carrier state (cyst).

The Giardia Parasite is One of Animal Health’s Oldest Enemies

The flagellated protozoan responsible for giardiasis is among the first microorganisms to be visually recognised by early day microbiologists. The motile, trophozoite, form of the Giardia parasite was first observed in 1681 by pioneer microscopist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek from stools of his own diarrhoea.

Named in 1882 to honour of Professor Alfred Mathieu Giard, the genus includes G.lamblia (also known as G.intestinalis and G.duodenalis) infecting humans and other mammals, together with G.ardeae and G.psittaci specific to birds, G.agilis to amphibians, and G.microti to voles.

Giardia Poses a Zoonotic Infection Risk to Human Health

Giardia parasites represent a zoonotic risk, meaning that the infection can spread from animals to humans. In May 2018, Public Health England reported increasing Giardia infection in England and Wales from just over 3,600 cases in 2013 to almost 4,500 thousand in 2016.

The report largely attributed the rise in observed infection rates to the increased use of immunological diagnostic methods. The effectiveness of such methodology underlines the case for the specific monoclonal antibody-based techniques of Giardia.spp diagnostic testing.

Symptoms Alone May Not Be Diagnostic of Giardiasis

In January 2018, researchers at the University of East Anglia uncovered the pathology underlying the symptoms of Giardiasis. Published in the journal Gigascience, UEA scientists describe how the active parasite produces ‘copy-cat’ human Tenascin proteins.

Tenascins balance the need for cells to stick together or break apart during tissue repair and wound healing. Excess Tenascins, due to Giardia infection, upset this balance causing the cells that line the intestine to break apart and release nutrients, which other gut bacteria exploit as food.

The waste and toxins produced by these other organisms cause symptoms including diarrhoea, flatulence, light stools, abdominal pain, nausea and dehydration; symptoms in common with other mammalian diseases and infections.

Giardia Diagnostic Testing Relies on Monoclonal Antibodies

Spread through faeces contaminated water, and a particular danger to young, infirm and immunologically challenged animals, diagnosing Giardiasis requires accurate diagnostic testing as well as expert recognition of symptoms.

FASTest Giardia Strip is instantly ready for use and stores at room temperature for up to 18 months. Precise and specific monoclonal antibodies detect both the trophozoite and cyst antigen to provide a clear-cut diagnosis in minutes through a simple 2-step process.

For further information about the FASTest Giardia Veterinary Kit: Contact Vetlab Supplies on 01798 874567 or visit our website www.vetlabsupplies.co.uk

Key Role For Vets In Animal Activities Welfare Act

Key Role For Vets In Animal Activities Welfare Act

The 2018 Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations, governs the trading, breeding and boarding of cats or dogs, also the hiring out of horses and the keeping or training animals for exhibition. The Act confirms veterinarians as central to animal welfare and the control of infectious kennel diseases such as Parvovirus and Canine Distemper.

Animal Welfare Protection and Regulation in One Comprehensive Act

The new law, which came into force on 1 October 2018, places all the regulations governing animal breeding, selling and boarding in England into one comprehensive Act. The new Act reinforces the legal protection of commercially housed animals from the risk of suffering and disease. This protection is particularly relevant to kennels and commercial puppy breeding establishments.

Commercial Dog Husbandry Standards Raised and Modernised

Previously, the setting and enforcing of standards in dog breeding and boarding centres was spread over a number of animal welfare acts including the Pet Animals Act 1951, Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963, Breeding of Dogs Act 1973, Breeding of Dogs Act 1991, Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 and latterly the 2006 Animal Welfare Act.

Registering and Licensing and Dog Breeders and Sellers

Some of the Act’s most significant features relate to health care and welfare standards in boarding kennels and dog breeding establishments. The housing of dogs and puppies under strict hygiene standards, and in accommodation that can be easily cleaned and thoroughly disinfected, is now mandatory in all commercial dog facilities.

Detailed record keeping is made mandatory and open to inspection. Records must include information on veterinary treatments, disease control, preventative healthcare and cleaning routines. The emphasis on health care and disease prevention confirms the central role of the veterinarian in the effective operation of the 2018 Act.

Online Advertising Standards and Puppy Health Aftersales Planning

The Act stipulates that breeding establishments must register their licenses with their veterinary surgeon and agree an on-going health care plan to accompany all puppies sold. Online advertising of dogs for sale must include details of the seller’s licence number, country of origin and country of residence.

The 2018 Animal Activities Welfare Act creates a legal requirement for dog breeders, boarders, trainers and traders to protect their animals from suffering and disease.

By providing expert advice relating to hygiene and husbandry, together with early diagnosis of emerging threats, Vets play a central role in the prevention and containment of canine diseases including ‘social risk’ infections such as Parvovirus and Distemper.

For further information about our diagnostic test kits Telephone: 01798 874567 or visit our website www.vetlabsupplies.co.uk

Vets Help Avoid Caregiver Burnout

Vets Help Avoid Caregiver Burnout

Pet Owners with Planned ‘Goals of Care’

Most pets are now considered equal partners of their owner’s household. More and more, this equality is placing a burden of care on owners of long-term and terminally ill pets previously seen only in caregivers to human family members. Consequently, vets are having to help pet owners avoid ‘caregiver burnout’ by focusing by guiding them toward agreed and achievable ‘Goals of Care’.

Caring For A Seriously Sick Companion Animal

Advances in veterinary diagnostics and treatment, coupled with changes in owners’ relationships with their pets, means that much more is possible and expected of veterinary medicine than ever before. The result is that almost all of pet owners will, at some time, find themselves caring for a seriously ill companion animal in a palliative care situation.

Veterinary professionals are encountering pet owners who choose to undertake long-term care where, in the past, euthanasia of a loved animal would have been considered the only humane option. Vets are also called upon to help relieve feelings of guilt and failure experienced by owners who, for sound reasons, have to resort to releasing their pet from further treatment or surgery.

Emotional And Mental Pressure

Caregiver burnout is already an acknowledged, stress-related issue in human medicine and no less real in caregivers providing long-term attention to loved and terminally ill pets. Such is the level of physical, emotional, and mental pressure on end-of-life caregivers that some suffer ‘caregiver burnout’ resulting in feelings of guilt, anxiety, and even depression.

Some experts in human Goals of Care conversation recommend that professionals follow the REMAP 5-step talking to help those lead caregivers toward the most appropriate system of care. In this model, the conversation between professional and caregiver opens by a ‘re-framing’ of the clinical position within the caregiver’s understanding of the patient’s illness and prognosis. Professionals must expect, listen, and attend to any ‘emotional response’ to the information they share with the caregiver.

Planning Treatment

Only when expectations, wishes, and choices have been clarified with both caregiver and patient – in a human illness situation – should the professional begin to ‘map out choices’ regarding future treatment. Professional ‘alignment’ with the caregiver’s and patient’s concerns and values ensures the final stage of ‘planning treatment’ will help accomplish the agreed goals of care. Adopting a similar process, in relation to serious and terminally ill companion animals may significantly reduce the likelihood of caregiver burn out in pet owners.

Vetlab Supplies Ltd

TIC All The Right Boxes With TIC Cell Counting

TIC All The Right Boxes With TIC Cell Counting

Cell Counting Systems, TIC All the Boxes for Single Cell Testing

Time and resource-conscious veterinary laboratories need a precise and convenient cell counting system that’s reliable and simple to use. Bioanalytics GmbH TIC® Single Cell Counting System provides a complete, ready to use disposable system with a long shelf-life that’s suitable for both experienced and student veterinary microscopists.

Counting Single Cell Types In A Range Of Species

Veterinary laboratories are often required to examine mammalian, reptilian and avian body fluid samples for general counts of red cells or white blood cells, or provide particular assessments of eosinophil, leukocyte, reticulocyte or thrombocyte numbers.

In the hands of experienced veterinary laboratory professionals, manual cell counting is generally accepted as the most reliable and precise estimation of total cell count in a sample of blood, synovial or other body fluid. Equipped with this well designed TIC® cell counting kit and an easy to use cell counting microscope, new and experienced operators can return equally precise total cell count figures.

Ready to Use Cell Counting Kits With A Long Shelf-Life

Ideally, the cell counting system of choice will be ready for immediate use when required, have a long shelf-life with minimal storage requirements, and include all of the reagents and materials required to sample, process and assess the specified cell type.

Each TIC® Full Kit provides sufficient reagents and consumables for 100 analyses tailored to the precise counting of one specific cell type.  For the convenience of frequent users, full kits include 100 disposable End-to-End glass capillary tubes and 100 Chamber Filling Capillaries.

Accurate Dilution Factors and Specific Cell Staining

Capillary collection tubes provide a safe, simple and economical means of collecting a precise volume of blood or other fluid. The filled tube can then be placed directly into the relevant single cell-type tube.

Pre-filled tubes ensure the correct dilution factor and consequent cell count accuracy. Each TIC® cell-type specific kit includes the relevant cell-specific stain premixed with the correct measured volume of diluent.

Precision and Practicality through Disposable Counting Chambers

Counting cells is made simple and reliable with disposable Bioanalytics glass Cell Counting Chambers. High-quality glass counting chambers provide superior performance compared to plastic chambers thanks to their shrinkage resistance, decreased risk of overfilling and reduced sample evaporation without resorting to humidity chambers.

Hemocytometer Neubauer Improved Disposable Slide

From the point of view of the busy veterinary laboratory manager, an important time-saving feature of the TIC® cell counting kit is the safely disposable nature of Bioanalytics glass Cell Counting Slides.

This feature not only removes the need for time-consuming washing, cleaning and storage of used materials but guarantees that each and every cell count is performed with the same high standard of first-use materials and reagents.

Please visit our website for further information or contact us on Tel: 01798 874567 and we will be delighted to help.

VetCompass Companion Animal Surveillance

VetCompass Companion Animal Surveillance

Where Vets Go When They Need to Know

Evidence-based veterinary testing, diagnosis and treatment depends on the ready availability of reliable information and statistical data. VetCompass, operated and maintained by the University of London’s Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is claimed as the world’s largest merged database of veterinary clinical records.

Risk Factors and Demographics in Companion Animal Disorders

The title VetCompass comes from a contraction of ‘Companion Animal Surveillance System’ a not-for-profit collaboration between the RVC and the University of Sydney. This international initiative aims to collate information and data on the range and frequency of domestic pet health issues. Analysis of the collected data provides veterinary professionals with the tools they need to identify important trends, risk factors and demographics in companion animal disorders.

VetCompass collects clinical and veterinary laboratory data from vets and vet labs in general practice on a day to day basis. The pooled data from a wide range of sources is then merged into an accessible single database making available the vast amount of data that would otherwise remain hidden away in thousands of unconnected local practice records.

Information from Almost 6 Million Animals

VetCompass began as pilot project collating data on the antibiotic and glucocorticoid treatments dispensed to pet animals in a small number of UK veterinary practices. From 2009, the initiative grew to include information from almost 6 million animals. Collaboration with the University of Sydney began in 2013 as ‘VetCompass Australia’. A targeted project, ‘VetCompass Equine’, designed to gather data on ailments and health risks to horses was launched in 2016.

The VetCompass approach to surveillance and data gathering has been applied to diseases ranging through epilepsy, cancer, skin disease, endocrinopathies and heart disease. As well as collating information on the disease, the project also gathers demographic facts and figures on such generalities as longevity and mortality, the occurrence of parasitism on pets and the frequency of accidents in dogs and cats.

Improved Road Safety Awareness

A recent VetCompass survey reported that although only 0.41% of dogs presented at UK vets were victims of road traffic collisions (RTC), almost 25% of those dogs subsequently died or required euthanasia. One demonstration of the benefit of such a large data set is the amount of detail it contains. The survey showed that male dogs were 40% more likely than females to suffer an RTC. Animals aged three years or less were almost 3 times more susceptible to RTC that dogs of 14 years or more. The authors hope that these facts will inform and encourage improved road safety awareness and better streetwise management of dog owners.

Visit our website to see our full range of Veterinary Products, www.vetlabsupplies.co.uk or contact us on 01798 874567.

Cat Watch UK

Cat Watch UK

Coming Soon to Britain’s Streets

Without diagnostic monitoring and management, feral populations place homed cats at risk of infection with FIV and FeLV, infestation with external parasites such as fleas and mites, and internal invaders including bacteria, viruses and intestinal or respiratory worms.

Understanding the Risk that Feral Felines Pose to Britain’s Pet Cats

Cat welfare charity, Cats Protection, is promoting the UK’s first major census of Britain’s stray and feral cat population. Cat Watch isn’t just a counting exercise; it’s a serious attempt to monitor the health of an estimated 1 million homeless and abandoned cats living on Britain’s city streets. The shared social nature of homed pet and homeless strays makes total separation of the parallel populations practically impossible, underlining the need to know and understand the risk that feral felines pose to Britain’s 7 million pet cats.

The Cat Watch project, tested on the streets of Nottingham, Bradford, Luton, and the Everton district of Liverpool, and supported a wide spectrum of organisations including the Liverpool University Veterinary Practice, will give a clearer view of UK feral cat health and include a neutering and welfare programme.

Uncontrolled Breeding and Abandonment of Homed Cats

Cities such as Rome, Paris and Liege are famous for their more or less successful attempts to manage the health and numbers of their feral cats. The 2010 Liege project provided important data on the risk of pet cats to strays infected with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV), while an earlier trap-neuter-release project in Rome was undermined by the uncontrolled breeding and abandonment of homed cats.

Veterinary diagnostic testing kits for such as Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Rotavirus, Chlamydiosis as well as a combined diagnostic for FIV/FeLV provide the early detection essential to effective treatment and containment of disease in managed cat environments such as breeding centres and catteries. Veterinary laboratory tests also provide detection systems for external parasites including. The same tests provide an efficient resource for monitoring the health of feral and stray populations.

Three in Five Owned Cats are now Microchipped

Pet animal welfare charity BlueCross advises that most apparently stray cats do in fact have a home. Before any cat wandering into your home or garden is treated as a genuine stray, BlueCross suggest a few simple actions toward uniting the wanderer with their true owner. Talking to neighbours is a good start. Posters, press ads and local social ads will also spread the message. Attaching a paper collar to the cat with your contact details gives the cat’s owner an opportunity to confirm ownership. Pet charity, the PDSA, estimates that three in five owned cats are now microchipped. So a quick microchip scan at your local veterinary surgery or pet charity re-homing centre might well identify a cat’s owner, even the cat has travelled some considerable distance.

To find out more about our large range of veterinary diagnostic test kits visit our website: www.vetlabsupplies.co.uk or Telephone: 01798 874567