Veterinary Record awards innovation, impact and evidence-based veterinary medicine

22 September 2016

The Veterinary Record Awards recognise innovation and impact in the profession as well as evidence-based veterinary medicine

BVA's renowned weekly journal, Veterinary Record, made three awards at BVA's Members' Day today (22 September), recognising innovation and impact in the profession as well as evidence-based veterinary medicine.

Veterinary Record Impact Award

The Veterinary Record Impact Award recognises the research paper published in Veterinary Record over the last 12 months that is considered likely to have the most significant practical impact. The winners this year are Simon Archer and colleagues from University of Nottingham and Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) for a paper on increasing the recommended claw length for foot trimming in dairy cows.

For the last 30 years the minimum recommended claw length for trimming has been 75 mm. However, there is considerable variation in claw length, and from a detailed study of 219 hind claws from 68 cows in a single herd, the authors found that a minimum claw length of 90 mm would be more appropriate. Over trimming causes pain to the animal as well as making it susceptible to claw horn lesions, and if the traditional recommendation had been followed for the cows in this study, this would have resulted in 55 per cent of them being over trimmed. They propose that the minimum recommended claw length for any adult Holstein-Friesian dairy cow should be increased to at least 90 mm.

The comments of the reviewers highlighted the practical implications of the study. The first reviewer said, ‘This article … will be a very useful paper for the dairy industry to refer to. It's well written and beautiful presented.' The second reviewer said it was ‘of significant importance', describing it as ‘an excellent paper with quite far reaching implications for welfare and production.'

Veterinary Record Innovation Award

The Veterinary Record Innovation Award is presented to individuals and veterinary teams whose innovation has brought about a change or improvement in any aspect of veterinary practice.

This year's winner is International Cat Care for its Cat Friendly Clinic programme.

The programme was developed after International Cat Care identified a number of problems in the care of cats: Fewer cats were taken to the vet than dogs, with vets seeing a decline in the number of clients with cats. More importantly, both cats and their owners could find visiting the vet stressful. This could lead to difficulty in handling the animals during examinations, the results of diagnostic tests being affected and delays in recovery as a result of stress.

The Cat Friendly Clinic programme involves clinics being assessed across three areas: the team's attitude and approach towards cats and their owners; good feline clinical practice; and having an appropriate cat-friendly clinic structure and equipment.

The reported benefits of running a cat friendly clinic include improved diagnosis and care through correct handling, better uptake of preventive healthcare as a result of the visit to the vets being less stressful, and clients becoming more bonded to the practice.

There are now over 1600 cat friendly clinics around the world, with clinics in over 25 countries. In North and South America, the programme is licensed to the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

The judges felt this entry demonstrated innovation and also provided a practical solution for a problem that many practioners would face when dealing with their feline patients. The global reach of the programme was impressive, and with it now entering its fifth year the benefits to patients, clients and practices was becoming more apparent. The judges commended the initiative for not only raising the standard of care and welfare of cats when in the practice setting, but also being good for the veterinary business by increasing bonding with cat.

Veterinary Record Evidence Award

The Veterinary Record Evidence Award is a new award for this year. It aims to recognise those who have contributed to the development of evidence-based veterinary medicine or its application in practice.

The winner of the first Veterinary Record Evidence Award is the Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine at the University of Nottingham.

The centre aims to ‘increase the awareness and use of the EBVM principles within the profession'.

The principles it promotes cover all species and disciplines, and these have been promoted to the profession through education, the development of EBVM resources, the open access publication of research and by working directly with the decision makers to improve the application of EBVM to practice.

The judges felt the CEVM had shown itself to be a leader in promoting EBVM. It had engaged with practitioners in highlighting what is involved and encouraging its uptake. It had done this through the provision of CPD, as well as developing resources, such as a databases of veterinary systematic reviews and the BestBets for Vets, which appraise the available evidence and are published online, as well as in the clinical decision making section of Veterinary Record.

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