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Session - Conservation Biology, Public Health - 75.0 mins - Room 1
 |In 2018, a unique strain of Salmonella Enteriditis (SE) was detected in humans and was traced back to a NSW egg farm. Over a course of two years, 16 egg layer properties in NSW and 2 in Victoria were identified as infected and were managed through strict biosecurity controls, movement restrictions, culling and decontamination. All properties in NSW were linked through movement of eggs, people or equipment.   There have been 8 food recalls and 3 withdrawals of eggs and approximately 300 human SE cases nationally.  The management of the SE outbreak has highlighted the importance of a One Health approach with Food Safety, human and animal health and poultry industry working closely together. The impact of the outbreak has led to significant changes including improvement in biosecurity , changes to regulation and new ways of doing business.
Outbreaks of feline calicivirus and canine parvovirus cause concern amongst small animal practitioners because of their infectivity and the potential for nosocomial transmission within the veterinary context. Management of transmission risk requires implementation of strict infection control prevention and control (IPC) practices that include standard and transmission based precautions, such as hand hygiene, personal protective equipment and isolation. Human health care facilities use these same principles to reduce the risk of healthcare-acquired infections including Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The implementation of IPC practices to reduce pathogen transmission in human health care settings is  the presence of dedicated IPC teams and rigorous ongoing training. Infection prevention and control within veterinary care is in its infancy and the industry lacks a coherent framework for its implementation. The need for IPC continues to increase with the persistence and emergence of pathogens that present risks to our patients and potentially our staff and clients. In addition, improving IPC in veterinary practice is a stated goal of the Australian Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy. This session will demonstrate the current status of IPC in small animal veterinary practice and introduce you to the changes needed to reduce the risk of pathogen transmission within the workplace, to keep both humans and animals safe.

Session - Education, Research & Academia - 75.0 mins - Room 2
 | Reflective practice is a form of learning in which people use their own experiences and the learning contained within them, to grow and develop. This style of learning is often undervalued in comparison to traditional formal, knowledge-based learning.  Greater use of reflective practice may assist veterinarians to address the common sources of occupational stress, whilst allowing for the on-going development of the key capabilities that allow them to create a satisfying and successful career.  Evidence supporting the value of facilitated reflective practice groups in both improving the coping skills, satisfaction and well-being of medical professionals and reducing their stress and burnout, is growing. Facilitated groups create a time and a safe, supportive space for practitioners to openly share their challenges and successes with their peers. The use of such groups has been reported in the veterinary literature. Research into the use, benefits and challenges of facilitated reflective practice groups in veterinarians is recommended.
 | It is becoming more widely recognised that individuals from a range of caring professions can be impacted by grief associated with work. How this grief is experienced can vary according to a range of factors such as individual aspirations, past experiences, professional identity and degree of personal investment in a case. Factors more specific to the veterinary profession include unique ethical challenges and frequent death of animal patients.   However, this grief is often hidden and disenfranchised resulting in the development of unhealthy coping strategies, reduced work performance and high staff turnover. When emotions associated with grief are supressed they can unexpectedly resurface later contributing to psychological distress, compassion fatigue and burnout. A lack of training and stigma associated with seeking support for managing emotions has been raised as an area of concern within the veterinary profession. This presentation will propose and discuss both individual and organisational level strategies developed in other caring professions which are applicable for veterinary businesses.
Session - Industry - 75.0 mins - Room 3
 | Development of in-feedlot diagnostics for the accurate and timely identification of pathogens associated with bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) presents specific challenges due to the necessary logistics of feedlot practice and animal management. Staff ratios associated with intensive beef production, coupled with the requirement for minimum interventions, means that a point-of-decision diagnostic must be fast, accurate and reliable but also inexpensive to be useful and effective in improving animal outcomes as well as making a meaningful impact on economic margins at induction. Necessary minimisation of pulls for intervention and / or treatment equally presents a challenge for diagnosis and management of BRDC-affected animals in the hospital system, who rarely undergo detailed diagnostic workup. To be an effective strategy for the in-feedlot analysis of the major bacterial pathogens associated with bovine respiratory disease complex, the timeline for sampling and results must fit within existing feedlot workflows to be adopted by industry. A co-design approach was undertaken to develop an in-feedlot diagnostic tool capable of informing BRDC management decisions which will be discussed. This approach is based on quantitative PCR with increased accuracy of the results and will also be highlighted using analysis of induction and hospital pen cattle from two commercial feedlots in Australia.
Perennial Ryegrass Toxicosis (PRGT) is a clinical syndrome of herbivores in southern regions of Australia and New Zealand grazing pasture with a high proportion of perennial ryegrass. To date no clinically applicable therapeutic has been available to treat clinical cases of PRGT or to prevent disease.   PRGT is a complex toxicity with multiple alkaloids involved. Disease presentations range from subclinical productivity losses to a severe neurological syndrome with ataxia, tremor, recumbency and occasionally death. Lolitrem B, the primary toxin responsible for neurological signs, is thought to block calcium activated potassium channels (BK Channels). In the brain this will have a number of effects; generally it will increase neuronal instability. In the cerebellum however the overall effect is to reduce neuronal outputs. As the cerebellum is involved in regulating movement the effect of intoxication is for movement to become less regulated and more exaggerated (cerebellar ataxia) or the classical “ryegrass staggers” presentation.  This presentation considers the use of bromide, an accepted therapy for epilepsy in small animals and humans, as a treatment for PRGT and evaluates therapeutic efficacy within murine and ovine models of Perennial Ryegrass Toxicosis (PRGT).  Trials demonstrate that bromide is effective at reducing lolitrem B induced tremor and ataxia. Because of its limited side effects, high oral bioavailability, high safety margin and low cost, bromide is a good potential on-farm therapy for PRGT.
The gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome refers to the ecosystem consisting of billions of microorganisms that live within an individual’s gastrointestinal tract. 
 
 Soluble prebiotic dietary fibres are an important substrate for the colonic bacteria within the GI microbiome. They are metabolised to form end products including short-chain fatty-acids (SCFA) and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory-rich polyphenols; many of which can be beneficial for the host.
 
 Nutrition has the ability to use the power of the pet’s own GI microbiome to support digestive health, and because dogs and cats have to eat every day, choosing complete and balanced foods specifically designed to promote digestive health is the most practical and lasting strategy to positively influence the GI microbiome.
 
 This lecture will discuss ground-breaking new research highlighting the critical role nutrition can play for a dog’s GI microbiome - not only for GI disease, but also for overall health and well-being.
Malaria, African trypanosomosis, Chagas disease, Leishmaniosis, Toxoplasmosis and Cryptosporidiosis in humans and infection of animals with Eimeria, Cystoisospora, Giardia and Babesia are the globally most important protozoal diseases.  Antiprotozoal resistance, low efficacy and adverse effects are all potential important limitations of currently available therapeutic agents.  A novel agent with unique mode of action is a critical need and is the subject of this project.
Session - Small Animal - 105.0 mins - Room 1
Chronic diarrhoea     
Cobalamin is an ever growing important vitamin in veterinary practice and the more we learn of gastrointestinal disease we are realising the importance of this vitamin. He we will discuss the pathophysiology of Vitamin B12, when to test and submit your samples and how the result can affect your diagnostic management of the case. 
How I treat dogs with protein-losing enteropathy
Session - Cattle - 105.0 mins - Room 2
Identifying and quantifying the relative frequency of involuntary losses is an essential first step to allow fit-for-purpose herd health programs to be designed for a given cattle production area. The objective of this study was to provide an estimate of the relative frequency of mortality reasons among South Western Australian beef and dairy cattle based on necropsies carried out at a university-based veterinary pathology service for the 38 years from 1 January 1981 to 31 December 2018. A total of 904 cattle were submitted for post mortem examination throughout the study period. Gastrointestinal, cardiopulmonary and reproductive conditions were the most common causes of mortality in beef and dairy cattle submitted for necropsy at Murdoch University for the period 1981 to 2018. In dairy cattle, the common problems were gastrointestinal (18%, 59 of 320), cardiovascular (9%, 30 of 320), and respiratory conditions (8%, 27 of 320). In beef cattle, the most common conditions were gastrointestinal (11%, 39 of 358), reproductive (11%, 38 of 358), cardiovascular (7%, 25 of 358), respiratory (7%, 24 of 358), lameness (6%, 21 of 358), and hepatobiliary conditions (6%, 21 of 358).  There is a need to standardise data capture methods, disease definition criteria and more in-depth characterisation of data both at the farm-level and necropsy diagnostic centres.
Farm biosecurity refers to all measures geared towards the prevention of disease occurrences in farm animals. The study assessed important biosecurity aspects and motivations for implementing "best practice biosecurity practices".The biosecurity practices on dairy farms were variable and unstandardised in support of our initial hypothesis. The study showed that animal and human health reasons were the main motivators for implementing and maintaining “best practice” biosecurity measures among Australian dairy herds. There is a need to improve and standardise farm biosecurity practices among Australian dairy herds because of the potential risks that could occur in the event of a contagious disease outbreak as well as a need to increase awareness of preventive veterinary medicine practice within the farms.
Session - Equine - 105.0 mins - Room 3
Introduction: Ulcerative keratitis is a common condition in equine practice. The objective of this study was to investigate antimicrobial susceptibility and resistance patterns of microbial flora residing on the ocular surface of horses with ulcerative keratitis in the Hunter Valley, Australia.

Materials and Methods: Medical records of horses diagnosed with ulcerative keratitis from 2014 to 2020 were reviewed. Information was collected regarding age, sex, breed, clinical manifestations, prior treatment, outcome, microbial swab cytology, culture and antimicrobial susceptibility.

Results: Medical records from 123 horses were evaluated (124 eyes). Seventy-five samples yielded bacterial growth (60%) and four samples yielded fungal growth (3%). Seventy-two horses (58%) received topical antibiotic therapy prior to microbial swab culture, and of these horses, forty-one (57%) yielded bacterial growth. Gram positive (84%) organisms were more common than Gram negative (16%). The most commonly isolated organisms were Streptococcus spp. (49/85, [58%]), Bacillus spp. (10/85, [12%]), and Staphylococcus spp. (9/85, [11%]). Antimicrobial resistance was found towards ofloxacin (4/57, [7%]), chloramphenicol (14/65, [21%]), tetracycline (18/59, [31%]), tobramycin (31/58, [53%]), gentamicin (31/54, [57%]) and neomycin (39/65, [60%]).

Relevance to Australian clinical equine practice: Gram positive bacteria were the dominant microorganisms on the corneal surface of horses with ulcerative keratitis. Horses with ulcerative keratitis were resistant to one or more topical antimicrobials, most commonly aminoglycosides, tetracyclines and chloramphenicol. Knowledge of the microbial flora and their antimicrobial susceptibility for each geographical region is important for guiding empirical therapy and increasing the chance of a positive case outcome in horses with ulcerative keratitis.

Laminitis is a debilitating clinical syndrome of lameness due to hoof pain that equine practitioners are very familiar with. However, it has only been in the last decade that distinct causes of laminitis have been well defined and the importance of endocrine causes of laminitis, including laminitis associated with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) and equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) have been understood.

This presentation aims to review: 
1: Current best practice in diagnosis of pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID)
2: Current best practice in diagnosis of equine metabolic syndrome (EMS)
3: Why diagnosis of underlying endocrine disease is important in directing laminitis management, both in differentiating the primary disease process and in determining the laminitis risk.

Once you have made a diagnosis of endocrinopathic laminitis, it is important to use that information to guide treatment of the acute laminitis episode as well as to guide long term management to prevent recurrence. This presentation aims to review:
  1. Management of the acute case including managing the pain, providing hoof support and preventing further damage as well as immediate endocrine treatment considerations.
  2. Management of the endocrine laminitis case after the acute episode to prevent recurrence.
  3. Monitoring versus diagnosis of insulin dysregulation and laminitis risk.
#VetFest 2020
VetFest 2020
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