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Following the outbreak of megaesophagus / polyneuropathy in Latvian dogs, a seminar will be held in Riga on 20 September to discuss the investigation into this disease, including a case-control study and a number of specific toxicologic tests.
As reported earlier, Latvia has observed an increased incidence of megaesophagus (ME) causing suffering and death in dogs since early 2014. By the end of 2015 there were a total of 140 confirmed cases, with an estimated incidence range of 1 case per 1600 to 2600 dogs.
Invited speakers at the seminar include neuropathologist Kaspar Matiasek (Munich, Germany), neurologist Janis Jeserevics (Helsinki, Finland) and epidemiologist Arvo Viltrop (Tartu, Estonia). Neurologist Clare Rusbridge (UK) has also confirmed her participation (see next page for details).
Goals of the seminar, which will be held in English, are to present results of investigation to veterinary and medical professionals, dog food manufacturers and government agencies involved in public health and animal welfare as well as public sponsors of the project, and to have a scientific discussion about ramifications of results and recommendations for further actions.
On behalf of its members FECAVA has issued a statement voicing its ‘deepest concern’ with the fact that the compromised welfare and even death affecting a significant population of dogs in Latvia has so far ‘not been properly recognized and investigated by the local and national authorities’. FECAVA call upon the authorities to take appropriate measures ‘to stop this unacceptable welfare issue’.
10:00-12:00: Part 1: Report of investigation
Moderator: Liene Dindone, DVM
- Overview of canine megaesophagus / polyneuropathy outbreak investigation in Latvia: Ilze Matise (10 min)
- Epidemiology of the outbreak: Ivars Lūsis, Arvo Viltrop (20 min)
- Clinical aspects of the disease: Kristīne Drevinska, Aleksandrs Ozols, Lita Konopore (10 min)
- Findings of neurological exam, EMG and nerve conduction in dogs affected with ME / PNP: Janis Jeserevičs, Sigitas Cizinauskas (20 min)
- Summary of gross and microscopic lesions in dogs with ME / PNP: Inga Pigiņka, Dace Stankeviča (10 min.)
Microscopic and ultrastructural changes in peripheral nervous system of dogs with ME / PNP: Kaspar Matiasek (20 min.)
- Results of toxicological investigation: Ilze Matise (20 min)
- Summary and conclusions: Ilze Matise (10 min)
12:30-14:30: Part 2: Discussion panel: questions and answers
Moderator: Juris Tolpežņikovs, DVM
Panel: Ilze Matise, Kaspar Matiasek, Ivars Lusis, Arvo Viltrop, Janis Jeserevičs, Claire Rusbridge,
Lita Konopore, Aleksandrs Ozols, Kristīne Drevinska, Inga Piginka
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Seminar on megaesophagus
Monday morning, we went to the Gent Veterinary School where some professors showed us their facilities (hospital, surgery theatres, and museum). The guided visit was too short, I would have needed several days (or weeks)! In the afternoon we had lunch in Gent and took some time for sightseeing before reaching Brussels to attend a Vets Without Borders meeting at the European Parliament, again really interesting.
Tuesday, our last day in Belgium, we spent the morning consulting at Bieke´s practice. There were some ‘difficult’ clients and we could talk about how to manage these situations. Midmorning we left for a visit of Oudenaarde. In the afternoon we attended a canine sport dogs training centre where we were surprised by a team member remembering about me vetting at Mondioring World Championship some three years ago here in Spain! Later on we met Bieke´s classmates of the Spanish lessons and shared a nice dinner with them all.
So, about our experience in Belgium... nice sightseeing, interesting meetings and visits and a great time with our Belgium colleagues with whom we have been able to share great talks. Frida and I are looking forward to their travel to Northern Spain for the second part of the scholarship!
Marisa & Frida
If you and a group of European colleagues would like to apply for the FECAVA LABOKLIN Travel Scholarship 2017, please visit the FECAVA website or
e-mail email@example.com for the application details.
Fecava-Laboklin travel bursary awardees Frida Quintano and Marisa Suárez from Spain went on an exchange with their colleagues Bieke Lannoy and Koen De Bleecker from Belgium. Here is the report of the first part of the exchange:
First thing to let everybody know: it has been such a great experience, busy days with such a lot of things to do. Exhausting but satisfying!
Early October, we, Frida Quintano and Marisa Suárez, travelled to Brakel, Belgium to share some days with Bieke Lannoy and Koen De Bleecker. On Saturday we attended Bieke’s morning consultations and in the afternoon we visited a shelter where they also do some physiotherapy with dogs. After a long and pleasant breakfast ‘just talking about lots of things’, we visited Bruges and sampled some typical Belgian food (mussels!).
Travel bursary: Bilbao meets Brakel
FECAVA senior vice president Monique Megens presenting the position paper on responsible dog trade to the FVE general assembly in Brussels last month.
Dog trade paper adopted
Volume 26(4), Winter 2016
Frida, Marisa, Bieke and Koen at the small animal hospital of the Veterinary Faculty in Ghent, with professor Sylvie Daminet (far right)
Bilbao meets Brakel
Fecava-Laboklin travel bursary awardees Frida Quintano and Marisa Suárez from Spain went on an exchange with their colleagues Bieke Lannoy and Koen De Bleecker from Belgium. Here is the report of the first part of the exchange ...
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Profit should never take priority over animal health and welfare and should never harm the consumer. This is the unambiguous message of the veterinary profession in Europe speaking out against the ...
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Council meeting in Athens
FECAVA Directors met in Athens on 26th of November, together with representatives of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe, the Union of European Veterinary Practitioners and of the World Small Animal Veterinary Associations. Unfortunately due to airline strikes, the number of people attending was quite reduced. Topics that were discussed included the dog trade paper, mental health and well-being of veterinary professionals, the GRAM book of good practices on antibiotic use and the forthcoming congress in 2017. FECAVA also decided to set up a working group on vector borne diseases in dogs.
From 10 to 12 November, FECAVA board members Monique Megens, Ann Criel and Wolfgang Dohne (above) attended the general assemblies of the Union of European Veterinary Practitioners (UEVP) and of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) in Brussels. Senior vice president Monique Megens presented the position paper on responsible dog trade, which was adopted unanimously by both organisations. They also heard about European developments concerning specialisation, veterinary medicines and animal welfare priorities; the latter includes the responsible breeding of dogs and cats, a topic that is to be led by FECAVA. Finally, they attended the presentation by British colleagues about the possible consequences of Brexit for the veterinary profession.
FECAVA goes to Brussels