Quick-reference prescribing information - what is there?

Where's the best place to find information on doses, interactions, use in pregnancy and so on, at the time of prescribing? Do you know the difference between SPCs and data sheets? Where can you find reliable information on unlicensed medicines? Our new module reviews quick-reference prescribing information sources. We've compared the different sources - paper and online - looking at the pros and cons, whether the information is reliable, the costs, and which to use when you need a particular type of information. It's practical and will help you to know if you're using the most up-to-date resources.

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Parasiticide Guide

A unique database. Includes all UK authorised products for cats dogs, ferrets and rabbits. Search by parasite/disease, active ingredient(s), brand, species, formulation. Updated every 3 months. Indispensable for getting your head around parasiticide products.

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Oily injections what you need to know to keep safe

Some vaccines used in veterinary medicine contain mineral oil as an adjuvant. Most are vaccines for use in food production animals, but there are a few for use in companion animals. Self-injection can result in serious harm from the mineral oil content and so it is important to know which those products are. This module aims to raise awareness of the potential hazard and what to do to avoid serious harm.

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Tramadol for pain relief in dogs: what's its place?

Why do this module?

Reviews the evidence on tramadol’s efficacy in management of postoperative and chronic pain, and on adverse effects. Looks at the legal requirements around the use of tramadol and potential for misuse and dependence. Tackles the dilemma of what to do when NSAIDs are contraindicated, not tolerated or insufficiently effective but evidence on alternatives is weak.

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Lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) in dogs: reducing the risks

Angiostrongylus vasorum, one of the five main parasites affecting dogs in the UK, can cause severe illness and even death in infected dogs. This module provides answers to key questions about the biology, epidemiology, clinical impact, diagnosis and management of canine angiostrongylosis. It will enable veterinary professionals to discuss confidently the risks with clients and reach a fully informed decision about preventive therapy. 

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Evidence-based veterinary medicine - what's happening

This module will bring you up to date with developments in the evidence-based veterinary medicine (EBVM) movement. It includes a summary of key messages from the Veterinary Evidence Today conference in Edinburgh in November 2016. Includes links to practical resources for those who want to develop skills in EBVM and/or want to get involved in practice-based research.

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Fireworks: can alpha-casozepine help?

Noise aversion is common in pets. Management of noise aversion usually involves a combination of interventions, including behaviour therapy, pheromones, drugs and nutritional supplements. Alpha-casozepine (Zylkène capules) is one such supplement. This module looks at whether there is any evidence that alpha-casozepine is effective in helping cats and dogs with noise aversion.

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Which tick product?

Parasite specialists ESCCAP UK & Ireland strongly advise the use of a tick preventive product for dogs in areas where Babesia has been reported, to reduce the risk of disease  transmission, and they recommend using a product that either repels or rapidly kills ticks. This module explain what is meant by repellent and rapid killing effect and lists the products that meet these criteria.

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Antimicrobial ear products for dogs

Otitis externa is one of the most common canine disorders seen in primary care veterinary practice Most cases of acute otitis externa can be managed using topical therapy. This module reviews and compares the available antibacterial products for acute otitis externa, to help with choice of treatment in individual cases, or when creating a practice antimicrobial policy.

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Tea Tree Oil in companion animals

Tea tree oil is widely advocated as a home remedy for skin infections and for controlling flea infestations. Vets may therefore see animals that have been treated with tea tree oil, or owners might ask for advice about its use. This module sets out the evidence on the benefits and harms of tea tree oil in companion animals, and describes what can be done if tea tree oil has caused harm to a pet.

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Parasiticides for cats and dogs: a rational approach. Module 6. Creating a practice policy

UK veterinary professionals have to deal with an increasing number of parasite threats to companion animals and a very large and growing range of parasiticide products with which to control them. A practice parasiticide policy will help ensure that there is a consistent message about parasiticide protection from every member of the practice team, that parasite risk is reliably assessed for each animal, and that the products best suited to the animal’s needs are chosen.  This module walks you through the steps to creating your own practice policy. Includes downloadable client questionnaire.

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Parasiticides for cats and dogs: a rational approach. Module 5. Adult cats

This module covers the five main parasites that affect cats in the UK : roundworm, fleas, ticks, tapeworm and lungworm. It outlines the different approaches to parasite control and discusses product choice. With the integrated Parasiticide Guide, it will help you choose products suited to your clients.

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Parasiticides for cats and dogs: a rational approach. Module 3. Adult dogs

This module covers the five main parasites that affect dogs in the UK: roundworm, fleas, ticks, tapeworm, lungworm. Discusses different parasite control strategies, focusing on a risk-based approach and product choice.  Together with the integrated Product Guide it will help you choose products suited to your clients.

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Parasiticides for cats a dogs: a rational approach. Module 2. Puppy worming

Roundworm control is the most important consideration in puppy parasite management. Beautifully simple slide show reminds you of the lifecycle of roundworm. Outlines rationale and recommendations for deworming puppies and discusses choice of deworming products.

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Parasiticides for cats and dogs: a rational approach. Module I. Introduction

Outlines the risk-based approach to parasite control and helps you get to grips with the overwhelming range of parasiticide products by looking at what's available in terms of active ingredient, and what products need to demonstrate to get a marketing licence.

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Drug trials

Whether you’re discussing the evidence on a drug treatment with a company rep, or evaluating a randomised controlled trial report yourself, or reading a summary of clinical trial evidence (e.g. in a Veterinary Prescriber module), it’s essential to understand the terms used and the key features of randomised controlled trials, including the potential sources of bias. Here is a guide to help you.

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What is a hazard ratio?

Hazard ratio is commonly used when describing survival data. The hazard is the rate at which a group of animals experience an event, such as death. The hazard ratio is used to compare two groups of animals (e.g. cats with mild proteinuria vs. cats with no proteinuria). The hazard ratio is calculated from the hazard rates for the two groups of animals. A hazard ratio of 1 means that there is no difference between the two groups. A hazard ratio greater than 1 implies that the event is happening faster for the group of interest compared with the control group. A hazard ratio less than one implies that the event of interest is happening slower for the group of interest group compared to the control group.

What is a non-inferiority trial?

WHAT IS A NON-INFERIORITY TRIAL?

New drugs can be tested in trials that are designed to establish that their effect on a particular outcome measure is better than a placebo. But if an established treatment already exists, it is more meaningful to compare the new treatment with an established one. Trials can be designed to test if the new drug is better than the standard therapy (so-called superiority trials). But superiority trials using an active control need to be much larger than placebo-controlled trials because the expected difference between the treatments is small and so a large sample will be needed to show a significant difference.

So very often trials are designed to show only that the new drug is not inferior to a standard drug (in a non-inferiority trial).  This means the trial needs to show the new drug is no worse, within a specified margin, than the standard drug. Non-inferiority is assumed if the lower confidence limit for the difference between the two drugs is not more negative than a pre-specified amount, known as the non-inferiority margin. A non-inferiority trial does not actually rule out the possibility that the test drug is more effective than the standard drug. And it is possible, once non-inferiority has been demonstrated, to go on to do a statistical test to show the drug is statistically superior to the standard treatment. 

Non-inferiority trials usually need a much smaller sample size than trials looking for superiority and so they are quicker and cheaper to perform, and also less likely to produce disappointing results for a new drug.This type of trial is often used to test new drugs.