Professor Fitzpatrick qualified as a veterinary surgeon from University College Dublin in 1990. He founded Fitzpatrick Referrals in 2005 and has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate for his contribution to medical science.
Known as the Bionic Vet for pioneering new surgical techniques, from bionic legs to endo-skeletons, Noel is a key member of teaching staff at Surrey, passionate about the cross-pollination of ideas and philosophies between veterinary and human medicine.
He is one of the founding partners of the University of Surrey’s School of Veterinary Medicine and stars in The Supervet on Channel 4.
Background A classic sign of canine syringomyelia (SM) is scratching towards one shoulder. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) we investigate the spinal cord lesion relating to this phenomenon which has characteristics similar to fictive scratch secondary to spinal cord transection. Medical records were searched for Cavalier King Charles spaniels with a clinical and MRI diagnosis of symptomatic SM associated with Chiari-like malformation (CM). The cohort was divided into SM with phantom scratching (19 dogs) and SM but no phantom scratching (18 dogs). MRI files were anonymised, randomised and viewed in EFILM ™. For each transverse image, the maximum perpendicular dimensions of the syrinx in the dorsal spinal cord quadrants were determined. Visual assessment was made as to whether the syrinx extended to the superficial dorsal horn (SDH). Results We showed that phantom scratching appears associated with a large dorsolateral syrinx that extends to the SDH in the C3-C6 spinal cord segments (corresponding to C2-C5 vertebrae). Estimated dorsal quadrant syrinx sizes based on the perpendicular diameters were between 2.5 and 9.5 times larger in dogs with phantom scratching, with the largest mean difference p-value being 0.009. Conclusion SM associated phantom scratching appears associated with MRI findings of a large syrinx extending into the mid cervical SDH. We hypothesise that damage in this region might influence the lumbosacral scratching central pattern generator (CPG). If a scratching SM affected dog does not have a large dorsolateral cervical syrinx with SDH involvement then alternative explanations for scratching should be investigated.
This article represents the outcome of a dialogue between a vet and a healthcare ethicist on the theme of ‘love’ in professional life. We focus on four types or varieties of love (eros, agape, philia and storge) in relation to the professional care of humans and animals. We discuss the relevance of Fromm’s core elements of love (care, responsibility, respect and knowledge) and consider the implications of these for human and animal health care practice. We present and respond to five arguments that might be waged against embracing love as a professional value in veterinary and medical practice. We argue that a moderated love can and should be reclaimed as a contemporary professional value. It is most helpfully contextualised within virtue ethics or care ethics. We suggest that love is a rich starting point from which to launch an exploration of an interprofessional humanimal clinical ethics.
Two unrelated 8-month-old male mixed breed dogs were presented for evaluation of progressive ataxia, knuckling, and lack of pain perception in the distal limbs. Because of the similarity in age of onset, progression, and clinical findings with previously described sensory neuropathy in Border Collies, the affected dogs were screened for an FAM134B mutation and were determined to be homozygous for the mutation. Despite few phenotypic similarities with other breeds, genetic testing for specific diseases should be considered in mixed breed dogs with compatible clinical signs, especially if ancestry is unknown.
Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is a commensal and opportunistic pathogen of dogs. It is mainly implicated in canine pyoderma, as well as other suppurative conditions of dogs. Although bacterial culture is routinely used for clinical diagnosis, molecular methods are required to accurately identify and differentiate S. pseudintermedius from other members of the Staphylococcus intermedius group. These methods, owing largely to their cost, are not easy to implement in nonspecialized laboratories or veterinary practices. In the current study, loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), a novel isothermal nucleic acid amplification procedure, was employed to develop a rapid, specific, and sensitive S. pseudintermedius assay. Different detection strategies, including the use of a lateral flow device, were evaluated. The assay was evaluated for cross-reactivity against 30 different bacterial species and validated on a panel of 108 S. pseudintermedius isolates, originating from different dog breeds and locations within the United Kingdom. The assay was specific, showing no cross-reactivity during in silico and in vitro testing. When tested using DNA extracts prepared directly from 35 clinical surgical site swabs, the assay could detect S. pseudintermedius in less than 15 min, with a diagnostic sensitivity of 94.6%, superior to that of a polymerase chain reaction method. The LAMP assay also had an analytical sensitivity in the order of 10(1) gene copies, and the amplified products were readily detected using a lateral flow device. The LAMP assay described in the present study is simple and rapid, opening up the possibility of its use as a diagnostic tool within veterinary practices.
Abstract This article presents the findings of a scoping review designed to identify the extent, nature and range of literature on interprofessional education (IPE) initiatives between the human health professions and veterinary medical students, which is particularly important to advance One Health education and research. Nine published articles were identified. The websites of six universities were searched in order to collect further information. Interventions vary widely with regards to their structure and delivery, their objectives, the participants involved, and outcome measures. Healthcare professional programmes focus upon interprofessional collaborative practice in the human healthcare setting. By contrast, postgraduate programmes focus upon topics under the One Health paradigm but make little mention of interprofessional collaboration. Evidence of the impact of interventions on team processes at the human, animal, and environmental interface is extremely limited. In order to enhance our understanding of what constitutes effective IPE between veterinary medical students and the human health professions, guide intervention development, and the development of outcome measures, there is a need to further explore, define, differentiate and validate some of the terms and concepts used to describe interprofessional interventions.
Background Occipitoatlantoaxial malformation (OAAM) is reported rarely in dogs and few treatment options are described. The congenital condition is thought to be associated with a proatlas re-segmentation failure resulting in malformation and malalignment of the craniovertebral junction which can result in C1 to 5 myelopathic signs. Methods Customized three-dimensional printed locking plate with trajectory screw implantation points for the stabilization of the atlantoaxial joint in a dog with OAAM. The dog was evaluated at time points 0, 2, 6 and 9 months to determine clinical outcome, degree of fusion, implant positioning and subsidence. Results New bone formation was noted 9 months after surgery, but complete fusion remained absent, although no implant failure occurred. Clinically, the dog made a good recovery and was able to exercise normally 9 months after surgery. The only residual deficit was a subtle left-sided cervical torticollis. Clinical Significance This report illustrates a management option and outcome of a dog treated with OAAM. Collaboration between clinicians and engineers provides a new dimension of care for patients with vertebral malformations.
Degenerative lumbosacral stenosis has been suspected to have a dynamic component, especially regarding encroachment of the L7 nerve roots exiting the lumbosacral foramina. Angled cross-sectional imaging of the neuroforamina has been found improve the accuracy of the diagnosis of stenosis in humans. In this anatomic study, foraminal apertures were evaluated by MRI at the entry, middle, and exit zones of the nerve roots in 30 dogs that were clinically affected by lumbosacral disease. Standard vs. oblique planar orientation and neutral vs. hyperextended positioning of the lumbosacral area were compared by measuring the median values for entry, middle, and exit zones. The neuroforaminal area acquired using oblique plane acquisition was significantly smaller than standard parasagittal measurements. Furthermore, standard parasagittal neuroforaminal dimensions in the hyperextended position were significantly smaller than standard parasagittal measurements in the neutral position. This statistical difference was even more pronounced for neuroforaminal dimension evaluated in the oblique plane and hyperextended position. Positioning of the dog during imaging has a significant effect on neuroforaminal dimension, corroborating the notion that spinal position may influence neural claudication in clinically affected patients. Reductions in neuroforaminal dimension are more evident on oblique planar image acquisition, suggesting that this approach may be more useful than parasagittal imaging as a tool for identifying subtle changes in L7 neuroforaminal dimensions in cases of canine lumbosacral stenosis.
The number of cervical vertebrae in mammals is almost constant at seven, regardless of their neck length, implying that there is selection against variation in this number. Homebox (Hox) genes are involved in this evolutionary mammalian conservation, and homeotic transformation of cervical into thoracic vertebrae (cervical ribs) is a common phenotypic abnormality when Hox gene expression is altered. This relatively benign phenotypic change can be associated with fatal traits in humans. Mutations in genes upstream of Hox, inbreeding and stressors during organogenesis can also cause cervical ribs. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of cervical ribs in a large group of domestic dogs of different breeds, and explore a possible relation with other congenital vertebral malformations (CVMs) in the breed with the highest prevalence of cervical ribs. By phenotyping we hoped to give clues as to the underlying genetic causes. Twenty computed tomography studies from at least two breeds belonging to each of the nine groups recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale, including all the brachycephalic ‘screw‐tailed’ breeds that are known to be overrepresented for CVMs, were reviewed. The Pug dog was more affected by cervical ribs than any other breed (46%; P