Microchips are a great way of ensuring we can trace our cats and kittens once they leave here. It also means we can prove which cat has been tested at the veterinary surgery. It is important that a client can look at the risks and benefits of microchipping and assess if they would like their cat or kitten to be microchipped.
In our opinion, if your cat is indoor only and is just a pet, then a microchip may not always be necessary. Normally the higher generations such as F1, F2 and F3 will be chipped here anyway due to their more agile and inquisitive natures, forcing them to sneak out a window or door! Occasionally a microchip may fail and this has happened to us mostly in receiving kittens from breeders and only a couple of occasions on outgoing cats or kittens. Sometimes the chips do wander to weird and wonderful places! One of our dogs arrived with two chip numbers due to this occurring also!
Safety concerns with microchips
While the procedure should cause little or no discomfort, it is important that only a veterinary surgeon or other properly trained individual administers the microchip as incorrect placement of a microchip can have severe consequences. Significant complications from the appropriate implantation of microchips in cats appear to be exceptionally rare. Data reviewed by the WSAVA suggest microchips are a safe and effective means of identifying pets. They also state that, of the many millions of animals that have been microchipped, only a tiny proportion have had any type of problem reported (and usually simply related to movement or loss of the chip).
The Microchip Advisory Group (MAG) monitors adverse events associated with microchipping in the UK. Between 1996 and 2011 a total of 431 adverse events had been reported in all species (dogs, cats, exotics, etc), representing an average of approximately 27 each year. The most common adverse events reported were:
If microchips are a cause of certain cancers in either dogs or cats, this appears to be exceptionally rare, and the benefits of microchips in providing permanent identification of cats (and dogs) vastly outweigh any potential risks. Nevertheless, where adverse events are suspected, it is important that these are always documented and notified to the appropriate authorities.
There appears to be a mis-conception around the use of vaccinations at a breeders premises. I have taken a few excerpts from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons on the prescribing and usage of prescription medicines i.e. vaccinations for your reference.
In addition to this, we also have risk assessments, temperature/ storage monitoring procedures and various other steps in a health care plan to support a vaccination programme. There also has to be training and other things in place to undertake vaccination of animals. This is particularly useful and supportive of veterinary covid-19 policies and procedures, including restriction on travel or urgent medical procedures.
Breeders have been advertising kittens who haven’t even been vaccinated however, we have gone over and above to ensure that our kittens could leave fully vaccinated to their new homes. This also helps to ensure that we have minimal stress to kittens upon their health checks by the vet.
Prescription of veterinary medicines
4.3 Veterinary surgeons and those veterinary nurses who are also SQPs should prescribe responsibly and with due regard to the health and welfare of the animal.
4.4 POM-V medicines must be prescribed by a veterinary surgeon, who must first carry out a clinical assessment of the animal under his or her care. (See below for RCVS interpretations)
4.5 POM-VPS medicines may be prescribed in circumstances where a veterinary surgeon has carried out a clinical assessment and has the animals under his or her care. However, the Veterinary Medicines Regulations provide that POM-VPS may be prescribed in circumstances where the veterinary surgeon, pharmacist or SQP has made no clinical assessment of the animals and the animals are not under the prescriber’s care.
4.6 NFA-VPS medicines may be supplied in circumstances where the veterinary surgeon or SQP is satisfied that the person who will use the product is competent to do so safely, and intends to use it for the purpose for which it is authorised.
Under his care
4.9 The Veterinary Medicines Regulations do not define the phrase 'under his care' and the RCVS has interpreted it as meaning that:
4.11 A veterinary surgeon cannot usually have an animal under his or her care if there has been no physical examination; consequently a veterinary surgeon should not treat an animal or prescribe POM-V medicines via the Internet alone.
Further guidance was released on point 4.11 stating that it was now possible to prescribe the drugs without seeing the animal first. This was particularly useful during the pandemic where appointments have become increasingly difficult to get for the animals. We try to ensure that the kittens receive an inspection from a veterinary oerson before administering any vaccinations. We also ensure we follow our risk assessments to be able to identify the safety of such vaccinations with kittens.
RCVS Covid-19 Taskforce further extends remote prescribing guidance
6 August 2020
The RCVS Council Covid-19 Taskforce has recently decided to extend until the end of September the College’s temporary guidance that allows veterinary surgeons to prescribe prescription-only veterinary medicines (POM-Vs) remotely, without first having physically examined the animal, but with a minor language adjustment to allow more room for individual professional judgement in each case.
RCVS Council originally decided to change the supporting guidance to the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct in March, in view of the nationwide lockdown measures in place at that time due to the coronavirus pandemic. This enabled veterinary practices to continue to provide the animal-owning public with veterinary services, a proportion of which via remote means, whilst safeguarding the health of their teams and clients.
In June, the Taskforce considered the latest situation at that time and decided to extend the guidance for a further eight weeks, with another review to be held no later than 6 August. At its recent meeting on 30 July, the Taskforce duly considered the guidance again, taking into consideration the pandemic’s progress and latest government guidance, the headline results from a survey of practice experience of remote consulting [to be published in the coming weeks], and additional third-party data from a number of veterinary practices.
The Taskforce considered in particular a number of additional issues, including: the need to continue to provide practices with flexibility in the face of possible local or national lockdowns; the need for inclusivity of those practice teams members and clients who may still be shielding; the likelihood of quarantine of members of the team due to travel and/or Test and Trace; and, the fact that no major safety issues had been identified as part of the RCVS-commissioned survey into the immediate impact of the temporary guidance.
The Taskforce was mindful that much of the data available to it was only relevant to small animal practice. It wished to attain more data about equine and farm animal practice, to ensure the differing needs of large animal practitioners could be considered more adequately. It also felt that if vets continued not to see clients, there could be an increased risk of an impact on their wellbeing, and on skills retention within the profession more widely.
On balance, however, the Taskforce considered the temporary guidance on remote prescribing should remain for the time being, but with a small change to step three of its coronavirus guidance flowchart (removing the words: ‘in the first instance’) to allow veterinary professionals more flexibility in deciding whether to consult remotely or face to face.
RCVS President Mandisa Greene, who chairs the Taskforce, said: “Whilst lockdown measures have been eased and matters have improved, we are far from being back to business as usual and the threat of returning to more severe lockdown measures, whether locally or nationally, is still very much alive.
“Nevertheless, with practices currently able to return to more routine treatments, the Taskforce recognises the need for more flexibility in our temporary guidance, so that veterinary surgeons can use their professional judgement to decide what is the most suitable approach in each individual case.”
The updated flowchart, along with all the College’s coronavirus guidance for the professions, is available online.
LINK TO RCVS ON COVID-19 GUIDANCE FOR VETERINARY SURGEONS
Content produced in conjunction with data from https://www.rcvs.org.uk
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All about Stylisticat, written by Kayleigh McIntosh-Lowrie