WikiVet Newsletter October 2021

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October 2021


Vol 1 Issue2

Monthly Newsletter

Inside the Issue



Dr Sheridan Lathe shares her typical day aboard the 'SV Chuffed'!

Content provided by our partner Protexin Veterinary.

FEATURE OF THE MONTH We're showing you our WikiVet website fetaure of the month, and how it can help you!

A MESSAGE FROM WIKIVET Welcome to this month's WikiVet newsletter! We know that most of you have been returning to university recently, so we wanted to take a moment to wish you the best of luck for this upcoming academic year. And, of course, WikiVet will always be here to help! We have some great content in this months newsletter, including a fabulous feature from Dr Sheridan Lathe at VetTails. We hope you enjoy reading it.

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WIKIVET STUDENT AMBASSADOR wikivet is a free, online veterinary encyclopedia

WHY WE NEED YOU WikiVet is an international resource aimed at vet students, vets and nurses across the globe, and we want to make sure that it is used as widely as possible throughout the world. To do this we need to let students know that WikiVet is here, what resources and content they can find on the site, and new developments, offers and events as they come up. And who better to tell students, than students?!


We are looking for both a senior and a junior ambassador for each university. The senior role is aimed at students in the clinical or later years of their course, and the Junior Student Ambassador, in the preclinical or earlier years of the course

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THE ROLE The work of a WikiVet ambassador is intended to be interesting without demanding too much of your time in order not to compromise your veterinary studies. You will act as a point of contact for the WikiVet team within your school. Roles include: Working with the team at WikiVet to ensure the website is providing the right content, to those who need it most. Creating and sharing posts on social media and contributing to your own school's online community to increase awareness of WikiVet and our events and projects. Creating and/or updating your vet school's page on WikiVet Encouraging staff and students to add content to the site and edit existing material Feeding back to WikiVet any issues or suggestions for future development

HOW TO APPLY Email WikiVet at Please include a description of yourself (name, university, study year), your use of WikiVet so far (or state if you haven’t previously used it) and why you feel you would be suitable for the position. Successful candidates will need a good grasp of the English language. Our Student Ambassador Coordinators will check if there are any other active volunteers in your school and then get back to you with an information pack and induction material.

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A Day In The Life


Can you give us a brief outline of your job? I founded Vet Tails in 2017, an organization which aims to improve the standards of animal health and welfare around the world. Vet Tails is currently run from aboard my sailboat, SV Chuffed. We provide free veterinary care, work with local animal care organizations to help improve their protocols, provide educational opportunities for veterinarians, and help provide the resources necessary for local veterinarians to better serve their community. All the while, we move our sailboat to new locations and experience new adventures. A large aspect of my job is creating videos of our experiences to share with a wider audience, not only to help gain donations to continue our work but to inspire the wider community that they too can make a difference. Where did your interest in working in this sector come from? I have wanted to be a veterinarian since I was old enough to talk, I think it comes from a deep love for animals and the natural world. I also really enjoy the problem-solving aspect of diagnosis and I am passionate about improving the world in any way I can. How did you get into it? I began my career as a small animal veterinarian, but always had an interest in exotics and wildlife, so I built that aspect of the rural practice I was working in. This led to an opportunity working for an Australian wildlife hospital, and I really loved working away from the ‘business’ of veterinary medicine. Working in the wildlife hospital I was able to treat every animal I saw, regardless of if they could ‘afford’ the veterinary fees. I eventually applied for a job working for Animals Asia, rescuing bears from the bile industry. This inspired me to do more to help improve the health of animals world wide, and further inspired a desire to travel, and so the idea of a sailing veterinary clinic was born! What sort of different roles did you do to get to where you are today? Before graduating veterinary school I worked at a local wildlife sanctuary, cleaning enclosures October 2021

and doing presentations to tourists about native Australian animals. I also did volunteer work in overseas clinics, with wildlife and domestic animals, to help gain more experience in the area I would one day like to work. Did you have a plan to get to a certain point/level in your career, or did you just keep picking moves that looked interesting to you? I have no grand plans, I often think about things I would like to do, like one day open my own wildlife hospital or begin to provide volunteer opportunities abroad for students. But for now these are all flexible ideas that help motivate me to explore new opportunities, I think it is so important to be adaptable and not to get to stuck on one idea. I was positive that I wanted to be a exotic animal veterinarian when I graduated, but then found that role wasn’t as fulfilling as I had hoped and working for nonprofits to improve animal health is where my true passion lies. What does a typical day look like for you? I don’t have many typical days, sometimes we are sailing to new locations, sometimes we are doing spay campaigns, sometimes we are rescuing wildlife… it all depends on where we are and what project we have underway. But, to give you an idea of a somewhat typical day, we typical awaken just before sunrise and enjoy a cup of tea on deck, looking out over the water and at the anchorage we have chosen for that time. We then have breakfast and prepare our supplies to take to shore in our little boat. Getting to shore is always a bit of an adventure, being careful not to sacrifice our vet equipment to Neptune! Once we get to shore, we meet up with the local organization we are working with Issue 02


WikiQuiz is the quiz section of WikiVet. This section contains multiplechoice quizzes on a wide range of veterinary topics for all levels of the veterinary course, to allow you to test your knowledge. Each question has been fully reviewed by a subject matter expert and provides information on correct and incorrect answers, as well as links to articles with more information on that topic. WikiQuiz is divided by topic, by species, and by systems, if you have never used it, now is the time to click here to test yourself.

and set up for the day. This might involve a vaccine campaign, a day at a local wildlife clinic, giving a presentation to veterinary students or a spay campaign. We try to finish our veterinary work day by 2pm, we really strive to keep a good work life balance. Back on board we spend our time baking, swimming, surfing, reading… really what ever we feel like doing that day to relax. And then we will often spend an hour or two working on videos or social media to ensure we receive enough donations for the next campaign.

What would you say are the best and worst aspects of the job? There are so many good parts – work life balance, variety, being my own boss, being able to help others, travel etc. But for me, the very best part, is as a veterinarian I no longer have to make morally compromising decisions. If I want to help an animal, if I think I can help them, then I help. I don’t need to ask the owner about their finances, the hardest part for me about working in a clinic was telling people I could not treat their pet because they could not afford it. I feel extremely passionately about this, health care should not be given or denied based on income. The hardest part about what I do is that I wear many hats. Not only am I the veterinarian but I also repair the engine, fix the plumbing, paint the boat, video edit, film, write blogs, give presentations etc. It is both a great aspect and a difficult aspect because it can be hard sometimes to switch from diesel mechanic to YouTuber to wildlife vet. Thankfully my amazing partner, Jim, helps with all the work and together we make it happen! What are the main skills you need to be a sailing vet? I think important skills for veterinarians are problem solving, adaptability, flexibility, and compassion. Our roles are always changing and it can be a very demanding job. What are the common misconceptions that people have about the work you do? I think a common misconception is that it is ‘easy’ doing what I do, or at least fun all the time. People imagine sailing off into the sunset with a puppy in each arm, but the reality can be a lot harder. We face storms and regular boat disasters that test us. We work in the global south where animal welfare and health standards can be very poor, which makes the work we do so important, but can be challenging emotionally. But I really love what I do. What advice would you give someone wanting to break into this career? I am going to answer this from the perspective of a veterinarian doing something other than regular clinic work – the key to getting into something like what I do is believing you can… and then doing it. It was hard at first, I started Vet Tails with my own money, with no donations, no YouTube followers, and I was pretty much broke in the early months. But I just had to believe it was worth it and would amount to something, and I had to take the leap of faith that I could make it work. If you are passionate about doing something, you really do just have to try.

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Did you get your




DEVELOPMENT OF THE MICROBIOTA The uniqueness of an individual’s microbiota is established during the first few years of life and alterations to the microbiota during this time can have a profound effect on the long-term wellbeing of the individual. Development of the microbiota is characterised by large, rapid changes in microbial populations, diversity and abundance. Such changes will occur due to a number of factors in-utero, during the neonatal period, maternal transfer and throughout the weaning process. It was originally thought that the foetus developed in a sterile environment within the uterus, with initial microbial exposure occurring extra-uterine during birth. However, studies have demonstrated the presence of bacterial DNA in the placenta and amniotic fluid from healthy term pregnancies, and umbilical cord blood from caesarean delivered neonates. Furthermore, genetically labelled Enterococcus faecium given to pregnant mice was found in the meconium of their pups, despite delivery by caesarean, suggesting that development of the microbiota may begin in-utero via maternal transfer. Establishment of the skin, oral, nasopharyngeal and gut microbiota in newborns occurs during delivery. As the infant exits the birth canal during vaginal birth, it is covered in vaginal and faecal bacteria, acquiring a microbiota similar to that of the vagina. Whereas caesarean section delivered newborns develop a microbiota more similar to the skin.[5] Importantly, newborn canines can be exposed to the mother’s vaginal and faecal microbiota through the mother’s tongue, thus the effect of delivery mode may be less pronounced compared to humans. Maternal transfer via breastfeeding plays an important role in developing the neonatal gut microbiota post-partum. This occurs directly through exposure to milk microbiota which contains hundreds of bacterial species and indirectly, via maternal milk; factors such as oligosaccharides, secretory IgA and anti-microbials can affect bacterial numbers and activity. Unsurprisingly, the microbiota from breastfedinfants differs significantly to formula-fed infants due to microbial contents of the milk. To continue reading visit WikiVet here

October 2021

Are you interested in veterinary dentistry? This is the conference for you! Vet students can watch absolutely free! Each year the BVDA holds a conference where there are papers presented on veterinary dentistry, interactive sessions and state of the art lectures. The Webinar Vet were joined by some fantastic speakers for 2 streams of online lectures. This year’s conference consisted of 2 streams of webinars which are available to watch on demand until 7th April 2022. You’ll be able to watch the webinars as many times as you like, on any connected device, at your leisure. Click here to watch ondemand.

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Student Bundles

THE WEBINAR VET STUDENT BUNDLES YEAR 3 Tips and Tricks for getting the most from Cytology in practice Rabbit clinical pathology A review on equine parasitology View All >>

YEAR 1 Ethics and Welfare I think this animal has been a victim of cruelty, what next? Religious objections and futile treatments: a primer for handling euthanasia disputes View All >>

YEAR 4 Standing sedation for the equine patient Goats- practitioners survival guide to common health problems Farm animal analgesia View All >>

YEAR 2 Interpreting Endocrinology Lab results Adrenal testing dogs and cats: which test for what case? A case-based approach to endocrine treatment View All >>

YEAR 5 Small animal surgery abdominal emergencies Large animal surgery basics Sutures and knot tying. What to use, when and how View All >>

A Message From SimplyVets Hello WikiVet readers! We are Simply Vets, a sister company of WikiVet and part of the wider Alpha Vet International Group. Simply Vets primarily is a one stop stress free place for payroll and recruitment, serving vets, nurses, non-clinical staff, students, and veterinary practices, but that is not all we do! We aim to have a bank of information on our website that everyone involved with the veterinary profession can access and benefit from. This includes clinical articles, advice pieces and articles about the wider veterinary industry. We are also creating a student zone with resources such as interview techniques, how to write a CV, how to find a job and loads of other resources for students around exchanges and opportunities to enrich your veterinary education! Our goal is not just to be the best payroll and recruitment provider in the industry, but a household name for reliable, honest and unbiased information surrounding the veterinary industry and some of the challenges it faces. There is no doubt working in the veterinary industry is incredibly rewarding and many see it as a vocation rather than ‘just a job’ but it is no secret that it presents its’ own challenges as well. It’s our opinion that well educated and informed employees flourish in the industry and we think Simply Vets can be a small part of your journey to qualification and happy full-time employment! We know that people are often multitalented and writing is a popular escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life so we would love to showcase some of WikiVet’s readers’ experiences in the veterinary industry, whether it be as a student or about post-graduation life! If you would like to write a blog post or two for our new website – please get in touch! In the meantime, take a look at our website here for all our jobs, blog posts and informative pieces! October 2021


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