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• First-opinion consultations in small animal practices are taking longer during the Covid-19 lockdown.

A survey by the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons and the Veterinary Management Group found both physical and remote consults were typically taking 10 to 25 minutes longer in April than March. With staffing challenges also having an impact, the survey found that overall capacity was running at 40 to 60 per cent of normal.

Compared to a previous survey conducted in March, it found employees showing increasing concerns over job security and personal income. But it also found increasing support for remote consulting and vet businesses focusing on improving workflows and efficiencies to get through this period of uncertainty.

• The first two dogs to be reported with Covid-19 likely caught it from their owners, new research has suggested.

The Pomeranian and German shepherd from Hong Kong were found to have identical viral genetic sequences as infected people in their household, suggesting that these were instances of human-to-animal transmission of SARS-CoV2.

The animals remained asymptomatic during quarantine, and the study found no evidence that dogs can pass the infection to other dogs or people. The paper was published by Nature and can be found at www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2334-5

• The Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons is offering two webinars to provide vet businesses with tools to survive the Covid-19 outbreak.

The first – Improving Client Flow, Streamlining and Efficiencies – is free to view and aims to provide practical tips to improve practice performance. CVS’ Ryan Davis will consider the challenges currently being faced by practices and highlights the importance of leadership, team on-boarding, efficiencies and social distancing.

The second webinar is exclusively for SPVS members and addresses how to improve practice turnover and profits safely during Covid-19 times. The webinar will discuss SPVS’ Scenario Planning Tool and also includes a panel of practitioners sharing their experiences on improving business performance in these tough times.

For more information and to register, visit https://webinar.spvs.org.uk/

• In a letter to Vet Record, a team at Glasgow university is calling for vets to submit samples from cats and dogs for testing where there is a suspicion of SARS-CoV-2 infection (p 571) while a further letter (pp 571–572) the four UK chief vets set out advice to vets on Covid-19 testing.

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