Schweizerische Vereinigung für Kleintiermedizin
Association Suisse pour la Médecine des petits Animaux
Associazione Svizzera per la Medicina dei Piccoli Animali
Swiss Association for Small Animal Medicine

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the February newsletter and this editorial dedicated to Veterinary Oncology. As many of you are aware,  February 4 is World Cancer Day, the international day marked to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.
What do we understand under the word cancer? Cancer describes a large number of diseases with the common feature of uncontrolled cell growth and proliferation. Neoplastic diseases have not been described only in humans and pets, but also in other species from every group of the animal kingdom as well as in plants.
It is widely accepted that cancer is a genetic disease, however, it is not always hereditary. Tumors arise from the accumulation of mutations in somatic cells that lead to uncontrolled behavior, immortality and expansion of cells. Some of these occur due to extrinsic factors (such as environmental mutagens), others due to intrinsic ones (disabled tumor suppressor genes, activated proto-oncogenes, etc. ).
Cancer has already surpassed other conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, as the leading cause of death in people across many European countries and is considered to be the main cause of death in companion animals. This gives us, vets, great opportunity to play a major role in advancing the understanding of cancer biology, prevention and its treatment from a comparative oncology standpoint. Therefore, companion animals with spontaneously occurring cancer present an excellent model for expanding our understanding of this disease from aetiology to its management across species.
With this in mind, veterinarians should consider the vast array of therapeutic options available for our patients that have changed cancer diagnosis from an acute life threatening disorder to a chronic manageable condition without compromise in the quality of life of the patient.
Advances in cancer therapeutics, such as targeted therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, interventional oncology as well as extensive options for providing palliative care,  help prolong our patients’ lives, but also the well-being of their owners when they can lead a fulfilling life together.  It is therefore crucial that we keep up with the novelties within this field and continue to seek the best possible treatments for our patients with cancer!

Kind regards,
Špela Bavčar DVM DipECVIM-CA (Oncology) MRCVS
EBVS® European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Oncology
RCVS recognised Specialist in Veterinary Oncology
Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Oncology; Head of Oncology
The University of Edinburgh, The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

We all have mental health. It's time to talk.

That’s Christmas over, the shortest day of the year is past and we are into 2020– where has the year gone?!
A new decade is upon us and summer is just round the corner.
However, the festive season isn’t always the easiest time of year. Everyone is so busy and frantically trying to fit so much in that it can be a bit exhausting; for many, it is an anxious, sad or poignant time of year. The winter months can also be hard: cold; short days; long dark nights.
Therefore, it is important to look after yourself…but how can we do that? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Be Kind to yourself –take time out for you!
  • Watch for any known triggers
  • Don’t spend too long on social media – it can be a negative trigger for many…more on that next month!

Blue Monday is the third Monday in January and recognised in the northern hemisphere as allegedly the most depressing day of the year. To try to help with this, over the last few years this Monday (20th January 2020 this year) has been named `Bloomin Monday` and everyone is encouraged to wear bright cloths and brighten the day up, even just a bright tie or scarf. It is a day to raise awareness of depression and other mental health problems.
Here is how you can take part:

  • Wear bright clothes
  • Eat colourful cake
  • Make people smile
  • Talk about Mental health problems and remove the stigma
  • Maybe organise your own competition for your Brightest Bloomer.

Please join us for our depression awareness campaign,
Blooming Monday, on 20th January 2020.
Wear your brightest clothes to start conversations about mental health and raise awareness of depression and seasonal affective disorder.
Blooming Monday website.

Share your photos with us on the day!
Chair, FECAVA Mental Health & Wellbeing Working Group

Dear colleagues,
There is no doubt that 2019 has been a wonderful, busy, and productive year at the FECAVA family! We are so grateful to be doing the work we do and to be connected to all of you. We never could have predicted the new and surprising ways our work would grow and evolve during the past year - from our increasingly recognized international role in small animal veterinary community to our newly-launched projects and more pronounced social media presence that matters.
Of course, we offer our most profound thanks to all of you, our colleagues, friends and supporters. When you recall or think about the 2019 Year in Review, please be assured that none of what we had achieved last year would have been possible without your support and caring. THANK YOU! 
We wish you to accomplish all your goals! FECAVA will be at your side in 2020 as well because we believe that with the support of a reliable partner within our great profession, dreams become reality.

FECAVA President
Denis Novak, DVM, MRCVS

Dear Colleagues,

More than 200 diseases are known to be transmitted from animals to humans. These diseases are dangerous for people around the world. Research about transmission, pathogenesis and diagnosis of these diseases is important as well as education of people about risk factors and finally research about treatment of humans, affected animals, and last but not least control of vectors. In summary to control these diseases it is of essential global interest and just possible if vets and human doctors cooperate. Beside zoonotic diseases other diseases are of important interest for vets and human doctors, not because they can be transmitted between the species, it is because they are of comparable importance for both. I speak about immunological and neoplastic diseases. We see an elevation in the number of affected individuals in different species, especially in small animals, which share the living environment with people. Research in this field is of comparable importance like for zoonotic diseases. The examples above show clearly that vets and human doctors should and must work together to find solutions for current and future problems of living species. One health describes cooperation of different specialisations with the same aim: to make the world liveable for all creatures.

Prof. Dr. Stephan Neumann,
Treasurer FECAVA