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


Dear Colleagues,

FECAVA are working constantly to promote the interests of Companion animal veterinarians throughout Europe. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is one of our main concerns. With the recent adoption of the new EU Veterinary Medicines and Medicated Feed Regulations, we can expect our practices to be under considerable pressure to show sound rationale behind our choices of antibiotics we use in our patients. Guidelines from the EU, WHO and OIE are all recommending the restriction of some AMs to hospital/human health only and increased sensitivity testing across the board. FECAVA sit on FVE Medicines Working Group (Danny Holmes) and Chair the EPRUMA group (European Platform for the Responsible Use of Medicines in Animals) with Steve Hallahan. This allows good co-operation with industry and other European partners to aid the work of  FECAVA and FVE influence what AMs will remain for veterinary use.
Currently, Cephalosporins (especially advanced 3rd generation eg ceftiofur) and fluoroquinolones (eg marbofloxacin and enrofloxacin) are most at risk. By working together with other agencies we can defend the importance of the veterinarian as the steward and guardian of responsible AM use. We have been successful in this to date. FECAVA firmly believe in the One Health philosophy that human health and animal health will improve by us working closely together with the human field.
Another interesting development is the appearance of cannabis derived products for animals. There are official limits for psychotrophic content (0.2 %) for these so-called “nutritional supplements” to be released in the European market, but it is not an area that is well enough regulated. As vets we have difficulties in knowing their safety or efficacy so are struggling to offer good advice to our clients. We are writing a paper at the moment to assist you on what you can say to your clients and keep your practice compliant with the law. Keep an eye out for this on our website
Danny Holmes
President Elect


Dear Colleagues,

Last month, companion animal veterinarians from all over Europe gathered in St. Petersburg, for the 25th FECAVA EuroCongress,  held for the first time in the organization's history in Russia.
The hard work of the local organizing committee, led by Alexander Tkachov and RSAVA President Sergey Sereda, has paid off, not only by securing the congress four years ago, but also by seeing a record attendance with over 3200 delegates.
This was in no small degree due to the outstanding scientific program put together under the careful guidance of David Senior.
A definite highlight of the program was the FECAVA Symposium on Canine Vector Borne Diseases, arranged by Nenad Milojkovic - you can read more about the symposium in this newsletter.
The opportunity for Central European and Russian colleagues to meet, to network and to enjoy the social program together, very much in the spirit of both FECAVA and of our founder the late Didier Noel Carlotti, all made the congress in St.Petersburg so different for a lot of delegates who attended.
Ten delegates who benefited particularly from the congress experience were the winners of the FECAVA Veterinary Student Scholarship, who had both their congress tickets as well as their travel expenses funded by FECAVA. Just before the congress, FECAVA secured a sponsorship deal for the scholarship with IVC Evidensia, which will enable us to offer the scholarship also for the next two years.
Last but not least - FECAVA has a new President! With Denis Novak the organization will be led by a long serving colleague from SASAP, our Serbian member organization.
Congratulations to Denis!
With kind regards to you all
Dr. med. vet. Wolfgang Dohne MRCVS
FECAVA Senior Vice President