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


Rabies is one of the oldest diseases on the planet, and claims the lives of an estimated 59,000 people every year. However, rabies is 100% vaccine-preventable. A dedicated team work tirelessly to deliver these lifesaving vaccines and protect countless communities. 

Mission Rabies is a UK charity committed to changing this horrifying statistic by spearheading the global operation to eliminate canine-mediated human rabies deaths by 2030.

Teams of vets, vet nurses, international volunteers and animal handlers all come together with local charities to vaccinate as many dogs as possible. Every vaccine can be lifesaving, but it’s not all about the dogs. By educating communities about dog behaviour, rabies symptoms and, crucially, the actions to take if they are bitten, Mission Rabies is reducing bite incidence, saving lives and improving the relationship between dogs and people. In Goa for example, the charity’s largest project, human rabies deaths have reduced from 17 in 2014, to zero in 2018. Globally, Mission Rabies has now vaccinated over one million dogs and educated more than three million people!

Mission Rabies began working in Blantyre, Malawi following a worrying report from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the district, which in 2012 recorded the highest incidence of child rabies deaths from any single institution in the whole of Africa. Mission Rabies’ expert team in Malawi has identified an urgent need to expand their project to the south, into Thyolo district. With over 24,000 dogs living here, and 80,000 children at risk, this community is in desperate need of protection. With your help, our team can deliver a targeted vaccination drive and protect thousands of lives in the coming weeks.
Please donate today !

These projects wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated vets and volunteers who join Mission Rabies’ international projects. If you are looking to use your veterinary skills to help eliminate the world’s deadliest disease, take a look at the volunteering opportunities available throughout the year: Who knows what an impact your veterinary career could have!

Mission Rabies Team


Being a veterinary clinician can be one of the most exciting and satisfying jobs. These two words come after two others: hard and challenging. If we add the word: allergy, then things can get more complicated. Throughout history, itch has been a major concern for owners and clinicians. Ruling out the different aetiologies, searching for an accurate diagnosis followed by an adequate protocol therapy is the main goal of every medical discipline. Many advances have been made in allergic diseases in dogs and cats in the past two decades. Still, as a chronic and relapsing disease, allergic dermatitis can be frustrating and disappointing for practitioners and owners. In the era of global communication and social media, people have become more demanding for results and sometimes suspicious to the ordinary medical approach. On the other hand, alternative diagnostic tools and new therapy methods are getting more and more popular.
As scientists, it’s our duty to have a critical approach to every diagnostic tool we use in order to offer an accurate diagnostics. Nevertheless, in dermatology practice, some tools are often overused and misinterpreted: two common and generalized examples are the use of IgE serology for Atopic dermatitis or Western Blot method for AFR diagnosis, respectively. The lack of appropriate diagnosis and fear of medical treatment’s side effects create a wide range of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). The promise of ‘natural approach’ or ‘no side effects therapy’ makes them so attractive to society more reactionary to the ‘industry’. Even in the case of usefulness, very little is published on veterinary literature and very few RCT (Randomize Control Trials) studies have been done. If the world trend is to normalize these methods, then we must find some kind of balance between the right application of evidence-based dermatology and a serious scientific approach to CAM.

ECVD Resident
Dermatology Practitioner SwissVetGroup

Cute or Calamitous?

Was the title of the press conference at the WSAVA/FECAVA/DSAVA congress in 2017.
The start of a whole range of activities in different countries to start raising awareness of the problems of brachycephalic dogs, known as flat-faced dogs.
The fact that they became very popular, made the veterinarian community more aware that we needed to inform and to act. The flat-faced dogs have become victims of their own popularity.
It seems that the result of an extreme brachycephalic confirmation has become one of the top animal welfare concerns. As it is a complex issue,  spread even in cats and rabbits, it requires additional education of veterinary professionals, breeders and owners to reduce health problems in these breeds.
It is up to the veterinary profession to work closely with stakeholders to influence and improve the health and welfare of all brachycephalic breeds.
Extreme phenotypes should not be used in breeding.
Affected animals are treated with the highest veterinary standards; surgical procedures are done to correct and overcome their uncomfortable disorders. However, these surgical procedures are anything but 'normal'.
All our FECAVA members put a lot of effort in communication; they created platforms and activities, got out of their comfort zone and took action! You can find a lot of information per country on the FECAVA website, just go and have a look.
We are proud as FECAVA team to see so many interactions with the public, especially with potential owners to talk with us before buying a dog in the first place.
As we are experts, don't forget!
Dr. Ann Criel
Honorary secretary of FECAVA,
Member of the FVE Animal Welfare Working group
Member of the FECAVA Brachie Working group

As a veterinarian, you can work in clinical practice or do veterinary research; work for pharmaceutical companies or education providers; at zoos or animal welfare agencies, or even in government services and development agencies across the globe. By studying veterinary medicine, you will earn a recognized qualification. But if you want to move to a higher level, your development should continue after you have gained your qualifications.

FECAVA organized a number of European continuing education courses in the 1990s and in early 2000s. Setting up VetCEE (Veterinary Continuous Education) was crucial for developing standards or structured CPD and for its recognition throughout Europe.

It has also contributed to the elaboration of competencies for VetCEE accreditation for providers of companion animal programs. FECAVA strives to improve the veterinary care of pets through professional development.

Continuing education should explore every possible way on how to enhance our clinical skills; ways to improve our patient’s welfare; how to deal with ethically difficult situations and how to decide on the best career to improve the life of animals. Experienced speakers from all over the world should guide us through important, tough and controversial issues that we, as students or new graduates, may not even be aware of.

Finding a way to get nonclinical subjects as part of CPD programs is a necessary component of veterinary education. Modern veterinary education needs to incorporate interpersonal, communication and leadership skills. Therefore, a change in the veterinary clinic is essential. It's necessary to keep up with innovations, with new approaches in practice management, as well as with all-encompassing concepts. No matter what the change is, you need to dive right in; get the team on board and make some moves which will take you as far as you want to go.

Denis Novak, DVMMRCVS
FECAVA Vice President

In October 2018, in Larnaca, the FECAVA Council decided to further mobilize available resources and activities to fully accomplish its mission and objectives.

Since FECAVA serves as a platform of national associations working together to promote the professional development of veterinarians and their representation in Europe, as well as animal welfare and human-animal bond, the FECAVA Council made a decision to focus its work and communication on helping the following:

  1. its members – the national associations
  2. companion animal clinicians
  3. responsible pet owners
  4. the relevant European and global organizations that are empowered to decide on the key issues for companion animal clinicians and animal welfare.

The structure and content of the whole FECAVA communication, including this first newsletter in 2019, should reflect this new strategy.

This new, focused approach should raise the relevancy of our work and communication to the main FECAVA stakeholders and increase the interest of the veterinary industry for our work that should, in turn help FECAVA to live and grow sustainably.

Goran Cvetković, DVM, MBA
FECAVA Council member

Dear Colleague,

First of all, on behalf of FECAVA, I wish you a very happy and healthy 2019!
The start of a new month and a new year means it's time for our monthly news round-up:
December was a busy month for everyone, and it was no exception for FECAVA. A joint letter was sent to the European Commission asking for a better regulation on dog trade and another letter to e-Bay asking the company to discontinue the anonymous selling of puppies. Our members have been involved in other initiatives, too, and kudos go to our colleagues in Berlin for their highly visible public awareness campaign on healthy breeding.
Read about this and more below - and don't forget to check out our selection of free webinars and open access papers as well as our monthly book review.
Finally, it's my time to say good-bye: this last issue of 2018 is also my last issue as Editor of this newsletter.
It was a pleasure to keep you updated with FECAVA related news over the past years.
Thank you and good-bye!

Karin (Editor)