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


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