Backyard poultry cases in UK small animal practices: Demographics, health conditions and pharmaceutical prescriptions

Singleton, David A ORCID: 0000-0002-1980-5410, Ball, Christopher ORCID: 0000-0001-8525-8382, Rennie, Cameron, Coxon, Charlotte, Ganapathy, Kannan ORCID: 0000-0002-9401-3560, Jones, Phil H, Welchman, David and Tulloch, John SP ORCID: 0000-0003-2150-0090
(2021) Backyard poultry cases in UK small animal practices: Demographics, health conditions and pharmaceutical prescriptions. VETERINARY RECORD, 188 (7). e71-.

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<h4>Background</h4>Backyard poultry ownership is of keen interest in the United Kingdom. However, despite this, little is known about veterinary care engagement and outcomes of visits in this group of species.<h4>Methods</h4>This study described and characterised veterinary practice-visiting backyard poultry, utilising electronic health record data supplied by veterinary practices voluntarily participating in the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2019.<h4>Results</h4>In total, 4424 recorded poultry consultations originating from 197 veterinary practices (352 sites) were summarised. Chicken consultation (n = 3740) peak incidence was in early summer (April-June), relative to all recorded species. More chickens resided in rural (incident rate ratio = 2.5, confidence interval [CI] 2.3-2.6, p <0.001) or less deprived areas. Non-specific clinical signs were commonly recorded (17.6% of chicken consultations, CI 15.9-19.2), as were those indicative of advanced disease. This latter finding was reflected in prescribed management strategies, with euthanasia comprising 29.8% (CI 27.0-32.6) of consultations. Antimicrobials were commonly prescribed (33.0% of consultations, CI 29.8-36.2), 43.8% of which included antimicrobials considered 'highest priority critically important' by the World Health Organisation.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our findings indicate a need to tailor antimicrobial prescription guidance to the backyard poultry setting. In addition, late presentation of disease, vague clinical descriptions in clinical narratives and high euthanasia rates show that disease identification, management and knowledge of poultry health and welfare among owners and veterinary surgeons can be improved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals, Chickens, Humans, Poultry Diseases, Anti-Infective Agents, Euthanasia, Animal, Veterinary Medicine, Demography, Ownership, Animal Husbandry, Prescriptions, United Kingdom
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2021 09:38
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:01
DOI: 10.1002/vetr.71
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