Registered veterinary nurses across the UK have, for the first time, the opportunity to study for a Masters by Research degree in a small animal clinical research environment.

Applications for the course at the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences, close on August 14.

There are two research projects. The first will investigate factors that make dogs liable to regurgitate during surgery and the second will develop rapid testing methods for postoperative joint infections.

Intraoperative regurgitation is common in dogs during some types of surgery, affecting up to 10% of orthopaedic patients seen at the small animal teaching hospital at Langford, part of the university’s Langford Veterinary Services (LVS).

The study will gather data on the dog surgical population in an attempt to identify risk factors that can be modified, allowing future research to evaluate interventions.

Joint infections can occur following injury or surgery. Treatment can be traumatic and involve further surgery, removal of implants or amputation.

The project aims to develop rapid molecular typing methods to identify bacteria that cause joint infections and to determine the source – the host or the hospital environment.

The bacteria will also be screened for antibiotic resistance and toxin production. Identification of the source of bacteria causing joint infections and their resistance to antibiotics will aid in prevention and rapid treatment of joint infections.

Applicants will gain experience in small animal clinical research and will receive training in the design, conduct and presentation of research.

The course will start on October 1 and students will be based at the university’s School of Veterinary Sciences, Langford. Practical work will be carried out in the small animal teaching hospital.

Candidates must be a registered veterinary nurse and have a good degree (at least 2:1) in a relevant discipline.

For further details, telephone Andrea Jeffery on 0117 928 9662 or email

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