Today, 115 years ago, was a good day to be Thomas Cullinan. Born in (what would become) South Africa in 1862, Cullinan had worked a series of jobs before deciding to become a diamond prospector. In 1898 he discovered the Premier diamond field, and set up a mine there in 1902, where the largest diamond ever discovered was found on 26th January 1905. The jewel was approximately 10.1 centimetres (4.0 in) long, 6.35 centimetres (2.50 in) wide, 5.9 centimetres (2.3 in) deep, and weighed 3,106 carats (621.2 grams), and remains the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found.

The Cullinan Diamond, as it is now known, was actually discovered by the mine’s surface manager, Frederick Wells, just 18 feet below the surface. It was three times the size of the previous record holder, and immediately became a point of public curiosity. It was displayed at the Standard Bank in Johannesburg (presumably with very good security) and was viewed by over 8,000 people.

The sheer value of the stone necessitated a certain level of cunning to ensure its safety. When it was sent to Britain to go to auction, the company made a point of dispatching a ship with armed guards and a box locked in a safe in the ship’s hull. It was a diversion; the actual diamond was simply posted in a plain box.

Perhaps surprisingly, the diamond did not sell at auction. For the next two years there was no real agreement about what to do with it. Eventually, the government of the Transvaal Colony purchased the diamond from Cullinan for the modern equivalent of £15 million. The stone was then presented to King Edward VII, who had it cut into nine smaller pieces. The two largest ones were incorporated into the Crown Jewels and remain so to this day.

There’s some great CPD coming up at The Webinar Vet this week. Here’s what you can look forward to:

January 2020 Monthly Meditation

Sun 26th January 2020, 7:00 pm

By Mike Scanlan

Feeling the stress building up? Let the anxiety go with Mike’s Monthly Medication.

Hemp extracts in veterinary medicine – What do we know and where is this all going

Tue 28th January 2020, 8:00 pm

By Joseph Wakshlag, DVM, PhD, DACVN, DACVSMR 


Stephen Cital, RVT, SRA, LRAT, VCC, CVPP, VTS

This lecture will discuss the basics of CBD and the endocannabinoid system. It will also cover the research done to date and how all CBD products are not the same. We will discuss the difference in formulas and the importance of dynamic cannabinoid and terpene profiles for increase efficacy.

Self-Inquiry System

Tue 28th January 2020, 8:00 pm

By Jenny Guyat BVetMed MRCVS

In this module, we’ll be:

• Going deep into your core personal values

• Talking about your competencies, hardwiring and profiling

• Doing a review of your life timeline to uncover your own unique secret formula that makes you special and different

• Taking a good look at the working environments you might thrive in

Mental Health First Responder Training Session Four – Applying an evidence based, early response to critical incidents that occur in the workplace

Wed 29th January 2020, 8:00 pm

by Mike Scanlan PRD

The final part of our new mental health course. Working in the veterinary profession can be exciting and rewarding. However, caring for animals can be challenging, too – mentally as well as physically. It has been recognised in several studies that levels of depression, stress and anxiety are disproportionately high among veterinary professionals.

This course will deliver, 4 live sessions and is designed to support individuals or Veterinary practices looking to promote positive mental health at work. This bespoke training equip participants with a toolkit to improve their confidence and skills in addressing issues of Mental Health at work and in the wider community.

A practical approach to the often hidden problem of osteoarthritis in cats

Thu 30th January 2020, 8:30 pm

by Danielle Gunn-Moore BSc(Hon), BVM&S, PhD, MANZCVS, FHEA, FRSB, FRCVS, RCVS Specialist

Osteoarthritis is being recognised with increasing frequency in cats in Britain, Europe and the US; all areas where cats are often living into their old age. However, affected cats rarely limp or cry out. Instead they show often subtle behavioural and lifestyle changes (e.g. reluctance to jump up) that owners and veterinarians may mistake for ‘old age’. Underestimating the importance of osteoarthritis means missing the chance to make affected cats more comfortable at this precious time in their lives. Using clinical cases this talk will discuss the importance of this often missed disorder, and how it can affect cats’ lives negatively. We will discuss the importance of looking for osteoarthritis as part of a discussion on the need for tailored geriatric health care.

For the optimum management of elderly cats, it is necessary to undertake an in-depth diagnostic investigation to find all interacting conditions that need to be addressed concurrently. It is then possible to devise a treatment plan for each particular cat and its particular problems and personality. Successful management of cats with osteoarthritis can have very positive effects on their overall quality of life, and on their relationship with the rest of their household. Management often entails environmental modification (to ensure the cat has easy access to all key resources), specialist veterinary diets or supplements (e.g. anti-oxidants and mitochondrial co-factors, etc.) and drug therapies (such as gabapentin and even NSAIDs, plus others). Discussion will not cover surgical or stem cell interventions, other than mentioning them for completeness.

Towards the elimination of canine rabies

Fri 31st January 2020, 8:00 pm

by Sarah CleavelandVetMB PhD MRCVS FMedSci FRSE FRS

Despite the availability of safe and highly efficacious rabies vaccines for preventing of rabies in humans and animals, canine rabies remains widespread and still kills tens of thousands of people very year in Africa and Asia. This presentation outlines factors that have hampered the effective control of canine rabies and summarises the evidence that indicates the feasibility of rabies elimination. The presentation will summarise results of epidemiological research, primarily from Africa, that provide pragmatic insights into the design and implementation of more effective dog vaccination strategies. The presentation will discuss rabies in the context of One Health and the relevance of these insights in relation to the control and elimination to other zoonotic, emerging and neglected diseases.