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About The Veterinary Nurse

The Veterinary Nurse – now part of the UK-VET group of titles – is the leading international peer-reviewed journal for veterinary nurses. It publishes evidence-based clinical, educational and practical articles, in addition to the latest nurse-led veterinary research. It promotes gold standard care by supporting readers’ continuing professional development and by sharing best practice worldwide.

Clinical

Christmas poisons

Christmas can be a busy and chaotic time at home with multiple visitors (depending on COVID-19 restrictions this year), an excess of food and the presence of Christmas plants and decorations. This will be a ‘COVID Christmas’ but efforts will...

Latest CPD

Achieve all your CPD: The Veterinary Nurse  produces an extensive range for CPD content, supporting subscribers to complete the mandatory requirement of 45 hours’ CPD over a 3-year period. Premium and website subscribers can access our latest and archive modules, a selection of which can be found below. Subscribe Today

Role of cats in human toxocarosis

<italic>Toxocara cati</italic>, the feline ascarid, is ubiquitous in domestic cats globally and is increasingly recognised as an important zoonotic species. In the definitive host, infections with the adult ascarid usually do not present any clinical signs; if clinical signs do appear, it is usually in kittens infected with <italic>T. cati</italic>, especially by the trans-mammary route. Diseases may include cachexia, a pot-bellied appearance, respiratory disorders, diarrhoea, vomiting, among other signs, and these may present as early as 3 weeks of age. However, infections with <italic>Toxocara</italic> spp. larvae in paratenic hosts (including humans and many other animals), can result in serious complications from the migration of larvae. Historically, there has been an assumption that <italic>Toxocara canis</italic> was the most likely cause of <italic>Toxocara</italic> spp.-related disease; while it is probably true that <italic>T. canis</italic> is responsible for the majority of infections, it is important that those caused by <italic>T. cati</italic> are accurately identified so that the contribution of this parasite to human disease can be established and then handled appropriately. Overall, the detection of infections in cats and the control of parasite stages in the environment are essential to minimise the infection risk to other animals or humans.

Weight loss considerations in the older cat

The companion animal population is continuing to live longer, with approximately 40% of pet dogs and cats aged 7 years or older. Continued improvements in veterinary care and disease prevention strategies, veterinary nutrition, breeding and husbandry are just a few of the factors contributing to pet longevity, resulting in a significant population of senior small companion animals. This article considers the most common causes of weight loss in the older cat through review of the definitions and pathophysiology of muscle loss, and examining the most common concurrent metabolic and endocrine diseases associated with weight loss in the older feline patient.

A practical guide to the new feline cardiomyopathy consensus statement

In a welcome move, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) has just published a consensus statement providing guidance on the diagnosis, management, and treatment of the cat with cardiomyopathy. Even more encouraging is that nursing guidelines have also been included in this statement. The paper has been released as ‘open access’, so anyone can access these guidelines free of charge online. The consensus statement is important because it provides an updated classification of feline cardiomyopathies, changing emphasis to different phenotypic groups, and adds a staging system, along similar lines as the ACVIM myxomatous mitral valve disease consensus statement first published in 2009 and then updated in 2019. This article provides a summary of the key points made in the consensus statement.

Quality improvement, checklists and systems of work: why do we need them?

Missing out one small step in a complex procedure can lead to an error. A checklist is a list of actions that can identify the small but crucial steps which may be missed out. Checklists are just one of the tools used to form a culture of continuous quality improvement (QI) in veterinary practice. QI is about understanding the level of care practices provide and implementing interventions to try to improve it. Checklists have been used in aviation and in human healthcare to reduce errors. The use of a surgical safety checklist can be very effective both in human healthcare and in veterinary practice. Checklists can be used in many other areas of practice too. They are a patient safety system, not just a piece of paper, they encourage teamwork, communication and situational awareness and can help to reduce errors.

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