Volume 10 Issue 2

Dentistry: how to probe and chart

A thorough examination of the oral cavity, teeth and peridontium under general anaesthetic is essential to enable the veterinary surgeon to make an informed diagnosis and recommend an appropriate, individually-tailored treatment plan to owners for their pets. A conscious examination of the oral cavity can provide clues as to what pathology might be present associated with these tissues; however the existence and more importantly the extent of any pathology cannot be truly discovered until the patient is anaesthetised. This article aims to outline the process of oral cavity and dental assessment under general anaesthetic to facilitate optimal treatment plan creation.

Investigating the use of non-contact infrared thermometers in cats and dogs

Background: Non-contact infrared thermometers (NCIT) provide a quick, hands off method of monitoring patients' body temperature. There are now animal specific NCIT devices available, however evidence for their use is currently lacking. Aims: To evaluate the accuracy of two animal NCIT devices when compared with rectal temperature in anaesthetised cats, and ear temperatures in exercising dogs. Methods: 27 cats undergoing routine neutering under anaesthetic, and 30 dogs competing in cross country races were recruited to the study. Ocular surface temperature was measured with each of the NCIT devices and compared with rectal temperature (in cats) or ear temperature (in dogs). Findings: Less than a third of the readings from both NCIT devices reported temperatures within 0.5°C of rectal temperature (in cats) and ear temperature (in dogs). Conclusion: The animal specific NCIT devices do not accurately report body temperature in cats or dogs, so their use in clinical situations cannot be recommended.

Stress triggers and how to deal with them

There is a growing understanding of the effects that stress has on companion animals at all times of the year — living with humans is not easy! Elaine Henley explains the phenomonen of trigger-stacking and demonstrates how small changes in an animal's environment can have huge benefits.

Management of ticks and tick-borne diseases: challenges and opportunities

As time ‘ticks’ on, concerns over an increasingly warmer climate grow. Global temperature continues to rise, and there is no question that part of the consequence is going to be increasing prevalence and geographic distribution of local tick populations. Adding to this challenge is the increasing occurrence of exotic ticks and emerging tick-borne diseases (TBDs), which impose serious threats to public health, and to the health and welfare of pets and livestock. Animals suffering from TBDs may develop life-threatening conditions if early clinical signs are not recognised and treatment has not been promptly instituted. It is therefore important to maintain a high degree of suspicion for parasitic causes when examining pets from tick-endemic areas or after travel for clinical signs consistent with one of the TBDs. Veterinary nurses (VNs) need to have a working knowledge of the clinical presentation of TBDs, as well as the required diagnostic tests and basic principles of tick control and TBD management. Protective measures are crucial as there is no ‘magic bullet’ to control TBDs, and even most of the tick-borne infections that respond to treatment remain prevalent. This article emphasises the leading role that VNs can play in implementing an effective tick and TBD management programme.

Skin cytology for the veterinary nurse

Skin cytology forms an important part of any dermatological investigation and lends itself well to input from the veterinary nurse. Basic diagnostic procedures such as acetate tape impression smears, direct and indirect impression smears and fine needle aspirates can be undertaken with only a minimal amount of equipment and will produce clinical information that can contribute hugely to the successful management of the case. A knowledge of the most important types of cellular infiltrate and pathogens is needed in order to undertake meaningful interpretation of the results.

Motivating and engaging others: driving practice change

Do changes introduced within your practice go no further; are they met with negativism, disinterest or even resistance? Are new ideas dismissed by a culture of complacency and inertia? Change can be a difficult and even uncomfortable process to go through and when poorly handled can lead to high levels of stress amongst the team. The ability to change is crucial, however, to the success of any organisation and has never been more important than it is in today's evolving healthcare environment. To manage change effectively requires time and dedication. This article aims to introduce novice/aspiring leaders to elements of change theory and make practical suggestions as to how to plan and implement a change in practice.

Rehabilitating the canine cruciate patient: part one

Cranial cruciate ligament disease is a commonly occurring orthopaedic condition with two broad treatment options: surgical and non-surgical (conservative). This article discusses case selection for each form of management, and describes an example of a suitable treatment plan for managing a patient conservatively using rehabilitation techniques.

Endo and ectoparasites in rabbits

There are numerous endo and ectoparasites that can affect domestic rabbits. Many of these may not have a clinical effect on the rabbit and treatment may not therefore be required. However, for those that cause clinical signs it is imperative that early diagnosis and correct treatment is implemented, since any delay in this can have serious consequences for the rabbit's health and welfare, as well as human health, as many are zoonotic.

Critical care nutrition and supportive feeding methods

The use of feeding tubes in the delivery of nutrition (calories and nutrients) is an important aspect to consider as part of the nutritional assessment. Consideration should be given to calorific value required, the diet to be used, the form in which the diet is to be delivered, whether the animal is able to consume, digest and absorb the diet and the composition of the nutrients within the diet.

Cutaneous sun damage and skin protection: a focus on FiltaClear

Phototoxicity (sunburn) and photosensitivity are the two most important forms of sunlight induced disease recognised by veterinary surgeons in the dog, cat and horse. Phototoxicity is mediated by UVB radiation and has a spectrum of presentations, ranging from sunburn to more severe actinic damage and squamous cell carcinoma. Phototoxicity is usually seen on white or non-pigmented skin, especially where there is little hair covering, and is recognised in all three species. Photosensitisation is most commonly seen in the horse and represents an abnormal reaction of the skin to light, caused by photodynamic agents in or on the skin. Sun avoidance and sun protection are important in all of the domestic species, to prevent sunlight induced disease.

Arterial lines: why, when, how?

Arterial lines are a useful tool in the emergency and intensive care patient. Invasive blood pressure measurement is considered the gold standard in patient care and has become commonplace in veterinary practice, especially in veterinary anaesthesia. Arterial catheters are catheters placed within the arterial lumen by a skilled veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse. This catheter is attached to a monitor which provides information such as systolic, mean and diastolic arterial pressure, heart rate and an arterial waveform. Having an invasive arterial catheter gives the advantage of a constant measurement of arterial blood pressure, meaning the effects on patients of drugs, fluids and environment can be seen. Arterial lines are useful in patients where rapid changes in blood pressure are anticipated, and abnormal measurements can be detected quickly. This article discusses the different aspects of arterial lines from what they are, to waveform analysis and complications.

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