Decision making takes place in all aspects of veterinary care. Throughout any consultation, work up, hospitalisation or ongoing home care, decisions need to be made about the next step to be taken. Clinical decision making is influenced by many different factors including past experience, emotions, owner wishes, financial concerns and communication skills. Within the veterinary team, it is important that everyone understands the factors influencing decisions. Decision making can follow a paternalistic, guardian or shared approach, which tends to be dominant in veterinary practice. Where practices adopt standard operating procedures, the use of clinical evidence and clear non-biased decisions need to be made.
This article forms part of a series intended to encourage veterinary practices to incorporate first aid advice on emotional welfare and behavioural support, for the entire species range seen within the practice, into daily practice routine. Previous articles in this series have covered why this service should be integral to practice activity and provided suggestions regarding behavioural first aid advice that could be given to the owners of canine patients. This article concentrates on behavioural first aid advice that will benefit the, often under-supported, welfare needs of feline patients and their owners.
Gold standard infection control should be at the top of the list of priorities for every veterinary practice. Good infection control safeguards patients, allowing them to visit and receive treatment without risk of obtaining further illness from the transmission of diseases, such as those caused by feline viruses, from other patients. The bulk of the workload of infection control is carried out by good hygiene and disinfection however, there are key points in the journey of the patient around the clinic or hospital that, if taken into consideration and actioned, can dramatically reduce the risk of transmission.
Vector-borne infections account for 17% of infectious diseases globally, presenting a risk to humans. They are also a significant cause of disease in cats and dogs, which can act as reservoirs for certain zoonotic vector-borne pathogens, thus further increasing this risk. As a result of changes in climate and pet travel guidelines, there is the potential for introduction of new vectors or vector-borne parasites in the UK. The veterinary nurse plays a vital role in educating clients on the risks presented by these parasites and their associated diseases, as well as in formulating tailored parasite control plans in partnership with clients.
Patients presenting for thoracic surgery either acutely or chronically will always be demanding and require extensive planning for anaesthesia, surgery and recovery with many factors needing to be considered and resolved before beginning. This article will focus on the main considerations of these three points.
Feline hypertension is a common disease seen in cats in veterinary practice. It can be idiopathic in origin, secondary to another disease process or medication, or occur as a result of stress. Left untreated, systemic hypertension can result in severe tissue injury to the renal, cardiovascular and neurological systems, as well as causing ocular changes. It is recommended in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Guidelines (2018) that senior cats and those with concurrent disease, or those at risk of target organ damage, should have blood pressure measurements taken regularly. These measurements need to be repeatable and reliable.
Hypoglycaemia presents a genuine life-threatening emergency in the intensive care unit. Veterinary nurses play a vital role in the emergency and critical care of hypoglycaemic patients. This patient care report will discuss and evaluate the nursing care involved with maintenance of intravenous catheter, monitoring of blood glucose and dietary management.
Many of us are striving to reduce the amount of plastic we use at home, but how can this be sustained in our professional lives? Especially in an environment where disposable items are an integral part of our work.Jane Davidson and Jo Hinde, co-founders of Learning Without Landfill explain that: ‘Starting to talk about the environmental impact of our work and personal activities was hard. Only 2 years ago many people questioned how we could make any change in a field like veterinary medicine.’ So, how can it be done? Megan Eastwood-Wright, Head Nurse of Regent Court Vets, Penzance, Cornwall tells us.