The ability to evaluate evidence is a key skill for veterinary professionals pursuing an evidence-based approach to patient care. The evidence available on a particular topic in the veterinary field may be of variable quality though and the strengths and weaknesses of the type of evidence should be considered. The way a research study is conducted can also impact on the validity and reliability of the results presented and aspects of study design, such as control groups, representative samples, sample size, elimination of bias and outcome measures, should be evaluated. This article gives further insight into the evaluation of research studies including examples to aid understanding.
The role of a consulting nurse in chronic medical cases is very important in helping with compliance, client education and ultimately welfare and quality of life. In patients with chronic renal failure the use of the International Renal Interest Society (IRIS) score enables all veterinary professionals to be able to implement any guidelines or protocols (care bundles) in order to benefit the health of the animal and to have these incorporated into long-term care plans.
Heavily contaminated wounds are a common occurrence in both referral and primary care practice, with traumatic and bite wounds being among the most typical aetiologies seen. Each type of wound can be affected by numerous factors that can inhibit the healing process, one of these major factors is infection.Wound infections and the formation of biofilms can present veterinary nurses with a variety of challenges, which is why it is important that we understand the difference between normal inflammatory signs and the signs of infection. The early identification of infection and biofilms within a wound can influence healing times, scar tissue formation and length of healing. This article aims to highlight the difference between inflammation and infection, the different levels of contamination within a wound, and ways to decipher between superficial and deep tissue infections.
There are six electrolytes that are important in maintaining homeostasis within the body. They play vital roles in regulating neurological, myocardial, muscular and cellular functions and are involved in fluid and acid–base balance. Recognising and treating electrolyte derangements is an important role for veterinary nurses especially in emergency and critical care patients. This series of two articles will discuss the physiology behind each of the six major electrolytes and discuss how to monitor and treat any abnormalities.
Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) uses wavelengths of light that have biostimulatory effects on target tissues. This results in three primary therapeutic effects: anti-inflammatory, analgesia and the regeneration of damaged tissues. The application of PBMT is non-invasive, painless and is often used as an adjunctive therapy to multimodal treatment approaches in zoological settings. Individual treatment plans are required; plans must consider species variability in patient size, skin thickness, coat colour and the depth of the target tissue. Treatment can often be achieved through positive reinforcement training and in a minimally invasive way to ensure the welfare of the patient. The medical benefits of PBMT in zoo animals are poorly described in the literature and confounding factors make it challenging to prove treatment efficacy.
Research into the canine genome has made it possible to test and screen for inherited diseases occurring as a result of single-gene mutations with ease. Nationwide Laboratories have used developments in the availability of these tests to develop DNA profiling for cats and dogs, with the option to include a life plan for the patient alongside the results. The hope is that screening cats and dogs early in life would allow for lifestyle adaptations and treatment planning, to allow for better management of any potential genetic disease, improving the overall healthcare for the companion animal as a result.
This extended case reports explores the pre-, peri- and post-anaesthetic considerations in a 2-year 7-month-old male entire crossbreed with suspected myasthenia gravis after presenting with gastrointestinal signs and pelvic limb weakness. Myasthenia gravis is an immune-mediated neuromuscular transmission disorder, which greatly increases the risk of mortality in patients undergoing anaesthesia. Following specific nursing care, in this case no complications occurred and the dog went home 3 days later.
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 undoubtedly be made to make it as normal as possible, after a difficult year for everyone.