Volume 11 Issue 3

Taking back control

At a time when our world is rapidly changing, in ways that we cannot control, it is more important than ever to lean in and be there for each other and for ourselves. Taking back control requires recognising what is under our control, what we can influence and what is outside our sphere of influence, followed by taking action to control what we can, and learning not to waste mental, physical or emotional energy fighting what we cannot control.

Factors driving lungworm spread and the need for ongoing diagnosis and prevention

National media campaigns in the face of increased geographic distribution has put Angiostrongylus vasorum at the forefront of the minds of both veterinary professionals and dog owners alike. Familiarity with this parasite is essential, given the potential severity of disease in infected dogs and its spread to parts of the country where it has not previously been routinely diagnosed. Veterinary nurses play an important role in educating the public and giving accurate preventative advice based on local geographic and lifestyle risk. It is important therefore that nurses understand factors that drive spread and increase exposure risk in pet dogs. This article considers these factors and prevention of angiostrongylosis.

Poisons affecting the neurological system

The brain is susceptible to a variety of poisons. Sedating drugs and chemicals can cause central nervous system (CNS) depression while other substances can cause CNS stimulation, including seizures. These are of particular concern since intractable seizure activity may cause complications, with pyrexia resulting in secondary damage to other organs. The common poisons discussed here that cause neurological effects are metaldehyde and tremorgenic mycotoxins, which can cause rapid onset seizures; cannabis, which can cause prolonged sedation in companion animals; permethrin, which is associated with prolonged seizures, particularly in cats; and ivermectin, which can cause CNS depression, blindness and seizures. Treatment is supportive in most cases; care should be taken when considering the use of emetics since there is a risk of aspiration in seizuring animals. Control of seizure activity is a priority, while intravenous lipid emulsion may also be useful.

A holistic approach to creating a nutrition plan for hospitalised inpatients

Proper nutrition ensures adequate intakes of energy, protein, minerals and vitamins and it is essential for dogs and cats to ensure health and longevity. Veterinary nurses play a vital role in educating pet owners about nutrition as well as implementing the majority of nutritional support to hospitalised animals. As part of a holistic approach to delivering nutritional support, nutrition plans can be used successfully. This article will discuss and educate on how to implement and deliver this systematic approach using a basic nursing process of assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation to ensure an organised and more successful method is used to deliver nutritional support to inpatients.

Understanding tracheostomy tubes

It is important in veterinary practice that registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) understand why and when a tracheostomy tube may need to be placed in a patient, especially as it is often an emergency procedure. Having the knowledge on how these patients need to be nursed throughout their hospitalisation is also highly valuable and will prevent complications arising as well as enabling the RVN to deliver a high standard of care.

Small mammal anaesthesia nursing

This article provides an outline of special considerations and requirements for the anaesthesia of small exotic mammals. This includes the process from pre-anaesthesia, induction, maintenance and monitoring, and recovery. Most small mammal species can be anaesthetised using revised techniques and equipment from companion animal anaesthesia, however the requirements for modified equipment and monitoring are discussed in this article.

How to nurse the geriatric patient

Veterinary nurses should have a good understanding of the geriatric years and ageing process for the many patients seen in practice on a day-to-day basis. With this understanding, it is also important to provide advice and support to those owners with a geriatric pet, guiding and monitoring the patient throughout their older years. Ageing is a normal, progressive but irreversible process within the body, and bodily functions and systems will begin slowing down. Implementing care plans for the geriatric patient can improve the quality of their care, as nurses can assess and address the many systems and potential disease processes that may be affecting the patient.

Lucy's Law comes into force

After years of campaigning Lucy's Law was passed in the summer of 2019, and became enforceable from April 6th this year. It ensures that puppies and kittens can only be sold in the place in which they were born, and in the presence of their mother.

Keep up to date with The Veterinary Nurse!

Sign up to The Veterinary Nurse's regular newsletters and keep up-to-date with the very latest clinical research and CPD we publish each month.