Volume 12 Issue 1

Thoracic trauma in small animals: road traffic accidents

Thoracic trauma is common in small animals and can be caused by a variety of insults from penetrating wounds to blunt force trauma. Patients that have sustained any form of thoracic trauma require immediate attention and intensive nursing care in order to have a positive outcome for the patient. These cases can prove challenging as multiple organ systems can be affected and surgery is often required. However, combined with the appropriate medical care, the outcome can be successful.

The highs and lows of electrolytes part 2: calcium, phosphate and magnesium

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 to monitor and treat any abnormalities.

Assisted feeding techniques in hospitalised felines

Both dogs and cats continue to be important family and household members. However, because felines are obligate carnivores, they have complicated, and unique nutritional requirements compared with their canine counterparts. These nutritional demands can become even more of a challenge when they are placed in a stressful or hospital environment.

How to blood sample

Venepuncture to obtain a blood sample for analysis is a task frequently undertaken by nursing staff in veterinary practices. This article will explore how to undertake this task safely and efficiently to ensure a diagnostic sample is obtained for analysis, while highlighting any potential pitfalls and how they can be avoided.

Legal implications of euthanasia without owner consent

A veterinary surgeon and registered veterinary nurse must act in accordance with an animal owner's wishes and should respect their confidentiality. This can cause conflict as animal welfare should also be considered as a priority. Contradictory messages from legislation and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses are confusing, however, guidance from these suggests that animal welfare overrides all. To practice clinical governance, veterinary teams should discuss ethical scenarios to prepare all staff for prioritising animal welfare while considering the views of the owner.

Pharmacology of opioids and application to practice

This article analyses the pharmacological considerations when administering opioids in practice. Beginning with a basic review of pain pathways, followed by a more in-depth analysis of opioid pharmacology. The focus will be on the three most commonly used full mu agonist opioids (methadone, morphine, fentanyl). The aim of this article is to show the importance of applying pharmacology to a clinical situation, promoting individual pain management assessment. This involves the application of the most appropriate opioid, as part of a more extensive pain management plan to improve analgesic efficacy and patient outcomes.

Pet travel — the times they are a changing

One of the largely overlooked aspects of Brexit was the changes to the pet travel rules. Ian Wright outlines what these changes mean for veterinary professionals and pet owners wishing to take their dog, cat or ferret abroad.

Socialisation: is it the ‘be all and end all’ of creating resilience in companion animals?

A lack of socialisation is often referred to as a predisposing factor for the problem behaviours that companion animal owners report in their cats and dogs. Yet, many of the kittens and puppies that found new homes during 2020 will have experienced limitations in, or disruptions to, their opportunities for socialisation as a result of the complexities of the ‘normal’ environment both inside and outside their homes. This article examines the terms ‘socialisation’ and ‘socialise’ that are often used interchangeably when discussing the social competencies of companion animals. In addition, it considers the likely outcome of limited opportunities for comprehensive socialisation for the kittens and puppies of 2020, and whether such shortcomings in early development may be overcome.

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