Volume 12 Issue 3

The legal, ethical and welfare implications of feeding vegan diets to dogs and cats

Veganism is on the rise both in humans and in companion animals, with many owners citing animal welfare as their primary reason for adopting a vegan lifestyle. Feeding vegan diet to dogs and cats significantly impacts their welfare as it puts them at undue risk of developing diet-induced disorders, leaving owners liable to prosecution if they are unwilling to adhere to expert recommendations. As commercial vegan diets are a relatively new phenomena, more research needs to be conducted to understand the full effects. In the meantime, veterinary professionals should continue to educate owners on suitable diets based on the individual's requirements.

Pheromones and 25 years of pheromonotherapy: what are they and how do they work?

The capacity of animals to communicate via pheromones is long established and, for generations, pheromones have been unwittingly used by man to manage the behaviour of animals in agriculture — using the chemicals produced by an individual member of a species to alter the behaviour of another member of that species. More recently, insect pheromones have been used in managing insect infestations of crops. However, approximately 25 years ago the French veterinary surgeon, Patrick Pageat, began to investigate the production of pheromones in both farm and companion animals and how synthetic analogues of pheromones could be used to improve animal welfare, creating a new field in veterinary medicine — pheromonotherapy. This article aims to summarise the main developments in pheromonotherapy over the last 25 years.

Canine developmental elbow disease part 2: surgical and non-surgical management

Developmental elbow disease is the term encompassing several abnormalities of the elbow joint, including fragmented medial coronoid process (FCP), osteochondrosis of the humerus (OC), ununited anconeal process (UAP), cartilage injuries and incongruity of the elbow joint. These disorders are associated with varying degrees of joint instability, inflammation, and loose fragments within the joint, which result in lameness and osteoarthrosis. Treatment should ideally involve correcting the underlying causes of the disease before significant joint damage has occurred. There are many surgical options for the treatment of developmental elbow disease which aim to unload the medial compartment, replace joint surfaces and manage pain. These include the sliding humeral osteotomy, proximal abducting ulna osteotomy, joint resurfacing and joint replacement. Studies evaluating the different treatments have low case numbers, variable outcome parameters, inconsistent diagnostic criteria and short follow-up times. Non-surgical manangement should always be part of the treatment plan to manage pain and symptoms as virtually all dogs with elbow disease will go on to develop osteoathritis.

Nursing the uroabdomen patient

Uroabdomen, the presence of urine in the abdominal cavity, commonly occurs in dogs and cats, particularly following a trauma. Initial stabilisation of the patient is essential to treat the multisystemic effects of electrolyte and metabolic derangements, including hyperkalaemia, azotaemia and metabolic acidosis. Diagnosis is confirmed by comparing laboratory analysis of abdominal fluid and serum. Urinary diversion is required, often via placement of a urinary catheter, to prevent continuing urine accumulation.Once haemodynamically stable, diagnostic imaging may be performed to confirm the location of the urinary tract rupture, with several modes of imaging available. Surgical intervention may be necessary to repair the urinary leak, this is dependent on the location and severity of the trauma to the urinary tract.Registered veterinary nurses play an important role in the management of the uroabdomen patient, from initial triage and stabilisation, to assisting with imaging, anaesthetic monitoring and postoperative care. This article will discuss the aetiology of the uroabdomen, patient presentation and how to effectively treat the critical patient. Nursing care is vital for ensuring patient welfare and identifying complications that may arise.

How to nurse wildlife patients

This article provides a basic outline of nursing of wildlife patients, from initial contact and triage through to kennelling and rehabilitation. Most wildlife presentations are debilitated or injured and require immediate veterinary attention and nursing care.

Emergency cardiac pharmacology for nurses

Cardiac emergencies are a relatively common occurrence in emergency practice, and cardiac drugs are essential in the management of these patients. Knowledge and understanding of the pharmacology of these drugs is important for the veterinary nurse, so that they can support the veterinary surgeon and give the best care to their patient, by being prepared and organised. Each medication needs to be carefully considered by the veterinary surgeon before use and each patient assessed accordingly. These medications have the potential to do great good, but as with most drugs, can cause harm. This article will discuss some of the more commonly used cardiac drugs in the emergency room.

Obesity in dogs: a growing issue

Using the VetCompass ‘big data’ approach Camilla Pegram et al were able to analyse data from 22 333 dogs, 1580 of which were recorded as overweight to determine risk factors for obesity. Camilla highlights the findings below.

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