Volume 13 Issue 1

Osteoarthritis in canines part 2: physical rehabilitation

Osteoarthritis is a developmental disease that progresses as the canine ages. While incurable, there are ways to help mitigate the severity of the disease. Geriatric patients often have pain, lowered mobility, and decreased quality of life. Utilisation of clinical metrology instruments (CMIs), published pain management guidelines, multimodal medications, published quality of life scales, and the use of physical rehabilitation modalities/techniques enable the dog to live a full life. The dog's advancing age does not have to cause abrupt cessation of activities that all family members enjoy. Environmental modification and client education allow dogs to enjoy their entire life with their families.

Nursing considerations during routine dental procedures

In the author's experience, patients that have a dental procedure often recover more slowly than any other routine procedure, as some requirements of a dental patient may not be taken into consideration. This article outlines the nursing considerations that are required during a routine dental procedure. Examples include: awareness of hypothermia risks; being aware of the premedication and pain relief used; and the use of an appropriately sized throat pack to ensure no fluid enters the patient's lungs.

Quality improvement frameworks to maximise wound assessment

Wound management should be a holistic process that assesses not only the wound itself, but also includes patient and client factors. To ensure veterinary professionals try to minimise mistakes and maximise communication, quality improvement methods can be applied to help prevent mistakes and miscommunications. Veterinary medicine lacks in veterinary specific wound assessment frameworks but there are numerous that are applied successfully to human medicine that can aid in the holistic approach, and cross over well to veterinary patients. The application of a simple checklist and care bundle could help to improve client communication and compliance and also facilitate healing, leading to improved patient outcomes.

Maintaining mental and physical fitness into old age

As a result of advances in veterinary interventions and medicine, more companion dogs are living longer and this carries the added risk of developing illnesses that are age-related — specifically diseases concerned with physical and mental health decline. This short article aims to summarise some of the key factors for owners of older dogs to consider, and provides measures they can undertake in their homes and day to day lives with their dogs to ensure their dog has a happy, healthy and enjoyable retirement.

How to reduce anaesthetic risk in geriatric patients

As medicine continues to evolve and improve, veterinary patients are living longer lives. This means more medical care for geriatric pets, and potentially more anaesthetic procedures. The veterinary team needs to be comfortable anaesthetising and monitoring these pets and can achieve this comfort through training, education, and practice. By increasing knowledge, veterinary nurses can instil confidence in the patient's family.

Canine behaviour medicine in UK small animal practice

Despite the advancements in the field of veterinary behaviour medicine, problem behaviours remain a leading cause for canine relinquishment and euthanasia in the UK and so should be of concern to veterinary professionals. This review aimed to critically evaluate the literature on the perceptions of the veterinary care team, including the veterinary practitioner and the veterinary nurse, of their roles in canine behaviour medicine. Additionally, the review discussed barriers to the delivery of behavioural medicine in practice and subsequently examined the benefits of applying a behaviour-centered approach to care. Despite revisions to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons curricula, inadequate behavioural training during undergraduate studies was identified as a primary barrier to the provision of behaviour support in practice by veterinarians and veterinary nurses. Furthermore, veterinary professionals frequently identified a lack of time to discuss, educate and diagnose behavioural problems. However, should the barriers to the provision of behavioural medicine be addressed, current literature suggests that the benefits of applying behaviour medicine to practice may include financial growth for the practice, workplace safety, improved perception from clients and ultimately improved animal welfare.

Efficacy of automated hand sanitiser dispensers in a teaching hospital

Background: Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are routinely used in healthcare establishments worldwide to reduce infection transmission. The volume of sanitiser dispensed has been shown to affect the efficacy of the hand hygiene event. Aim: To assess whether the dispensed volume fulfils FDA requirements and if the implementation of a role in maintaining the sanitisers improved dispenser efficacy. Methods: Samples were collected from 15 automated dispensers in a veterinary teaching hospital. Samples were collected daily on 6 consecutive days. This was repeated immediately following the assignment of a role to monitor and service the sanitisers, and again 8 months post implementation of the role. Results: Of the 270 aliquots collected, 54 (20%) and 216 (80%) were <1 ml and >1 ml, respectively. The mean volume dispensed in a single aliquot was significantly different from the target (1.2 ml). The volumes of sanitiser dispensed and the number of aliquots <1 ml did not change significantly between the three time points. Conclusion: This study suggests that there is a high risk of inadequate hand sanitation when using automated dispensers, as a result of the inadequate volumes dispensed. Using dispensers automated to dispense larger volumes of sanitiser and encouraging self-reporting of perceived malfunctions may reduce these risks more than implementing a dispenser servicing role.

Parasite roundup for 2021

The year 2021 has proven to be another challenging year for UK veterinary professionals in many specialities, and parasite control has presented its own set of challenges. These have focused largely around the high numbers of rescue dogs continuing to be imported from abroad and the challenges of ensuring responsible parasiticide use in increasingly busy veterinary practices. Throughout, the European Council for Companion Animal Parasites UK & Ireland has continued to give parasite control advice, raise awareness of the changing parasite landscape in the UK and promote the need for risk-based parasite control and routine diagnostic surveillance. So what did 2021 hold for parasites and their control?

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