This workshop discussed the prevalence of feline osteoarthritis (OA), how the nursing team can work with cat caregivers and the rest of the veterinary team to recognise and diagnose feline OA, and the role of the nursing team in the on-going management of feline OA
It is not often that you stumble on a new technology that gives you a new perspective on wound care. With over 10 years of research behind it Microlyte offers a new concept as a ‘leave in’ product that combines the antimicrobial power of ionic silver with a hygroscopic film matrix that supports cell migration. This review covers the key points from the workshop, which introduced the science of Microlyte, its features and benefits and its potential applications illustrated across a range of case studies.
Registered veterinary nurses provide the tools for oral care, whether that be in the consulting room or in a dental suite. It is their job to make sure owners understand the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene to help their pet live a pain free life. This is done through dental clinics and being confident in the products and services being offered. Veterinary nurses can educate owners on the facts of dental disease and help them understand that most of the dental disease is below the gum line. It is also important to have sound knowledge on what normal looks like so that abnormalities can be detected.
Chronic illnesses affect approximately 26 million people in the UK, with 10 million people having multiple conditions. The effect of often ‘invisible illnesses’ can be debilitating in their symptoms, compounded by the associated stigma, fear and anxiety the individuals suffer. This article looks at a small selection of chronic illnesses and their effects, as well as how to help colleagues or staff, and ensure consideration is given to all the team, no matter how ‘healthy’ they appear.
A number of genetic and environmental factors are involved in the development of orthopaedic diseases that affect the growing dog. While genetic factors cannot be influenced once the parents have been bred, environmental factors can be managed in order to reduce the risk of prevalence of these conditions. Research suggests the main environmental factors that may impact the growing dog's joints include nutrition, exercise, home environment, age of neutering and body condition. This article addresses each of these factors to allow veterinary staff to best advise owners on how to protect the joints of the growing dog.
Behaviour cases are common in general practice and veterinary nurses can play a vital role in their identification and management. Full behavioural assessment and implementation of a behaviour modification protocol remains essential, but increasingly animals may also be prescribed psychoactive medications. This three-part article aims to give veterinary nurses a comprehensive introduction to the principles of using behaviourally-active medication in companion animals. Part 1 contains an overview of the main types of behaviourally active drugs available for treating dogs and cats in the UK, and the different types of behavioural problems that they can potentially help. This will be followed in Part 2 by a more detailed look at the decision-making process for using short-acting behaviourally-active medications, supported by case examples. Part 3 will outline ways in which veterinary nurses can contribute to improving the behavioural welfare of their patients generally, including through identifying and supporting those animals that will benefit from behaviourally active medication.
Protein losing enteropathy (PLE) is not a diagnosis of a specific disease but can be considered a symptom or syndrome of a disease or disorder, often from gastrointestinal origin. Although more common in dogs, it can also be presented in cats, with variation in symptoms being mild to severe and life-threatening.Often requiring hospitalisation, veterinary nurses may become very involved in the care of patients with PLE. Understanding the syndrome and nursing requirements may improve patient recovery. This article discusses the fundamental pathophysiology, aetiology, presentation, diagnostics, treatment and nursing considerations relevant to PLE.
One very important clinical skill for every veterinary nurse is the accurate measurement of arterial blood pressure in both conscious and anaesthetised patients. These readings are useful for a wide variety of monitoring as well as diagnostic purposes. It is critical to produce accurate results so that patients may receive the best care and treatment as soon as possible. If blood pressure measurement is not performed correctly there is the possibility of an error, which can negatively impact patient management. Blood pressure measurements are sensitive: their accuracy can be affected by the environment the patient is in, the patient's behaviour, measurement procedures, devices used for the measurement and the nurse or clinician carrying out the measurement. To minimise errors in blood pressure measurement, a detailed, standardised measurement protocol is necessary with adequate training. This allows for accurate, repeatable and reliable measurement of blood pressure to be achieved each time.
Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is one of the most common congenital diseases seen in dogs, which usually will result in heart failure and death if left untreated. Veterinary nurses play a key role in the care of these patients through all stages of diagnosis and treatment, and understanding the disease process allows nurses to provide a higher standard of care through preparation and understanding of likely effects and outcome of disease on patients. This case report looks at the diagnosis, treatment and nursing care provided to a young crossbreed dog diagnosed with a PDA following auscultation of a loud, continuous heart murmur.
The Pet Food Manufacturers' Association (PFMA) has released its annual population data, indicating there are a record 35 million pets in the UK in 2022. Pet ownership is at a peak and 17.4 million households (62%) own a pet. In the UK there are now 13 million dogs and 12 million cats, 1.6 million indoor birds, 1.4 million domestic fowl, 1 million rabbits, 900 000 Guinea pigs, 700 000 pigeons, 600 000 hamsters, 600 000 tortoises and 600 000 horses.