Volume 14 Issue 3

Joint pain and mobility

This workshop discussed the diagnosis of developmental joint disease and degenerative conditions in dogs and cats, and looked at a multimodal approach to managing pain caused by these conditions, which involves surgery, pain medication, physical therapy, exercise and lifestyle modifications, weight management and joint supplements. It also considers how best to help owners manage these conditions.

Emergency management of the seizuring patient

This workshop discussed the types, stages and causes of seizures, and outlines the emergency management of the seizuring patient, with a focus on the role of the veterinary nurse and the long-term care of these patients.

Surgical site infections: preparation, technique and perioperative prevention

All surgical procedures compromise the physical barrier of the skin, which can allow contamination with micro-organisms. Surgical site infections can be prevented through strict protocols and use of asepsis techniques before, during and after surgery. This includes the surgical equipment, instruments, environment and staff. In veterinary medicine, between 1.5% and 2.8% of surgeries result in the development of a surgical site infection. This article reviews factors contributing to the acquisition of a surgical site infection, including sterile surgery preparation and aseptic technique, in both the human and veterinary field, and considers changes which reduce the development of surgical site infections in veterinary practice.

Anaesthetic management of caesarean sections in dogs

Dystocia is a common complication of pregnancy in dogs and may require surgical intervention. Physiological changes during pregnancy and the vascular communication between mother and fetuses necessitate a careful approach to the anaesthetic. These changes and their implications are discussed, and specific management explored. Analgesia for the dam is a particular challenge, and options that limit impact on fetuses should be implemented where possible. Finally, Apgar scoring is covered as a means to assess fetal viability and care for ‘low’ and ‘critical’ patients is discussed. As clients are understandably stressed and have high expectations, the veterinary team must be prepared for these complicating factors.

Causes and prevention of caries (cavities) in dogs

Caries are difficult to diagnose in their early stages, often going undetected until patients are brought in for dental treatment under general anaesthesia and assessment of teeth is performed. This late detection happens because bacteria infiltrate into the dentine, creating the perfect climate for dentine destruction from within the tooth before any involvement of the enamel is seen. This article will demonstrate how bacteria infiltrate within the oral cavity, and discuss key client communication and education along with outlining preventative oral hygiene measures to prevent caries formation including diet and daily toothbrushing. As always, prevention is better than cure and veterinary nurses are fundamental in the prevention of oral pathologies caused by bacteria.

Emergency care of a cat with a ruptured bladder

A 7-month-old domestic short-hair male neutered cat, Crumble, arrived at hospital after falling from a first floor window. He had vomited after the fall, presented as tachypnoeic, with pale pink mucus membranes and poor peripheral pulses. Crumble required shock rate intravenous fluids, methadone (Comfortan; Dechra) given at 0.3 mg/kg for analgesia, diagnostic imagining and blood tests. Blood tests showed uremia which indicated uroabdomen. Diagnostic imaging was limited because of pain. Additional analgesic methadone was given at 0.2mg/kg. The serosanguinous fluid drained from abdomen confirmed ruptured bladder. Continuous rate infusion (CRI) of fentanyl (Dechra) running at 3 mcg/kg/hour was initiated, and a plasma volume substitute as a bolus of gelofusine 5mg/kg bolus over 15 minutes was given to help stabilise hypotension. A urinary catheter was placed in preparation for surgery and noradrenaline CRI was started once under anaesthesia. Intravenous fluids were continued to help with uremia, and the broad spectrum antimicrobial co-amoxiclav 20 mg/kg was given, as well as fentanyl CRI for further analgesia. The patient remained in hospital to monitor uremia, hypotension and pain, as well as urine output. He was discharged after 3 days and seen back after 2 days to review.

Dog owners’ awareness and use of dental homecare

Periodontal disease is prevalent in dogs in the UK, and has many negative consequences for the health and welfare of the affected individual. Despite techniques and products being available for owners to maintain good oral health, compliance is low. This study used a questionnaire to investigate dog owners’ awareness and use of dental homecare, and the influence of veterinary professionals, to establish if further educational intervention is required. Quantitative and qualitative analysis revealed a lack of knowledge and performance of dental homecare, suggesting a need for veterinary professionals to provide education for owners on this topic.

Leptospira spp. and Dirofilaria immitis in dogs in Tonga: a pilot study

Dogs are common in Tonga and exist in a close relationship with humans, both as free-ranging pets and guard dogs for domestic properties. Little is known about pathogens present in these animals, and this pilot study aimed to develop a methodology to identify the presence of zoonotic pathogens Leptospira spp. and Dirofilaria immitis (the causative agent of heartworm), in a sample of 82 dogs voluntarily presented to a spey/neuter clinic, using blood samples and point-of-care tests. No positive tests were returned for Leptospira spp. or D. immitis, despite the presence of Leptospira spp. having previously being identified in Tonga.

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