Volume 14 Issue 7

Responsible use of parasiticides in pets

Parasiticides are an integral part of parasite treatment and prevention in pets. Despite their importance as life-saving medications and a major contributor to better health and quality of life, widespread and inappropriate use of parasiticides could have important consequences. Concerns over parasite control practices involving ‘blanket-treatment’ have caused key organisations to call for more responsible use of parasiticides to minimise the risk of environmental contamination and limit the development of antiparasitic drug resistance. Veterinary professionals are encouraged to follow a more targeted and individualised risk-based approach to parasite control. However, successful adoption and effective implementation of this new approach requires the veterinary profession to overcome many barriers and contextual differences in the way effective parasite control is perceived by the various stakeholders. Recently, evidence-based diagnosis (treatment based on confirmed diagnosis) together with antiparasitic drug stewardship (avoiding unnecessary antiparasitic use in pets which do not benefit from treatment) have been suggested to reconcile the trade-offs between avoiding parasiticide overuse and achieving effective parasite control. Although these new approaches cannot yet fully address the challenges of attaining optimal parasite control, they have the potential to improve the outcomes of parasite treatment and preserve the efficacy of parasiticides, the most essential component of any parasite control regimen.

The role of nutrition in preventative medicine

Nutritional requirements will alter through the animal's lifespan, potentially altering healthspan. Having nutritional recommendations at key points of the individual's life is very important.

The importance of peri-anaesthetic temperature management: part 1

Temperature management is a vital but often overlooked area of anaesthesia. By nature, anaesthetics inhibit the area of the brain responsible for maintaining normothermia, and many anaesthetic drugs exacerbate heat loss through vasodilation. Both hypothermia and hyperthermia can manifest under anaesthesia and present life-threatening changes to the patient's normal homeostatic mechanisms. This series of articles will discuss the risk factors, prevention methods and complications associated with hypothermia and hyperthermia.

The role of the veterinary nurse in homecare for the cardiac patient

Many patients with degenerative or life-limiting disease may have improved quality of life with good homecare. Veterinary nurses are ideally positioned to educate clients on how to provide this, potentially extending life expectancy, improving animal welfare and easing caregiver burden. Through the use of patient assessment tools, including condition scores and quality of life assessments, veterinary nurses can open up conversations with owners in order to provide them with the information and support they need to provide the best quality care at home, improving patient outcomes while maintaining the best quality of life possible for both the patient and client.

Anaesthetic considerations for a bleeding hemangiosarcoma undergoing splenectomy

A haemangiosarcoma is a type of cancer that is common in dogs. Most cases originate from the spleen. Typically these patients present with haemoabdomen for splenectomy. Care should be taken to thoroughly assess and stabilise the patient prior to anaesthesia. These patients are often critical, and consideration should be taken of the equipment and monitoring devices required. ECG, blood pressure, SpO2 and capnography are all vital when monitoring the anaesthetic for these patients.

The identification and management of feline conjunctivitis

Feline conjunctivitis commonly presents in veterinary practice due to a variety of reasons; it can stem from a primary conjunctival disease or be secondary to an underlying extraocular, intraocular or systemic condition. Clinical signs of conjunctivitis are often non-specific and may be similar despite various aetiologies, therefore a methodical clinical examination should be followed. This article aims to explore the presentation, pathology and management options for feline conjunctivitis, whilst examining the role of registered veterinary nurses through the treatment of ocular conditions.

Reviewing the emotional climates of student veterinary nurses completing industry placements

Background: Student veterinary nurses (SVNs) are required to complete industry placements as part of their training. Veterinary nurse education helps prepare students theoretically and practically. This study examines how SVNs, from two cohorts of a foundation degree course in veterinary nursing from one education provider, felt during their industrial placement year and whether the preparatory support was sufficient during their time in veterinary practice. Aim: There is little reporting of the emotions SVNs face prior to starting and following completion of their work placements and how educational interventions may have a positive impact on their experiences. The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of SVNs' emotions pre- and post-work placement to help identify if there is a need for more targeted educational interventions during their studies to help them better prepare emotionally for the experiences they may face during their placements. Methods: An online questionnaire was given to two foundation degree level 5 SVN cohorts during placement (pre and post) in academic years 2019–20 and 2020–21. In total, 54 responses were submitted to 22 questions (pre-placement) and 41 responses to 58 questions (post-placement). Findings: The top three positive emotions were happiness, excitement and confidence. The top three negative emotions were sadness, anxiety and stress. The results indicated that students could benefit from protected time with their mentors and required clearer expectations prior to starting their industry placement and further support, particularly around animal euthanasia and building resilience. Limitations of the study included that the mid-study interventions that aimed to support the students may have impacted the results and, due to anonymity, we are unable to compare individual pre- and post-placement response rates. Conclusion: Education providers could be doing more to provide SVNs with a toolkit to becoming emotionally agile and resilient so as to help SVNs emotional wellbeing and preparatory support with their industry placement year.

Keep up to date with The Veterinary Nurse!

Sign up to The Veterinary Nurse's regular newsletters and keep up-to-date with the very latest clinical research and CPD we publish each month.