Volume 2 Issue 2

Keeping up with CPD!

As veterinary nursing education in the UK moves into its second half century, I'm struck by how much we have moved forward over this relatively short period of time. Fifty years ago, when veterinary nursing formally began, there were no prescription diets, very limited options for wound dressings and many veterinary practices were getting their first X-ray and anaesthetic machines! But veterinary nursing is a science, and like any science subject ideas and techniques are changing all the time as new discoveries are being made and new equipment invented, and these need to be studied and discussed. It is vital, therefore, that like any science profession veterinary nursing keeps abreast of the changes.

Mesenchymal stem cells in veterinary medicine

Adult mammalian tissue is now recognized as containing a regenerative population of cells known as adult stem cells. The use of these adult stem cells in veterinary medicine shows great promise and is likely to show rapid uptake in veterinary practice. This article details current commercial stem cell applications in veterinary medicine with a focus on the treatment of osteoarthritis in canines using adipose-derived stem cells and the veterinary nurse's role in this procedure.

Is there consensus on feline urethral obstruction treatment?

Feline urethral obstruction is a complex topic on which there is a vast amount of discussion and research evidence available. However, despite this it is an enigmatic disease on which much clinical and research effort has been expended, but about which much remains to be understood. This article will look at the literature available on feline urethral obstruction, treatment options and how this literature should be reviewed critically to ensure the best possible treatment is provided to this group of patients.

Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common cardiac disease in the cat. A recent study showed that in a cardiology referral centre, 46% of cats with heart disease showed no clinical signs of heart failure, which highlights how difficult it can be for veterinary nurses to recognize a cat with severe heart disease. Stress should be avoided at all costs because it acutely increases the body's metabolic demands, and patients with heart failure do not have sufficient cardiac reserve to accommodate such an increase in demand. Cats therefore should always be handled in a calm and competent manner. If a cat presents to the veterinary practice in respiratory distress, first line treatment should include oxygen therapy, diuresis and minimal handling.

Understanding NSAIDs

Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most frequently used analgesic drugs across the taxonomic groups. They are an extremely versatile analgesic agent and are commonly used in the management of both acute and chronic pain The aim of this article is to discuss their mode of action, systemic effects and practical aspects of their use in general practice.

Writing patient care reports: author guidelines for VNs

Published patient care reports (PCRs) (also known as case reports) can provide a valuable means for veterinary nurses to share their clinical experiences, increase their knowledge and contribute to the establishment of an evidence-based approach to veterinary nursing practice. This article is the first of a two-part series which aims to inform readers of the benefits of writing and publishing PCRs and give potential authors an overview of the format and conventions of academic writing required for these reports. In particular, this first article discusses the recommendation made by the authors that veterinary nurses adopt an appropriate writing style and language in these reports in an attempt to foster a more patient focussed and holistic approach to the provision of evidence-based veterinary nursing care.

How to effectively manage an infected wound

The use of antibiotics alone does not overcome the issues associated with infected wounds. Wound infection will delay healing, increase the time and effort involved in management, while potentially leading to significant complications and an increase in costs associated with treatment. The modern approach is one that focuses on reducing the microbial and organic burden within the wound, and treating infection systemically only when absolutely necessary to avoid increasing episodes of bacterial resistance.

Canine syringomyelia: treatment and implications

This article discusses the indications and diagnosis of canine syringomyelia, the treatment options and implications. It further addresses recommendations to reduce the prevelance of this debilitating hereditary disease often seen affecting toy breed dogs, in particular the Cavalier King Charles spaniel.

The use of probiotics as dietary supplements in dogs

Gastrointestinal microflora are non-pathogenic, naturally occurring ‘beneficial’ bacteria that reside in the gastrointestinal tract and play an important role in physiological functions including enhancing the overall health of the intestinal tract and stimulating a strong immune system. When bacterial populations diminish, their health benefits to the animal may also diminish and this can potentially result in digestive upsets. Intestinal disorders pose a significant clinical caseload in clinical practice and one way to prevent and treat these cases is to support normal digestive function with the addition of synbiotics, which are oral supplements consisting of probiotics (beneficial bacteria) and prebiotics (nondigestable carbohydrates that support the growth of beneficial bacteria).

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