Volume 2 Issue 7

Anniversaries and achievements

Twelve months ago we launched the very first edition of The Veterinary Nurse at the 2010 BVNA Congress. During our first year The Veterinary Nurse team have worked hard to bring you a journal containing a diverse range of articles relevant to today's veterinary nurses. We aim to provide a much-needed source of peer-reviewed articles for those VNs who are seeking to continue their professional development, and also offer an evidence base on which to support their clinical judgments.

Change implementation in the veterinary practice

Change is a necessity in any business including veterinary practice and as a result of this there is no shortage of research articles, management books and continuing professional development specifically devoted to the subject. However, despite all of the resources, major change initiatives often fail to reach the required goals, objectives and expectations. Darwin said, ‘It is not the strongest of the species who survive, not the most intelligent, but those who are the most adaptive to change’. So in order to be adaptive to change, managers need to know both the theory and practical application of change management. This article attempts to facilitate this by illustrating the key steps of change implementation.

How to care for and maintain flexible endoscopes

Endoscopy is used frequently as a diagnostic tool in veterinary medicine. It is imperative that endoscopes are maintained correctly to prevent spread of infection/disease to patients, and to prevent costly repairs to these delicate pieces of equipment.The role of endoscope maintenance generally falls onto the veterinary nurse/technician. The correct maintenance of this equipment is essential to ensure that health and safety requirements are adhered to and to prevent damage occurring to the equipment.Maintenance involves adequate cleaning, bedside procedure, disinfectant, handling, storage, preventative maintenance and servicing/repairs.

Preventative dental care: educating the client

Many pets seen every day in general practice have dental diseases requiring treatment. Most owners are unaware that their pet has a problem so it is up to veterinary professionals to recognize and treat these diseases to ensure that pets have an infection free and pain free mouth.The role of the veterinary nurse is vital in educating clients about dental problems and helping to prevent them occurring, or helping to prevent the disease progressing further. This article discuss common dental diseases and how the nurse can get the owner engaged in dental clinics

Assisted feeding in rabbits

Rabbits are herbivores with an efficient digestive process. During periods of fasting, the rabbit's gastrointestinal health can be severely compromised. Recovery from gut stasis is difficult and not always successful, frequently resulting in devastating consequences to the animal's health. As such, it is vitally important to maintain good intestinal functioning in rabbits that are unwell and this often requires assisted feeding for animals unwilling or unable to eat. The success of assisted feeding plans are highly dependent on the feeding route, frequency of feedings, and the quality of the diet fed. There are a number of quality critical care diets that can be fed to small herbivores in these cases. Supreme Recovery is one such diet that will be investigated in this article.

Detection and diagnosis of dog lungworm larvae and eggs

Several species of lungworm infect dogs in the UK, some causing similar clinical signs, which range from mild to life threatening. Timely and accurate laboratory diagnosis is therefore vital to clinical management and prognosis. With basic equipment and a little practice, diagnosis can be achieved in the practice laboratory. This article reviews the principles of larval and egg recovery from dog faeces, to help the veterinary nurse to identify infections in a clinical setting. Issues relating to diagnosis are discussed in relation to example clinical cases.

Use of cytology for diagnosis in veterinary dermatology

Skin complaints can cause intense pruritus and discomfort for the patient and are one of the most common reasons for presentation of an animal at the veterinary clinic. Cytology (the microscopic examination of cells and their structure) is a vital tool for the diagnosis of such cases. The information cytological evaluation reveals about cells and organisms and their relationships allows the veterinarian to make clinical decisions. Repeat cytology can monitor the response to therapy.The role of the veterinary nurse may include collecting and processing samples for cytological evaluation, however, veterinary nurses can expand on these skills and learn how easy and rewarding it is to perform basic cytology. Utilizing the veterinary nurse to perform in house cytology allows the veterinarian more time to deal with prolonged history taking, thorough clinical examination of the animal and discussion with the owners.In house cytology provides quick results for the client, improved patient care and also generates revenue for the practice. For the nurse it provides an opportunity for the building of expertise, interest and confidence, making them more valuable to the practice. Access to relevant courses and current text is an integral part of developing these ancillary skills. Comparing results with the lab and colleagues is another great way to learn.

Noise-related anxiety in dogs: improving management

Sound reactivity, fears and phobias are amongst the most common signs of anxiety in dogs presented to the behaviour counsellor. The use of drugs and programmes including sound desensitization CDs and dog appeasing pheromone (DAP) sprays in noise-related anxiety are well documented, yet it is clear that in many cases a significant improvement is not in evidence.In the author's experience over 20 years, based on her own case studies and those developed by her students in five European countries studying with the International Dog Behaviour and Training School, there are a number of other factors that should also be taken into account, including the lifestyle, general physiological and psychological balance of the dog, along with clearer guidelines for practitioners as to how owner actions may influence the outcome.The author questions the use of some of the typical routes to alleviation and resolution, along with a reminder that each case needs an individual approach according to the overall health and lifestyle of the dog, the owner's resources, awareness and understanding.

Informed consent: what do veterinary nurses need to know?

Whether consent is informed or not has numerous implications for the veterinary team. A signed consent form is not sufficient to establish informed consent. Consent to treatment of an animal by the owner can constitute a contract between the client and the veterinary practice; that the consent is informed is a legal requirement of ensuring any such contract is valid. In order to be sufficiently informed, the likely outcome and any possible risks of the proposed treatment must be clearly explained. Communication skills are vital in conveying this information to clients. While it is the veterinary surgeon's professional responsibility to obtain consent, veterinary nurses still have a key role to play in the process.

Feline lower urinary tract disease and PURINA VETERINARY DIETS (R) FELINE UR ST/OX™

Feline lower urinary tract disease is a common condition. The most common causes are feline idiopathic cystitis and urinary stones (urolithiasis). Both of these conditions often require long-term treatment to prevent or reduce recurrences. Environmental modification and dietary management play key roles in the management. Feline UR ST/OX™ is designed to assist in the management of feline idiopathic cystitis and struvite and calcium oxalate urolithiasis.

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