Jennifer Hamlin Consultant editor
The new film War Horse, telling the story of the unbreakable bond between a boy and a horse sent to battle in the First World War, is taking the world by storm.
Anorexia is a common condition in cats associated with many underlying illnesses, and effective nutritional support is imperative to ensure rapid recovery and survival. To allow the gastrointestinal tract function to be maintained, manual feeding techniques, undertaken without the use of feeding tubes or intravenous catheters, should be used. Although various techniques have been researched and found to be effective in encouraging voluntary food intake, this research was undertaken to identify the most successful manual enteral feeding technique for encouraging anorexic cats to eat voluntarily. A randomized block design was used to undertake this research concluding that the use of hand feeding or feeding strong smelling, warmed and moist food were more effective than feeding the diet usually fed at home.
In the spring the Veterinary Poisons Information Service often receives enquiries about dogs, and occasionally cats, that have eaten spring flowers or bulbs in the garden or while out walking. In cats a common source of plant exposure involves cut flowers and bouquets. Most of the plants involved cause gastrointestinal effects. In most cases these signs are mild to moderate but occasionally some plants such as daffodils and particularly lilies can cause more significant toxicity requiring more active intervention. Some of the spring flowering plants can also cause allergic dermal reactions but these are usually not significant in cats and dogs.
Interprofessional education (IPE) aims to improve interprofessional skills(communication, team work etc) in order to provide the optimum care for clients and patients. Talking Walls is a form of IPE which is easy to conduct within veterinary practices as part of in-house training or within undergraduate education of veterinary nursing students and veterinary students. The session uses flipcharts to explore the roles and duties of both professions and aims to overcome prior misconceptions and stereotypical views and to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the veterinary team. This paper describes how to run a Talking Walls session.
Perioperative hypothermia is a common problem during anaesthesia in dogs and cats, and can have detrimental effects on the patient's physiology, such as impairment of kidney function. Veterinary nurses are usually heavily involved in veterinary anaesthesia, participating in pre-anaesthetic assessments, premedication, induction and monitoring of anaesthesia and observations during the recovery of the patient. Perioperative hypothermia is a problem that many veterinary nurses know must be prevented by using patient warming methods, but they may be unaware of the full pathophysiology of this condition and why certain preventative methods may or may not be successful. This article examines the causes of perioperative hypothermia, the consequences to the patients and the methods of prevention.
Supraglottic airway devices have been used in human anaesthesia for a number of years and are now being designed for use in companion animals. The v-gel is a supraglottic airway device that has been specifically designed for companion animals. This article discusses the use of the v-gel in three feline patients undergoing routine ovariohysterectomy. The device provided a patent airway for the procedure without the disadvantages of endotracheal intubation and was easily re-positioned by the qualified veterinary nurse monitoring the anaesthesia during one of the procedures.
Tendon injuries are commonplace in the equine athlete and contribute to days lost from competition and training, and wastage of horses. Equestrian sport, in particular horseracing, is popular with the general public and the advent of television coverage and the internet enables accidents to be more widely broadcast. This can have a significant negative impact on public perception of equine welfare and negatively affect participation and financial input to the industry. Riders and trainers would benefit from an increased understanding of the risk factors and pathology of tendon injuries to enable prophylactic strategies to be employed to reduce tendon injury occurrence, promote equine health and welfare and optimize performance and career longevity in the equine athlete. This review provides an introduction to the role of tendons in the equine distal limb specifically the superficial digital flexor tendon as this has the highest incidence rate of injury recorded. Intrinsic and extrinsic risks are introduced and related to loading and subsequent pathology to enable preventative strategies to be proposed. This should enable the veterinary support team to enhance knowledge of tendon injury and prevention in clients.
The blood transfusion (administration of blood) is a resource of veterinary medicine with several indications. Point-of-care blood-typing methods, including both typing cards and rapid gel agglutination, are readily available. Following blood typing, cross matching is performed on one or more donor units of appropriate blood type. Cross matching reduces the risk of transfusion reactions but does not completely eliminate the risk of other types of transfusion reactions in veterinary patients. All transfusion reactions should be appropriately documented and investigated. It is, therefore, important to have in-depth technical knowledge about concepts and procedures involved in clinical blood transfusion, so that the entire procedure can be performed in the most appropriate way and with a high success rate.