This year I was shocked to discover that I have a hypersensitivity to amoxicillin. It surprised me because I almost never take antibiotics, but when I finally needed to take some a few months ago, I had a violent allergic reaction. On thinking about it, I soon realized that I have come into contact with amoxicillin in veterinary practice thousands of times in my 20 year career. To my recollection, I had been careful to protect myself from unintentional exposure when handling this drug but had I been careful enough? Was my profession even related to my hypersensitivity? I’ll never know if I have done enough to protect myself but one thing is for hazard to me.
The relationship between pets and owners is a two way thing. The majority of owners provide their pets with a safe and secure home, and in return may receive improved wellbeing themselves. Harriet Coles explains.
Canine hydrotherapy in the UK is typically delivered in a swimming pool or using an underwater treadmill; hydrotherapy for rehabilitation should centre on encouraging correct limb movement within the water, regardless of the modality in which it is delivered. Veterinary consent is required before starting hydrotherapy, which enables the hydrotherapist to understand the dog’s condition. The properties of water are harnessed to enable safe and comfortable exercise, and a good understanding of these properties is needed for the design and implementation of a specific programme tailored to meet the needs of an individual dog. Hydrotherapy has a role in the treatment plan for a range of conditions, including obesity, pre-operative muscle conditioning, the conservative management of developmental orthopaedic diseases, such as hip dysplasia, and post-operative recovery from orthopaedic surgery; it can also be used palliatively, for fitness and for emotional wellbeing. Contraindications include unhealed surgical incisions, skin infection, emesis and diarrhoea. Two case studies demonstrate different areas in which hydrotherapy can help dogs. The aim of this article is to increase awareness of the benefits of hydrotherapy among veterinary professionals.
In order to perform safe and effective dental, oral and maxillofacial surgery, a practice must ensure its equipment is well maintained and in good working order. All electrical equipment must be serviced annually by qualified personnel and an accurate record kept of these checks. ‘Dental’ equipment ranges from the dental machine including its compressor, the hand pieces associated with the machine (both high and low speed), the coolant system of the machine, the powered scalers and finally the hand instrumentation; this includes scalers, curettes, luxators, elevators and periosteal elevators. If any of these pieces of equipment are faulty, an optimal procedure is going to be difficult to perform and could result in frustrated and injured operating personnel, potentially unnecessarily injured patients and lengthier anaesthetics for patients. Well maintained equipment should save practices money due to less frequent replacement of damaged items.
Kidneys are responsible for the regulation of the body’s water, electrolyte and acid-base balance as well as excretion of metabolic waste products and foreign chemicals, glucose synthesis and erythropoietin production. Although kidney failure is a common disease affecting feline patients, an increased understanding of the disease and advances in treatment mean that cats are living longer after diagnosis. Renal disease can be acute or chronic, and is hallmarked by an elevated blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine (azotaemia). It is important that cats with kidney failure receive a complete diagnostic work-up in order to determine the underlying cause; tailored treatment includes fluid therapy, correcting acid-base and electrolyte abnormalities, treating hypertension and anaemia, renal transplantation, intermittent haemodialysis and continuous renal replacement therapy.
Lizards are a commonly encountered reptile species in first opinion practice. They are relatively low maintenance pets, making them desirable for households with children or for those that work long hours. Many presenting ailments in lizards originate from poor husbandry and potentially have considerable welfare implications linked to the case. This is often caused by the vast amount of contradictory information available on the internet, perplexing inexperienced owners. Veterinary professionals can educate and try to prevent further complications. In order to successfully treat, hospitalize and care for reptilian patients, veterinary patients need to be fully equipped, knowledgeable and patient. The latter is of high importance because unlike mammalian patients, reptiles have a low metabolic rate, slowing the response to medications and treatment. Owners should be made aware of this, especially if a treatment course is expected to continue for weeks.This article aims to give an overview of how to nurse lizards in a hospital setting and to prompt more thorough, detailed histories to be taken.
The perspective that a finished study will return statistically significant results rests on the choice of an adequate sample size and statistical models to make the calculations. Unfortunately, it is not rare that the statistical input into experimental research is often not considered until the results have already been achieved. This is often discouraging since invalid conclusions are frequently taken due to inappropriate statistical preparation. This paper attempts to highlight this knowledge gap by describing some of the statistical considerations that are appropriate when designing a clinical or an epidemiological research study in veterinary nursing, with a keen focus on sample size calculation.
Background:Few scientific studies have reported on the use of veterinary diets.Aim:To examine how many of the dogs and cats were given diets suitable for their medical conditions and how they complied with the diet both at the clinic and at home.Methods:Five days recording of dietary intake at a Swedish university animal clinic, and a combined mail and telephone questionnaire to owners 6 months later.Results:The most common type of disease seen in dogs and cats hospitalized at the university clinic at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences is gastrointestinal problems (44 and 46% of the dogs and cats, respectively). Dogs have more oncology problems and individuals that have been poisoned, while cats suffer from more urological problems. At the clinic, a total of 56 and 85% of the dogs and cats, respectively, were put on veterinary diets. When discharged 43 and 32% of dogs and cats, respectively, were prescribed a veterinary diet. Most owners (92%) stated that they believed the veterinary diet had positively influenced the health of the animal.Conclusion:Veterinary clinics should put more focus on the fact that the diet plays an mportant role in the recovery of the animal both at the clinic and at home.
Blood tests performed in the emergency and critical care setting are essential to determine the patient’s current clinical status, to enable a diagnosis to be made and to monitor stabilisation and treatment. Thus the veterinary nurse should be proficient in prompt and accurate testing, regular monitoring of the patient in the intensive care unit and early recognition of abnormal results that need to be brought to the immediate attention of the veterinarian. This article highlights commonly screened blood parameters in the emergency setting, giving normal ranges and critical values that necessitate immediate intervention to optimise patient care. Veterinary nurses with a sound knowledge of routinely screened blood parameters will be best placed to contribute to the smooth running of the intensive care unit and to provide excellent nursing care.