Volume 3 Issue 2

Creating a global community for veterinary nurses

Contemporary technologies have made our world seem smaller and much more accessible. We can communicate with our friends and colleagues abroad instantly and with ease via the telephone, email and social networking sites. We are able to share our thoughts, feelings and learning globally.

When is a pet not a pet? Rethinking the ethics of animal terminology

Current academic debate is exploring the idea that words, similes and metaphors that relate to non-human animals may reinforce cultural and societal notions of inequality between humans and other animals. Historically, three major philosophical traditions have biased humans over animals and have refected and reinforced an agenda of human superiority. As language is used to construct and convey meaning, it has been proposed by some that the word ‘pet’ should be replaced with the term ‘companion animal’ to refect a more egalitarian relationship between the animal and the human caregiver. Such discussions around the use of animal-related language could entail re-evaluating the general status of animals in society and how veterinary nurses respond to the emergence of the notion of animal personhood, both in professional practice and in their wider lives.

A practical approach to caring for patients with appetite reduction

Nutrition is a critical component of caring for and treating small animals and one in which nursing staff play a crucial role. A reduction in appetite should not be considered a normal consequence of illness, therefore it is essential to identify the reasons for this alteration in feeding habits and address the primary underlying disease. It is vital that veterinary nurses utilize their knowledge and skills to assist in the identification of patients at risk of malnutrition, formulation of feeding plans and provision of necessary nutritional support.

Hitching a ride: pet travel and tick risks since this year's rule changes

On 1st January 2012, the rules for pet travel into the UK changed. Most notably, the requirement to treat against ticks on (re-)entry was removed. In this article, the authors consider what this might mean in terms of the risks of importing tick-borne diseases of importance to canine and human health, and how it should affect advice to clients in the UK planning to travel abroad with their dogs. The main tick species of concern is Rhipicephalus sanguineus, the brown dog or kennel tick and vector of Babesia vogeli, canine monocytic ehrlichiosis, hepatozoono-sis, and Mediterranen Spotted fever in humans. However, other ticks and diseases that are already endemic in the UK, especially Ixodes ricinus and Dermacentor reticulatus and the agent of Lyme borreliosis, also provide increasing cause for concern and should not be neglected when considering parasite control in dogs.

Nursing care for the septic patient

Sepsis is the systemic inflammatory response to infection which can be caused by a myriad of diseases or injuries. Septic patients require extensive nursing care and offer many unique nursing challenges. While sepsis is poorly defined in veterinary medicine, the last 10 years has yielded numerous studies, committees and research on the subject. Understanding the pathophysiology of sepsis allows for better nursing care to be offered.

How to achieve effective hand hygiene

The importance of good hand hygiene cannot be overemphasized in relation to reducing disease transmission. However, it is important to bear in mind that unless hand washing is done thoroughly then bacteria and other pathogens could be spread to the environment almost as easily as if there has been no attention to method. Contamination of clean hands, post washing, is of course inevitable if surfaces/patients/other environmental factors are not themselves clean. So it is important to wash hands frequently in order to keep potential spread of disease to a manageable minimum. In terms of handling and treating patients in a clinical setting, the practice of effective hand washing pre- and post-procedure will help to maintain a healthy environment for staff as well as patients.

Factors resulting in delayed wound healing

The wound healing process is a complex process involving the synchronization of molecular and biochemical events at a cellular level. If there is malfunction, or interruption in any of the stages of wound healing, this can result in delayed wound healing. When faced with a non-healing wound it is useful to look at all the factors that may be related to this delayed healing and see if any need to be addressed in order to reactivate the wound healing process.

Manuka honey: exploring the Kruuse range of products

Manuka honey is well recognized for its beneficial properties over and above mixed flora honey for use in wound management. Having been found to offer effective antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and debridement properties as a dressing, it is only the medical grade Manuka honey that should be used in open wounds. A high UMF® grading above +10 is recommended for wounds and can now be applied easily via a range of dressings produced by Kruuse. Presentations include ready impregnated dressings (KRUUSE Manuka AD) and a non-adherent gauze (KRUUSE Manuka ND) suitable for fragile tissue. Tubes of pure Manuka Honey (Kruuse Manuka G 15 g) also allow direct application of medical grade Manuka honey to gauze or open wounds if preferred.

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