Tendon injuries are commonplace in the equine athlete and are reported to be one of the most prevalent forms of musculoskeletal injuries occurring in horses competing in all disciplines. The superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) is the more commonly injured of the flexor tendons, accounting for 75–93% of clinical cases; research suggests that lesions typically occur at the mid-metacarpal level in the ‘core’ or central region of the SDFT.Aims and objectives:The aim of this research was to increase knowledge regarding the susceptibility to injury of specific topographical regions within the SDFT, and to identify any relationship between topographical location and lesion severity to laterality and the equestrian discipline the subjects competed in.Method:Secondary data were ultrasound scans from the forelimb SDFTs of horses (n =100) presenting with primary ‘core’ lesions. Topographical location, percentage distribution of the lesion entirety and the echogenicity of lesions were ascertained and graded. Statistical analysis identified if any significant differences were present between discipline competed in and right and left forelimb lesion severity within the population.Results:No significant differences were exposed between competitive discipline or right and left forelimb lesions severity (p >0.05). Lesions that present in the mid-metacarpal region of the SDFT comprised the greater percentage of the total clinical lesion and exhibited higher echogenicity scores, suggesting they were more severe in nature.Conclusions:The study confirmed that the mid-metacarpal region of the SDFT exhibited more severe legions in comparison with the proximal and distal regions; however, no differences between disciplines or with reference to laterality were observed. Although these results can only be applied to this population, they suggest that ultrasonographic evaluation of topography and echogenicity translated to severity scores can aid in the diagnosis of tendon pathology and subjects’ subsequent rehabilitation regimen.
With increasing legislation surrounding dog ownership and ‘dangerous dogs’ I was prompted to think, what is the definition of a dangerous dog? What constitutes normal canine behaviour and at what point are dogs deemed to be ‘out of control’?
Handling and restraint are parts of our daily lives as veterinary nurses. We think nothing of bringing a dog into the treatment area on a leash, or removing a cat from its carrier; but, have we really considered what effect our handling is having on that particular animal? Will the animal associate the car and the carrier with its experience? How will its experience affect its behaviour the next time it enters the clinical environment?
A kennel environment has been shown to elicit a stress response in animals. This response has been seen in patients during a visit to the veterinary practice. Studies have shown how various aspects of the veterinary experience result in both physiological and behavioural stress responses in dogs. This stress response has also been proven to enhance immunosuppression and increase wound healing time. This article looks at why it is important to understand the potential effects of stress on patients. It also offers a method of reducing stress in patients based on previous research.
Artificial insemination can provide many benefits to breeding both in canines and other species. It allows the use of semen from stud dogs around the world without the requirement to transport the dogs, thereby opening up the possibilities of genetic diversity within a breed. The techniques required to perform insemination are complex but an invaluable tool in the breeding world.
Few studies have been conducted into the success of facilitating weight loss via veterinary nurse-led clinics, although individual factors have been identified and studied. Factors that facilitate weight loss include: animal and owner behaviour, maintaining motivation, exercise and play behaviour, compliance and feeding quantities. Identifying overweight patients and client education are essential, and weight management programmes should include dietary changes and regular evaluation of bodyweight.
Local anaesthetic nerve blocks are an effective and often underused method of providing analgesia for orthopaedic patients. Local anaesthetics are the only drug capable of completely blocking all pain perception and with duration of action of up to 6 hours for some drugs, they are able to provide pain relief far into the post-operative recovery period. By using local anaesthetic blocks as part of a preemptive multimodal analgesia protocol concurrent systemic analgesic drug doses may be able to be decreased, reducing side effects for the patient. The desired outcome is a comfortable patient that has a faster return to normal function and a shorter hospitalized period.
Surgical site infection (SSI) is a potentially serious complication of surgery, with the consequences of infection varying from local inflammation to life threatening septicaemia. SSIs result in increased patient discomfort and client dissatisfaction due to prolonged periods of hospitalization and financial implications. Infections after surgery are often blamed on poor owner compliance or patient interference; however the patient's normal skin flora has been shown to be one of the leading causes of SSIs.Efforts to reduce patient sources of infection are aimed at decreasing the number of bacteria on the skin prior to surgery and reducing potential bacterial contamination from within the patient during surgery. This article will focus on the former of these sources via discussion of aseptic surgical skin preparation.
The adoption of nursing care plans (NCP) within veterinary nursing has provided significant opportunity for movement away from the ‘traditional’ medical model, towards a more holistic approach of nursing. NCPs provide guidance for veterinary nurses to implement nursing theory and the nursing process. Current literature regarding NCPs within the veterinary environment provides evidence for their positive effect on animal care. However, published material on this subject is limited within the veterinary workplace. Unfortunately the lack of appreciation for the benefits of using NCPs within the human nursing field continues to influence the general opinion towards the use of these documents in the veterinary field.The NCP discussed in this article was initiated a week after admission of the patient, therefore allowing excellent opportunity for comparison of the nursing interventions and care to be made prior to and following the introduction of the NCP. The views and comments of all the nursing staff involved with this patient and the NCP have also been considered.