Volume 4 Issue 2

Should anthelmintics be restricted to POM-V classification?

The British Veterinary Association recently released a statement requesting that all anthelmintics become prescription only medicines. Nicola Ackerman, a veterinary nurse who has worked in large animal practice, and an SQP, discusses what this means.

Understanding the mechanisms behind acute pain in dogs and cats

A basic understanding of the processes involved in nociception is a pre-requisite for successful management of acute pain. Peripheral and central sensitisation are key components contributing to pain in most cases, and a number of important concepts are now widely recognised as being crucial with regard to minimising their occurrence, and thereby improving the effectiveness of analgesia therapy. Although somewhat controversial in human medicine, pre-emptive analgesia — whereby analgesic agents are administered in advance of noxious stimulation — appears to be of importance in animals. Optimal pain relief is only likely to be achieved if a multimodal approach to analgesia is undertaken, utilising pharmaceutical agents acting at different points within the ‘pain pathway’. In addition, preventive analgesia — wherein adequate pain relief is provided throughout the peri-operative period and well into recovery — is now considered one of the most significant areas in which acute pain management can be advanced.

How to nurse the intensive care unit ventilator patient

Mechanical ventilators are an integral part of any intensive care unit. There are a variety of patients that may benefit from mechanical ventilation such as patients that are hypoxaemic (Pa02 <60mmHg) in spite of oxygen therapy, hypercapnic (PaC02>60mmHg) or at risk of impending respiratory failure. Mechanical ventilation is expensive and requires a dedicated nurse to care for the patient. This nurse must have an understanding of respiratory physiology, principles of mechanical ventilation, terminology, setting up the ventilator, troubleshooting problems, providing nursing care to meet the individual patient requirements and recognising signs of complications. Such cases require thorough clinical records and communication between staff members. They are labour intensive cases but can be extremely rewarding to nurse.

Exotic ticks and tick-borne diseases: the need to remain vigilant

Ticks are notorious vectors of numerous infectious (bacterial, protozoal and viral) diseases to animals and humans. Many of the tick-borne diseases (TBDs) can cause significant economic consequences and are challenging to control. Research advances in parasitology and recent changes in the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) have changed views of how exotic tick species and TBDs can be introduced and established in the UK. However, the impact of the PETS tick treatment rule change is still unclear and requires intensive research. In the meantime, veterinary practitioners must remain vigilant and prepared. Public awareness campaigns have already been implemented, however, these need to be expanded to educating the public about the potential risks of exotic TBDs and pre-emptive measures to mitigate these risks. Pet owners' education and fostering the concept of ‘one health’ are of prime importance. Tick treatment of companion animals entering the UK, although not obligatory, is still necessary to protect travelling and resident pets.

Building a veterinary practice brand

Veterinary practices are now embracing branding as a marketing strategy, but implementation of this multifaceted construct is often limited to the use of external symbols, such as logos, choice of colour schemes, staff uniforms and signage. This article explores the multiple meanings of the brand concept and how it became adapted for marketing services as well as products. An approach to branding a veterinary practice is proposed, using the corporate branding model, which is particularly appropriate to services branding and which practice owners and managers who wish to create their own practice brand may find useful.

Nursing the portosystemic shunt patient

A portosystemic shunt (PSS) is any vascular anomaly that allows blood from the hepatic portal circulation to bypass the liver and be delivered directly into the systemic circulation.The life expectancy of animals that are medically managed is generally reported to be 2 months to 2 years. Fatal liver failure develops after 3 years of age in most dogs that receive only medical treatment, whereas surgical attenuation of shunts is associated with a more favourable long-term prognosis.The preferred treatment for PSS is complete/partial shunt attenuation which is intended to redirect the portal blood flow through the liver to promote normalisation of the hepatic structure and function.The nursing of such cases requires a high level of nursing care with a number of individual nursing considerations.

Establishing quality online presence for veterinary practices

Digital marketing is a modern concept, and there is no doubt that developing online presence is becoming more important for businesses to maintain success. The effectiveness and affordability of digital marketing makes it more accessible than ever before, enabling even small businesses to begin interacting with a wider array of potential clients. With improved web traffic comes increased public scrutiny, and businesses need to have strategies in place to respond to all feedback and listen to what potential customers want; only then will digital marketing lead to loyal clients in the long term. Digital marketing plays an important role, and with only a few small steps any business can improve online presence using a number of simple marketing methods, including design and development, digital marketing, reputation management and investing in the future.

The role of antimicrobials in wound dressings

Dressings have played a vitally important role in wound management since the 1960s. More recently as we see more evidence of antimicrobial resistance, there has been in increase in the number of antimicrobial dressings available, and in use. Antimicrobials differ from antibiotics in their mode of action against bacteria; meaning bacterial resistance is less likely. The current range of antimicrobials commonly incorporated into dressings includes silver, honey and polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB), with iodine being less commonly used in companion animal practice.

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