Volume 4 Issue 4

Kinematic analysis of the equine mastication cycle pre and post prophylactic dental treatment

AbstractBackground: The domestic horse is utilised as a companion or competition animal, subsequently many horses are exposed to management regimens which can limit mastication opportunities often resulting in the development of pathology requiring prophylactic dental treatment (routine floating). To date, limited research has undertaken evaluation of the efficacy of mastication pre and post floating. Aim: This study aimed to utilise kinematic analysis to measure changes within lateral excursion and power stroke duration as a result of routine floating to establish its influence on the mastication cycle. Methods: Six horses presenting with sharp buccal and lingual points were charted by a qualified equine dental technician and then underwent kinematic analysis of mastication (Qualysis ProReflex) on Day 0. Prophylactic dental treatment was conducted on Day 1 and kinematic evaluation was repeated on Day 8. Results: No differences were found pre to post floating for the duration of the power stroke or lateral excursion. However, distances travelled during both the power stroke and lateral excursion exhibited significant differences between treatments. The horse appears to exhibit a 'natural' frequency for components of mastication including the durations of the cycle, power stroke and lateral excursion. Increases in distance travelled could facilitate attrition over a larger surface area of the cheek teeth thus improving the efficiency of the mastication cycle. Conclusion: Prophylactic dentistry appears to produce initial enhancement of the 'power' component of the mastication cycle which should exert a positive influence on attrition and thus improve welfare in the horse. Further research to evaluate the longitudinal impact of prophylactic dentistry is warranted.

Alveolar echinococcosis: preventing a serious zoonosis

AbstractAlveolar echinococcosis (AV), also known as alveolar hydatid disease, is caused by the cestode parasite, Echinococcus multilocularis, and is a very serious zoonosis. Its definitive host is the red fox and intermediate hosts are arvicolid rodents, small mammals and, as aberrant hosts, humans. The pathological features in the intermediate host are related to parasitic growth and to immune response. The epidemiology of this disease is complex because of changing ecological requirements of this parasite and movement of definitive and intermediate hosts.

Factors causing thrombophlebitis in horses: methods of prevention 1

AbstractIntravenous catheters are commonly used in equine practice but can often lead to complications such as thrombus and thrombophlebitis. Registered equine veterinary nurses should be vigilant when monitoring catheter sites so that complications can be prevented. This two part article identifies effective monitoring techniques and preventative strategies to help minimise the incidence of intravenous catheter site complications in equine patients. In this part of the article the focus will be on the correct preparation and monitoring of the catheter site.

Effects of neutering on weight and metabolism in cats

AbstractObesity is the most common nutritional condition of domestic cats in the UK, and is associated with a number of detrimental effects on health. Neutering of cats, which is absolutely essential for obvious reasons of population control and animal welfare, has long been recognised as an important risk factor in its development. In this article, we will review the current knowledge on the mechanisms underlying this association between neutering and increased risk for obesity. Weight gain in neutered cats arises from metabolic changes which are induced by the falling level of estrogens; those changes include increased energy intake, decreased satiety signals, and decreased energy expenditure. In order to tackle weight gain in neutered cats, those modifications in the metabolism of neutered cats need to be explained to the owners, and addressed by appropriate weight control measures immediately after the surgery.

Feline osteoarthritis: signs, diagnosis and management

AbstractOsteoarthritis is a progressive condition that causes degeneration of the articular cartilage. Although the condition is painful, it can be difficult to diagnose in cats because of the cat's ability to hide pain. Owners can be made aware of the signs of osteoarthritis, and this could help to enable a diagnosis, which will then enable symptoms of pain to be alleviated. Meloxicam is the only NSAID licensed for long-term use in cats, and has been shown to be an effective form of pain relief for cats with osteoarthritis. The addition of glucosamine to the cat's diet may help with the re-building of cartilage. The veterinary nurse plays an important role in educating cat owners with respect to the changes in the cat's behaviour that are indicative of osteoarthritis, and through the suggestion of simple changes in the home that can improve the cat's quality of life.

How to assist shed the pet snake

AbstractReptiles are becoming an increasingly popular pet in housholds and although the shedding of a reptile's skin is a natural process it is not uncommon for complications to arise requiring assistance in removing any retained shed. For this reason veterinary nurses working with reptiles should be familiar with the normal shedding process and the procedure to assist any reptile patients with retained shed. A large percentage of these cases are husbandry related and the veterinary nurse can play an important role in educating clients regarding the husbandry of the specific species and prevention measures if it is known to be a problematic shedder.

Veterinary nursing - the future of our profession

AbstractThe past decade has seen many positive changes in the veterinary nursing profession in the UK, but sadly protection of our professional title is not one of them. However, this month the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons have written to MPs requesting they support legislation to protect the title of 'veterinary nurse'. Currently, only RCVS registered veterinary nurses formally commit to follow the Code of Professional Conduct and be accountable for their professional conduct, maintain their skills and knowledge by undertaking a set amount of CPD over a specified period of time and submit to a disciplinary system.

Ethics and the RVN - why should we be concerned?

AbstractThroughout their career veterinary nurses (VNs) may experience ethical dilemmas. These can range from something minor, such as not placing cats and dogs in the same ward, to a dilemma such as knowing that a veterinary surgeon (VS) in the practice is illegally docking tails. This may become more commonplace for VNs with the accountability they now face within their job roles as a result of the VN register. This article focuses on a potential scenario that could arise - the administration of a prescription only medicine (POM) by a registered VN in an emergency situation to provide analgesia. This is an illegal act and breaks the Code of Professional Conduct (2012) set out by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) but the ethical dilemma arises as a VN may see that the right thing to do is making sure the patient is not suffering.

Book Reviews

AbstractFish are becoming more popular as pets, and as a result more are likely to be presented in practice. The Veterinary Nurse Consultant editor, Jennifer Hamlin, reviews Fish Vetting Essentials.

Just ordinary, everyday parasites...

AbstractControlling parasites in pets can be a tedious and uninspiring task for many veterinary professionals, however a parasite infection is the last thing that a pet owners will want to deal with. There are a plethora of parasite treatments and control resources available --but the question is 'what is appropriate in what situation?'

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