Volume 5 Issue 8

The battle against rogue breeders

In September the Kennel Club ran its annual Puppy Awareness Week about the importance of buying a puppy from a responsible breeder. Following another successful week, Kennel Club Secretary, Caroline Kisko, explains what the veterinary professional can do to help.

Our challenge: to reduce stress in our patients and in our community

On the 28th of September, the animal care world lost an icon; Dr Sophia Yin, renowned applied animal behaviourist and veterinarian, took her own life at just 48 years old. Her death is not only a devastating loss to the animal behaviour world, it is a harsh reminder of how vulnerable the veterinary community is to stress, and how pervasive mental health problems are in our society.

Adjunctive analgesics

Adjunctive analgesics are drugs that have primary therapeutic indications other than providing analgesia. They are commonly co-administered with traditional analgesics in order to provide ‘multimodal analgesia’ when traditional analgesics alone may not provide adequate analgesia. This article will review the current adjunctive analgesics used in veterinary patients including their pharmacological properties, route of administration and some species specific applications.

Early enteral nutrition in puppies with parvovirus enteritis

Canine parvovirus (CPV) enteritis is an important cause of severe, often fatal enteritis in dogs. Survival rates can be as high as 90% when puppies receive intensive treatment at tertiary veterinary facilities. No disease-specific therapies exist and treatment consists of supportive therapies. These therapies include intensive fluid therapy, antibiotic therapy, antiemetic therapy and analgesic therapy. Anthelminthic therapy is added to eliminate possible concurrent verminosis. One supportive measure which was found to be associated with more rapid clinical improvement in canine parvovirus enteritis is the early implementation of enteral nutrition. This article reviews the research findings in various aspects of early enteral nutrition in both human and animal critical care. Different naso-enteric feeding devices are compared and various feeding methods for the various clinical scenarios encountered with canine parvovirus enteritis are briefly discussed. The concept of gastric residual volume and its potential role in early enteral nutrition is evaluated. The authors' view on how these research findings can be practically applied to treat puppies with canine parvovirus enteritis is presented. A detailed description is given on the decision-making process in early enteral nutrition in a tertiary facility treating puppies with canine parvovirus enteritis.

Hygiene — a primary tool in infection control

Infection control is a very current issue for both medicine and veterinary medicine. There is a lot of air time and press coverage on the topic available and it is some-thing that all nurses should be up-to-date with to ensure compliance and best possible care for their patients. Infection control within the veterinary practice often falls under the remit of the veterinary nurse. Simple methods of ensuring that adequate infection control procedures are established and carried out are discussed so that correct and relevant advice can be given to owners when necessary.

How to reduce the impact of firework season for owners of sound sensitive pets

IntroductionStudies estimate that 49% of the canine population are affected by sound sensitivity, with fireworks and thunderstorms being particularly problematic. It is reasonable to assume that a large proportion of pet species will be similarly affected, particularly those from prey species (including cats, horses and rabbits) for whom sensitivity to changes in sound is highly adaptive. As a consequence, firework displays and thunder storms are a major welfare problem for the majority of companion animals. Yet the seasonal nature of the problem leads many owners to overlook the enormity of the issue and its potential to infiltrate into other aspects of their pet's life. This article aims to assist veterinary staff in providing practical guidance to all pet owners, ensuring that fewer pets are sensitised in the future, and that the welfare of pets with existing sound sensitivity is not further depleted.

Nutritional calculations: a guide for the veterinary healthcare team

Nutrition is one of the most important considerations in the maintenance of health and plays a critical role in the management of many diseases; a reflection of its acknowledgement as the fifth vital assessment (after temperature, pulse, respiration and pain). With the plethora of commercial diets now available, it can be particularly challenging for pet owners to decide what, and how much, to feed and they may approach the veterinary team for advice. To assist in the process of diet choice, this paper provides a selection of simple calculations relating to the nutrient and energy requirements of dogs and cats and comparison of different diets. These are designed to be used on a practical level in a clinical setting by all members of the veterinary healthcare team.

Canine osteoarthritis: pathophysiology and management

Osteoarthritis (OA), is one of the most commonly seen, chronically painful conditions in dogs and, if left unmanaged often leads to debilitating, painful lameness. In geriatric dogs, the incapacity caused by degenerative joint disease may be the major contributing factor in a decision for euthanasia. This highlights the importance of appropriate, multi-modal management of the disease and good nursing management to facilitate the best quality of life possible for the dog.The main objectives when treating OA is to slow down the progression of the disease, provide analgesia and address aggravating factors. Carmichael (2006) has devised the ABCDE (analgesia, bodyweight, control, disease modification, exercise) approach to OA, which may be helpful when formulating a holistic treatment plan for patients with the disease.For veterinary nurses involved in the provision of analgesia for these patients, it is important to understand the rationale behind using a combination of agents, rather than the reliance on a single drug. In addition, knowledge of the most appropriate analgesic agents for individual patients is essential in order to provide optimal pain relief and reduce the negative effects of specific drugs in high risk or ageing patients.Veterinary nurses play an integral role in the care of patients with OA and can be a huge source of support and guidance for the patient and owner. A good outcome and improved quality of life for these patients requires a multidisciplinary team that involves the entire pathway of care. Veterinary nurses can facilitate this care via careful assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of the patient and continued support for the owner.

Initial stabilisation and treatment of traumatic wounds

Traumatic wounds occur as a result of a myriad of different circumstances including; environmental factors, road traffic accidents, chemical and thermal exposure, or incidents relating to interactions with other people and animals. Successful treatment of traumatic wounds requires initial stabilisation and assessment of the patient, including management of haemorrhage, application of temporary dressings, intravenous fluid therapy, oxygen, antibiotics and analgesia. Further investigation of the wound under sedation or a general anaesthetic may also be necessary to assess the level of wound contamination, the degree of trauma to the tissues, and the presence of or potential for infection. Through accurate assessment a wound can be classified and prepared for treatment in order to prevent or minimise complications from deep infection, wound dehiscence, seroma formation and wound contracture. The intention of wound management is to support and assist the body's own natural healing processes with a wound healing environment that provides viable, vascularised tissue, infection control and adequate oxygen to supply damaged tissues. As with all traumatic wounds an understanding of factors affecting wound repair and principals of healing is mandatory in making appropriate wound management assessment and treatment decisions.

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