Volume 5 Issue 9

The Ebola crisis: it's time to heed a vital reminder

The crisis over the Ebola virus has become a veterinary concern. On 7 October 2014, Spanish nurse Teresa Romero lost her dog to a court ordered euthanasia after concerns that it had been exposed to Ebola when she contracted the disease caring for an infected patient. Mrs Romero's dog became a target of fear as officials claimed that the available scientific evidence could not rule out risk of zoonotic transmission. The dog was subsequently euthanised despite a public outcry asking for it to be saved. Mrs Romero reportedly has now demanded £120 000 compensation from the officials, stating that the sacrifice of her beloved pet dog Excalibur was unnecessary and carried out ‘against medical advice’.1

A nursing report on postoperative management of a cat with multiple jaw fractures

Nursing the jaw fracture patient can present a great challenge for nurses. Patients are often unable to eat sufficient quantities or not able to eat at all and struggle to maintain their meticulous feline grooming regimens. It is important to be aware that these patients often suffer concurrent injuries such as thoracic and head traumas that will also require attention. This article details the care given to a patient with maxillary and mandibular fractures and discusses potential recommendations for future practice

An introduction to radiation protection in veterinary radiography

Radiation protection is an important consideration for veterinary nurses working with x-rays. This article explains the primary concerns and actions required in order to comply with current guidance. Proper justification of the procedure, keeping exposures as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) and monitoring exposure to radiation are key elements in radiation safety. Becoming proficient at radiography is also imperative as it reduces the number of exposures required and often the amount of radiation used per examination. Proper training and awareness of the potential risks are therefore essential for the veterinary nurse in order to work safely with x-ray equipment. Other practical suggestions for keeping radiation exposure to the patient and staff to a minimum are discussed.

How to obtain a blood sample in reptiles via venepuncture

The use of venepuncture in reptiles is an important diagnostic step in determining illness and disease. There are several venepuncture sites that vary between species and knowledge of these will ensure a diagnostic sample. Knowing how to correctly handle the reptile will prevent any unnecessary injury to the handler or the animal. The correct gauge needle and smallest syringe need to be used so as not to damage the red blood cells, and the site needs to be cleaned appropriately. This article will look at the venepuncture sites and techniques used in the Chelonian and Squamata species.

Five myths commonly associated with neutering in dogs

There are some commonly held beliefs that do not accurately reflect the current understanding of how sex hormones affect health and behaviour in dogs. This article identifies five of these myths and indicates that: neutering is very unlikely to make dogs calmer; castration will not improve all problem behaviours in male dogs; pseudopregnancies can occur in spayed as well as entire bitches; delmadi-none (Tardak) is not a reliable indicator of the behavioural effects of castration; neutering can have negative as well as positive effects on the incidence of health problems in dogs.

Nursing the geriatric equine patient

This article provides general information for veterinary nurses to consider when nursing the elderly equine patient. Knowledge of pre-existing conditions and their implications on how that patient is nursed is outlined, as this is more important in the elderly than others in the equine population. Pre-existing conditions in the elderly can continue to be managed at the clinic when there is awareness of the patients' individual requirements, which can be obtained by speaking with the owner. Conditions such as laminitis, Cushing's disease, arthritis and dental disease are discussed as well as cardiac disease and common forms of neoplasia that are noted in the older equine.

International differences in the journey toward compulsory veterinary nurse registration

This paper seeks to explore the veterinary nursing profession and its regulation using five countries as examples, namely the UK, New Zealand, Australia, the Republic of Ireland and the United States of America (USA). It also briefly examines the concept of working towards an internationally unified or standardised approach to the regulation of the veterinary nursing profession, which may be beneficial to the profession. Finally, it provides brief information for veterinary nurses who may wish to transfer their careers between the five example countries described. The focus of this paper is from a New Zealand perspective, but relates to veterinary nurses worldwide.

Mitral valve disease and dilated cardiomyopathy in canines

Heart disease can occur at any stage, either as a result of a congenital defect, such as a stenosis of one of the valves, or with degeneration over time. The two most common acquired diseases in dogs are mitral valve disease (MVD) and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). MVD can take years to develop from the first time it is diagnosed, whereas some cases can present with congestive heart failure (CHF) and need emergency treatment. DCM can have a long asymptomatic period eventually leading to CHF, if not preempted by sudden death. This article will discuss MVD and DCM, focussing on aetiology of both diseases, the diagnostic tests required and subsequent management aims.

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