Volume 6 Issue 1

When it's time to stop relying on equipment and use our senses

No amount of study can teach you some things. Case in point: earlier today I was working with some students to anaesthetise a patient and when I asked her to check the patient's heart rate, the student in charge of checking vital signs raced to place a pulse oximeter. I decided not to say anything, carefully watching the big dog's chest wall rise and fall, and the heart thumping away visibly against the chest wall so that I could easily count the rate. The pulse oximeter placement was a struggle for the student and a minute passed as she attempted to get a consistent reading, trying different locations, and fiddling with the wires. I quickly and silently used my stethoscope to listen to the heart and chest sounds, and digitally compared bilateral femoral pulse rates, then I visually checked mucous membrane colour and digitally assessed capillary refill time to assure myself that cardiac output was normal and that the patient was ok with normal heart rate and respiratory rate and pattern. I watched silently as the student looked quizzically at the monitor. ‘The heart rate is 45,’ she said. ‘Isn't that a bit low?’

Vets help save paradise islands' wildlife

British charity Wildlife Vets International (WVI) aims to help prevent critically endangered birds and reptiles from following the Dodo and Mauritius giant tortoise into the history books.

Social media as a tool for improving client communication

Aim:To gain an insight into why clients use social media to connect with their veterinary practice and what practices can do to make their social media sites as engaging as possible for their clients.Method:This study, carried out as a final year research project at the University of Bristol, used a questionnaire to approach pet owners on web forums. This was used to establish client opinions on social media use by veterinary practices and what clients require from their veterinary practice when using social media.Results:This study identified a set of clients who were generally positive towards social media use and were keen to interact with their veterinary practice using social media. These clients had a particular interest in practice news and a clear view of how they expected their practice to use social media. The data obtained from this study were used to recommend ways in which practices can develop their social media strategy to best suit clients' needs.

How to provide nursing care to the surgical ophthalmic patient

IntroductionManagement of the ophthalmic surgical patient is a team effort with veterinary nurses, veterinary surgeons and owners all playing vital roles in ensuring a successful outcome. The role of the veterinary nurse extends from ensuring careful and appropriate restraint of the ophthalmic patient pre surgery to monitoring post-operative analgesia. Nursing the surgical ophthalmic patient requires specific considerations and often has rewarding outcomes.

Methodologies used to test the palatability of nutraceuticals

Owner and patient compliance is essential when administering medications and other products. An important factor in the owner's ability to successfully administer products to their pet is palatability. This paper describes the methodology protocols that were developed to assess palpability of a nutraceutical for dogs and cats. Product names and results have not been included within the article but results can be obtained by contacting the authors. It is hoped that the information provided will support other researchers who may wish to undertake similar studies investigating palatability.

The whole rabbit: physical, immunological and psychological health

Rabbits are herbivorous, social, prey animals; this must be remembered when considering nutritional and behavioural aspects of their care. Rabbits should be fed a diet high in undigestible fibre, preferably based on grass or grass hay plus some green foods and very small amounts of concentrates and more sugary vegetables/fruits. Water should always be available. As social animals, rabbits should not be kept alone. Preferably bonded rabbits should stay together if one needs to be hospitalised, and every effort should be made to reduce stress in hospitalised rabbits. In addition to company, rabbits need opportunities to run, dig, chew and hide. Many diseases of domestic rabbits are husbandry related but there are two important viral diseases, myxomatosis and rabbit haemorrhagic disease; both can be prevented by annual vaccination with a combined vaccine.

Nurse-led renal clinics

Renal insufficiency is commonly seen in all veterinary practices in companion animals. Veterinary nurses play a vital role in aiding the client in improving the wellbeing of their pet in the management of the disease. Veterinary nurses can contribute by aiding in owner compliance, nutritional advice and aiding in improving quality of life for the pet.

Hyperadrenocorticism: the disease, diagnostics, and treatment for dogs

The purpose of this article is to help veterinary nurses understand the pathophysiology of hyperadrenocorticism in canine patients. Veterinary nurses play a vital role in helping diagnose hyperadrenocorticism in dogs: from obtaining histories with key information, to performing diagnostic tests, to explaining treatment plans to owners. Different diagnostic tests used to help diagnose and classify HAC will be discussed, as well as how to perform these tests. In addition, commonly used treatment options will be discussed to help improve patient care and client communication.

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