Volume 6 Issue 4

Invasion of the brown dog tick…

The brown dog tick, Latin name Rhipicephalus sanguineus, is primarily a tick of southern Europe, but recently there have been a number of news stories reporting the increased number of cases of this tick in the UK. So what is going on? Where are these ticks coming from and are changes to the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) really to blame? And what role does climate change play?

A sad reminder about over-reliance on machines

Being a leader in my field means I am often contacted by colleagues for advice, or support. Last week I had one such call from a senior VN who was understandably upset because a patient had died under anaesthesia while in her care. The case was a tragic convergence of events, the wrong things happening at the wrong time, and resolving any one of those events could have changed this outcome from death to a survival.

Nursing of acute renal failure following ibuprofen toxicity in a dog: a patient care report

A 7-month-old male (neutered) Australian Shepherd canine presented with vomiting and an altered, depressed demeanour, about 20–60 minutes after ingesting 22–24, 200 mg ibuprofen tablets. This article describes the long-term nursing care provided to a dog with ibuprofen toxicity. Aspects of veterinary nursing include intravenous and urinary catheter maintenance, as well as monitoring of a patient on IV fluids. Proper care in these areas can lead to improved patient outcome, due to reduced secondary issues such as infection and fluid overload. This article focuses more on nursing care rather than how to diagnose and veterinary decisions.

There's no such thing as a free meal: environmental enrichment for rabbits

Environmental enrichment is the creation of an environment which encourages the animal to demonstrate natural, species-specific behaviours and enhances opportunities for stimulation. It is a term common in the lexicon of anyone working in zoos, laboratories or other captive animal populations but rarely employed in discussions with pet owners or in veterinary hospitals for domestic animal care. Within the pet population it is particularly important for species other than dogs and cats — which may be given less opportunities for freedom or exercise. The biggest barrier to the adoption of enrichment practices in such pets is a lack of knowledge as to its importance and uncertainty about how to create enrichment opportunities. This article seeks to encourage the reader to think of ways the lives of pet rabbits can be enriched both at home and in a hospital environment.

Perioperative hypothermia and surgical site infections part 1

Perioperative hypothermia has been identified as an infection risk factor in human literature, however, literature from veterinary counterparts is conflicting.Registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) should always strive to provide the gold standard of care to their patients including when under anaesthesia and in the operating theatre. This can include looking at available evidence for standards of care, in this instance how best to maintain normothermia during the perioperative period.Part one of this article introduces the concept of surgical site infections (SSIs) as well as exploring hypothermia in the perioperative phase and how this may occur. Available evidence is examined for perioperative hypothermia and its links to SSIs. The author compares literature from both humans and animals and highlights key points while critiquing available research.Part two of this article will explore ways of maintaining normothermia in the perioperative phase by looking at the effectiveness of various methods discussed in studies and concluding with recommendations for further study as well as recommendations for RVNs in practice.

How to conduct a nurse-led senior clinic part 2 — patient assessment and diagnostic testing

IntroductionThe recent passing of the new Royal Charter, formally recognising veterinary nursing as a profession by underpinning veterinary nursing regulation and granting veterinary nurses the status of associate members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, represents a huge step forward for the UK veterinary nursing profession.Veterinary nurses are qualified, registered, highly skilled and accountable professionals who possess the knowledge and skills to educate owners regarding many aspects of preventative care, including senior wellness. The second of this two-part article examines the role of the qualified veterinary nurse in the assessment of an ageing dog or cat during a nurse-led senior clinic.

Antibiotic resistance in veterinary practice: a veterinary nurse's perspective

Antibiotic resistance is an important issue in all aspects of health care, not just in veterinary medicine. Responsible use of antibiotics is vital in order to preserve their use for the future. Any new antibiotics will be reserved for the human. There are many aspects (strategies and practises) that can be adapted into veterinary practice to help preserve these drugs, such as infection control procedures.

Atopic dermatitis and the veterinary nurse

Dermatological conditions are very common in general practice and veterinary nurses have an active role to play in the diagnosis, monitoring, management and support of these cases. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic disease which initially presents in young animals and develops into a lifelong condition. Many different treatment protocols are available and the success of therapy relies on the willingness of the owner to follow treatment plans. The veterinary nurse is central to owner understanding of the condition ensuring compliance through support and education.

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