Volume 6 Issue 8

Veterinary nurse or veterinary technician?

Over the last few weeks I have been enjoying news about Veterinary Nurse Day in New Zealand and Australia as well as Veterinary Technician Week in America. It's so rewarding to see our profession highlighted and promoted for all the good that we do and the important role that we hold in the veterinary community.

Patient care report for the stabilisation of a cat with a traumatic diaphragmatic rupture

Diaphragmatic ruptures in cats are often seen following trauma and can cause severe respiratory distress. This article reflects on the author's experience of providing emergency nursing care to a 2-year-old, domestic short hair cat, with a traumatic diaphragmatic rupture. In order to provide effective nursing care it is essential for the veterinary nurse to understand the effects of shock in the feline patient. Creating a protocol for the management of the dyspnoeic trauma cat could facilitate a more efficient treatment plan, allowing for available monitoring equipment to be fully utilised. If advanced monitoring techniques are not available, a successful patient outcome is still achievable with basic nursing skills and a good underpinning knowledge of the emergency and critical patient.

Treatment in cases of feline house soiling

Treatment for house soiling is based on extensive diagnostic investigation to rule out medical causes and history taking to enable specific stressors to be identified and reduced or removed. These stressors may be present in the physical or social environment or in the owners' general husbandry and management of the cats. In the case of the marking cat the aims of treatment are to remove the cause of the unnecessary marking and to re-establish the home as a part of the cat's safe and secure core territory; while for the cat with unacceptable elimination, related to primary environmental or social factors, the aims are to re-establish appropriate associations with locations and substrates.

Canine nutrition for a healthy old age

Ageing dogs are commonly seen in veterinary practices. Small breed dogs may be considered geriatric at 12–14 years whereas large and giant breed dog would be geriatric at 7–9 years. When dogs begin to transition from adult to senior or geriatric, it is important that their nutrition is monitored by a veterinary professional so that they maintain health and a high quality of life. The veterinary nurse plays an important role in monitoring patients from the time they are puppies through their senior years assuring that appropriate nutrition is maintained for a long, healthy life.The veterinary nurse's role in helping the owner to achieve his or her goals of having a healthy older dog begins the minute the patient enters the clinic for the first time.Mature dogs are more prone than younger dogs to certain disease processes such as obesity, degenerative joint disease, cognitive dysfunction, and cardiac, renal, liver, and metabolic diseases. A beneficial feeding plan should be based on risk factors and any disease process affecting the individual dog. The aim is to establish a long healthy old age for the canine.

Using fluoroscopy safely

Fluoroscopy is an x-ray based imaging modality capable of producing still images or real-time moving images. There is the potential for comparatively high radiation doses to the patient and staff if it is not operated in the correct manner. This article examines the practical techniques available to use c-arm fluoroscopy safely and provides some methods for improving image quality. There is a definite need for structured training in both operation of fluoroscopy units and the associated radiation safety issues, before staff are permitted to use the equipment.

Urinary incontinence in dogs: pathophysiology and medical management

Urinary incontinence is a disorder of micturition characterised by the inappropriate leakage of urine. Increasing attention has been brought to this disorder over the past 30 years as dogs have been increasingly living indoors with their owners. Several diagnostic tests and treatment options are available nowadays. This review focuses on the pathophysiology, investigations and medical management of urinary incontinence.

How to manage tracheostomy tubes

Managing tracheostomy tubes is an intensive process, but it is vital for the nurse to develop proficiency in this procedure. The successful outcome of these patients is largely dependent on the care that is provided by the veterinary nurse. While these patients are typically difficult, intensive, and messy at best, the hard work can be rewarding if these patients are properly cared for.

Effects of exposure to human medicines in cats and dogs

Medicines, including both prescription-only and over-the-counter products, are very readily available in the home and are a common source of poisoning in companion animals. Recent studies have shown that analgesics, in particular, are frequently involved in the accidental poisoning of animals, both in Europe and the US. Some medicinal products, such as cold and flu remedies, can contain a variety of ingredients and it is important to obtain details of the exact product involved. This article describes some common medicines found in the home, focusing on over-the-counter products in particular; lists the clinical signs that can occur in the case of an overdose; and describes differences between species where appropriate, as well as briefly outlining treatment.

Use of nebulisers in small animal practice

Nebulisation offers a stress free method for the administration of medications in a form that, in the Flexineb neduliser, enables droplets of <5 µm in 67% of the total droplets produced (when using 0.9% sodium chloride) to enter into the lung tissue and deliver the active ingredient directly to the source of inflammation/constriction. Nebulisation offers delivery of a number of different types of medication to all species. Nebulisation can be used to humidify air in cases of tracheostomy and aspiration pneumonia.

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