I am writing this editorial sitting at home in my office surrounded by things that remind me of the BSAVA Congress. There's the red rucksack, still full of goodies, sitting forlornly on the floor, the Twix on my desk from Sunday's lunch bag (how long will it stay there!), numerous business cards from people I met and exchanged ideas with, and the essential Congress proceedings which will be my constant source of inspiration until Congress next year.
This article discusses a patient who suffered a moxidectin intoxication from the oral administration of Advocate. Presenting clinical signs, treatment and recovery of the patient will be discussed in reference to the role of the veterinary nurse. This report also highlights the importance of owner education for administering parasitic preventative treatment.
Traumatic wounds are commonly encountered in veterinary practice. During the initial stages of treatment the focus will be on stabilisation of the patient, followed by attention to the wound. The key to successful wound management is to thoroughly remove factors that will delay wound healing; this will require consideration of the aetiology of the wound, level of contamination, extent of tissue necrosis, and damage to underlying tissues and structures. These factors all need to be considered when planning how, and when, wound closure will be performed.
Understanding the needs of the geriatric cat is paramount to ensure correct management of these patients within the veterinary practice. It is important to recognise those conditions which can affect the ageing cat as well as the environmental modifications which are applicable to its wellbeing and normal functionality within the veterinary environment. Client education should be at the forefront of the veterinary practice to aid in the management of the geriatric patient and also help with the detection of early disease onset.
By following evidence-based veterinary medicine, protocols can be produced in practice to aid veterinary nurses in performing surgical site preparation to prevent surgical site infections. Care must be taken to adequately prepare equine patients for surgery by following these evidence-based protocols as infectious complications, particularly in racehorses, may be life threatening if they affect long-term performance ability, thus veterinary nurses must ensure gold standard patient care and consequently improving patient welfare.
Cardiopulmonary arrest is an emergency situation which can present to any veterinary clinic at any time. The RECOVER guidelines (2012) are an evidence-based consensus for current cardiopulmonary resuscitation recommendations for veterinary patients. Being prepared is the key to dealing with the situation in a quick and efficient manner. Preparedness consists of having a ‘ready area’, stocked crash trolley and team training. All members of the team should be trained and confident in delivering basic life support measures which include chest compressions, endotracheal intubation and manually ventilating the patient.
Intermittent positive-pressure ventilation (IPPV) is the process of manually or mechanically ventilating a patient that is apnoeic or dyspnoeic. IPPV is a simple and effective method of ventilation, but with complex effects on the body. Nurses should fully understand the method for IPPV and be aware of the implications of poorly performed IPPV.
Many different species of wildlife will be presented to veterinary practices. In addition to providing care for these patients, veterinary nurses need to be aware of the legal aspects that apply. Legislation relating to wildlife species is particularly relevant to taking animals from the wild, keeping wild animals and birds in care, releasing them back into the wild and notifiable diseases. Following devolution, there are some differences in legislation in different parts of the UK. Specific species, particularly endangered species, have more detailed legislation which also needs to be adhered to. While lay people may have the best of intentions, they need to be aware that all veterinary care needs to follow Schedule 3 of the Veterinary Surgeon's Act 1966, and the best interests of the animals must be central to all care that is given.
Aims of wound managementIt is true that many wounds heal despite the management adopted. This may explain the persistence of many old fashioned and out dated products found on shelves in many clinics and cupboards in veterinary practice. Modern methods focus on preservation of healthy tissue while maintaining cellular function. The most advanced methods to date are based on removing the barriers of optimal healing while maintaining a moist wound environment for cellular proliferation (Enoch and Harding, 2003).In terms of decision making when faced with wounds the following three statements should be true:The management plan should provide the patient with a functional, cosmetic repair so that the animal can function normally and the deficit and healing process does not impact the function of local structures (Figure 1)The methods adopted should minimise pain and distress and unnecessary risks. This includes avoiding unnecessary anaesthesia, prolonged management and interventions where the stress may outweigh the benefit of managementFinally, the intervention should enable the patient to be back to normal use as quickly as possible. This is a common issue where there are large limb wounds and limited budgets. Bandaging may be considered the cheaper alternative to surgery, but may take considerably longer.Figure 1.This wound can heal normally through second intention healing but allowing it to contract may risk a functional defect of the eye.
With hundreds of pets and owners coming through the doors of our busy Blue Cross animal hospital in London Victoria every week, death and euthanasia are something we deal with every week. Euthanasia is the most important and difficult decision people have to make for their pets, so we work together as a team to make sure they feel informed and supported throughout the whole process.