I wouldn't claim to be particularly knowledgeable about politics, or even very interested, but recent events have got me gripped. For the first time in my life, except for perhaps the birth of future kings, I feel that I am witnessing a historic event. The vote to leave the EU on June 23rd is surely what my daughter's history teacher would call a ‘turning point’ in the UK's relationship with the rest of Europe, and possibly the rest of the world. I can't help asking myself: ‘What have we done?’
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the most common form of acquired myocardial disease in dogs. Congestive heart failure (CHF) is characterised by clinical signs of increased tissue water retention and/or decreased tissue perfusion caused by heart disease such as DCM. When clinical findings are severe sudden death is common. This patient presented in the overt clinical phase of DCM and displayed signs of CHF. The nursing care involves understanding the action of drug therapy and the pathophysiology of heart disease/failure. In conjunction with this, it is important for veterinary nurses (VNs) to consider the nutritional needs of a patient with CHF. Poor body condition score and distinct loss of fat and overall muscle mass are characteristics of cachexia, which is related to the poor prognosis in CHF patients. Good communication with the owner regarding the patient's normal eating habits, could allow the VN to re-create normal routines thus improving the response to food. The ability of the VN to communicate effectively with the owners can optimise patient care and enhance quality of life for the patient.
By providing accurate and appropriate advice under the direction of a veterinarian, veterinary nurses can assist clients to successfully manage pets with chronic illnesses in their homes. By extrapolating the Ability Model of Orpet and Jeffery 2007, advice can be provided to the client in the form of a Chronic Illness Management Plan which will inform the client on what to expect from the illness and how best to provide day to day care for their pet and ultimately improve the pet's quality of life.
Cancer is a common diagnosis, affecting most species of animals. This is the first in a series of articles looking at how cancer affects companion animals and their owners, and what best practice means in the veterinary profession today. This first article gives an overview of cancer in companion animal species, documenting the most common cancers seen in various species, clinical presentation and the importance of early and accurate diagnosis with staging. The reference list includes review articles, scientific papers and open access options for further reading. Future articles will look at cancer treatment, palliative care and end of life options.
Cats are rapidly catching up with dogs as the UK's favourite companion animal, yet the majority of cat owners continue to be unaware of the cat's welfare needs. This lack of owner understanding can lead to owners assuming that the cat's needs — particularly for social companionship — are similar to their own, leading owners to seek feline companions for their cats. This article considers the cat's capacity for intra-specific relationships and gives an over-view of the purpose of the cat's communication system and the significance of, and subtlety of, aggression within the cat's communication repertoire.
IntroductionNewborn puppies may need to be hand fed for a variety of reasons including maternal death, rejection by the bitch, prematurity, infection or congenital abnormalities such as macroglossia (enlarged tongue). Traditionally, a bottle and teat has been used to feed puppies but this is not suitable for very sick or premature neonates. Eye droppers can result in aspiration pneumonia and should never be used.This article describes how to tube feed a puppy and then progress onto a modified version of the traditional bottle feeding. The techniques described in this article are also suitable for kittens and most other mammals.
Lipid infusion therapy is the intravenous infusion of a parental lipid formulation which can be used in the management of some toxic substances, particularly fat soluble (lipophilic) compounds, such as permethrin and ivermectin. Although the mechanism is not fully understood the lipid is thought to act as a ‘shuttle’ resulting in redistribution of the toxic compound. Adverse effects from the use of lipid infusion in the management of poisoning appear to be rare. Lipid is straightforward to administer and a relatively cheap treatment option and should be considered in an animal failing to respond to other therapies after exposure to a substance which fits the criteria for lipid infusion treatment which is high lipid solubility, high volume of distribution and short to moderate half-life.
Surgical excision of tumours with a clear margin offers the best chance of curing many patients. However, it may be difficult on occasions to obtain a wide enough margin, either because of the proximity of the tumour to structures that would result in physical or mobility problems if damaged, or else because the result of excision is a potentially startling or unwanted change in appearance. Many clients have an abhorrence to the thought of limb amputation, for example. Amputation of the nose (nasal planectomy or nosectomy), is a potentially life-saving and curative surgical option in many cases of nasal neoplasia, but is often disregarded due to fears over the complexity of surgery, or of the animal's appearance post surgically. This article aims to outline the benefits of the procedure and illustrates its use with two case examples.
The recent UK vote to leave the EU has impacted strongly on many industries within the UK, and the veterinary industry is not exempt from this. Although there are many areas within the industry which would be affected, one of the most obvious is pet travel. This, naturally, also has strong implications for pet owners and the general public. So, how might the leave vote affect the advice and information we currently give pet owners when travelling abroad with their pets?
By working together, veterinary nurses, surgeons, drug companies and government bodies can reduce the risk of tick-borne disease to pets and the public. Ian Wright explains.