Volume 7 Issue 8

Tackling resistance

Antimicrobial resistance is no longer news. We no longer go to the GP when we have a cold expecting to receive antibiotics because we are well aware that they are not effective against viral infections. We know that prudent use of antibiotics can help stop resistant bacteria from developing and help keep antibiotics effective for the use of future generations. We have been well educated!

An in vitro investigation into the efficacies of chlorhexidine gluconate, povidone iodine and green tea (Camellia sinensis) to prevent surgical site infection in animals

Background:Surgical site infections are common in veterinary practice; their prevention is based on the preoperative use of topical antimicrobials at the surgical site to reduce resident bacteria to sub-pathogenic levels.AimChlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) and povidone iodine (PI) are the most popular options for preoperative skin preparation in veterinary practice, however increasing bacterial resistance to CHG and PI have been reported; therefore investigation into alternative antimicrobials such as Camellia sinensis (green tea: GT) is required.MethodThe Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method was used to test the antibacterial activity of four dilutions of CHG, PI and GT on the normal flora of animal skin, represented by S. aureus, S. intermedius, S. uberis and S. pyogenes. Zones of inhibition (ZOI) were measured to assess antimicrobial action. Kruskal-Wallis analyses with Mann-Whitney post-hoc tests determined differences in efficacy between the dilutions of antimicrobials for each bacterium tested.ResultsAll antimicrobials inhibited bacterial growth, CHG was more efficacious than PI and GT (p<0.0001; mean CHG: 24.02± 2.05 mm; mean PI: 4.46±1.35 mm; mean GT: 2.90mm±2.60mm). Although GT produced smaller ZOIs than PI, no significant differences in efficacy existed (p>0.05).ConclusionThe results suggest that CHG is the best antimicrobial for preoperative skin preparation. GT did produce an antibacterial effect on three of the four bacteria, although this was inferior to the existing veterinary products used. Therefore GT in the formulation tested is not recommended for use as a veterinary antimicrobial.

The importance of good nutrition in growing puppies and kittens

While balanced nutrition is important for the whole of a dog or cat's life, of particular interest is the growth phase, which is the most complex and delicate stage of a dog or cat's life, during which a multitude of macroand micro-nutrients are required at specific levels to ensure ideal growth and development of skeleton, joints and other body systems. This article explores these nutrients and the impact each has on the growing puppy or kitten, examines the complexity of balancing a diet for growth — particularly for large breed dogs — and considers the potential consequences of feeding an unbalanced diet during this key phase.

Mushroom poisoning

Mushrooms or toadstools are the fruit bodies of fungi and there are many different species. Identification is difficult without specialised knowledge. The toxic compounds in fungi can affect the gastrointestinal, neurological, renal and hepatic systems. The information required for identification of specimens and the different clinical syndromes that can occur after ingestion of toxic fungi are described. In animals that have ingested a mushroom identification should always be attempted since this may reassure the owner and prevent unnecessary treatment or allow a full assessment of the potential risks and appropriate treatment.

Negative pressure wound therapy: application, indications and is there more we could use it for?

Negative pressure wound therapy (NWPT) is becoming a common tool for wound management in the veterinary practice. This method of management allows a non-invasive but crucially active and closed system to manage complex wounds by exposing the wound bed to sub-atmospheric pressure. This method is also referred to as VAC or vacuum-assisted closure. NPWT works by stimulating granulation tissue formation, reducing interstitial oedema and inflammatory cytokines, and improving circulation, all while maintaining a moist wound environment. NPWT is widely used in humans to aid healing of non-healing wounds, for example debucital ulcers, burns and open fractures. This practise has been introduced into the veterinary practice to create an ideal wound healing environment for veterinary patients.

Preserving the ‘passion’ in compassionate nursing care

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's (2011) report Care and Compassion? criticised the standards of care for many National Health Service (NHS) patients, especially the elderly, by stating the NHS was failing to respond to the needs of patients with care and compassion. Two years previously, the Healthcare Commission reached similar conclusions, stating trusts needed to resolve shortcomings in nursing care — specifically compassion, empathy and communication (Healthcare Commission, 2009). For most veterinary professionals compassion, empathy and respect are core values and viewed as integral to their role. This article will look at compassionate care within the context of veterinary nursing — what it is, what prevents it and what enables staff, day in and day out, to be compassionate towards every patient committed to their care and their owner.

Pre surgical hand preparation: moving from tradition

The theory of pre surgical hand preparation dates back centuries, and the same basic principles remain today. However, the historical methods of using a scrubbing brush with certain soap-based products has been proven to irritate the skin on hands making it somewhat counterproductive. An alternative, alcohol hand rub, has been found to be superior to traditional hand scrubs with studies showing that this is the case. This article takes the reader through the evidence that might enable for a change to the current practice of pre surgical hand preparation.

Tick-borne diseases in dogs

Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) can have serious impact on the health and welfare of dogs, and have been described in all continents. The expanding number of tick-borne pathogens, the broad geographic range of many tick species, the ability of tick-borne pathogens to induce infections, and the highly zoonotic potential of some of these pathogens make TBDs the most important subcategory of canine vector-borne infectious diseases worldwide. Indeed, emerging TBDs have become a concern for pet owners and veterinary professionals. The occurrence of babesiosis in a cluster of dogs from Harlow, Essex in 2016 has raised some concerns regarding the inevitable increase in the risk of TBDs particularly after the relaxation of pet travel rules. In addition to babesiosis that has dominated recent headlines other TBDs such as Lyme borreliosis have more quietly expanded to many parts of the country. The large number of tick-borne pathogens, the diversity of tick vectors, the broad range of animal reservoir hosts, limitations associated with diagnosis and treatment, and the ecological complexity of tick-borne pathogens make effective control of TBDs a challenging task. Therefore, it is important for veterinary professionals to be able to detect TBDs early and accurately in order to minimise the morbidity and mortality of these diseases. This article provides an update on some of the most common TBDs in dogs, namely babesiosis, hepatozoonosis, borreliosis, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis. The key roles that veterinary nurses can play to support pet owners in recognising and dealing with ticks and TBDs are also discussed.

How to manage a difficult airway

Veterinary patients may have problematic airways as a result of anatomy or disease, and with brachycephalic breeds becoming increasingly popular pets in the UK, the registered veterinary nurse (RVN) must be confident when dealing with a difficult intubation. This article will discuss some ways to prepare for these challenging patients, which will increase the chances of a successful anaesthetic.

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