Volume 8 Issue 1

Women in veterinary practice

Recently in the news, the Chris Kelly, qualified veterinarian and Chancellor of Massey University in New Zealand resigned over public outcry from statements he made about women in veterinary medicine. He asserted that ‘…one women graduate is equivalent to two-fifths of a full-time equivalent vet throughout her life… because she gets married and has a family…’ (Schroeter and Forrester, 2016). This whole issue has sparked great debate in New Zealand, not only about the moral implications of social media lynching, but also about the consequences of what seems to be an international trend toward women dominating veterinary medicine.

Case report on surgical management of a pericardial effusion and subsequent pericardectomy

A 7-year-old, neutered, female Labrador Retriever was admitted as an emergency referral on the diagnosis of a recurrent pericardial effusion. Following a pericardiocentesis, a subtotal pericardectomy was consequently performed. Nursing care for this patient was focused on the post-operative monitoring including the maintenance of the thoracostomy tube, indwelling urinary catheter, arterial catheter and continual assessment of the analgesia protocol. The patient subsequently recovered well and was discharged 4 days post operation.

CPD article - Feeding ferrets

Ferrets are small obligate carnivores. Even more than cats they are designed for a meat diet, and their short digestive system leads to rapid food throughput. Ferrets need to be fed high-quality diets with high levels of animal-origin protein, given little and often, with stashed food removed before it spoils. A varied diet is recommended to avoid the ferret's food preference becoming fixed. Feeding of inappropriate sweet, high-carbohydrate and high-fibre foods should be avoided. Feeding provides an excellent opportunity for environmental enrichment, which should be used as much as possible.

The canine microbiome

It is estimated that the average human contains 100 trillion microbes in the gut, which is ten times more than the cells of the human body. Each individual is made up of more microbe cells than their own. Identification of the bacteria within the microbiome has only until recently become more specific, the majority of bacteria being unable to be cultured following faecal sampling techniques utilised in veterinary practice. The manipulation of the microbiome can be achieved, but is difficult to quantify due to the multifactorial cause and effects of the populations.

Approach to the companion animal cancer patient: current therapies

As one of the most treatable of all the chronic diseases, a diagnosis of cancer ultimately leads to a discussion of treatment options, including therapy directed at the cancer as well as any associated pain or other clinical signs, including paraneoplastic disease, and any comorbidity. The goal of treatment is to achieve as good a quality of life as possible for as long as possible. Given that curative-intent definitive treatment is not always an option, palliative treatment is available and can make the animal comfortable during the latter part of life. The aim of this article is to describe the various cancer therapies available, focusing on the role the veterinary nurse can play in facilitating communication between owner and veterinary surgeon about treatment options and quality of life of the animal.

Feline lower airway disease: asthma and beyond

Lower airway disease is common in cats and includes a spectrum of disease from feline asthma to chronic bronchitis, both presenting with a chronic cough. Asthmatic cats may additionally suffer reversible bronchoconstriction causing dyspnoea. Diagnosis is made via thoracic radiographs and bronchoalveolar lavage, with other conditions causing similar clinical signs, such as congestive heart failure, having been excluded. The mainstay of treatment is corticosteroids, initially orally but followed by inhalational therapy, which is well tolerated and should be introduced slowly while providing owners lots of support and guidance. Bronchodilators may be useful for cats with asthma particularly during an acute episode, and triggering allergens should be avoided.

How to maintain joint health in the ageing canine

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic musculoskeletal disease and causes lameness in dogs. The therapeutic management of OA in dogs has tended to be dominated by the use of non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), however NSAIDs can induce serious adverse effects; their prolonged use is not advocated in the elderly patient. Such side effects include gastrointestinal irritation, renal toxicity and interference with haemostasis. This article will outline additional measures that can be taken to preserve/aid joint health in ageing canines.

Veterinary nursing uniforms: their role in infection control

Veterinary nursing uniforms play an important role in infection control. However we rarely encounter protocols or advice in the veterinary industry about how to ensure our uniforms are as clean as possible. The veterinary nursing community needs to introduce protocols to improve uniform hygiene by considering where they are worn and how they are cleaned.

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