Volume 8 Issue 10

Sentience, fake news and where the future lies

On 16th November, Farming UK published an article entitled, ‘MPs vote to reject inclusion of animal sentience in Withdrawal Bill’. This story was picked up by The Independent newspaper, and became the ‘most viral politics article of 2017’. Celebrities such as Sue Perkins, Ben Fogle and Ricky Gervais retweeted and shared their thoughts on the story that told us MPs didn't care about animals' feelings. Online petitions amassed outrage and signatures in a matter of days. Soon after, The Independent had to update ‘its coverage to ensure it was accurate’.

Haemodialysis: techniques, anticoagulation and nursing

The term ‘dialysis’ is used frequently to describe several different techniques. Intermittent haemodialysis, continuous renal replacement therapy, therapeutic plasma exchange and peritoneal dialysis all effectively remove unwanted substances from a patient's bloodstream. This article discusses these techniques, their indications in practice and the use of both unfractionated heparin and citrate as anticoagulants during these processes. The extensive nursing care and nutritional requirements of these patients will also be discussed.

ABC series on diagnostic parasitology part 3: the Baermann technique

Diagnosis of parasitic larval forms is typically associated with complex, costly methods. As such, simple, low-cost diagnostic tools for larvae identification are of the utmost importance in diagnostic parasitology in the veterinary clinic. Herewith we describe the Baermann technique, one of the most used larvae identification methods.

Portrayal of professions and occupations on veterinary practice websites and the potential for influencing public perceptions

Aim:Veterinary practice websites have the ability to attract and retain clients. They also have the potential to influence clients' perceptions of the veterinary team. This paper investigated ‘Meet the Team’ pages on UK practice websites to identify the current portrayal of veterinary professions and occupations.Method:One hundred random practices, treating any species, were selected from the RCVS' list of practices. Information on the team was collected.Results:Meet the Team pages existed on 82 websites. All Meet the Team pages included veterinary surgeons (VSs). Veterinary nurses (VNs) were included on 82.9% of pages. Of the 14 pages that did not include veterinary nurses, six pages belonged to practices which did employ veterinary nurses. ‘Other’ occupations (such as receptionists and administrators) were included on 90.2% of pages. Of the eight pages that did not include other groups, four belonged to practices which did employ other groups. According to their biographies, 76% of VNs are RVNs, 13% are qualified, while 11% had no indication of qualification. There was no significant difference between the proportions of individuals per profession who had photographs within their biographies, or between the focus of photographs per profession. VS's biographies were significantly longer than VN's.Conclusion:The analysis was largely reassuring. The majority of practices included all groups which make up their team. However, some do not, or put more emphasis on certain groups, which may influence clients' understanding and value for other members of the veterinary team. Some suggestions for Meet the Team pages are made.

Innovations in nutritional therapy for cats with chronic kidney disease

Kidney disease is the second most common cause of death in cats. The management of chronic kidney disease (CKD) has evolved with nutrition playing a prominent role in the management. A new test has been developed that can detect kidney disease sooner than traditional tests: SDMA (symmetric dimethylarginine). Earlier diagnosis using SDMA and the International Renal Interest Society (IRIS) guidelines may allow earlier nutritional intervention in cats with CKD. The goal for a cat is to provide adequate nutrition, which will lead to improved quality and length of life. The overarching goals of CKD management are to: control clinical signs of uraemia; maintain adequate fluid, electrolyte, and acid–base balance; provide adequate nutrition; and minimise progression of kidney disease. Nutritional management plays a role in each goal and is the cornerstone of treatment for cats with CKD.

Setting up and running the radioactive iodine unit

Feline hyperthyroidism commonly affects cats in the UK within the senior to geriatric age range. There are various treatment options available however the disease can still be difficult to manage. Radioactive iodine therapy (RAI) is classed as the ‘gold standard’ option for controlling this disease, with a success rate of around 95%. It is very effective but not all veterinary practices are able to offer this treatment. This article will look into what is required to successfully run a radioactive iodine unit.

Rehabilitation of the feline patient: physiotherapy treatment as part of a multidisciplinary team approach

The benefits of physical rehabilitation have been well documented in canine practice. It is far less applied and documented in feline practice and as such the benefits in treating feline patients are often missed and under utilised. There are many suitable physiotherapy techniques which can be successfully applied to the feline patient for the treatment of a variety of conditions. The key to successful rehabilitation is the early identification of suitable patients, an informative referral and the engagement of a correctly qualified physiotherapist to work as part of the multidisciplinary team both in acute and chronic conditions and in some cases as a preventative treatment.

Dentistry treatments for gingivitis and periodontal disease

Many cats and dogs present to the veterinary practice with established gingivitis, which may or may not have progressed to periodontal disease. Gingivitis is a condition that can be reversed, whereas periodontal disease cannot be reversed. It is the veterinary professional's responsibility to be examining all patient's oral cavities to identify signs of these inflammatory and disease processes, before advising the client about the best course of action to restore optimal oral health in their pet. This article aims to recap what periodontal disease is and how it develops from gingivitis due to the presence of plaque, before considering the treatment options for both gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Christmas poisons

Christmas is a high-risk time for poisoning in pets. It is busy and hectic with multiple distractions, and there is usually a mountain of food in the house. There is also a potentially increased risk of exposure to cleaning and disinfectant products as well as decorations as owners prepare for visitors and the party season. Nicola Bates looks at the biggest dangers to pets

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