Our profession is sadly over represented in mental health statistics, UK Veterinarians have been found to be four times more likely to die of suicide than the general population, that's just our veterinarians; what about our nurses? As a group, we tend to be empathetic by nature, extremely dedicated and are often exposed to stressful situations and the potential for compassion fatigue. The struggle to maintain healthy work–life balance remains a real problem. Many of us spend our days trying to improve lives, even save lives; but what are we doing to help ourselves?
This nursing care report discusses the treatment and management of acute hepatopathy and secondary coagulopathy in the canine as well as the impact this case had on the development of the author's nursing ability. The patient, a nine-year-old Labrador Retriever, was referred for treatment after an episode of vomiting followed by collapse during a walk with their owner. On presentation the patient was tachycardic, tachypnoeic with absent peripheral pulses. After haematological and biochemical analysis of the patient's blood, the clinical team implemented a medical care plan based on two differential diagnoses; xylitol poisoning or leptospirosis. The nursing team delivered an intensive care regimen including extensive patient monitoring, environmental modification, assisted feeding and blood transfusion with strict adherence to barrier nursing protocols. Fortunately, due to the dedicated efforts of the clinical team, the patient successfully recovered and was returned to their family in good health.
Effective client communication is a widely discussed topic and one of great importance. Clients should be fully informed when making decisions regarding treatment for their pets. With nurses taking greater responsibility for delivery of such information, it is essential that they are able to convey current and non-bias information and discuss clearly all possible treatment options.Feline hyperthyroidism is a common disease seen in veterinary practice and diagnosis can be complicated. With multiple treatment options available nurses involved in the care of these patients must feel confident that they can advise clients on the advantages and potential draw backs of each treatment and support clients to make informed decisions.This article will explore the clinical signs of feline hyperthyroidism, methods of obtaining an accurate diagnosis and the treatment options currently available. The importance of effective communication in regards to the disease will be highlighted throughout.
Registered veterinary nurses (RVN) and student veterinary nurses (SVN) may be involved with providing perioperative care for dental patients every week in practice. There are many ways that the RVN, working with the veterinary surgeon (VS), can help to ensure the patient has a comfortable and uneventful time from admission to discharge. This includes pre anaesthetic assessments and working together to develop an anaesthetic plan, with multimodal analgesia and careful patient monitoring and intervention as needed. This article looks at the dental patient through all stages of the anaesthetic period, and will aim to give the reader some guidance on how they should be managing these cases to provide the best care possible.
According to the joint University of Bristol and World Horse Welfare 2016 report, Horses in our Hands, many horse owners and professionals fail to recognise stress and pain behaviour in horses (Horseman et al, 2016). This then leaves such issues to remain unresolved with the consequence of negative welfare. While the role of the veterinary team is quite clear when it comes to the identification, diagnosis and treatment of pain, there is clearly another, supporting role to play — that of helping horse people to prevent, recognise and resolve distress and chronic stress in equines.
Consistent adherence to infection control principles is the means by which healthcare personnel can protect themselves and their patients. The infection control audit is an ideal vehicle to assess consistency of approach to infection prevention, and when utilised effectively is a useful key component of infection control programmes. This article will outline the key processes involved in undertaking an infection control audit in order to assist practices wishing to develop their own standardised audit form to help ensure consistent and thorough application of key infection control principles.
There are many aspects of care involved in patient-friendly practice. Veterinary professionals may utilise recognition and response to canine and feline body language and behavioural signals to affect patient-friendly practice and improve safety in the context of the veterinary environment. Visits to the veterinary clinic are potentially stress-inducing for many reasons. Stress and distress have potentially problematic physical and emotional impacts on patients, both in health and disease, and therefore recognition and pre-emption of problems could reduce the impact of escalating stress during veterinary interactions.
While the prevalence of some UK parasites such as Toxocara spp. remains fairly constant despite fluctuations in climate, some other parasites are heavily dependent on mild, humid conditions to feed and reproduce. Recent mild winters and wet summers in the UK have benefitted three parasites in particular. Angiostrongylus vasorum has continued to spread across the UK with increased distribution and numbers of infected foxes, numbers of flea infestations appear to have increased in domestic cats and dogs, and Ixodes spp. tick numbers have increased with a longer seasonal period of activity. Veterinary professionals need to be aware of these changes in distribution and increased risk of disease transmission to domestic pets. This article discusses these changes and how they should inform advice given to clients.
Cats kept indoors should be provided with various types of enrichment, including resting and hiding places, social interaction, scents, sounds, toys and chasing games. Feeding-based enrichment is often neglected but should be central and can be used for feeding much of the daily ration, if introduced correctly.