Volume 8 Issue 7

Breed, bred, made?

Some years ago we decided to adopt a dog from the RSPCA. We wanted a young female dog, and were lucky to find Momo (then called Daisy). Momo bonded well with our other dog and quickly became a valued family member — we wouldn't be without her, although she does have some behavioural ‘issues’ which some could consider difficult.

The veterinary nurse's role in parasite control

Through excellent communication with clients and the development of a working partnership between the client and veterinary nurse (VN), mutual objectives can be set to benefit the health of the pet through implementation of an individualised parasite control plan. Pets are at risk from a range of parasites within the UK several of which are ubiquitous. This article will explore the common parasites pets are exposed to, how to identify risk, formulation of a control plan and how the VN can support the delivery of this information to increase compliance.

Evidence-based veterinary medicine (EBVM) — how nurses can get involved

Veterinary nurses (VNs) are faced with clinical decisions every day and should use the best available evidence to help them to decide the best course of action. VNs should be confident in using evidence-based veterinary medicine (EBVM) to do this, looking for evidence, appraising its worth and applying it to their work. This article aims to help VNs achieve this by giving advice on each step of using EBVM.

Emergency wound care

Veterinary nurses are frequently tasked with wound care in the hospital. From initial patient assessment and emergency care to wound cleaning and lavage, it is important for nurses to understand the how and why of wound management. This article emphasises emergency patient assessment including pain management and patient comfort before discussing how to prepare wounds for either final closure or bandaging. Nurses will feel confident in their approach to the wounded patient as well as their approach to educating pet owners on managing their pets with large wounds.

How to be a pain management advocate for exotic and zoo animals

Veterinary nurses must advocate for their painful patients. This does not just include companion animals but extends to all species. An understanding of pain physiology, pain scoring systems and species-specific signs of pain are imperative for the veterinary nurse. How does pain management for these species differ from those of more traditional species? What can be done to educate clients and zoological staff about pain in animals that they work with daily?

Is veterinary nursing a visible profession? Part one

With recruitment, returning to work and retention being key to the future of veterinary nursing what are the issues that are common across all these areas? What they wear gives veterinary nurses limited visibility in their role. There is also the lack of a media image that reinforces the veterinary nurse skills base and a lack of veterinary nursing presence in the financial aspect of both business and client relations. These factors all contribute to a role that is hard for people to visualise and define. In part one of this two part series the uniform and presentation of a veterinary nurse is examined including looking at all the aspects that present a professional image. The impact of the television image on veterinary nursing visibility is reviewed and set in the context with the history of the nursing image.

ABC series on diagnostic parasitology part 1: the Willis method

Diagnosis of parasitic infections in animals is an interesting task that can be developed by veterinary nurses. To perform direct identification of parasites, particularly ova present in faeces, it is possible to use faecal smears, flotation and sedimentation tests. Faecal flotation is fast and inexpensive, and can be quickly implemented as a measure for infection control. Herewith we describe the Willis method, one of the most used flotation methods.

Stress in the veterinary surgery: small mammals

The term ‘small mammals’ encompasses a wide range of species. Each has its own environmental, nutritional and social grouping needs. They also have species-specific activity rhythms, behaviours and communication signals. Many veterinary professionals have limited knowledge of these small, and usually prey, species. This may mean they do not take adequate practical steps to help reduce stress, and thus facilitate recovery, when these animals come to the surgery. Further, there are various long-held, if inaccurate, common beliefs about the needs, lifespans and availability of veterinary care for these small animals. These inaccurate perceptions mean many owners do not know how to reduce stress at home or recognise when the animal is showing signs of stress, ill-health or pain. It is the author's aim to help the reader rectify this through a brief exploration of four aspects of these animals: size, sight, sound and scent, and how these relate to sources of stress.

Anaesthetising a common buzzard for distal humeral fracture repair: a patient care report

This article discusses the care of a common buzzard, found injured by a member of the public, during anaesthesia for distal humeral fracture repair. The veterinary nurse plays a vital role in supporting patients before, during and after anaesthesia. The anaesthetic considerations for this patient during induction, intubation, maintenance and monitoring are discussed.

Readers' Letters

Dear Georgina,The Veterinary Nurse 2(2) 2017 A compassionate journey part 3: the client experienceIt may be that as a graduate of the mid 1960s my opinion may be considered to be out of date. However, my reaction to the article is one of amazement. Euthanasia can be difficult for client and veterinary staff but it cannot be as complex as your article suggests. Why make a procedure more complicated than it is?It is interesting that it fails to discuss the problems which arise when the procedure ‘goes wrong’.Kind regards,James Weir BSc Aberdeen, BVMS Glasgow

Why you should join the end BSL campaign

As veterinary professionals and animal experts we all understand that aggression is a complex behaviour and whether or not a dog uses aggression is influenced by a range of factors including how they are bred, reared and experiences throughout their lifetime. Breed is not a good predictor of risk. But in the UK, under the Dangerous Dogs Act, breed specific legislation prohibits the ownership of four types of dog despite there being no specific research to demonstrate that they are more aggressive towards people than other dogs. The RSPCA believes it is wrong to punish innocent dogs simply because of their appearance and is calling for a change to the law.

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