Volume 8 Issue 8

Remember remember!

Remember remember the 5th of November — we no longer need a nursery rhyme to fix the date in our minds. Indeed, Halloween and Bonfire Night role into one, with 2 weeks of celebrations and parties taking place in many towns and villages. A single night of fireworks has become a fortnight, loved by many but dreaded by people like me with dogs that are terrified! And, since surveys suggest that as many as 73% of the pet population could be affected, I'm certainly not alone.

Diagnosis of haemophilia A in a Miniature Longhaired Dachshund

This case report presents a 6-month-old, male, Miniature Longhaired Dachshund diagnosed with haemophilia A. The clinical procedures, as well as nursing interventions, leading to the diagnosis are presented. Treatment and management of haemophilia A is also described.

Premedication considerations for dogs undergoing general anaesthesia

The selection of appropriate pre-anaesthetic drugs prior to general anaesthesia will provide a smoother induction and maintenance phase of anaesthesia. Catecholamine release will be reduced, subsequently reducing anxiety and problems associated with catecholamine release such as cardiac arrhythmias. Intravenous catheter placement and pre-oxygenation can prove less challenging. Analgesia can be provided pre-emptively, which is especially helpful in dogs with chronic pain, reducing the risks of central sensitisation.An ideal pre-anaesthetic medication provides sedation, has minimal effects on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, provides analgesia and is reversible. Unfortunately, no single drug has all of these properties, therefore a multi-modal approach is required to fulfil a patient's needs. There are several drugs from different pharmacological groups that are commonly used when premedicating dogs in veterinary practice including: opioids, phenothiazines, alpha-2-adrenoreceptor agonists, benzodiazepines and anaesthetic agents. Understanding the mode of action, dose ranges, contraindications, effects and side effects of these drugs allows selection of the most appropriate premedication drug combination for individual patients. It also allows provision of the safest anaesthetic environment possible for the patient and enables veterinary professionals to be prepared for potential complications. Anaesthetic complications cannot be entirely avoided but their risk can be reduced dramatically by understanding fully the drugs that are being used.

Nutrition and preventative oral healthcare treatments for canine and feline patients

A daily oral hygiene regimen should be recommended for all dogs and cats. It is important for owners to understand the implications of painful dental disease and its impact on quality of life. Periodontal disease is the most common disease found in dogs and cats, and other dental conditions are frequently found. Veterinary nurses must convey to owners that prevention is better than treating established disease, and professional dental treatment must be carried out under general anaesthesia. Implementing dental home care in the puppy or kitten life stage can delay the onset of periodontal disease and increase acceptance. Beginning a routine soon after treatment can help prevent disease progression, and increase intervals between future treatments. Assessing the claims of an oral hygiene product or regimen is crucial prior to recommendation. Toothbrushing is the gold standard and has numerous clinical studies to support its effectiveness. However, it is not possible in some animals and continued compliance is low. Other options should be considered in these circumstances and many dental products are available on the veterinary and pet market. It is important to remain cautious of any products with extravagant claims. A balanced diet is very important to general health and some dental diets claim to control plaque or calculus levels. Dental treat chews can also benefit oral health. The safety of products should be considered carefully as bones and hard chews or toys cause dental fractures and should be avoided. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (www.vohc.org) provides a seal of acceptance for some products proven to control plaque or calculus.

Canine angiostrongylosis: an increasing concern

Canine angiostrongylosis is a snail-borne parasitic infection caused by the nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum. This metastrongyloid nematode poses a significant threat to canine populations. It is capable of infecting wild and domestic canines as their definitive host, using gastropods as intermediate hosts. Recent data strongly suggest an increased geographic expansion of this parasite in wildlife animals that can serve as a reservoir. Once localised to the southern UK, A. vasorum now represents a tangible threat to dogs throughout the country, presenting asymptomatically or causing a wide range of clinical signs including dyspnoea and haemorrhage. Veterinary professionals have a range of efficacious anthelmintics that, when used correctly, can significantly reduce mortality, clinical illness and associated health complications. Effective control of this disease, however, entails more understanding of the role of wildlife in spreading A. vasorum. Combined with this is the need for an appropriate framework for engaging and educating pet owners, improved management of adverse health effects of infection in dogs, guidelines on precautions to be adopted in order to minimise risk of infection, and the rational use of preventatives to control this disease. This review focuses on current knowledge about A. vasorum — which affects the respiratory system of dogs — and covers diagnostics, treatment and a brief account of other species of canine lungworms.

ABC series on diagnostic parasitology part 2: the McMaster method

Classical coprological methods allow for inexpensive, quick and reliable detection of parasitic elements. However, the detection of these parasitic elements may be insufficient and quantification of the parasitic burden may be required. As such, faecal egg counts can play a crucial role in providing these extra data. Herewith we describe the McMaster method, one of the most used faecal egg count methods described.

Veterinary hospice: a compassionate option at the end of a pet's life?

In veterinary medicine, palliative care is a relatively recent topic, with the demand for high quality hospice and palliative care for terminally ill companion animals increasing and more owners being attracted to practices that offer such services. Death of an animal is a common occurrence in veterinary practice witnessed by veterinary professionals on a daily basis; despite this, veterinary staff remain apprehensive about approaching the subject of end-of-life care with owners. End-of-life care can be a challenging period for veterinary personnel as most staff have not had any comprehensive training to consistently deliver the best possible end-of-life experience. The complex and delicate issue of end-of-life care can be introduced to the owners following the diagnosis of a terminal illness, allowing the owners to explore alternative veterinary care to euthanasia. It is important that the owners understand that palliative care is not curative but may increase the amount of time that the owners have with a pet following a terminal diagnosis. Owners can experience spiritual conflict when faced with the impending death of a pet and require support from veterinary professionals for assistance during this difficult period. Following the bereavement of a pet, grieving owners often experience disenfranchised grief as it is often trivialised in society, it is understandable then that owners seeking understanding and validation often turn to the veterinary profession for support.

Stress in parrots: what it looks like and considerations to avoid distress

Previous articles in this series have discussed stress in companion animals, including the cat and dog. This article will be discussing stress in a more unusual, but equally as popular companion animal — that is, the parrot — and in particular the Grey Parrot and the Timneh Parrot. However, it should be noted that much of this discussion will be applicable to other species of parrots that are kept as companion pets.

Today's students are tomorrow's professionals

I recently attended VetEd 2017 – the annual Veterinary Education Symposium. Hosted by a different veterinary school each year, this year it was held at the University of Liverpool. Many veterinary conferences place their emphasis on providing continued professional development (CPD) for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses in practice; highlighting recent knowledge and skills within the industry and showcasing new developments in veterinary equipment and practice management. These highly valuable sources of CPD and networking for veterinary professionals and students, however, do not bridge the gap between education, teaching and student learning experiences and the workplace.

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