Volume 9 Issue 10

Management of tubes, lines and drains

Infection control is of paramount importance when placing and maintaining tubes, lines and drains in veterinary patients. This article covers the most commonly placed instruments in veterinary patients and how to care for them at a high standard. Emphasis is placed on the importance of hand washing in practice. As veterinary professionals, nurses should ensure they are implementing the highest standards of cleanliness in their practices.

Why use manuka honey?

Wound management can be a challenging and confusing subject. With numerous products at our disposal and ever-changing advances in wound management techniques, it can become overwhelming trying to make the best clinical decision to suit patients. With the increasing awareness and concern of antibiotic resistance, and a holistic approach to veterinary medicine being sought by clients, the new and old ways of treating wounds are under scrutiny. Throughout various points in history honey has been linked to wound management, possessing desirable properties that can provide osmotic debridement, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects that are beneficial during the inflammatory phase of healing. This article aims to discuss how manuka honey's properties can best be utilised within modern veterinary practice.

An introduction to effective leadership of teams

Within a healthcare setting, effective team work is achieved when team members understand, believe in and work towards the shared purpose of caring and working for improving outcomes for patients. This sense of common purpose should however never be assumed. Team leaders should talk about it at every opportunity and ensure all team members are striving towards it within their daily work. Team leaders should develop a ‘teaming strategy’ to plan how their staff will act and work together. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that many veterinary nurses become head nurse or team leader with no leadership development training being offered; as the purpose of a team can seem so self-evident, it is often overlooked or wrongly assumed to be in existence by those new to a leadership role. This article will serve as an introduction to team development and leadership for those aspiring or new to the role.

The rise of technology and social media

Like it or love it, social networking has changed our lives, in one way or another. There are so many different social media sites, the most commonly accessed being Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, You Tube, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, Reddit and Flickr; and they have changed how we communicate with friends, family, and potentially colleagues. But is it a good thing?

Practical strategies for supporting elderly cats and their owners, both at home and in the veterinary surgery

As cats become elderly they are at increased risk of developing both health and behaviour problems. Veterinary nurses can support owners of elderly cats by encouraging them to bring their cats to the surgery for regular health checks, as earlier diagnosis and treatment will improve the prognosis for many health problems. They can also ask about and provide advice on any behaviour problems that arise, including giving advice about simple changes that can be made in the home to support cats that are becoming less mobile, or that have cognitive or sensory deficits. This should reduce stress and the incidence of problem behaviours, resulting in improved welfare for elderly cats, and potentially also improved quality of life for their owners.

Perioperative care of the brachycephalic patient and surgical management of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome

Over recent years many brachycephalic dog breeds have become more popular, i.e. French bulldogs, Pugs, Chihuahuas and British bulldogs. Due to the anatomical differences in these breeds compared with other normocephalic breeds presented in practice, more cases are requiring treatment for airway management. The most common airway issue connected to these breeds is brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. This article discusses the presentation, surgery and perioperative nursing care for these patients.

Ask To Pet — be a responsible dog lover

Since getting my puppy this year, I have realised how many people can behave around dogs and have been genuinely shocked at how willing people are to dangle their valuable hands in the face of an unknown dog without asking if it's OK to say hello.

Does the Feline Fort® reduce stress in feline inpatients within a veterinary surgery and is it any better than a cardboard box or no hideaway at all?

Background:Reducing stress experienced by hospitalised cats within a veterinary practice is important not only in welfare terms but also to reduce physiological responses that can interfere with diagnosis and recovery. Hideaways such as igloo beds, boxes or similar are anecdotally reported to reduce stress for cats in general, but limited research has been carried out within veterinary practice. The charity Cats Protection recently marketed the ‘Feline Fort’ for use in its adoption centres and suggested it may be also useful within veterinary practice.Aim:To compare the use of the Feline Fort to a disposable cardboard box, and also to assess whether having any hideaway at all reduced stress compared to having no hideaway at all within veterinary practice.Methods:21 cats were recruited from a veterinary practice with owner consent. Each cat was randomly allocated to groups where they were given either the Feline Fort (n=6), a cardboard box (n=7) or no hideaway at all (control group) (n=8). Cat stress was measured by scoring cats on an adapted ethogram based on one developed by Kessler and Turner (1997).Results:Results showed that 50% (n=3) of the cats that were provided with the Feline Fort utilised the resource. However only five of the 13 cats (38%) provided with either hideaway utilised. There was no significant difference (Kruskal-Wallis test: H2 =0.28, p=0.868) between the choices of hideaways. In addition, statistical analysis suggested that the provision of a hideaway within this sample did not reduce stress in cats.Conclusion:Due to sample size and problems encountered with data collection the authors suggest repeating the research with an increased sample size before extrapolating the findings.

Where do the electrodes go? The clinical use of TENS

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is an adjunct modality that can be used to help alleviate pain in our animal patients. It is a modality that is low in side effects and cost, making it an easy choice to add to the rehabilitation plan. This article describes conventional TENS and its clinical application.

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