Canine atopic dermatitis — the veterinary ‘eczema’ nurse

  • July 2019

In human medicine many NHS hospitals employ ‘eczema specialist’ nurses. These are nurses with additional training that help individuals diagnosed with eczema to manage their own disease and can provide them with the information and support to improve their quality of life. Veterinary nurses as part of a Vet-led Team also have the opportunity to help their clients in a similar way, by advising owners on the best way to manage their allergic pets. In order to provide that support nurses need a...

Poisons affecting the liver

  • July 2019

The liver is a multifunction organ involved in metabolism and synthesis of essential compounds. As the first organ after the gut to receive ingested substances and because of its role in metabolism, it is at particular risk of damage from ingested poisons and their toxic metabolites. Poisons affecting the liver are discussed in this second article on poisons by organ system. Among the most readily accessible liver toxicants are xylitol and paracetamol, which are commonly available in the home....

The seizuring canine patient

  • July 2019

Seizures are very common in dogs and cats — the estimated prevalence of canine idiopathic epilepsy is 0.6% in the first opinion canine population in the UK. Patients that seizure due to metabolic disturbances or poisonong can be treated short term until imbalances are corrected. This artical explores the many types of seizures, where they originate from, and the importance of nursing care for the neurological seizure patient.

Cystic ovarian disease in female guinea pigs

  • July 2019

This article will look at cystic ovaries in female guinea pigs. Cystic ovaries can be functional or non-functional fluid filled cysts that usually develop spontaneously in the older sow. The presence of cysts usually reduces fertility and potentially causes serious uterine disease. Identifying common symptoms related to this condition can aid the veterinary nurse when performing clinical examinations. Species specific care is vital to securing optimum patient care and the chance of a good...

Best practice parasite prevention in the travelling pet

  • June 2019

The number of pets travelling under PETS is increasing year on year, while at the same time, climate change and increased movement of people is affecting parasite distribution across Europe and the wider world. Accurate parasite prevention advice to clients taking their pets abroad is therefore vital to keep pets and owners safe. It is also an important aspect of UK biosecurity and the prevention of exotic parasites and vectors establishing. Although it is the role of the Official Veterinarians...

Nutrition for kittens

  • June 2019

Nutritional requirements were set for dogs way back in 1971 by the National Research Council, with cats' needs going broadly unrecognised and certainly undifferentiated from those of dogs until 1986. However, the nutritional requirements of cats are very different from dogs in all stages of life, from pregnancy through lactation, their rapid growth period and throughout the remainder of their lives. This article looks in depth at each different stage of growth, noting some of the specific...

Canine encephalitis — inflammation of the brain

  • June 2019

Encephalitis is described as inflammation of the brain and can be defined as infectious and non-infectious. Susceptibility to the condition can depend on the genetic makeup of the dog and the location in which they live, as geographic-specific pathogens can play a large part in causing infectious encephalitis. The disorder is diagnosed as non-infectious immune-mediated encephalitis when there is no pathogen as the cause. This article explores the condition of the canine central nervous system,...

Canine immune-mediated thrombocytopenia

  • June 2019

Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (IMT) is a common disease in dogs. Primary IMT is idiopathic, while secondary IMT can result from a variety of infectious agents or some treatments. Symptoms may include lethargy, anorexia and mild pyrexia, together with a low platelet count and associated bleeding disorders. Prognosis is generally positive, but reduced with presence of melena or raised blood urea nitrogen. Treatment will include some form of immunosuppressive therapy, such as prednisolone, which...

Toxoplasma gondii – the facts

  • May 2019

The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii was initially isolated from the rodent Ctenodactylus gundi, and it has been found worldwide from Alaska to Australia with nearly one third of the human population having been exposed to this parasite. All warm-blooded hosts, including humans, can be infected by any one of its three infective stages: tachyzoites, bradyzoites, and sporozoites. Felids are the definitive hosts of this intracellular pathogen. Although it usually causes mild disease or...

Pseudomonas otitis: what nurses need to know — frequently asked questions

  • May 2019

Ear disease is a common problem in primary care practice. A clear understanding of the underlying causes of disease, the need to recognise and treat infection effectively and reverse chronic change to the canal, are key to resolving disease and preventing recurrence. Although nurse's are not in a position to diagnose Pseudomonas infection in practice, it is important that they are aware of the aggressive, multiply resistant nature of the infection and the typical presenting signs of the disease....

Poisons affecting the blood

  • May 2019

Blood circulates as a liquid containing cells and numerous chemicals; it functions to transport nutrients, chemicals, oxygen and waste products to and from cells, and is involved in defence and wound repair to tissues. Numerous toxic substances can disrupt the normal function of the blood through various mechanisms resulting in clinical signs of poisoning. Some of the substances that commonly cause adverse effects on the blood in companion animals are described. These include onions and related...

Beginners guide to cardiac pharmacology

  • May 2019

Drugs used to treat heart disease and heart failure are divided into categories depending on their mode of action. The three main groups are diuretics to remove excess fluid, positive inotropes to improve contractility, and neurohormonal inhibitors that prevent activation of compensatory mechanisms. Drugs used to treat arrhythmias are divided into those that target tachyarrhythmias, and those that act on bradyarrhythmias. All drugs used in cardiac patients can have adverse effects and so it is...

Initial management of the burn wound patient

  • April 2019

Wounds are a common occurrence in veterinary medicine, ranging from traumatic injuries to surgical complications, but most of these wounds will not require as comprehensive multimodal management as the severe burn patient. A burn wound is defined as thermal damage to the two main skin layers which causes coagulation and microvascular reactions. This leads to increased capillary and extravascular permeability and vasodilation, subsequently these reactions can cause numerous complications...

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