Practical

How to perform a conscious oral examination on a cat and what to look for

A gentle way to examine the teeth is to use one hand to expose the cat's maxillary teeth and the other to expose the mandibular teeth. The first step is to place one hand on top of the cat's head and...

How to conduct an effective patient handover

Start by finding out any existing policies or protocols for transfer of care within your organisation. At this point, you may be unsure exactly what part of the handover process you want to improve,...

How to intubate a reptile

The purpose of intubation is to establish an airway for better delivery of anaesthetics and to allow manual ventilation. Intubation is the act of placing a tube down the patient's trachea to have...

How to nurse the avian patient

Parrots, waterfowl and birds of prey should be housed in different ways as they have different needs (Figures 1, 2 and 3). Parrots and birds of prey are arboreal species and they feel safer being...

How to tube feed

All patients receiving enteral nutrition should have a nutritional requirement calculation completed and reviewed daily, and it is ideal to record this on a nutrition calculation chart to refer back...

Dentistry: how to probe and chart

Figure 1 is an example of an adult canine dental chart, where the patient's details are recorded in the boxes in the top left-hand corner of the paper. A good chart will have open mouth views of...

How to reduce the risk of surgical site infections

Wounds are generally categorised into four classifications (see Table 1) Clean wounds provide minimal risk of infection, whereas dirty wounds may already display signs of infection or tissue damage...

Where do the electrodes go? The clinical use of TENS

In human medicine, electricity for pain relief has been around since the mid-1800s. Electrical stimulation for pain was not fully accepted by the medical community until a 1965 publication by Melzack...

How to approach weight loss in the obese canine

In order to develop a successful canine weight loss plan, the following steps are critical:.

A practical guide to heart murmurs for veterinary nurses

A heart murmur is an abnormal sound of a prolonged duration. Normal blood flow should pass through blood vessels with minimal turbulence, and not create any extra sound. However, if there is a...

How to triage

The first triage will usually be done over the phone to assess how quickly the animal needs to be seen. It is of vital importance that receptionists or nurses answering the phone are well trained in...

How ECG monitoring contributes to patient care

The ECG trace is based on a conduction system within the heart (shown in Figure 1). An electrical impulse is generated within the sinoatrial (SA) node, and this impulse travels across the atria...