Research

Assessing body condition scores assigned to images of dogs by veterinary nurses working in urban, rural and suburban settings in New Zealand

Background: Canine obesity is a growing problem, both in New Zealand and overseas. Veterinary nurses play a vital role as part of the veterinary healthcare team in ensuring clients are provided with timely, accurate, and consistent advice, and this includes advice relating to a pet's nutritional status and body condition. Aim: To investigate if there were any differences in body condition scores assigned to images of canines by veterinary nurses working in urban, suburban, and rural...

Nurses' views of pet owners: online pet health information

Background Most research investigating online pet health information has focused on the views of veterinarians or clients with little attention given to the views of veterinary nurses. Aims To investigate the views of UK veterinary nurses in relation to pet owners’ use of online pet health information. Methods An anonymous online survey was distributed via social media platforms. Results Most respondents report thinking that less than half of their clients understand what they read about...

Assessing pain in rabbits: how well does the Rabbit Grimace Scale work in the veterinary practice?

Background: Pain recognition in rabbits (Oryctolagous cuniculi) can be a challenging task for the registered veterinary nurse (RVN) and can often result in the delivery of suboptimal nursing care if pain goes undetected. Although the Rabbit Grimace Scale (RbtGS) can assist in pain assessment, it is a tool that is currently underutilised in practice. Aims: The aim of this research was to evaluate the efficacy of the RbtGS to assess if it is useful in the veterinary practice to improve rabbit...

Nursing implications of over-breeding brachycephalic canines, focusing on British and French Bulldogs

Background: Within the veterinary field there are currently limited data on the role of registered veterinary nurses (RVNs) in improving the health of brachycephalic canines. To tackle this the veterinary team must discourage further breeding of those with predisposed health conditions. This can be done through raising awareness. Aims: The purpose of this study was to determine the nursing implications of overbreeding French and British Bulldogs. RVNs completed an online questionnaire on...

Does meloxicam provide adequate pain management as a post-operative analgesic in canine ovariohysterectomy patients?

Background: Meloxicam is an analgesic agent with anti-inflammatory properties, commonly used in veterinary practices to treat a variety of different long-term medical conditions and is also used as a short-term pain relief following particularly traumatic surgeries. Aims: An observational study was conducted to determine whether meloxicam provides adequate pain management as a post-operative analgesic for canine ovariohysterectomies. Methods: 13 canines were admitted for ovariohysterectomy....

A prospective cross-sectional survey of UK-based dog owners to explore canine handling intolerances and owner willingness to disclose these to veterinary professionals

Background: Canine handling intolerances (CHI) can be problematic for veterinary professionals (VPs), particularly when not disclosed by owners. Aims: This study explored apparent prevalence of CHI during veterinary practice visits, owner willingness to disclose intolerances to VPs and their beliefs as to responsibilities for disclosure and risks of non-disclosure. Methods: Using a prospective cross-sectional study design, an online, social media-based survey was distributed, which...

Stress and compassion fatigue in veterinary nurses in New Zealand

Background: Stress and compassion fatigue are widely acknowledged as prevalent in workers in ‘caring’ roles, however this has not been widely documented in New Zealand veterinary nurses. Aim: This project aimed to investigate the prevalence of stress and compassion fatigue in New Zealand veterinary nurses. Method: Using an online survey, veterinary nurses were asked to self-report their incidence of stress or compassion fatigue felt as a result of their working environment. Veterinary...

Do owners administer inappropriate doses of anthelmintic based on an inaccurate perception of their horse's bodyweight?

Background: Inaccurate dosing and repeated administration of anthelmintic from the same drug class are indicated as factors associated with equine helminth resistance; and resistance is specifically related to the under-dosing of anthelmintic products. Research indicates that many owners may still rely on visual estimation to determine a horse's bodyweight. Aim: The pilot study aimed to investigate whether owners administer inappropriate doses of anthelmintic based on an inaccurate perception...

Hyperthyroidism in cats: should we be routinely testing for early diagnosis?

Background: Routine testing for hyperthyroidism could become standard practice in all cats, before the onset of clinical signs. Aims: To describe serum total thyroxine (T4) concentration levels in a population of clinically normal cats; to determine the range of T4 levels in clinically normal cats; to estimate the prevalence of hyperthyroidism in clinically normal cats and to identify risk factors for elevated T4 levels in clinically normal cats tested for hyperthyroidism and are...

Comparison of expectations between veterinarians and veterinary nurses in tasks and responsibilities in clinical practice

Background: It is reported that expectations from veterinary nurses and veterinarians on the clinical tasks veterinary nurses undertake in practice vary widely. Aims: To understand the difference in tasks and responsibilities reported by veterinary nurses in comparison to veterinarian expectations. Methods: Using an online survey, expectations regarding the capability of veterinary nurses undertaking clinical tasks in New Zealand veterinary clinics, were measured. Respondents were provided...

An investigation of the prevalence of compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction and burnout in those working in animal-related occupations using the Professional Quality of Life (ProQoL) Scale

Background: Animal-related occupational stress and compassion fatigue are important issues as they can have a negative impact on employee mental wellbeing, workplace productivity and morale. The impacts of these conditions are notable and have become more recognised by those who are employed in animal-related occupations. Aims: This study aims to investigate the incidence of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue (burnout and secondary traumatic stress) in those working in...

Which skin preparation technique is most effective to minimise bacterial contamination?

Background: The risk of surgical site infections (SSI) can be addressed by removing organic matter which contains transient and resident flora from the patient's skin prior to surgical incision. Using correct techniques when applying skin preparation solution can significantly reduce bacterial load. Historically the circular technique has been used within veterinary practice for skin preparation prior to surgery; however there has been a recent promotion within the veterinary industry using the...

Keep up to date with The Veterinary Nurse!

Sign up to The Veterinary Nurse's regular newsletters and keep up-to-date with the very latest clinical research and CPD we publish each month.