Dear Reader,  

Depending on when you qualified as a VN, you may or may not have taken the oath, which can be found in the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Nurses. In part it says: “ABOVE ALL, my constant endeavour will be to ensure the health and welfare of animals committed to my care.” Here at VNJ, part of our commitment to you is to communicate about welfare issues and standards, and to provide knowledgeable advice through clinical articles. Our role as RVNs is truly one of animal advocacy, and I would go as far to say that we are the go-to voice of the animal within the veterinary sphere. This has come to my mind as yesterday, while cleaning up after ops, myself and another VN were called urgently to assist the police recovering an animal left inside a hot vehicle. The officer blue-lighted us to the scene. I know you’ve been there, not knowing what to expect, preparing supplies and anxiously awaiting an animal’s arrival, before you can assess their condition. You’re wondering if it will be a case that walks back out the door again. What I was struck by more than anything else, was the police officers utter faith in our ability to assess the animals condition and advise on the next step to ensure its welfare. I do not know a single RVN who I would say has not been wholly committed to the principles of the Oath, whether they have taken it or not, but it serves as a reminder that sometimes, when it comes to welfare, the VN is the gatekeeper.

In this issue we examine the welfare of patients undergoing cancer treatment, and how our actions can improve comfort and help owners make decisions in the best interest of their pet. A very interesting piece on the management of laminitis outlines the role VNs can play in educating owners, and finally a review on a webinar available on BVNA Knowledge on the care of chelonians rounds out this edition. Next month: Congress! We certainly hope to see you there.

I know you all want to know the outcome: the dog went home later on, tail wagging (thankfully!). On the drive back to our practice, the police officer made an admission: she was a VN, years ago—didn’t surprise me at all.


Megan Whitehead, RVN Interim Editor

VOL 34 • September 2019 • Veterinary Nursing Journal