Dear Reader

Well I have managed to survive two months with a new dog. He is a 2-year- old, Staffordshire Bull Terrier weighing 26.6 kg. I was persuaded to have him by a friend of a friend, whose family couldn’t cope with him anymore and I can see why. He has no behavioural or social training, loves chewing anything including mouthing people, cats and chickens.

You know exactly the type I am talking about. But the main thing is that he is a wonderful, joyful soul who wants to be everybody’s friend.

We wanted to change his name to something less intimidating than ‘Thor, and eventually came up with ‘Luci’, which really suits him. However, we have to remember that when he is running at highspeed towards some poor dog walker that we don’t use his full name, ‘Lucifer’!

Having accustomed him to the word ‘no’, we are now progressing to walking sensibly on the lead, coming back when called and not always jumping to head height when greeting new people. Even though he is a naughty, whirlwind bundle of energy, he is a lot of fun. We are constantly having to think of games to keep him occupied and to distract him so any tips you may have would be gratefully received.

The article this month about appropriate chews for dogs is ideal for ensuring Luci doesn’t damage his teeth. It would be interesting to know what his bite force is.

The feature on the elephant in the consulting room will question whether we are failing obese pets. We all know the number of over-weight pets coming into practices is increasing and it is important that we play our part in reducing this number. What do you think is the right motivational approach to take with owners?

Post-operative nursing care is critical in any patient but there are specific parameters we should be monitoring after surgical removal of thyroid glands in the hyperthyroid cat.

Infection control is one of the main aspects of a VNs role and instigating hygiene protocols into practice helps reduce the spread of disease. As we know, hand hygiene is the most important measure to avoid cross contamination.

We all know that during nursing training it is important to get as much ‘hands on practice’ as possible to improve our skill and confidence. Using life like models enables students to practice intubating dogs before they go on work experience and therefore increasing their confidence when they go into placement.

I hope you enjoy this issue and perhaps you may even be tempted to write for us. Remember this is your journal and we can’t do it without you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any ideas about topics you would like to see included or are thinking about writing, but not sure how to start.

Watch out for notices on the BVNA Council nominations in the March issue. Start thinking about how you could make a difference to the nursing profession by being a member of the council.



Nikki Ruedisueli RVN

Head of Learning and Development (Editor in Chief)

DOI: 10.1080/17415349.2020.1716562

• VOL 35 • February 2020 • Veterinary Nursing Journal