Evaluation of risks and protective factors for work-related bite injuries in veterinary nurses
Cat and dog bites are the most common work-related injuries among veterinary staff and will primarily involve trauma to the arms and hands. The prevalence and severity of such injuries in veterinary technicians (i.e. veterinary nurses) in Minnesota have been investigated in a previous study The same group has now investigated risk factors associated with such incidents and potential control measures that may reduce their frequency A questionnaire was sent to 176 technicians who had experienced a work-related injury and 313 controls. The risk of receiving a bite injury was higher in those staff aged less than 25 years than in colleagues aged more than 35 years. Risk was also associated directly with experience, with a higher incidence of injuries in those who had worked less than five years, compared with those who had been employed for more than 10 years in a veterinary facility Further risks were associated with handling a broader range of species on a typical working day and for staff in premises where staffing levels were perceived to be inadequate to allow appropriate patient restraint.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 245(4): 434-450. 

Leslie Nordgren and others, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Evaluation of a topical gel developed as a method for reducing halitosis in dogs

Regular brushing of their pets' teeth is recommended to dog owners as a means of reducing oral malodour but compliance is often disappointing. The authors evaluated the effectiveness of a topically applied gel containing essential oils (menthol and thymol) and polyphenolic antioxidants (phloretin and ferulic acid) for reducing halitosis. In a blinded crossover study owners applied either the gel or a placebo twice daily for four weeks after the dogs had received a dental examination and cleaning. Halitosis diminished in both groups but was significantly reduced when dogs were switched from the placebo to the active treatment group. The oral gel was therefore effective in helping to control oral malodour in these animals.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 75(7): 653-657.

Samuel Low and others, University of Florida, Gainesville

Post-surgical complications following placement of closed suction drains in dogs

Drains can be effective in improving surgical recovery by removing serum and blood from a wound site, but they can also be associated with infections and a range of other post-operative complications. The authors investigated the risks of fluid production and seroma formation after placing closed suction drains in clean surgical wounds. Surgical records were reviewed from 77 cases, with dehiscence the most common complication (l8 incidents), followed by seroma formation in l4 dogs and infection in four: A seroma was more likely to occur in dogs with significantly higher drain fluid volume relative to body weight. Dogs from which the drain was removed when fluid production was still occurring at more than 0.2 ml/per kg bodyweight per hour were at significantly greater risk of developing a seroma.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 245(2): 211-215. 

Stephanie Shaver and others, University of California, Davis

Effects of ultraviolet radiation on serum vitamin D levels in domestic rabbits

Nutritional osteodystrophy of the skull and acquired dental disease are common findings in domestic rabbits and it is thought that low vitamin D levels may play a role in these conditions. The authors examined the effects of providing ultraviolet B radiation on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in this species. Mean serum vitamin levels differed significantly between those that did and did not receive supplemental radiation, at 66.4 and 3l.7 nmol/l respectively. Since vitamin D is an essential hormone in vertebrates, these findings suggest that providing supplemental ultraviolet B radiation may be beneficial to captive rabbits.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 75(4): 380-384.

Jessica Emerson and others, University of Illinois, Urbana

Application of point-of-care blood tests in pet rabbits

There is little published information on variations in blood biochemistry with particular disease conditions in rabbits, due largely to the costs associated with an in-house reference analyser and the difficulty in obtaining large enough samples for shipping to commercial laboratories. The authors assessed the accuracy of a portable clinical analyser measuring a range of biochemical variables, in comparison with a reference analyser. The portable analyser provided accurate measures of blood pH but there was low agreement with the established technology for all the other parameters tested, including partial pressure of CO2, sodium, chloride, potassium, blood urea nitrogen, glucose, haematocrit and haemoglobin.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 50(5): 305-3l4.

Paolo Selleri and Nicola Girolamo, University of Bologna, Italy

Use of trazodone to facilitate post-surgical confinement in dogs

Confinement and exercise restriction are necessary elements in the post- surgical management of dogs which have undergone major orthopaedic procedures. Treatment with agents such as acepromazine maleate has been used to promote calm behaviour in dogs in such circumstances but this may cause excessive sedation or even paradoxical excitation. The authors examined the effects of the antidepressant trazodone hydrochloride in 36 client-owned dogs undergoing orthopaedic procedures. Their results suggest that oral administration of this agent was safe and efficacious in facilitating confinement and enhancing calm behaviour during the critical recovery period.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 245(3): 296-301. 

Margaret Gruen and others, North Carolina State University, Raleigh

Alfaxalone as a total intravenous anaesthesia agent for neutering cats

Using intravenous agents both for the induction and maintenance of anaesthesia has a number of potential advantages and disadvantages over conventional inhalant-based procedures. The authors looked at the efficacy and safety of intravenous alfaxalone in cats that had been pre-medicated with medetomidine and morphine. This combination was used in neutering procedures in 10 male and 24 female cats, including both owned and feral animals. The time to first spontaneous movement was greater than 30 minutes in 19 cats, of which 12 received atipamezole to reverse the effects of the medetomidine. There was no evidence of apnoea and the combination was effective in providing total intravenous anaesthesia.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 16(8): 609-615.

Thierry Beths and others, University of Melbourne, Australia

Long-term safety of meloxicam administered orally to rabbits

Veterinary patients may require pain control over a prolonged period but there are very few analgesic agents approved for long-term use in animals. The authors examined the pharmacokinetics and safety of meloxicam when administered daily at a dose of 1 mg/kg bodyweight for 29 days in six healthy rabbits. Plasma concentrations for meloxicam were measured at weekly intervals and found to be equivalent to those reported in rabbits receiving the same dose for a maximum period of five days. Histological examination of tissues revealed no clinically significant changes. An oral dose of 1 mg/kg delivered daily for 29 days therefore appears to be safe in this species.

American Journal o
f Veterinary Research 75(2): 195-199.

Katie Delk and others, Kansas State University, Manhattan

Instrument breakage as a complication of elbow arthroscopy in a dog

Arthoscopy has become the gold standard technique for examining articular surfaces in small animals. As a minimally invasive procedure, there have been few reports of significant complications. However; the authors describe one such case in which the tip of an arthoscopic curette broke off while examining the coronoid process in a 1-year-old Labrador: The fragment migrated out of the arthroscopy field and so an arthrotomy was performed in an unsuccessful attempt to remove it. Eventually, the broken tip was left in situ and the dog made an uneventful recovery. The authors offer recommendations for dealing with any repetition of this unusual event.

Australian Veterinary Journal 92(4): 128-131.

Jean-Gillaume Grand and others, University College, Dublin

Effects of nocturnal light pollution on the behaviour of laboratory mice

Environmental light-dark cycles can play an important role in regulating behavioural and physiological processes in mammalian species. The authors investigated the effects of disruptions to the normal cycle dark in laboratory mice as result of exposure to dim light at night. To mimic the effects of low-intensity light entering the vivarium through windows or of staff entering the room at night, mice were exposed to 5 lux of illumination throughout the night. This was shown to cause changes in the patterns of locomotor activity along with increased anxiety and depressive responses. Therefore, nocturnal light alters mouse behaviour and in laboratory animals that may influence experimental outcomes.

Animal Welfare 22(4): 483-487.

Tracy Bedrosian and others, Ohio State University, Columbus

Measuring blood glucose concentrations in pet ferrets

Accurate measurements of blood glucose levels are important for the clinical management of all species but particularly in ferrets, which become particularly susceptible to developing insulinomas in middle age. The authors assessed whether a human portable glucometer could provide a tool needed for reliable and rapid repeat measurements of blood glucose in these patients. Samples from 20 pet ferrets were analysed using the portable device and an automated chemistry analyser. The results showed poor levels of agreement between the glucometer and the gold standard technique and the former cannot be recommended for use in this species.

Canadian Veterinary Journal 55(9): 865-869.

Noemie Summa and others, University of Guelph, Ontario

Characteristics of persons convicted for animal hoarding- related offences in Australia

Hoarding involves the keeping of large numbers of animals under conditions which are inappropriate and unsanitary. However, there is no standard protocol for defining and recording details of such incidents. The authors describe the features of 29 cases in which most offenders were female and aged between 40 and 64 years at the time of the first offence. In 80% of these cases the animals kept were dogs, and dead animals were found on the premises in 41.4%. These findings are generally similar to those reported in other countries although more of the current cases also involved the keeping of horses and livestock and they often occurred in more rural areas. E3H

Australian Veterinary Journal 92(10): 369-375.

Michelle Joffe and others, University of Sydney, New South Wales

To cite this article use either
DOI: 10.1111/vnj.12203 or Veterinary Nursing Journal VOL 29 pp 400-401

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 29 • December 2014 •