Effect of question design on dietary information obtained from clients in practice

Clare MacMartin and others, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

An accurate diagnosis, and the appropriateness of the resulting treatment, will depend on the effectiveness of the questions asked by a clinician. Many studies have been carried out on the interactions between human patients and their doctors but there has been relatively little research on the communications between veterinary staff and their clients. The authors analysed the conversations between pet owners and their veterinary advisors during 98 consultations, focussing on the latter's efforts to obtain detailed and accurate information on the animal's diet. The results showed that the most common approach to questioning used the formulation ‘What food are you giving him/her?'. Such questions anticipate a response giving the name of the main commercial pet food being provided. The results suggest that more useful information can be obtained by modifying the type of questions asked. Questioning should take account of the possibility that the animal is given different food products and that other family members may participate in its feeding. Follow up questions should elicit details of how often the animal is given treats and what type.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 246(11), 1203-1214

Comparison of axillary and rectal temperatures in healthy dogs

Justin Mathis and Vicki Campbell, Colorado State University

Body temperature is one of the most important parameters measured during the initial physical examination of a patient. Rectal measurements are usually taken as an accurate indicator of core temperature but have the disadvantage of being highly invasive and posing a potential risk of thermometer breakage and rectal per-foration. The authors compare the axillary and rectal temperature measurements in healthy dogs in a temperature- and humidity controlled environment. Mean rectal and axillary temperatures were 38.7°C (range 37.6° to 39.5°C) and 37.2°C (range 36.6° to 38.3°C), respectively They note that reliable interpretation of axillary temperatures could reduce patient anxiety and improve comfort when serial measurements are necessary

American Journal of Veterinary Research 76(7), 632-636

Campylobacter species isolated from both owned and stray cats and dogs

Martina Giacomelli and others, University of Padua, Italy

Campylobacteriosis is one of the most common gastrointestinal diseases in humans around the world and pet ownership has been identified as a potential risk factor. The authors took rectal swabs from 171 dogs and 102 cats in northern Italy including client-owned animals, residents of welfare shelters and unowned, free-roaming animals. Positive samples were taken from 17% of dogs and 14.7% of cats. C jejuni was the most frequent Campylobacter isolate but several other species were also detected. There was a high prevalence of positive samples in stray cats and shelter-housed dogs confirming that these animals may pose a significant zoonotic disease risk for humans.

The Veterinary Journal 204(3), 333-337

Assessment of positive welfare states in domestic animal species

David Mellor and Ngaio Beausoleil, Massey University, New Zealand

Early attempts to investigate animal welfare issues focussed almost exclusively on the identification of factors that negatively affect an individual's welfare. However, in recent years there has been an increasing emphasis on the analysis of those parameters which contribute to a positive welfare state. The authors describe the development of a model based on the ‘five domains' concept of four physical/ functional scales (nutrition, environment, health and behaviour) and one mental domain to identify situations which will have positive effects on farm, companion and laboratory animal welfare.

Animal Welfare 24(3), 241-253

Preliminary studies on a novel wound dressing for lower limb injuries in horses

Maureen Kelleher and others, University of California, Davis

Wounds to the lower limb in horses are likely to heal more slowly than those on other parts of the body due to factors such as a reduced blood supply lack of supportive soft tissue and increased risk of bacterial contamination. The authors investigated the effects of a novel silver sodium zirconium phosphate polyurethane-based semi-occlusive foam (SPF) dressing on wounds to the distal aspect of the equine limb. The SPF treated wounds had a significantly decreased wound area and decreased granulation tissue scores when evaluated over 30 days, showing that the dressing may be useful in managing equine limb injuries.

Veterinary Surgery 44(3), 359-365

Effect of catnip extract on the acute stress response in cats

Natalia Bernachon and others, Virbac, Carros, France

Nepeta cataria, or catnip is a plant which produces a strong behavioural response in cats, thought to be linked to a relationship between the active ingredient nepetalactone and a pheromone involved in feline communication. The authors investigated whether a nepetalactone-rich plant extract (Zenifel spray) has a synergistic effect when given with a synthetic analogue of feline appeasing pheromone (Feliway spray) to cats experiencing stress during a blood pressure measurement procedure. Their findings indicate that giving Zenifel alongside the pheromone caused a statistically significant reduction in stress measures.

International Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine 13(12), 125-134

DOI: 10.1080/17415349.2015.1096752 

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 30 • December 2015 •