Nutritional adequacy of recipes for home-prepared feline maintenance diets

Sarah Wilson and others, University of California, Davis

Increasing numbers of pet owners appear to be exploring the use of home prepared diets in the belief that this approach will provide superior quality food to that produced by commercial producers. The authors investigated the suitability of home-prepared diets for cats. They determined the nutrient composition of 114 recipes available in pet care books and on-line sources and compared these with the US National Research Council recommendations on minimal requirements and recommended allowances. They found that none of the recipes evaluated, including those produced by veterinarians, provided all essential nutrients at concentrations at or above the recommended allowances. The instructions on the preparation of the diets and feeding instructions were often inadequate. These concerns were compounded by the fact that many diets contained food items unsuitable for cats such as garlic, onions and leeks.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 254(10), 1172-1179

Surveillance and prevention of surgical infections in veterinary clinics

Brandy Burgess, University of Georgia, Atlanta

Surgical site infections will increase the morbidity and mortality associated with veterinary treatment and extend hospitalisation periods. The author reviews the epidemiology of hospital acquired infections in veterinary practice and the principles underlying efforts to manage or prevent such incidents. She recommends a multi-facetted approach to infection control including the identification of high-risk populations, adherence to aseptic principles, judicious use of antimicrobial drugs, and targeted surveillance to better inform infection control practices within that particular facility

Veterinary Surgery 48(3), 284-290

Risk factors that may determine life-span in dogs seen in primary care practices

Silvan Urfer and others, University of Washington, Seattle

Surveys of life expectancy in dogs have typically focussed on recording age at death, which may lead to ‘right censoring'. This refers to an underestimation of the overall life span for dogs in a particular birth cohort because the details of dogs that are still alive will be excluded. The authors analysed the records of more than 2 million dogs treated at clinics in the Banfield hospital network. Their findings confirmed that mixed breed dogs tended to live longer than purebreds, that life expectancy was inversely associated with body size, and that neutered dogs generally lived longer than intact animals. The results also showed that the risk of death during the study period was reduced in line with the number of dental scaling procedures carried out.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 55 (3), 130-137

Medicinal plants as therapeutic options for the management of canine skin diseases

Milena Tresch and others, FIBL (Organic Agriculture Research Institute), Frick, Switzerland

Skin diseases are among the most frequent reasons why owners seek veterinary care for their pets. Plant-based treatments have been used for centuries in the management of wounds and skin infections in humans and the author reviews evidence on the potential value of treating canine skin problems with four plant-derived products.

A total of 138 publications contained information on the efficacy of the four plants examined – marigold (Calendula officinalis), St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), chamomile (Matricaria recutita), and sage (Salvia officinalis). All showed significant wound healing and/or anti-inflammatory properties and are considered promising targets for further studies.

BMC Veterinary Research 15:174 (Open Access)

Haemodiafiltration in the management of dogs with acute kidney injuries

Maxime Cambournac and others, University of Lyon, France

Renal replacement therapy, involving haemo- or peritoneal dialysis, has become a standard procedure in human medicine for the management of patients with acute kidney injuries. However the substantial costs and lack of suitable equipment and expertise has prevented the adoption of similar technologies in the veterinary sphere. The authors describe the first reported application of intermittent, low efficiency haemofiltration in 39 dogs with acute kidney disease treated at a French veterinary critical care unit. They conclude that the results achieved were promising but that further investigations are necessary as part of an international, multicentre prospective study.

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 61:17 (Open Access)

Links between personal empathy and team effectiveness on job satisfaction of veterinary staff

Christina Pizzolon and others, University of Guelph, Ontario

Identifying the factors that predispose individuals to mental health problems is important for the effective working of the whole veterinary team. The authors surveyed staff at 232 North American veterinary practices to investigate those factors associated with team effectiveness and personal empathy and looked at ways this may determine the quality of the working lives of the clinical team. They conclude that high levels of individual engagement were associated with improved job satisfaction and reduced stress while a toxic team environment was strongly linked with reduced quality of life and burn out.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 254(10), 1204-1210 

DOI: 10.1080/17415349.2019.1646451

VOL 34 • September 2019 • Veterinary Nursing Journal