Causes, implications and treatment of psychogenic stress in hospitalised patients

Sara Lefman and Jennifer Prittie, The Animal Medical Center; New York City

Studies in human patients have highlighted the short and long-term adverse effects of hospitalisation on mental health. There has been little research on the impact of hospitalisation on veterinary patients although many of the stressors identified in human patients may also apply to animals. Those sources of psychogenic stress may include environmental factors such as excessive noise and light, together with social/physical factors including sleep disruption, the effects of drugs and of the underlying disease condition. They advocate the use of stress scales based on physical examination and laboratory tests to identify those patients experiencing stress and to assess its severity There are a range of treatment options for those patients including trazodone, benzodiazepines, dexmedetomidine and melatonin. Non-pharmacological options include low-stress handling, pheromones, environmental modifications and sleep promotion.

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care 29(2),107-I20

Use of a pheromone diffuser in managing aggression in a multi-cat household

Theresa DePorter and others, Oakland Veterinary Referrals, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Aggression and social tension among cats in the same household puts them at risk of injury or rehoming. The authors assessed the efficacy of a new pheromone-based product (Feliway Friends; Ceva Animal Health) in reducing aggression between feline housemates. In a double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial, the frequency and intensity of aggressive interactions were measured using the Oakland Feline Social Interaction Scale. Over a period of four weeks the proprietary cat-appeasing pheromone diffuser had a beneficial effect in managing aggression between feline housemates.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 21 (4), 293-305

Pet owners’ knowledge and attitudes towards judicious use of antimicrobials in pets

Laurel Redding and Stephen Cole, University of Pennsylvania

The widespread use of antimicrobials in human and veterinary medicine has resulted in the emergence of resistant bacterial strains, associated with increased morbidity and mortality higher treatment costs, treatment failures and the transmission of resistant pathogens between species. The authors interviewed 25 clients at different veterinary clinics to assess their knowledge and experience of antimicrobial treatment. Although owners were mostly unfamiliar with the mechanisms of resistance, they generally understood what constitutes inappropriate use of these drugs in animals. Most owners expressed trust in their veterinarian to meet the pet's needs and prescribe appropriately

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 254(5), 626-635

Effect of tube type on the quality of canine cerebrospinal fluid samples

Bodil Cathrine Koch and others, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Cerebrospinal fluid samples taken for the investigation of neurological disease may be collected into plain tubes or ones containing EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid). EDTA is used with the aim of improving cell preservation but it has been suggested that this agent may adversely affect the accuracy of the results obtained. The authors took 32 paired EDTA-stabilised and plain CSF samples from dogs and compared the cell counts and protein concentrations. They found that EDTA tubes did not influence the result of the standard CSF analysis but equally there was no evidence that they had a positive effect on cell preservation.

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 61:23 Open Access

Is boredom an animal welfare concern?

Rebecca Meagher, University of Reading

Boredom is an experience that both laypeople and scientists will often attribute to animals but it is a phenomenon that has received little empirical study The author reviews the evidence for the existence of the same affective state in animals as that experienced by humans confined in situations lacking appropriate mental stimulation. She concludes that boredom is an important welfare concern in animals and that it can lead to a depression-like state and self-harming behaviour. She highlights the importance of finding practical ways to alleviate boredom in domestic and captive wild animals.

Animal Welfare 28(1), 21-32

Owners’ assessment of skin disease in cats and their use of different flea treatments

Sophie Tyler and others, University of Bristol

Research into the prevalence of skin disease in cats and its association with flea infestation has tended to focus on cats examined at veterinary practices. The authors questioned 1150 cat owners about their use of ectoparasite products at home and the appearance of flea infestations and skin disease in their pets. Nearly half of those owners who reported their cats having skin disease at 2.5 years of age had not sought veterinary treatment. Those owners that used non-prescription flea treatments reported a higher incidence of fleas and skin disease than those receiving prescription products.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 21 (4), 282-285

DOI: I0.I080/I74I5349.20I9.I6I999I

VOL 34 • July 2019 • Veterinary Nursing Journal