Safety and tolerability of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in cats and dogs

Gemma Birnie and others, Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre, Queensland

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves the therapeutic use of inhaled oxygen inside a chamber pressurised above normal atmospheric pressure. This can considerably increase the levels of dissolved oxygen in the blood with potential benefits in patients with many different conditions. Human studies have produced evidence of improved outcomes or reduced mortality in those with traumatic brain injury radiation injuries, migraine, skin grafts, etc. The authors investigated the safety of twice-normal atmospheric pressure for periods of 45 or 60 minutes in companion animals. During 230 hyperbaric oxygen treatments there were no incidents of major adverse events. There were 76 minor adverse events recorded, such as head shaking, panting and swallowing but these were considered clinically insignificant. Anxiolytics had not been prescribed to patients before treatment and it is suggested that those agents could reduce the number of patients displaying minor adverse responses. Overall, hyperbaric treatment using the protocols applied here is considered safe for use in cats and dogs.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 54(4), 188-194

Effects of client complaints on job satisfaction and welfare of veterinary surgeons

Alyssa Bryce and others, Southern California Veterinary Specialty Hospital, Irvine

Human doctors who have received a complaint from a patient or family member in the previous six months have been shown to be at increased risk of developing depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. The authors conducted a survey completed by 92 veterinarians on their concerns about client complaints. Of these, 64.1% had received a complaint within the past six months, 96.7% were concerned about the prospect of receiving one at a future date, 34.8% reported being verbally assaulted by a client and 29.4% had been threatened with litigation. These incidents had detrimental effects on job satisfaction, caused psychological distress and affected their approach to the job.

Journal of Small Animal Practice Online 4 October 2018

Factors determining survival to discharge in cats treated for thoracic trauma

Cassie Lux and others, University ofTennessee, Knoxville

Trauma due to road accident, falls or dog attacks are a frequent reason for cats being presented at emergency clinics. The authors investigated the most common types of injuries seen in cases of thoracic trauma. They also evaluated the effectiveness of the animal trauma triage (ATT) scoring system for predicting the outcome.

The study looked at 23 cases treated at seven veterinary teaching hospitals. The overall perioperative mortality rate was 13% (three cats), two of which were among the three cases that experienced cardiopulmonary arrest. Cats with a low ATT score were more likely to survive than those with higher scores on the six physiological variables measured.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 253(5), 598-605

Prevention of inappropriate scratching behaviour in cats

Alexandra Moesta and others, University of Georgia, Athens

Scratching is a natural behaviour in cats, required for claw maintenance and both visual and olfactory marking. But it is a major source of dissatisfaction for owners that can lead to the pet being relinquished. The authors sent a questionnaire to 140 small animal practice clients on the features of their cat's scratching and their attempts to change its behaviour. The response rate was (82.9%) with 83.9% of respondent's cats exhibiting unwanted scratching behaviour, usually directed either towards chairs or other items of furniture (81.5%) or to carpets (64.1%). Scratching posts were more effective than scratch pads at diverting the behaviour. Punishment was a common strategy employed in attempts to prevent further damage to property but this was found to be ineffective.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 20(10), 891-899

Antibacterial effects of an alcohol-based antiseptic and a 2% chlorhexidine gluconate scrub

Elizabeth Maxwell and others, Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists, Florida

Preparation of the skin surface before surgery is necessary to minimise the risks of surgical site infections. The authors compared the efficacy of an 80% ethyl alcohol hand rub with that of a 2% chlorhexidine gluconate scrub in reducing the bacterial population on the skin of dogs. Their results in 50 client-owned dogs showed that the two preparations were equally effective in reducing the bacterial population with no significant difference in the percentage reduction of colony counts. There was no evidence of adverse skin reactions to either of the two preparations used.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 79(9), 1001-1007

Factors associated with surgical site infections following canine cruciate procedures

Daniel Lopez and others, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York State

Tibial plateau levelling osteotomy is a commonly used procedure for dogs with crucial ligament injuries. As with other techniques involving orthopaedic implants,TPLO is considered to present a high risk of surgical site infections. The authors investigated the factors associated with infections following TPLO procedures in 320 dogs and 405 individual operations over an eight year-period. SSIs were recorded in 34 cases. Multivariate analysis suggested that infections were more likely to occur in the German shepherd dog breed, following meniscectomy and where the attending surgeon had performed fewer than 20 such procedures.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 253(3), 315-321

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 34 • January 2019