Self-care and resilience in helping veterinary nurses to cope with occupational stress

Ciaran Lloyd and Dierdre Campion, University College, Dublin

Occupational stress is known to have significant detrimental effects on an individual's physical and mental wellbeing. While there is evidence that veterinary nursing staff may be susceptible to the adverse consequences of chronic workplace pressure, there have been few studies specifically addressing the experiences of the VN profession. The authors review the published literature on the causes and effects of occupational stress in this particular group and propose actions that may help to mediate the effects. They note the importance of recognising the signs of ‘burnout' and ‘compassion fatigue' in colleagues. They also argue that taking care of one's own health is as important as looking after the patient. Strategies to limit the effects of stress include adopting a healthier lifestyle, reducing working hours and ensuring adequate sleep. Making those changes will build better resilience through the development of traits such as optimism, self-confidence, level-headedness and emotional hardiness that are important in allowing staff to cope during periods of adversity

Irish Veterinary Journal Published Online September 25

High neonatal growth rate may predict risk of obesity in older dogs

Lucie Leclerc and others, Nantes-Atlantic College of Veterinary Medicine, France

Links between body size in early life and the risk of obesity in adulthood have been studied extensively in human medicine. The authors investigated whether there is a similar connection in dogs, by following a group of 24 female Beagles raised under identical conditions over two years. They found that neonatal growth rate during the first two weeks and body condition scores at seven months were both indicators for developing obesity in adulthood. Neonatal growth rate checks may therefore help breeders to identify dogs that should receive restricted diets from an early age. Also, adolescent body condition scores may allow veterinary staff to deliver specific nutritional advice prior to neutering for dogs likely to become overweight.

BMC Veterinary Research 13:104 (Open Access)

Vitamin D metabolism in canine and feline medicine

Valerie Parker and others, Ohio State University Columbus

Unlike humans and many other mammalian species, cats and dogs are unable to synthesise vitamin D and therefore require it as a dietary component. The authors assess the role of vitamin D in normal metabolic processes and in diseases of companion animals. Abnormally high and low serum vitamin levels have both been associated with different medical conditions although it is often unclear whether those irregularities are a cause or an effect of the disease process. Further studies are needed to determine whether vitamin supplementation might improve patient outcomes for patients with conditions resulting in reduced serum levels of this analyte.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250(11), 1259-69

Effect of pre-warming on perioperative hypothermia in small breed dogs

Turi Aarnes and others, Ohio State University Columbus

Hypothermia is the most common anaesthetic complication in small animal practice, occurring in around 40% of surgical patients and may have various detrimental consequences. The authors investigated the effects of pre-warming the patient for 20 minutes before anaesthesia in 28 small breed dogs undergoing ovario-hysterectomy Body temperature at the end of surgery was significantly lower in the dogs that were placed in an incubator than in unwarmed control dogs. There were no significant differences in time to extubation or the duration of postoperative shivering between the two groups. Therefore, warming did not benefit the patient in terms of improved temperature or recovery from anaesthesia.

Canadian Veterinary Journal 58(2), 175-179

Species-specific blood pressure monitors for cats undergoing general anaesthesia

Sofia Cerejo and others, Sao Paulo State University, Botucatu, Brazil

Oscillometric blood pressure monitors are widely used in veterinary medicine but there have been reports of this equipment failing to provide reliable values in cats. This is thought to be associated with the small arteries in this species and the inability of the occlusive cuff to detect pulse oscillations at low blood pressures. The author investigated the performance of two devices specifically designed for use in cats, the petMAP classic and the petMAP graphic, They found that both units provide accurate estimates of systolic blood pressure and there was acceptable agreement between the results for diastolic arterial pressure between the petMAP graphic, device and the reference method of graphic direct blood pressure measurements.

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care 27(4), 409-418

Use of ultrasound in promoting fracture repair in veterinary patients

Lynn Mosselmans and others, University of Ghent, Belgium

Ultrasound has been used for many years to stimulate bone healing in human patients with delayed or non-union fractures. There is experimental evidence for its value in laboratory animals and some trials conducted in dogs have produced positive results. The authors review the evidence for the application of ultrasound in veterinary orthopaedics and consider why the technique is so rarely used. They suggest these methods may still be little known, the technology not widely available and its application fairly labour intensive. However they believe that greater awareness among vets and owners of the possibilities for therapeutic ultrasound will encourage wider usage.

Comparison of the wound healing effects of manuka and generic multifloral honey

Albert Tsang and others, University of Sydney Camden, New South Wales

Honey has been successfully used in human medicine as a wound treatment for centuries but a specific type of honey produced from the manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium) has lately received attention for its apparently superior effects. The authors compare the rate of healing with manuka or standard generic food grade honey when used to treat full thickness experimental wounds to the equine distal limb. Their results suggest that those wounds dressed with high grade manuka honey initially healed faster than those treated with ordinary honey or with a lower quality manuka product but any difference in time to complete healing was small.

Australian Veterinary Journal 95(9), 333-337

Geographical variation in the prevalence of feline blood types

Sandrina Vieira and others, Animal Blood Bank, Porto, Portugal

The currently accepted blood group system for cats was first described in 1981, involving types A, B and the rare AB form. As in humans, these blood types determine the risks of adverse reactions through parental incompatibility or during blood transfusions. The authors assessed the frequency of the three blood groups among donor animals supplying a Portuguese veterinary blood bank and found no evidence of the AB blood type. They calculated the potential risks of neonatal isoerythrolysis and transfusion reactions in sick cats receiving unmatched transfusions at 6.8% and 2.8% respectively The findings emphas
ise the value of blood testing before breeding and blood transfusion procedures.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery Open Reports 1-4

Accuracy of long-bone replicas in small animals produced by 3-D printing

Jamie Cone and others, North Carolina State University Raleigh

The technique of 3-D printing is increasingly used to produce polymer replicas of bones to help in the management of orthopaedic conditions in veterinary medicine. Such models may be valuable in surgical planning, notably in the preparation of external fixators or plate contouring. When first introduced, this technology used to be very expensive but costs have since fallen. The authors compare the results of making replica bone with high- and low end commercial printers. They found that both types of printer were capable of fabricating replicas based on CT scans with high repeatability although replica bones were consistently slightly larger than the originals.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 78(8), 900-905

Effect of hospitalisation on gastrointestinal motility and pH in dogs

Kanawee Warrit and others, Colorado State University Fort Collins

‘White coat syndrome' is the term used in human medicine to explain the physiological changes caused by the stress when visiting a doctor's surgery or hospital. Similar changes resulting from increased sympathetic nervous activity and reduced parasympathetic nerve output have been described in dogs during veterinary visits. The authors examined whether those changes included effects on gastrointestinal motility and pH. They used a wireless motility capsule that provided continuous measurements of pressure, transit time and pH as it passed thought the gut in healthy dogs hospitalised at a university clinic. They found that hospitalisation slowed gastric emptying, which could adversely affect digestion, the absorption of orally administered drugs or assessments of motility disorders.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 251(1), 65-70

Use of acupuncture in treating neurological and musculoskeletal pain in dogs

Nuno Silva and others, Sao Paulo State University Botucatu, Brazil

In human medicine, acupuncture has been shown to be effective in controlling chronic pain due to a range of clinical conditions. The authors investigate the use of this technique, alone or in combination with conventional analgesics, to treat pain in 181 dogs affected by various neurological and musculoskeletal diseases. They found that acupuncture reduced pain and improved quality of life in dogs with both types groups of diseases but there was a greater response to this form of treatment in the dogs with musculoskeletal disorders. The study supports the use of acupuncture as part of a multimodal treatment for dogs with chronic pain due to conditions like osteoarthritis.

Canadian Veterinary Journal 58(9), 941-951

Unusual bone disorder in a satin guinea pig

Miguel Gallego, Madrid Exotic Animal Veterinary Centre (CVME), Madrid, Spain

Fibrous osteodystrophy in guinea pigs is a poorly understood condition involving dental and bone abnormalities that has only been reported in the satin breed. The author describes a case in a two-year female satin guinea, which presented with dental overgrowth, lameness and radiological lesions. Laboratory tests revealed a high level of parathyroid hormone and clinical similarities to the human condition known as Albright hereditary osteodystrophy. Naturally occurring pseudohypoparathyroidism has only been identified previously in the veterinary literature in a ferret.

Case Reports in Veterinary Medicine 217, Open Access Article ID 1321656

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 32 • December 2017