Guidelines on providing end-of-life care for veterinary patients

Gail Bishop and others, Colorado State University Fort Collins

For many veterinary clients, the events surrounding their pets' final days may be as important as the sum of all the care provided by the practice team up to that point. Veterinary staff that can offer care for patients with terminal diseases in a skilful and compassionate way will be providing a valuable service to those clients and can enhance their own professional reputation. A working group was established by the American Animal Hospital Association and the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care to draw up guidelines for providing end-of-life care to companion animals. Its report states that the goal of veterinary staff should be to focus on maximising patient comfort and minimising suffering while providing a collaborative and supportive partnership with the client. The authors suggest that primary care practices should have a dedicated team to implement palliative and hospice care for these patients. How the healthcare team responds to a client's grief after the loss of a pet can be a key factor in that person's continued loyalty to the practice. they suggest. Referral for professional grief-support counselling can be a helpful option in some cases.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 52(6), 341-356

Incidence of incompatible crossmatch results in dogs with no history of blood transfusion

Adesola Odunayo and others, University ofTennessee, Knoxville

Transfusions of whole blood or blood products have become increasingly common in veterinary practice over the past decade, helping in the treat-ment of patients with a range of different conditions. However; there is a risk of potentially severe transfusion reactions, requiring blood typing to exclude haematological incompatibility between donor and patient. The authors investigated the incidence of incompatible crossmatch results in dogs that had no history of previous red blood cell transfusions. Their findings demonstrate that reactions can occur in first-time recipients and so staff should consider crossmatching all dogs prior to administering donor blood cells.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 250(3), 303-308

Campylobacter coli infections in pet birds in southern Italy

Ludovico Dipineto and others, University of Naples, Italy

Campylobacteriosis is the most common gastrointestinal infection in the human population in western countries.The bacterium is usually food-borne with poultry meat cited as the likely source in the majority of cases. There is little published data on the carriage of these bacteria in other bird species. The authors examined pooled faecal samples from 88 cages containing captive-bred birds of the Psittacidae (parrot), Fringillidae (finch) and Estrildidae (zebra finch) families. A total of 13.6% of the cage samples were positive for Campylobacter coll. These results show that C. coli can be isolated from the cages of apparently healthy pet birds, which should therefore be considered as a possible source of infection for humans and other companion animals.

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 59(6) Published online January 6, 2017 (Open Access Publication)

Risk factors for surgical site infections in horses following laparotomy

Cajsa Isgren and others, University of Liverpool

Surgical site infections are reported to occur in between 10% and 37% of equine colic cases treated with a laparotomy depending on the population studied and the criteria used to define such infections The authors investigated the frequency of these complications in horses treated at a university centre. using a definition of SSI as any purulent or serous discharge from the laparotomy incision site lasting more than 24 hours.

By examining records of 287 procedures, they found an incidence of SSIs of 25.4%. Surgery carried out during the winter and summer months had an increased likelihood of problems but there was no increased risk with surgery performed outside normal working hours.

Equine Veterinary Journal 49(1), 39-44

Effect of a new weight management food in client-owned obese cats

Undine Christmann and others,Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg

Obesity has become one of the most frequently treated conditions in domestic cats and is associated with a range of serious health problems. The authors assessed the effectiveness of a new dietetic weight management food (Hill's Prescription Diet Feline Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution) in 132 overweight or obese cats. Weight was lost in 83% of the group, with an average weight reduction of 11% over six months.

This was despite 79% of cats receiving more calories from their owners than recommended. Owners perceived an increase in energy and an improvement in demeanour in the cats that lost weight, with no evidence of changes in appetite or begging behaviour.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 18(12), 947-953

Effectiveness of manual bladder expression in paraplegic dogs

Darren Carwardine and others, University of Bristol

Injuries to the thoracolumbar spinal cord may result in an inability to empty the bladder, leading to increased bladder pressure, overflow incontinence and irreversible neuromuscular damage. Bladder dysfunction is usually treated with an indwelling or intermittent catheter, which may be associated with bladder or urethral damage and bacterial infections. The authors used ultrasonography to examine the results of manual expression of the bladder by veterinary staff in paraplegic dogs. During 93 procedures in 36 dogs, manual bladder expression voided a mean 49% of urine from the bladder There was no correlation between the effectiveness of the procedure and the patient's bodyweight.

American Journal ofVeterinary Research 78(1), 107-112

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 32 • June 2017