Client understanding of the risks of pet-borne zoonotic diseases

Sandra Steele and Siobhan Mor Earlwood Veterinary Hospital, New South Wales

Pet ownership provides considerable health benefits but there are increasing concerns over the role of companion animals as reservoirs of zoonotic disease. The authors investigated owners' knowledge of disease risks through a questionnaire completed by 81 clients attending a small animal practice in Sydney Australia. Most clients (64%) said they were not concerned about contracting a disease from their pet, whereas 7.9% were ‘a little concerned' and 3.9% claimed to be ‘very concerned'. Although the respondents indicated that they had heard of a number of zoonoses, their knowledge of the animal sources and exposure pathways was generally low, particularly of some locally important conditions such as toxoplasmosis, psittacosis and Q fever. Most respondents (84%) indicated that they viewed veterinary staff as having the primary responsibility for providing advice on zoonotic diseases but less than half recalled ever getting such information from their veterinarian. These findings suggest a need to strengthen communication between veterinary staff, human healthcare professionals and the public over the possible risks of zoonoses and appropriate prevention strategies.

Australian Veterinary Journal 93 (12), 439-444

Examination of the labour market for veterinary nurse specialists in the US

Christopher Norkus and others, AVETS, Monroeville, Pennsylvania

In the US, academies have been established to oversee the training of veterinary technicians (ie, veterinary nurses) as specialists in a range of clinical disciplines. The authors analysed the characteristics of the labour markets for these veterinary technician specialists and the factors affecting their salaries in 2013. They found that higher than average salaries were likely to be earned by those who were male, had attended graduate school, had more than four years experience as a specialist veterinary technician, worked in a private referral centre or an academic clinic, or were employed either in the north east US or abroad.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 248(1), 105-109

Adherence of MRSP bacteria to suture materials used in small animal surgery

Shauna Morrison and others, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius has emerged as a leading cause of surgical site infections in canine patients. Treating such infections can be difficult because of the existence of multi-drug resistant strains and the tendency of these bacteria to adhere to material surfaces and form biofilms. The authors investigated the capacity of MRSP to adhere to five different suture materials used in small animal surgery. Bacterial adherence was strongest for braided polyglactin 910, while trioclosan-coated monofilament polydioxanone was the least contaminated and is recommended for use in patients at high risk of surgical site infections.

American Journal ofVeterinary Research 77(2), 194-198

Effects of raw beef bones in reducing dental calculus in dogs

Fabio Marx and others, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Domestic dogs fed on commercial pet foods are likely to experience a build up of plaque and calculus on their teeth. Bones are a component of the diet of wild dogs and are believed to help reduce these deposits. The authors compare the effects of chewing on spongy epiphyseal bone from the end of a bovine femur with that of the compact cortical bone from the bone shaft. Beagles received a piece of bone each day for 20 days and the area of calculus on their teeth was examined. Chewing raw bones was shown to be an effective method for removing dental calculus and spongy epiphyseal bone was more efficient than the harder material.

Australian Veterinary Journal 94(1-2), 18-23

Factors influencing the occurrence of acute transfusion reactions in dogs

Joshua Bruce and others, Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners, Southfield, Michigan

Adverse reactions during transfusions of whole blood or blood products may occur as a result of factors associated with the donated blood, the recipient's immune response or mistakes during handling and storage. The authors analysed records from 935 transfusion procedures in 558 dogs for factors associated with adverse reactions. They found acute reactions occurred in 136 dogs. Although most of these were mild, there were occasional serious reactions, such as haemolysis and dyspnoea, and a total of six deaths. Administration of antihistamines appeared to reduce the incidence of acute allergic reactions

Journal ofVeterinary Emergency and Critical Care 25(5), 620-630

Effects of low-level laser therapy on the healing of open wounds in dogs

Lindsay Kurach and others, Michigan State University

Low level laser treatment has been advocated as an adjunctive therapy which may accelerate wound healing in trauma and surgery patients. The authors examined the effects of thrice-weekly laser therapy compared with standard management of full-thickness wounds on the trunk of male beagles. Their findings showed that there were no significant differences in either the rate or manner of healing between the two groups. However, a comparison with findings in an earlier group of female beagles suggests that gender may influence wound healing in intact dogs, as wound healing progressed more rapidly in the group of female dogs.

Veterinary Surgery 44(8), 989-996

Veterinary Nursing Journal • VOL 31 • June 2016