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Companion animal veterinary nursing sessions

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Monday 6 April

Sepsis is an often a life-threatening condition with mortality rates in animals being as high as 80%. A great deal of effort has centered on better defining and identifying the condition, in hopes that early detection would improve outcomes. Recent advances have focused on prompt and aggressive treatment including infection source control and early institution of appropriate antimicrobials. The focus of this presentation will be on reviewing our understanding of sepsis, including early detection and implementation of resuscitative and supportive strategies in this patient population and introduce recent advancements.

A number of common diseases in small animals lead to a hypercoagulable state in which affected patients have a predisposition to forming thrombi. The consequences of becoming hypercoagulable are variable but can lead to life-threatening conditions such as pulmonary thromboembolism, aortic thromboembolism or thrombosis in the brain. In this presentation we will explore how some diseases specifically alter the elements of Vichow’s triad and how we can manage these patients. We will also discuss antithrombotic therapies that highlighted in ACVECC’s recent Consensus on the Rational Use of Antithrombotics in Veterinary Critical Care (CURATIVE).

Summary to come.


Tuesday 7 April

For many years, the standard approach to managing dogs with acute pancreatitis was to provide supportive care and nil per os. Such an approach was thought necessary in order to prevent stimulation of an inflamed pancreas until the condition resolved. The main progress in managing acute pancreatitis has been on realising that enteral nutrition has far greater beneficial effect in acute pancreatitis than almost any other intervention. A shift in initiating enteral nutrition (either via naso-oesophageal or oesophagostomy feeding tubes) in dogs has changed our understanding and approach to managing these cases and this lecture will focus on how to implement a nutritional plan in these cases.

A very common and often challenging problem in small animals is multi-trauma. Whether it is vehicular trauma or severe bite wounds, injuries can significantly compromise a number of critical organ systems and lead to a life-threatening condition. In many of these cases, management will require surgery, however, these patients need appropriate stabilisation. As the complexity of these injuries require judicious decision-making, a case study will be used to illustrate how clinicians should approach these cases and we will discuss many of the challenges such cases present.

Cats with life-threatening anaemia require immediate transfusion of compatible allogenic blood and this relies on readily available units of feline blood. In certain countries, commercial feline blood banks are able to provide blood units for such situations. However, in most countries, emergency veterinarians must rely on lists of feline blood donors that are called upon to donate blood on demand. In emergency situations, when compatible allogenic blood may not be available, xenotransfusions may be the only viable option. In this lecture, we’ll discuss what is deemed appropriate use of xenotransfusion in cats and the considerations that are involved when undertaken.

As blood transfusions are becoming more common in companion animals, it is important to be aware of number of considerations to ensure transfusions are safe and effective. Although transfusions were once only available at referral centres, in-house kits have made transfusion medicine more accessible in practice. From more accurate blood typing, to major and minor cross-matching, these kits have vastly improved the feasibility of administering blood transfusions in practice. In this lecture we will cover some critical aspects of transfusion medicine, including donor selection and screening for diseases, blood typing and minor and major cross-matching.

Summary to come.