Feline Medicine: A Practical Guide for Veterinary Nurses and Technicians.
This is a topical text, given the recent Feline Advisory Bureau ‘Cat-friendly practice' awards (VR, November 25, 2006, vol 159, p 727). The contents are split into nine chapters, each with illustrations and colour photographs. Each chapter contains ‘key points' boxes, which help to emphasise important information in bullet point format. In addition, some chapters contain example forms that can be adapted for use in the readers' practice. The text is interesting to read from cover to cover, but the chapter structure also allows for perusal as needed.
The book opens with a chapter on feline behaviour, including some of the common behavioural problems that the veterinary nurse may encounter in practice and how these problems may be treated. With the increase in pet cat ownership, behavioural topics are a timely inclusion.
The second chapter deals with general preventative health care - parasites, vaccination, microchipping, geriatrics and dental care. Its should be noted that the vaccination section contains the current Cat Group recommendations and a n overview of the controversy surrounding vaccination and adverse vaccination reactions.
Chapter 3 focuses on nutrition. In addition to the usual calculations and dietary information, the section on obesity includes a warning about the danger of hepatic lipidosis, an all-too-common life-threatening condition that can be triggered by an overenthusiastic weight-loss programme. The chapter concludes with the nutritional requirements of ill cats and ways of tempting the sick cat to eat.
Chapter 4 is about the hospitalised cat and ways to make the stay more ‘feline-friendly'. In addition to details on creating a feline ward, there is a very informative discussion on disinfection, with emphasis on the different groups and their safe usages in the ward. The cat handling/restraint and drug administration sections include colour photographs illustrating the methods set out step-by-step in the text. The section on nursing the infectious cat contains information on each of the common infectious diseases and the chapter ends with a section dealing with fluid therapy and transfusions.
A refresher on techniques for sample collection, blood pressure measurement, feeding and wound care can be found in the fifth chapter. Photographs of placing a cephalic catheter for intravenous fluids and a naso-oesophageal tube, with associated step-by-step instructions, should help to take the mystery out of these procedures. The section on measuring blood pressure is particularly relevant given the increasing number of older cats seen in practice.
Nursing common feline diseases is the subject of Chapter 6,and these diseases are grouped by systems affected. The diagnostic tests and treatments mentioned in this chapter take into account the most recent and up-to-date information available.
Chapter 7 is also a refresher chapter on emergency care and first aid, with specific mention of common cat toxins. Anaesthesia and analgesia are discussed in Chapter 8, with emphasis on cat-friendly pharmaceuticals and intubating the feline patient.
The final chapter is about owner communication and how to improve communication between the practice and its clients.
This text is aimed and written for the veterinary nurse interested in improving his or her ‘feline-friendly' skills and making the hospital stay less stressful for feline patients. Working in a feline-only practice, I found this text interesting and informative.
KIRSTEN E. SCHULER
THE VETERINARY RECORD
JAN 12, 2007
A practical, 'hands on' guide for veterinary nurses involved in handling and nursing cats on a day to day basis. Dealing with all aspects of the cat as patient, from understanding feline behaviour to special skills required when nursing hospitalized cats, this is an essential resource for all veterinary nurses and technicians.
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