By Elizabeth Welsh (ed.)

Sedation and anaesthesia are an important a part of veterinary perform. The protocols and strategies concerned are frequently complicated and differ significantly from animal to animal. The veterinary nurse has a pivotal function in anaesthesia, being without delay concerned prior to, in the course of and after the anaesthetic interval.

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Respiration character: Rapid, shallow breathing can be noted in pulmonary disease or the presence of pleural effusion (air or fluid), while a slow respiration rate with increased effort can be noted with airway obstruction, for example, tracheal collapse. • Pulmonary auscultation. • Percussion to assess thoracic resonance, for example, dullness on percussion could reflect the presence of free pleural fluid. Oral examination • Examination for masses, ulceration (possibly associated with uraemia) and petechiation (most commonly associated with thrombocytopenia).

Demeanour: The veterinary surgeon may choose different pre-anaesthetic or general anaesthetic drugs for patients that are very excitable, nervous or aggressive compared to those for a quiet, relaxed patient. Hydration status The results of the following observations are important in the identification of dehydration and/or hypovolaemia: • skin elasticity; • pulse rate and quality; • mucous membrane colour: mucosal pallor may reflect hypovolaemia, poor • • • • circulation or anaemia (however, in chronic anaemia the mucosal colour may appear relatively normal); capillary refi ll time; respiratory rate; temperature of extremities; mental alertness.

Parenteral treatment with vitamin K for 12–24 hours before surgery corrects the vitamin K deficiency associated with biliary obstruction, but infusion of fresh or fresh frozen plasma or fresh whole blood (administered within 6 hours of collection) would be required to replace the coagulation factor deficiency of liver dysfunction. Any whole blood for transfusion must be fresh, since ammonia accumulates in stored blood, and may precipitate hepatic encephalopathy. Significant platelet dysfunction can be associated with liver disease and is identified using the buccal mucosal bleeding time, a test of primary haemostatic function (see box and Fig.

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Anaesthesia for Veterinary Nurses by Elizabeth Welsh (ed.)

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