Page 7 - RVC4Life - May 2020
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stabilising patients. One cat presented in respiratory distress and with multiple fractures following a road traffic accident. Alex quickly triaged the patient before beginning stabilisation involving oxygen supplementation, placement of an intravenous catheter and fluid therapy, pain relief and taking thoracic and limb radiographs.
Alex also hoped to gain experience applying clinical reasoning in a shelter and charity setting. The charity runs a large animal shelter that is home to hundreds of animals. The shelter is over-run and although every measure is taken to prevent disease, the population density increases the risk.
Alex also gained experience working with a shelter which was housing 70 cats experiencing ocular and nasal discharge. “For an individual cat with these clinical signs I would be asking the owner questions regarding appetite, drinking, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhoea, behaviour and lethargy but since the cats live communally, the shelter manager could not answer any of these questions. As such, my treatment programme involved some basic biosecurity, an isolation protocol and NSAID administration to cats with clinical signs.
“I was asked to provide antibiotics to add to the water source but as my clinical findings and reasoning suggested a viral cause was more likely, I explained that antibiotics are unnecessary and blanket treatment in a water source could increase antibiotic resistance and it can be difficult to reach therapeutic doses.
“This type of communication regarding antibiotics misconceptions will be common as a new graduate and I valued this educative exchange prior to graduation.
“I am very grateful for the EMS+ grant that provided the financial support to complete this placement that has been an incredible experience uniquely preparing me for graduate vet life.”
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) New England Veterinary Services - Kriti Saxena
Kriti experienced an amazing learning opportunity in her time in New England: “I gained first-hand knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of a federal public health veterinarian. It made me realise how much of the work that goes into disease control and prevention comes down to biosecurity and regulation enforcement.”
of the USDA APHIS’ Avian Influenza surveillance programme at a live animal auction. Understanding that there was also a risk of zoonotic strain transmission gave me an appreciation for wearing appropriateprotectiveequipment.”
Kriti’s time with the team also provided insight into the federal public health veterinarian job profile. A big part of the placement was to make sure regulations were being followed in order to ensure the marketability of the country’s agricultural resources. This relied heavily on effective inter-professional communication. Kriti witnessed many positive interactions between veterinary services vets and different animal industry workers, including farmers and business owners, that came about because of a shared interest and understanding.
Kriti also said that her experience was an eye-opener in terms of the challenges that come with a job so heavily reliant on inter-professional communication: “During the three weeks I completed a project comparing animal disease traceability regulations in the USA and UK. I found out that in contrast to the UK, the USA has been unable to get a national livestock tracing system on board due to resistance from various producers and representative groups. The frustrations felt by both parties highlighted for me the importance of open and honest communication, trust, and empathy when maintaining good professional relationships.”
“Driving to different field activities gave me lots of opportunities to ask questions and listen to their advice regarding a career in veterinary public health.”
“I gained valuable insight into what it was like working in the States and in the federal government. It gave me a lot to thinkaboutintermsofmynextstepsand how I want to carve a role for myself in the profession and the larger concept of One Health.”
 Kriti’s EMS placement was dedicated to ‘veterinary services’, focusing on animal agricultural diseases that pose significant risks to animal health, human health, and/ or domestic and international trade.
“This learning was valuable for me as a final year vet student considering mixed practice and veterinary public health. I realisedthathavingagoodunderstanding of notifiable disease pathogenesis and transmission is fundamental in implementing surveillance and control strategies. I learned that Avian influenza can be transmitted through avian faeces as well as respiratory secretions. I then understood why we took both oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs as part

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