A global veterinary group has revealed new tools to help vets understand pet pain and help practice staff conduct nutritional assessments and educate owners about pet nutrition.
A global veterinary group has revealed new tools to help practice staff conduct nutritional assessments and educate owners about pet nutrition.
In addition, the organisation has created a downloadable resource designed to assist vets around the world to recognise and assess pain in their patients.
WSAVA revealed its nutrition toolkit and global pain treatise at BSAVA Congress in April 2013.
The toolkit, which has been backed by leading pet food manufacturers, includes:
- information on calorie requirements for cats and dogs
- nutritional checklists
- advice sheets for owners looking for nutritional information
- body score charts
- a nutrition monitoring chart for hospitalised cats and dogs
Rachel Lumbis, an RVN at the Royal Veterinary College, was heavily involved in the toolkit’s creation, particularly the feeding chart. In 2012 she surveyed vets and VNs about nutrition assessments in practice, using the feedback to help shape the various resources.
She told Vetsonline: “All of the resources are designed to be used by the veterinary health-care team – whether vets, VNs, patient care assistants, students or receptionists – for the nutritional planning, assessment and monitoring of hospitalised patients as well as those visiting the practice for appointments.”
Lisa Freeman, co-chair of WSAVA’s global nutrition committee, added: “Research shows that more than 90% of pet owners would like nutritional advice, but fewer than 15% feel they receive it.
“In some parts of the world, pet malnutrition remains a major challenge, while in many other countries, pet obesity is an increasing problem. In addition, there is confusion about optimal nutrition because there is now so much conflicting and inaccurate information available online.”
Meanwhile, WSAVA hopes its pain treatise will provide veterinary surgeons around the world with a focus for all aspects of pain management, as well as helping them obtain analgesics in areas where availability may be limited.
One of the main drivers of the project is to help vets working in poorer countries manage pain in their clients, but the WSAVA believes the treatise will also have an impact in the UK.
Global pain committee spokesman Sheila Robertson said: “We are very excited about this project and we think it will have a major impact on animal welfare around the world. We hope this resource will be a big help to vets in developing countries who need to recognise pain and to then treat that pain even when certain drugs and treatments are not available to them.”
- The global pain treatise is available for download at www.wsava.org/educational/global-pain-council and the nutritional toolkit can be found at www.wsava.org/educational/global-nutrition-committee