Friday, June 23, 2017

Dogs in hospitals, brain surgery and biosecurity

Have you ever had to have a prolonged stay in hospital?

I recently spent some time with a human family member in a hospital. The staff were wonderful, but hospitals aren’t fun places to be. For a start, the patient is usually feeling anxious about their condition. And that condition is usually making them feel sick, and/or painful. For another thing, the patient has had to leave all their responsibilities at home – including companion animals who they may be missing terribly. And hospital can be a lonely place.

Should dogs be allowed in hospitals? The Royal College of Nursing in the UK has argued that there is scope to allow trained dogs on certain wards, and author Michele Hanson agrees. Read more here.

We’ve been reading neurosurgeon Henry Marsh’s books, Do No Harm and Admissions, a fascinating and scary-but-can’t-look-away insight into the challenges and grave responsibilities of brain surgery. If you don’t have time to read the books, you can listen to his interview with RichardFiedler here.

Are you a veterinarian who treats backyard livestock (this includes chickens)? The NSW Department of Primary Industries, Animal Health Australia and the AVA have teamed up to create an online course, which includes information on protecting staff and clients from zoonoses and other risks, and information about working with Government vets in disease surveillance. The course is free of charge and is open to veterinarians. For instructions on how to enrol, visit this site.