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Johansson, Maria, 2014. Djursjukskötarens roll i rehabiliteringen av inneliggande patienter på hästsjukhus. First cycle, G2E. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health



Veterinary hospital care and advanced veterinary services are rapidly growing industries. As of January 1, 2010, veterinary nursing became a licensed vocation, the title of veterinary nurse became protected, and the act regulating competence among the professions of the veterinary field was extended. These changes, along with increased demands and expectations from owners, have given rise to greater demands on the staff's qualifications and have increased the need for well-educated staff with expertise in several different areas.

The aim of this study was to find out what the licensed veterinary nurse can do in terms of rehabilitation for the hospitalized equine patient suffering from orthopedic injury. This has been carried out through qualitative interviews with veterinary surgeons experienced in treating such patients, and also by reviewing the relevant literature. This study is also detailing some of the various therapies that can be used in the rehabilitation of the type of patient described above. The selected therapies are massage, controlled exercise and stretching/passive mobilization.

In veterinary medicine, the role of rehabilitation following injury and illness is growing, although it is not as well integrated as it is in human healthcare, where it is a fully integrated part of treatment. Authors who have discussed physical therapy and rehabilitation in veterinary medicine claim that many therapies used for rehabilitation purposes can be carried out by a veterinary surgeon or a veterinary nurse as well as a physiotherapist, and that the veterinary nurse plays an important role in the rehabilitation of the animal. The veterinary surgeons interviewed in this paper agree that the licensed veterinary nurse, possibly after receiving further education in the subject, could play an important role in rehabilitating the animal in terms of the planning, performance and evaluation of the treatments, and that the treatments described in this paper could be suitable for a veterinary nurse to perform. It was further claimed that stronger evidence for these postulations would be desirable, as it would encourage an extended use of these and similar treatments.

Massage as a part of the rehabilitation of the equine patient is stressed by several authors as a method to relieve pain, increase well-being and relaxation, and increase the elasticity of the tissue. The studies performed on the effect of massage on healthy horses have shown a reduction of stress, an increase of mechanical pain threshold, and an increase of range of motion (ROM) and stridelength. Controlled exercise is a frequently-used rehabilitation method after orthopedic injury in horses, often in the form of walking, led by hand or by a rider, where load and intensity is increased gradually. In recent years, the importance of early movement has attracted attention, and total immobilization should be avoided as much as possible. Studies that tested different tools and exercise programmes designed specifically for the rehabilitation of horses has showed improved tissue healing, increased muscle strength and ROM, as well as a decreased risk of re-injury. Stretching has been used as a method to increase ROM and elasticity. Several authors claim that passive mobilization in cases of articular injury or immobilization can be beneficial for the healing of the joint or maintaining ROM. There is, however, a lack of clinical evidence showing the long-term effects of all these therapies in the rehabilitation of the equine patient. Thus, further studies are desirable in order to test to what extent these methods are of clinical relevance for the equine veterinary field.

Main title:Djursjukskötarens roll i rehabiliteringen av inneliggande patienter på hästsjukhus
Authors:Johansson, Maria
Supervisor:Attrell, Barbro
Examiner:Andersson, Maria
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:585
Year of Publication:2014
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK003 Veterinary Nursing - Bachelor's programme 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Keywords:hästsjukhus, häst, rehabilitering, djursjukskötare, djuromvårdnad, massage, stretching, mobilisering, kontrollerad träning
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Veterinary science and hygiene - General aspects
Deposited On:05 Nov 2014 13:51
Metadata Last Modified:05 Nov 2014 13:51

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