Last week Liesbeth travelled down to Swindon to undertake two days continuing professional development on feline medicine as part of a two-year programme.

The first day covered the feline musculoskeletal system and orthopaedics.  The speaker was James Grierson, a RCVS Recognised Specialist in Small Animal Surgery and
EBVS European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Surgery.  The day was spent covering feline fracture management, along with feline osteoarthritis, radiography and synovial joint fluid analysis.

As cats often spend long periods of time outside unsupervised as compared to dogs, this can present unique challenges when diagnosing musculoskeletal injuries in our feline friends.  Injuries and accidents are often not observed when they occur and unfortunately we see frequent road traffic accidents involving cats, which can result in multiple injuries.

On the programme, fracture management and pelvic injuries, as well as techniques commonly use to fix these, were discussed.  Also covered were the complex and lengthy management of hock shearing injuries, where skin and muscle is taken off the bone in the hind limb, which can occur after road traffic accidents.  Wound management of these injuries can be challenging in cats as they unfortunately don’t like to have any restricted exercise!

The speaker on the second day was Sarah Heath, who runs her own behaviour referrals veterinary practice and is a European Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine (Companion Animals).  Sarah lectures all over the world on feline behaviour and spent the day talking about feline behaviour and their motivations, as well as commonly encountered misconceptions about feline behaviour and stress.  It is well acknowledged in human medicine how stress and anxiety can influence medical conditions in people.  It is perhaps less well recognised how some commonly seen feline medical conditions are influenced by feline stress and addressing this can help improve the medical recovery of these cats.