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Legs, tails and toes: what can nurses amputate?

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By Josh Loeb

The removal of some animals’ tails or toes can be classed as minor surgery – meaning such amputations can be performed in certain cases by registered veterinary nurses (RVNs).

The RCVS has confirmed its position on what constitutes minor and major surgery following confusion from some vets and RVNS.

The college, however, has stated that leg amputations should always be considered ‘major’ surgery.

The issue was highlighted earlier this year at an event at the British Small Animal Veterinary Association congress. According to Schedule 3 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act, RVNs can – under the direction of their veterinary surgeon employer – undertake ‘minor surgery not involving entry into a body cavity’.

Since amputations constitute surgery not involving entry into a body cavity, …

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