Today's Veterinary Practice


Today's Veterinary Practice provides comprehensive information to keep every small animal practitioner up to date on companion animal medicine and surgery as well as practice building and management.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 30 of 87

CONTINUING EDUCATION JULY/AUGUST 2018 29 practice. 2 Prevent these stressors by educating team members about this sensitive hearing and the need to speak in softer tones. Keep cats away from the sound of telephones, centrifuges, and other noisy equipment. Shushing sounds further exacerbate problems because they sound like a cat hissing. Cats prefer a quiet environment or classical music. Classical music has been shown to lower anesthetic levels needed during surgical procedures. 38 Vision: Feline vision is adapted to detect the rapid movement of prey, especially in dim light. As rapid movements may arouse the patient, use slow and smooth movements. An unfamiliar person who stares or looms over the cat is a threat. It is always less threatening to approach the cat at their level and from the side, or behind, in a calm manner. Prevent visibility of unfamiliar animals by keeping the cat in a covered carrier whenever it is not in the exam room. Maintaining a Sense of Control Much of the distress and negative emotions that cats experience at the veterinary practice are due to a loss of sense of control, which leads to a loss of predictability and security. Creating this sense of control starts at home. Placing the cat's favorite cat bed or bedding within the carrier and bringing favored treats and toys ease the experience. Recommend a cat carrier that either can be taken apart in the middle or has a large enough opening that the cat can remain within the carrier during most of the examination ( FIGURE 5 ). Advise new cat owners and those who call for preventive care appointments to train their cats to the carrier and schedule their appointment 2 to 3 weeks later to allow time for training. Although a kitten or cat that has not had a negative experience in a carrier may learn more quickly, it is still easy to train a food- motivated older cat. If the cat has previously been at the clinic, it is ideal to schedule the appointment with the same doctor and veterinary team, as cats do better on subsequent appointments with the familiarity of people and handling techniques. 10 For transportation to the clinic, recommend that the client cover the carrier with a towel that smells like home or has been impregnated with synthetic feline facial pheromone to avoid visual stressors. Reduce motion sickness and increase interest at the practice with treats by asking the owner to ensure the cat fasts prior to transport. Some cats need additional anti-nausea medication such as maropitant prior to the appointment. 39 Placing the carrier on the floor of the car, in front of the back seat, is usually the safest location. The American Association for Feline Practitioners (AAFP) provides many client resources to aid in transporting feline patients. Once at the veterinary clinic, outpatients should ideally be kept in the exam room to reduce stress and visibility of unfamiliar animals and people, and to minimize sounds and smells of the busy practice. Take the cat directly to an exam room to prevent distress and negative emotions, allowing the cat to acclimate to that one room. 2 If an exam room is not immediately available, have a separate waiting area for cats, keeping carriers covered, raised off the floor, and facing away from unfamiliar animals. To prevent waiting room stressors, offer owners the option to remain with their cats in their vehicle and to contact them when an exam room is available. Prepare the exam room in advance with all that may be needed for the feline patient (e.g., towels, a scale, stethoscope, otoscope, ophthalmoscope, blood pressure machine and blood and urine collection equipment) to prevent the commotion of frequent trips in and out of the exam room. Perform the examination, diagnostic testing and most treatments in the exam room. Letting owners observe all procedures also enhances their respect and appreciation for veterinary care. If owners prefer to not observe sample collections or treatments, minimally they should remain for the blood pressure, and then be escorted to the reception area so that the cat may remain in the exam room. The AAFP's Cat Friendly Practice® program contains full details on a practice environment that respects the cat ( ). FIGURE 5. This soft-sided carrier with a large opening in front facilitates examination with the patient inside.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Today's Veterinary Practice - TVP_JUL-AUG2018