Today's Veterinary Practice

TVP_JUL-AUG2018

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: https://todaysveterinarypractice.epubxp.com/i/997103

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 33 of 87

PEER REVIEWED 32 JULY/AUGUST 2018 todaysveterinarypractice.com but assess the cat from a distance to help develop a handling plan. Let the cat remain where it wants to be to reduce both fear and pain, whether in the carrier ( FIGURE 7 ), in the examiner's lap facing the client, or hidden within bedding ( FIGURE 8 ). The fewest handlers (with a maximum of two) is best and sedation or analgesia is recommended if the cat cannot be handled without negative emotions. As cats do not like to have their feet touched or to be stretched tightly, allow the cat to remain sternal or semi-sternal ( FIGURE 9 ) during sample collection. "Scruffing," tight restraint, and restraint gloves lead to loss of sense of control and result in fear, frustration, and possible pain, which increases the potential for aggression. They are unnecessary in feline practice and should be replaced with non-threatening handling. The order of the examination should focus on doing the least stressful regions first, which is usually auscultation of the heart and lungs. Most cats do best if orthopedic and oral examinations are performed at the end of the examination. Many feline practitioners do not take temperatures on apparently healthy cats to prevent patient arousal. The facial glands that produce pheromones are preferred areas of touch. Massaging, petting, or gently rubbing these glands—the temporal, the cheek, perioral, and the submandibular—while remaining to the side or behind the cat helps to reduce negative emotions ( FIGURE 10A AND 10B ). 44,45 The vast majority of cats don't want their belly stroked or their feet touched. Frequent unsolicited petting or removing a hand and then returning to petting the cat multiple times, can lead to unwanted arousal and should be avoided. The fearful cat that "freezes" (inhibition) might seem easy to work with but it is important to recognize that cats that "freeze" are fearful. If we allow the cat to remain in a hiding place, the cat will likely remain quiet, and may even relax. For future visits, recommend carrier training and possible anxiolytics. When clients or staff chase a cat that flees, it exacerbates fear and greatly increases the potential for self-protective aggression. Instead, give the cat time to calm down and the option to return to the carrier or another hiding area with several hiding options. If the cat is apparently healthy, the owner may prefer to reschedule the appointment after carrier training and bringing familiar items to the visit. These cats often require an anxiolytic for upcoming visits. Fearfully aggressive cats should be administered sedation or anesthesia with analgesia to prevent potential injury and exacerbated feline fear and anxiety at future visits. CONCLUSION A respectful environment and handling can be incorporated successfully into any type of practice. It reduces feline stressors, leading to more relaxed cats, happier clients and increased job satisfaction and safety. References 1. Driscoll CA, Macdonald DW, O'Brien SJ. From wild animals to domestic pets, an evolutionary view of domestication. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2009;106(1):9971-8. 2. Dawson LC, Dewey CE, Stone EA. A survey of animal welfare experts and practicing veterinarians to identify and explore key factors thought to influence canine and feline welfare in relation to veterinary care. Anim Welf 2016;25:125–134. FIGURE 10. (A, B) Massaging, petting or gently rubbing the cat in only preferred areas helps to reduce negative emotions. A B Courtesy of the AAFP (2).

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

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