By: BVECCS Admin
On: September 3, 2018
It’s a vulnerable feeling handing your pet over to a stranger and trusting them to care for your family member when they are unwell. But that is essentially what happens when your pet is required to stay overnight in hospital.
Veterinary staff members do many things to reassure parents that their pet has received the highest quality of care, such as taking them through to the hospital to see where they will be staying, taking extra care when clipping fur to make sure it is even and neat and regular phone updates. But nothing is more reassuring than seeing your pet greet you at the end of their stay happy and healthy again.
But sometimes I think to myself, is that enough to reassure and fill in the missing gap of information for worried parents?
As a staff member at BVECCs and pet owner myself, I have, at times, also had to entrust the care of my pets to my colleagues. I work with these fine people day in and day out, knowing my pets are in the hands of an amazing team of veterinary professionals; and yet, I still feel uneasy leaving my pets behind.
So, to help put minds at ease, let us run through what happens after you have said goodnight to your pets and they are admitted into the hospital.
Once your pet has been admitted into the hospital, they are taken to their designated bed, made up and tailored to suit each patient. These beds are either in the ICU, (if your pet requires continuous monitoring) or in the dog or cat wards.
In our ICU, each bed has cage heat which heats one half of the cage, allowing your pet to move on or off the heat. Each cage has bedding laid down with a water dish (if they are allowed oral fluids). We have many different types of bedding ranging from soft (for the elderly or recumbent), cat beds or small dog beds; boxes for hiding, pillows, sheets and blankets.
Our cat and dog wards each have separate air conditioning units so the temperature can be adjusted. We also have music playing softly for the day and most of the night. Our cat-friendly ward has Feliway diffusers to reduce stress, and all cages are facing in the same direction so cats cannot see each other.
Once settled in their bed, your pet will be greeted by one of our nurses. The vet in charge of your pet will liaise with the nurse about what treatments and tests your pet needs. Nurses will take your pet’s vital signs, place them on a drip, collect blood, administer medications, take radiographs as prescribed by the vet. At this stage, their electronic hospital chart has been created by the vet and a photo is taken of your pet and to attach to the chart.
Now that your pet is settled into the hospital and has all initial tests are done, they will rest in their bed. Your pet will be charted for regular vital checks to ensure things are going to plan. The Veterinarian and the hospital nurse work together to monitor your pet and adjust their treatment plan as required.
Dogs will be taken for regular walks to the exercise yard to toilet and stretch their legs. Cats have their litter trays emptied each time they are used. This helps us to monitor their toileting but also so that they are not uncomfortable or next to a dirty toilet. Their food intake will also be monitored through the day and night.
During shift changes, vets and nurses do cage side rounds. They will visit each patient individually and pass on important information about your pet’s treatments. This may happen multiple times during your pet’s stay and is why sometimes when you call, a new vet or nurse will be talking to you about your pet’s care.
Overnight, the lights are dimmed to allow your pet to sleep. They will still receive their treatments and also their walks during the night in case they need to toilet. There are staff members on shift 24/7 caring for your pet.
You are welcome to call at any time to check on your pet. We know you will be missing them and always happy to update you. At times we may be busy with incoming emergencies and the vet may not be available, in which case a nurse can update you on how your pet is and have the vet call you back.
If there are any concerns or worries, we will call you. So please make sure you have your phone nearby in case we need to speak with you.
Leaving your pet in a clinic is an uneasy feeling that we have all had to deal with at some point during pet ownership This information may help to ease this feeling, but at the end of the day it will still be there, and that’s simply because you care. Care for the wellbeing of your pet and care enough about them that you hand them over to a stranger and entrust them with their care. We value that our clients trust us with their pets and do our utmost to make sure they receive the highest quality care.