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Safety in practice

Discussion in 'Veterinary' started by Antz002, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. Antz002

    Antz002 Antz
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    Being interested in veterinary science, I've often wondered firstly whether vets get bitten often. I know you can muzzle a dog you're nervous about, but I also know that often pet owners seem to find this insulting, and also, the cute-looking dog might actually not be so cute when you start examining it :)

    The other thing is: I'm not sure whether you have a different system in the States, but here in South Africa, when you take an animal to see the vet, you need to wait in the waiting room with the animal. What do you do if two dogs climb into each other? How do you stop them from killing each other without getting a limb torn off yourself? :eek:
     
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  3. rexosaurus

    rexosaurus CSU PVM c/o 2012
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    I think the rate that vets get bitten is quite low. The technicians/assistants are trained to properly restrain a dog, such that it cannot lunge/bite/scratch/etc. Granted, accidents happen, but it doesn't happen too often. As for technicians getting bitten, well that's a different story!

    Here in the States the dogs also sit in a waiting room with their owners. Most owners are pretty good about controlling their animals. Often times when the owner knows their pet is aggressive towards others they may choose to keep the dog outside or in the car until it is their turn. And sometimes the receptionist can hold an animal in an exam room if the place is not too busy.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. cscip

    cscip OSU CVM c/o 2012
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    Anyone who is even remotely interested in vet med should read All Creatures Great and Small. James Herriot gets beaten up on quite a bit at the beginning by large and small animals alike.

    I definitely agree that technicians are usually more in harm's way than the veterinarians. They are the ones who are taught how to properly restrain an animal, muzzle it, etc. It's a skill in and of itself and if you're inexperienced with animals it can be tricky. I grew up with a cat as a pet, but my first summer working as a tech I got attacked by a particularly nasty cat and wound up taking antibiotics for some deep bites. Been lunged at several times by dogs, but by several small miracles from God have managed to keep them under control.

    In general though, it's not too bad. Most owners are really honest about it if their pet is hard to deal with. Unruly animals are kinda part of the package though.
     
  5. pressmom

    pressmom Third year!
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    I would definitely agree with a lot of what has been said above. In my 3 years working as a tech, I was bitten twice, thank goodness not badly. As for scratches and scrapes, fortunately none have been too bad.

    I would say most owners know if their animal is aggressive towards other animals or people. Most of them choose to have the animals stay in the car or are ushered quickly to the exam room. The really dangerous animals/owners are the ones who don't know or aren't willing to acknowledge their animal's aggression, often because the animal is only unruly at the vet's office or because they are in denial. (We had an owner come into the office with a unruly boxer puppy and stitches in his nose to prove the dogs aggression and he was still in denial! The doctor gave him some good tips though so hopefully it was nipped in the bud!)

    Anyway, this danger is part of the profession, but with adequate training yourself and adequate training of your staff, most bites and scratches can be avoided. My big plan if I ever open a clinic is to have at least one well trained technician who is willing to teach other OTJ staffers the ropes. Hopefully then I can hire pre-vets without much experience (like I was) and get them trained well.
     
  6. rexosaurus

    rexosaurus CSU PVM c/o 2012
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    So this is a last resort, but if the animal is the spawn of satan they can be lightly sedated with ketamine to take the edge off....
    I've only seen it done once or twice, but it can make a physical exam MUCH easier. But like I said, only as a very last resort.
     
  7. Antz002

    Antz002 Antz
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    Thanks for your responses guys!
    Cscip - I will definitely read All Creatures Great and Small... thanks for the tip :cool:
     
  8. theunraveler

    theunraveler Member
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    there are a few horror stories in vet school around like the one where some kid had to have both his legs amputated becoz he was rammed against a gate by a goat at full speed, the femur shattered, nerves severed...complications arose and then its bye bye to the legs. apparently his back was turn against the animal and it juz went insane

    another one was a vet student bent down to take a look at the pit bull terrier, only to have it tear off her nose. i was told in this one, the dog was actually quite a playful and gentle natured one but it suddenly juz turn nasty...in this one i was told she had to go for plastic surgery to salvage her nose
     
  9. littlehooves

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    I'm not a vet, but I've worked and volunteered alot. Each dog has its own record, so we know who needs to be muzzled and who doesn't. With dogs that are new patients, usually the owners are pretty good at being honest about the dog's temperment. If the dog is difficult to handle, I've noticed, that the vet either says straight up that they would rather bring the dog to the back and have the techs help out b/c he/she is difficult. In an extreme case, I've seen a few dogs that have to be anesthetised even for just a nail trim- with the owners' consent of course.The vets get bit from time to time, but not that often. In Large animal practice though, the vet I worked with had alot more injuries then the vets at the small animal practice combined ;) .We have waiting rooms here to in Canada. The clients are really good about keeping their dogs on a leash, and close to them. Some dogs that haven't been socialized keep the dog in the car or outside until it's their turn to go in. You get one client every now and then that lets their dog(s) bark for the whole 20 minutes they wait in in the reception area though... ???
     
  10. lenadeb

    lenadeb UF CVM Vet Student
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    1. Never assume an animal is "safe". Ever.

    2. If it has a mouth and teeth, it can and WILL bite, it is just a matter of when. Likewise, if it has legs it can kick and step on you - when, not if.

    3. Never turn your back on an animal if you can avoid it at all. See Rule 1.

    4. Carry a walking stick when working in fields with large animals.

    Once you have dealt with 1000's of cats and dogs, you get better at determining which ones may be problematic and learn to muzzle them. It is the one you ASSUME is OK that gets you. See Rule 1.
     
  11. lenadeb

    lenadeb UF CVM Vet Student
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    The words of wisdom ... "chemical restraint". There is nothing wrong with it when it is warranted.

    We use ace and/or morphine to sedate some critters, sometimes we just tank them down (cats) and go from there.
     
  12. Bill59

    Bill59 Member
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    Sorry, but since the topic is safety I'm going to point out that tank inductions are rarely a good idea because of the risk to the patient and the staff. The patient experiences a large surge of catecholamines that increases the risk of arythmias, vasoconstriction, an uncontrolled airway, hypotensive doses of iso or sevo, and limited ability to monitor the patient.

    The staff gets a big slug of waste gas, which carries a risk of miscarriage, birth defects and liver disease.

    Much better is an IM dose of something like torb/ace, telezol, or domitor/ketamine/torb. If you can get them into a tank, you can get an injection into them.
     
  13. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012
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    Bill, I'm not familiar with the term "tank induction." Can you provide some more info?

    Thanks! :)
     
  14. Chaco

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    I believe he's talking about a clear plastic box with attachments for anesthesia machine hoses, which are used to anesthetize animals too rambunctious to be handled easily. If, for example, you have a cat who cannot be handled without mauling anyone, someone with thick gloves might grab the cat by the scruff and dump it in the box, someone else slaps on a lid, and you hook up the gas to the box. Box fills with gas, cat passes out, and then you can take the cat out and intubate them. As Bill59 said, it is not without risks, and at my job we only do it when we think someone will get hurt any other way. Our box is small enough we've only used it on cats, and once or twice a rabbit (the argument there was that it was less stressful for bunnies that are known to be prone to freaking out), so I'm not sure if this is used on dogs at all.
     
  15. Pandacinny

    Pandacinny VMRCVM c/o 2013
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    Thank you, Bill 59!! I've worked with waaay too many people who think gassing down cats is not only safe, but less stressful than an IM injection. Ugh.
     
  16. VAgirl

    VAgirl UC Davis SVM c/o 2012
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    Oh, ok. So probably much like the tank used to gas rats/mice in research. But with different gas being pumped in. Thanks!
     
  17. projekt

    projekt UGA c/o 2012
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    Bill59, which gas are you using? So far as I can tell, Isoflurane has not shown liver effects, and Sevoflurane has not shown miscarriages, and neither has shown teratogenic effects. Halothane, which did cause liver problems, has been taken off the market.
     
  18. Bill59

    Bill59 Member
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    Our anesthesiologists use mostly iso and sevo for inhalants. But they rarely if ever do mask or tank inductions.

    As for the other stuff, you're probably right -- my knowledge of anesthesia is as long as they go to sleep when I'm ready to start surgery and they wake up when I'm done, I'm happy. Oh ... and they don't complain about my music choice in the OR.

    OSHA's guidelines, including vet

    American Society of Anesthesiologists info
     

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