Dog catheterization: indications and recommendations [Wet medicine Katarzyna Hołownia
Catheterization - sounds terrible! However, for many keepers, catheter it is a tool that allows a disabled pet to function normally. Catheter sometimes necessary to save a dog that has an obstructed urethra, for example in advanced urolithiasis.Catheterization of the dog
Catheterization is a procedure in which a thin cannula is inserted through the urethra into the bladder itself.
Why and in what situations is it recommended catheterization in a dog? Is it painful? How to keep the neighborhood hygienic catheter? I will try to explain these issues in the article below.
- Indications for dog catheterization
- What are the types of catheters?
- How does the catheterization procedure work for a dog?
- Possible complications
- When to abandon the catheter?
Indications for dog catheterizationIndications for dog catheterization
Catheterization should only be recommended by a veterinarian. Its purpose is to relieve an animal that is somehow unable to urinate on its own.
The most common reason for needing a catheter is obstruction of the urethra.
This situation occurs in the case of inflammation of the urinary bladder, caused by the presence of mineralization. Small stones irritate the delicate wall of the urethra, cause its severe inflammation and swelling, which significantly reduces light and the possibility of urine flow. Small stones, after getting into the urethra, can mechanically clog it, their accumulation prevents the sick animal from urinating properly.
The second, also very common reason for the need to use catheter, there are spinal cord injuries with simultaneous damage to the bladder innervation.
Urine is produced by the kidneys and collects in the bladder, but the bladder does not signal to empty it. Retention of urine in the bladder is a dangerous situation - it may predispose the animal to frequent bladder infections, and the constant stress on the bladder wall may predispose the dog to urinate even when the limbs are already fit.
Catheterization it is necessary to introduce certain medications (for example, chemotherapy, antihaemorrhagics, antibiotics) or contrast agents into the bladder to show any changes in the organ wall during imaging tests.
Catheterization it can also be used to collect urine directly from the bladder, bypassing the flow through the urethra. The material collected in this way can be used for further tests, for example for bacteriological culture or cytology in the case of a suspected tumor originating from the transitional bladder epithelium.
Catheter should be established when it is necessary to accurately assess the amount of daily urine produced.
Catheterization may be recommended prior to certain surgical procedures to keep the operating field clean during surgical procedures and to ensure good visibility of the urethra throughout its course.
In the case of mechanical injuries to the penis or after traffic accidents (where there is a suspicion of a urethral or bladder injury), it is also worth considering catheterization of the dog.
What are the types of catheters?
There are several types of catheters, differing in flexibility, length, diameter and additional elements.
The catheter should be selected individually according to the size of the dog - the diameter and length are different for a Maltese, and different for a German Shepherd.
What's more, the length of the catheter should also be selected according to the sex of the animal - male catheters are longer.
All catheters are packaged in airtight, sterile packaging to prevent surface contamination prior to insertion into the coil.
The most popular and most commonly used catheters are Nelaton - made of soft polyurethane, with one opening on the side, allowing the bladder to drain. This catheter is most commonly used for urethral occlusions, however if you need to catheterize your dog for an extended period of time, you may want to choose other models.
In such cases, a Foley catheter with a balloon at the tip, for example, will work much better. A small amount of fluid is introduced into the balloon, and the balloon itself prevents the catheter from falling out. It is made of soft silicone that does not irritate the tissues. Due to its size, it is recommended for use with larger dogs.
How does the catheterization procedure work for a dog?
Catheterization is not the most pleasant procedure, nor is it painful. Even so, your veterinarian always uses a lubricant with an anesthetic to avoid irritating the urethra.
For males, catheterizing a dog is usually not too difficult:
- The penis should be evolved, the opening of the urethra should be washed with a mild disinfectant to remove bacterial residues, urine and impurities from it.
- Then, apply a gel with an anesthetic to the catheter and penis and slowly insert the catheter into the urethra. Insertion should be very slow, too fast may result in a kinked catheter or damage to the urethra. Remember to bend the coil along its course - at this point some resistance is expected during catheterization.
- The catheter is inserted into the bladder itself, and the urine appearing in the catheter will be a signal to confirm that it is in the right position.
Catheterization of females is more difficult and often requires premedication and the support of an assistant:
- The opening of the urethra is located in the vestibule of the vagina, it is necessary to use a speculum to visualize it.
- The labia should be washed or disinfected with a mild detergent before inserting the speculum to avoid possible contamination. Visualization of the urethral opening can be problematic as it is covered with a small mucosa fold.
- Again, the catheter should be covered with gel and an anesthetic.
- It is worth mentioning that in the case of females, the urethra is shorter, so a shorter catheter should be used.
The area around the catheter should be kept as hygienic as possible. Before any procedures in the area of the catheter, you should disinfect your hands, and take care of the skin in this area - it should be disinfected and dry to prevent chafes and infections.
A correctly positioned catheter tightly adheres to the lumen of the urethra, so the area around the mouth of the catheter should not be wet - such cases should be reported to the attending physician.
The presence of a catheter may predispose to bladder inflammation if hygiene is not followed.
If the catheter is inserted for a long time, for example in the case of injuries of the innervation of the bladder, or when the urethra is blocked, it is absolutely necessary to open it and allow urine to flow out - urine must not remain in the bladder for a long time! Each time the bladder is emptied, the amount and color of urine should be checked and any deviations from the norm should be immediately reported to the attending physician, so that possible inflammation of the bladder can be detected at the earliest possible stage.
An animal that has a catheter should also have a protective collar on to prevent licking and biting the urethra area - the catheter cannot be removed and torn out by the animal.
When to abandon the catheter?
The catheter should be removed in the event of a urinary tract infection.
As I mentioned, its presence may predispose to the development of bladder and urethritis, or urethral abscesses caused by bacterial activity. If your urine becomes discolored or there is blood in it, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Male prostate inflammation may also be a contraindication to the use of the catheter. In some cases, however, insertion of a catheter is the only option to allow a dog with an enlarged prostate to pass urine.
Situations where the catheter is indwelling are very rare. Usually, this is a reliever measure and should be removed after 3-5 days. If there is a need for further use of the catheter, it should be replaced after 5 - 7 days.
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