Wednesday, May 4, 2011

429. The pet transport man was frustrated

Yesterday I apologised to the pet transport man for scolding him. 2 days ago, I came back from my REA lectures and saw him clipping a cat in the operating room. The cat was anaesthesized with isoflurane gas via a mask. I was furious as I don't permit such procedures to be held at any time in the operating room and through all my 30 years of vet practice, I have always got the dirty part outside the operating room.

"It is not your fault that your cat was not sedated sufficiently for clipping," I said. "It will be a veterinary surgeon's fault. Now, a very clean operating room is necessary in any vet practice. Aseptic techniques in surgery may nothing to you as you are not a surgeon, but I am very fussy about making the operation room as clean as possible. By clipping the cat or dog inside, the room gets contaminated with hairs and dust and such matters will dirty the environment.

"That was why I was so surprised to see you clipping the cat's coat and so angry with you. So, I hope you will understand this."

The transport man had exchanged some angry words with me and said: "I don't have to come to your surgery (for my cases)." In reply I said: "Don't ever come again!"

The fault lies with the veterinarian. Xylazine 0.1 ml and Ketamine 0.8 ml IM just did not sedate a 8.5 kg cat. So the transport man had to drive back to Toa Payoh Vets to seek another sedation. Isoflurane gas was given by the vet and when I arrived, I saw the clipping just being started.

Xylazine 0.2 and Ketamine 0.8 ml in one syringe IM would be excellent in my experience. Half the above dosage in cats less than 4 kg. As I had said, each vet has his or her own method of sedation. Some like just IV sedation. In my case, I prefer IM. The most important thing is not to let the customer feel frustrated for not having the outcome he desired. As veterinary medicine is learnt over the years, I did not comment much to the vet who had provided the service while the transport man suffered the brunt of my anger.

After chasing the transport man out of the operating room, I had to bear the responsibility as to help him. He had come for sedation of this wild cat prior to clipping bald and the vet did provide him the service. It was unsatisfactory to him and now the baby was thrown out with the bath tub.

What I did was to get the cat clipped outside in a quiet room. The cat would be given isoflurane gas 5% by mask for around 1-3 minutes in the operating room. This was sufficient. A big barking dog in the animal holding area woke up the cat and therefore I got it into a quiet room to be clipped. There was no need to put it inside the operating room as isoflurane gas top up at 5% for 1-3 minutes is extremely effective in a sedated cat. Obviously, a better practice would be to give xylazine 0.2 ml + ketamine 0.8 ml in one syringe IM and the pet transport man would not be frustrated as he had to come back again.

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