Intensive care for dogs and cats

As in human medicine, being able to count on an intensive care center for dogs and cats is essential in veterinary medicine - being able, in this way, to offer the necessary support for animals that need more intense care; generally, due to emergencies that need urgent care and extra attention.

Increasingly common nowadays, areas of intensive therapy for dogs and cats they can already be found in many hospitals and veterinary clinics - however, today the number of establishments dedicated exclusively to the care of veterinary ICU also grows; promoting greater opportunities for the care of animals in serious condition to be more efficient.

With assistance to sick animals for 24 hours a day, veterinary ICUs are the ideal place for the recovery of pets that have just undergone surgery due to complicated and aggressive trauma; and that require a more intense and attentive support to avoid any type of problem in the post-operative period or in cases where the pet is still in an extremely delicate state of health.

In need of very well prepared and specialized professionals - in addition to high quality and performance machinery and tools - the intensive care centers for dogs and cats they must have a high capacity of equipment and personnel to guarantee the welfare and recovery of the health of the animals served; who arrive at the site, invariably, are very harmed.

Check below for more details on the care of dogs and cats that need intensive therapy, and find out in which cases this type of specific care is necessary for animals - in addition to the type of equipment and training of professionals that are essential for a veterinary ICU works efficiently:

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Veterinary intensive care

Widely related to clinical and surgical emergencies in the animal world, veterinary intensive care works on the beware of cats and dogs who have been identified as in a very serious state of health - requiring constant attention and the help of professionals well prepared to deal with any type of emergency.

Although the semi-intensive treatment for small animals is already, in general, much more specific when compared to traditional care - counting on constant physical monitoring and evaluations and diverse monitoring every about 90 minutes - intensive treatment is even more focused, generating the monitoring of the sick animal by qualified professionals 24 hours a day.

In addition to caring for animals in critical condition - due to aggressive treatments, trauma recovery or postoperative periods - the Veterinary ICU also the option chosen by professionals who wish to perform delicate procedures on small animals with the reduction of a series of risks; therefore, having adequate monitoring during this type of procedure can make a lot of difference, both in the process itself and in the recovery of the animal served.

Whether during or after a delicate procedure, having total control of monitoring and supporting the health of the sick pet is essential to ensure good results - being that the evaluation of blood pressure, breathing, body temperature, heartbeat, among others, are part of the large set of factors to be observed in animals that require intensive care.

As well as the equipment and all the machinery of the intensive care for dogs and cats, it is also essential that the veterinary ICU has highly qualified professionals to meet and resolve any type of emergency and urgency that may arise while the animals are in need of this more intense care - and the pet market, keeping an eye on this, is betting on opening more and more specialization courses for veterinarians.

Among the professionals in the animal world who stand out in emergency care and intensive care for dogs and cats, we can mention specialists such as anesthesiologists, nephrologists (focused on the treatment of diseases of the urinary system), surgeons, intensive care physicians, physiotherapists and veterinary cardiologists, among others - who should know exactly how to optimize the time and treatments offered to pets in critical health.

Procedures that require the aid of veterinary intensive care

As previously explained, there are a series of delicate procedures that deserve extra attention when performing their tasks, requiring total attention and intensive care that only the veterinary ICU can provide. Among the many processes that fit this type of need, are the following:

  • Central venous access
    Ensures investigation and care for the animal's venous network, allowing evaluation of important parameters such as central venous pressure, which provides information on the conditions and capacities of the heart, as well as blood infusion processes, medication administration and blood collection (among other important procedures). With the help of the ICU support, it is possible to reduce the occurrences of injury or damage to the pet's venous network.
  • Thoracentesis
    It investigates the presence of liquids or air in the animal's pleural (lung) region, and can be performed for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes; assessing the cause of breathing problems, and even heart failure.
  • Blood transfusion
    Fundamental to treating and helping in the recovery of sick animals (or that have lost a large amount of blood due to trauma or injury), blood transfusion must also be monitored by the intensive care area so that complications are avoided.
  • Parenteral or enteral nutrition
    Performed to provide the necessary nutrients for the health of animals that, for some reason, cannot feed orally, parenteral or enteral nutrition must be properly monitored; avoiding the compromise of the animal's immune system or any risk of infection.
  • Pericardiocentesis
    Like the thoracentesis procedure, periocardiocentesis can be performed to ensure more concrete diagnoses or to treat animals - and consists of the removal of fluids or fluids from the animal's pericardial cavity (membrane that surrounds the heart).

Humanized intensive care

Based on the result of scientific research, a series of establishments in the pet world that have areas of veterinary ICU already highlight the humanized care of animals that need this type of care. According to studies, having the presence of owners (or other nearby owners) can help a lot in the recovery process of sick animals and; thinking about it, some of the pet health establishments already offer individual rooms next to the Veterinary ICU, allowing the owner to visit the animal with some frequency.

With this, the pet's recovery process can be extremely benefited, and yet another series of relatively common problems - which occur due to the separation of the animal from its owner - can also be avoided or mitigated, such as the increase in the stress rate of the animal or its refusal to feed itself.

Indications for veterinary intensive care

In addition to high-risk examinations and recovery of critically ill animals, the veterinary ICU can also be indicated for dogs and cats that are in cases such as those described below:

  • Respiratory failure
  • Animals with pneumonia
  • Pets with pulmonary edema (presence of fluid in the lungs)
  • Animals with heart disease (diseases that affect the heart)
  • Respiratory weaning after surgical procedures
  • Stabilization of animals that have suffered trauma
  • Pain control of pets in the post-trauma period
  • Animals with 'epileptic state' (repeated seizures)
  • Blood transfusions and monitoring possible adverse health reactions
  • Puppies in critical condition (requiring full-time monitoring)
  • Pet stabilization with hemodynamic (blood circulation) instability problems
  • Coma induction in animals with malignant hyperthermia (exaggerated increase in body temperature)
  • Terminally ill animals, who need support to have comfort and a lot of affection

Equipment and necessary structure for the veterinary ICU

As previously mentioned, in addition to the specific machinery, it is essential to have trained professionals for the emergency care of animals in the area of ​​veterinary intensive care - since, it would be useless to be surrounded by cutting-edge equipment without knowing how to use them correctly for save the lives of dogs and cats.

However, together with these qualified doctors, some specific tools are also essential for the care of pets in critical condition be adequate, and the control of the following items must be ensured by the veterinary ICU equipment:

  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Blood pressure (invasively and non-invasively)
  • Blood gas analysis (to assess changes in blood gases)
  • Capnography (for monitoring anesthetic gases inhaled by the animal)
  • Maintenance and body temperature control
  • Humidity control
  • Central venous pressure
  • Cardiac monitoring of the animal
  • Oximetry (blood oxygenation assessment)
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