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Urinary catheters: indications for use and management

02 March 2018
11 mins read
Volume 9 · Issue 2


There are numerous reasons why veterinary patients would benefit from the placement of an indwelling urinary catheter (IDUC), however the veterinary surgeon must assess the benefits of this indwelling device for each patient individually against the potential risks, of which there are many. This article aims to discuss the indications for the use of an IDUC considering optimal management, linked to the prevention of associated infections. The key risks and complications associated with their use will be outlined as it is important that all veterinary professionals work together to prevent their development.

Indwelling urinary catheters (IDUC) are indicated in cases of acute kidney injury (AKI), where the patient is already anuric or the veterinary surgeon (VS) believes the patient is tending towards oliguria (Balakrishnan and Drobatz, 2013). The accurate assessment and measurement of urinary output (UOP) in these patients is essential to monitor the progression or deterioration of renal function (Lane, 2009), as Balakrishnan and Drobatz (2013) advocated aggressive fluid administration to promote diuresis and attempt to reverse azotaemia. Balakrishnan and Drobatz (2013) also advised that IDUC are warranted in patients with uroabdomen, for example in patients that have experienced trauma and associated bladder rupture. These patients are likely to have a percutaneous transabdominal drainage catheter placed, however an IDUC specifically helps in these cases to ensure continuous bladder decompression to reduce the risk of ongoing leakage of urine from the bladder during the healing process (Lane, 2009).

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