How to place and manage indwelling urinary catheters

01 June 2011
12 mins read
Volume 2 · Issue 5


Indwelling urinary catheters (IDUC) are regularly used in veterinary practice and serve many purposes. IDUC often enhance the care of a patient by preventing soiling and urine scalding, providing essential monitoring and overall comfort and care. It is a necessary skill of veterinary nurses to be able to place them and know how to manage them properly. They also need to understand why the catheter is required in their patients and what signs to look out for to provide the best care for their patient. This article will be addressing the reasons why IDUC are used, how to place one in a canine patient, how to manage them and what the potential complications could be.

Indwelling urinary catheters (IDUC) are often used in veterinary practice. Registered veterinary nurses (RVN) are primarily involved in the decision to catheterize their patients, and in the selection, placement and management of IDUC (Orpet and Welsh, 2011). IDUC are sometimes necessary during a patient's hospitalization when a patient requires assistance to urinate because of their condition, e.g. lower motor neurone syndrome, surgery, such as urethropexy, or because of iatrogenic causes, such as an epidural (Pomfret, 2009). As veterinary nurses continually strive for professionalism and improved patient care, it can be said that the placement and management of IDUC allows nurses to use their skills to provide the best care for their patients in terms of management and monitoring. This helps to support the use of nursing care plans by providing more accurate and knowledgeable feedback on the patient's physiological status (Aggleton and Chalmers, 2000). Nursing care plans are a fairly new development to the veterinary nursing profession and expand on standard hospital sheets providing a more holistic approach to nursing care and forcing RVNs to ask questions regarding their patients, such as is the animal able to urinate (Orpet and Welsh, 2011)?

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