Nursing Support and Patient Monitoring
It can be a stressful time for you when your pet has health issues.
When you or your pet needs additional support, our qualified veterinary nursing team are here to offer help and advice with nursing care.
Our veterinary nurses can help to provide you with further knowledge, understanding and skills to care for a variety of areas from general nursing care to management of common but complex problems that may affect older pets, such as kidney (renal) disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and hyperthyroidism.
We can provide assistance with medicating your pets by demonstrating how to medicate and provide you with some tips to help you.
We can support you with more challenging care, whether you need some support to give you first sub-cutaneous (under the skin) injection, administer sub-cutaneous fluids or provide nutrition through a feeding tube, we are here to help.
We also offer advice to help to adapt your pet’s home environment, if needed.
- Subcutaneous fluids
Administering subcutaneous fluids involves providing fluids under the skin that is then absorbed slowly. Your family veterinarian will prescribe this for a variety of conditions but more commonly fluids are used to manage kidney (renal) disease. At Paws in Motion, our qualified nursing team can demonstrate how to prepare the equipment needed and how to give the sub-cutaneous fluids to your pet. We will give you tips to help make this as stress-free to you and your pet.
- Injections- support with veterinary prescribed medications such as insulin
If your pet needs to have injections under the skin (subcutaneous), our qualified veterinary nurses can show you and teach you how to do this. We will make sure that you know how to safely give the injection and make sure that your pet gets the medication that they need. All medications, for example insulin, must be prescribed by your family veterinarian.
- Feeding tubes
Feeding tubes offer nutritional support to patients who are unwilling to eat or unable to eat. If your family veterinarian has placed a feeding tube, then our qualified nursing team can help to provide you with support with your pet’s feeding. We can help to demonstrate how to use the feeding tube, whether your pet has a naso-oesophageal (via nose to the oesophagus), oesophagostomy (into the oesophagus through their neck) or gastrostomy (into their stomach via abdomen wall) feeding tube, and explain how to monitor your pet.
Some conditions such as diabetes and hypertension requires monitoring of patients at different times. For some pets, these measurements are more reliable at home at this minimises the stress that a visit to your veterinary clinic may trigger. Stress can alter the results.
- Blood pressure monitoring
Blood pressure monitoring is important in older pets as they more commonly can suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension can be unexplained or due to another underlying cause (renal disease, diabetes mellitus, cardiac disease). If hypertension is not diagnosed it can cause retinal detachment in the eyes which leads to irreversible blindness.
A home visit reduces your pet’s stress of a visit to the veterinary clinic and gains a more accurate reading. We use a non-invasive Doppler to measure blood pressure. The Doppler can be heard when the heart beats and the blood flows. By using headphones, we can eliminate the noise heard by your pet and the stress of hearing that noise.
- Glucose monitoring
If your pet has diabetes mellitus your family veterinary surgeon may ask you to complete a blood glucose curve or to monitor glucose in their urine. We use the Alphatrak® 2 blood glucose monitoring system as this is designed specifically for pets. It works on a smaller blood sample than most glucometers and provides more accurate glucose readings than human glucometers, as these can underestimate the readings.
Urine dipsticks can be used to monitor glucose and ketones levels. Our qualified veterinary nurses can show you how to complete blood glucose reading and urine monitoring.
- Quality of life assessment support
Our qualified veterinary nurses can, if needed, help you to assess and monitor your pet’s quality of life and support your decision making process with access to a quality of life assessment scale, diary and further information.
Please note that veterinary nurses are not legally able to diagnose your pet’s condition or prescribe medications.
Susan contacted me when her little doggy, Yuby was having some difficulties with painful stifles (knees) due to ligament problems. Yuby was already under the care of her family veterinarian, but the current regime of rest and NSAIDs pain medication was not doing enough to allow Yuby to do the things he loved.
Research shows that 1 in 5 dogs will suffer from the painful condition of Osteoarthritis by the time they reach middle-age!