The week has been going by as a blur and classes have finally started. I also came down with a cold this Monday and have slowly been recovering since. Today is Thursday and I’m feeling lot better which is great but due to my sickness I haven’t really been able to blog. I haven’t had much strength to do anything this past week and just going to classes was a little difficult because I was coughing and throwing up phlegm most of the time.
Alright, that’s not a great picture to begin with, so let’s start over… haha.
This week I finally got started with classes. Most of the classes I’m taking now are mentioned in my last post so I’m just going to go over an interesting lab that we started off Pharmacology II with.
During our pharmacology lab headed by Dr. Bombio, we did an exercise on routes of administration of certain drugs. Each group which consisted of 2 people had to demonstrate how to give liquid and tablet forms of a drug as well as demonstrate subcutaneous and intramuscular injections of drugs. My partner Andrea and I picked up our experimental dog, Whitey, from the place where I live at and brought him to lab. He’s used to being used for drawing blood and such so he was a good sport when we both had to perform the procedures. Dr. Bombio was grading us out of 10 points for doing all the procedures correctly. I have a lot of experience giving oral medications and giving injections from working at the veterinary clinic my dad runs and owns, so obtaining the 10 points was a cinch. Andrea handled the liquid oral medication and the subcutaneous injection while I handled the administration of the oral tablet and intramuscular injection. Out of all the groups we were the quickest to finish, being done with everything in 5 minutes. (Other groups took a good 10-40 minutes to complete the 4 drug administrations due to uncooperative animals and other reasons.) We eventually took the entire 3 hours of lab class to finish everyone’s groups, but it was a fun lab.
But here are some tips for those who are thinking of practicing drug administration on small animals:
- Bring a dog – Giving a pill to a cat is, in the words of many of my professors at CVM, “hell.” Giving pills or injections to cats is usually not easy compared to doing so with most dogs. Also, they are flexible and are more prone to scratch you if they are not restrained properly.
- Being a medium to large breed – Giving medications to larger animals and dogs tends to be easier. From experience in working at a clinic, the pain threshold for cats and toy breed dogs is really low compared to that of say, your Golden Retriever. Most of the time you can give a subcutaneous injection to a large animal quite easily, but for the smaller ones, you may want to opt for a smaller gauge needle or find another way to administer the drug.
- Restrain properly! – This is a problem I saw way too often during my lab. You should know how to restrain an animal properly before administering a drug to any animal. Usually taking up the scruff on the back of a cat is enough to administer an injection. (For fractious cats, the use of a towel may help in calming the animal down). For dogs you can hold them in the air (for injections) or restrain them on a table. If on a table you should put your left arm around the dog and hold it’s head in place with your left hand. You can use the right hand to place pressure on the right forelimb if administering an injection to a blood vessel (for those who are left-handed you do the opposite).
- Be gentle but firm – Always approach animals calmly and slowly. Also, while restraining do not use unnecessary force. Generally, the more force you use, the more the animal will resist. With proper restraint, you will usually be able to perform the drug administration easily and prevent many injuries.
Of course with the above list there are always exceptions to the rules. Some cats may be easier to handle than dogs. In my experience, if you raise an animal since birth and start to acclimate it to different things (e.g. playing with its ears, giving it pills, holding/restraining it on a regular basis) procedures like drug administration tend to be easier. If they’re used to it, they’ll resist it less. Make sense?
This week we started our lectures and I’m really excited for surgery. I have my first lab tomorrow for surgery at the Tabon Teaching Hospital in the early afternoon and that’s how I’ll end my day. First I have to finish a Parastiology II lab and lecture, but I think the day will go smoothly. Well at least I hope so, because…
IT’S MY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW!! Hahaha… I’m turning 24 this year. Gosh… where has the time gone by?
Anyway, I’m off to finish typing up some notes and then I’ll be heading over to a friends’ place for dinner. I’ll see you all on the flip side!
P.S. — Just some really random things for you to enjoy if you’ve got a free minute. Check out these two chicken commercials the Wonder Girls did recently. There are two versions. You can find them here and here. Aren’t they hilarious? I just thought I’d share… =)