The Medications Technician administers medications to reverse the anesthesia and control pain, applies parasite control, administers fluids when ordered, removes all instruments (hemostat, neuter clip) and monitors the cats for bleeding. This position requires a rabies vaccination.
- Monitor the cat for complications resulting from the anesthesia, in particular, irregular breathing or not breathing.
- Respiration should be >6/minute, heartbeat should be >100/minute, and gum color should be pink. If the cat is not breathing well, or its gums are blue, take the cat immediately to the Emergency CPR Station. Speaking loudly and calmly say “cat not breathing” to alert vets to converge at the Emergency CPR Station.Note: Xylazine causes pale gums.
- Dispose of all needles and syringes according to protocol with no exceptions. Do not recap the needles. Place the needle/syringe combination into a sharps disposal container. The needle cap can be disposed of in garbage or the sharps container.
- When transporting, do not hold the cat from the scruff of its neck alone. Always support its back and bottom too. Support the cat’s head without flexing its neck, so that the airway remains straight and open.
- Keep the cat entirely on its fleece, including its tail, head and all of its feet. Do not allow any part of the cat’s body to contact clothing, skin or anything except the fleece, in order to prevent any contamination from cat to cat.
- Medications Technicians work most efficiently in pairs with one technician positioning the cat and the other injecting the anesthesia reversal.
- Cats tagged with URI or other infectious conditions are medicated after all of the healthy cats have been processed. As the clinic winds down, one table is reserved to medicate these cats. Do not place healthy cats on this table after an infectious cat has been treated. Change gloves after handling any contagious cat.
- If the cat has been identified as infectious/URI, was not separated, and is being processed amidst non-infectious cats, then the medications should be administered at the surgery tableand the cat taken directly to the Clinic Records Station.
Medications Technician Instructions
Prepare multiple doses of the medications at the start of the clinic, and separate the cat and kitten doses into separate trays:
- For yohimbine (reversal): (0.1 mg/kg)
– 0.25 ml for adult cats.
– 0.15 ml for kittens.
– Dose should be volume equal to TKX volume administered, so some unique doses are drawn up as necessary.
- For buprenorphine (pain medication ): (0.01 mg/kg)
– 0.1 ml (0.03 mg) for adult cats.
– 0.05 ml (0.015 mg) for kittens.
- For yohimbine (reversal): (0.1 mg/kg)
Compare the Paw Tag and the Medical Record to be sure the ID# matches.
Confirm that any special care noted on the “Medical Alert” tags has been completed and remove all alert tags from the cat. Do not remove the Paw Tag.
Check area where the ear was tipped. DO NOT remove dried blood from the ear tip edge! This will instigate bleeding.
Remove tape from ventral abdomen, if present.
Administer yohimbine intravenously to reverse anesthesia (xylazine). The volume of yohimbine should equal the volume of TKX administered in anesthesia. Inject the yohimbine in the right rear leg. If the cat is too awake to easily and safely inject IV, give the yohimbine subcutaneously instead.
Administer the buprenorphine pain medication on the gums as directed.
Administer topical parasite control to the skin or at the base of skull by first referring to the cat’s weight recorded on the Veterinary Exam Form. We currently use Advantage Multi®:
- Use 1 vial of 0.8 ml for adult cats approximately 9 lbs or greater.
- Use 1 vial of 0.4 ml for smaller cats between 5 and 9 lbs.
- Draw up 0.23 ml for kittens and cats under 5 lbs.
- Advantage Multi® is toxic if ingested or overdosed. Make sure the dosage is accurate and applied where the cat cannot lick it.
Administer fluids as ordered by a veterinarian. The volume should be written on the Medical Record. Liter bags of fluids, drip sets, and 18 gauge needles are available:
- Use a new needle for each cat to avoid transmitting any blood-borne diseases.
- Use a new drip set if blood backs up into the line.
- Use a new drip set for each bag of fluids.
Dispose of all needles and syringes according to protocol with no exceptions. Do not recap the needles.
Clean any blood, urine or feces from the cat’s fur with peroxide, and clean inside the ears, if necessary.
Transfer the cat to the Clinic Records Station.
If the cat is slow to wake up, the Recovery Monitor may request a second dose of yohimbine. Administer a supplemental dose of yohimbine (0.3 ml IM or IV for adult cats) to further reverse the effects of anesthesia. Record on the Medical Record at the Clinic Records Station.
Maintain the medications area throughout the clinic:
- Take care to keep the area clean and free of medical waste, used instruments, dirty towels and other disposables.
- Deliver any uncollected used instruments to the Instruments Station when the clinic is concluded.
All Station Images
Station Closing and Cleanup
When the clinic is concluded:
- Inventory the remaining supplies and repack the supply kit.
- Return the kit, station instructions and any remaining items to storage.
- Clean the area and dispose of all trash.
- Wash all tables, including the central trough, and wipe down entire base of table.
- Remove tape from the underside of the table.
- Wipe as much of the overhead surgery lamp as can be reached.
- Sweep or vacuum and mop the floor.