Ear-Tip Technicians work together to prepare the cat for surgery by administering antibiotics and tipping the cat’s left ear. 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.
- If a cat’s ear has already been tipped, notify the Pre-Prep Recorder and send the cat to the Vaccinations Station for booster vaccines.
- If a cat has already been sterilized, but the ear has not been tipped, tip the ear with the Clinic Supervisor’s approval and direct the cat to the Vaccinations Station for booster vaccines.
- Do not remove any alert tags.
Ear-Tip Technicians Instructions
Prepare approximately 50 doses of penicillin at the beginning of the clinic and as needed throughout the clinic. Avoid drawing up excessive doses of penicillin, since it must be discarded if not used by the end of the clinic:
- Shake the penicillin bottle to mix the antibiotic.
- Use a 3 cc syringe with an 18 ga needle that remains in the bottle to draw up multiple doses of the penicillin antibiotic upon arrival.
- Adults receive a 1.0 ml dose, and kittens receive a 0.5 ml dose.
- Place a new 20 ga needle on each syringe for administration.
- Place the filled syringes in the containers provided with a towel between the syringes and the ice packs to prevent freezing.
- Keep the penicillin vial in the cooler with a towel between the vial and the ice or ice packs to prevent freezing.
Compare the Paw Tag and the Medical Record to be sure the ID# matches
Administer the penicillin subcutaneously in the left shoulder. Aspirate prior to injection to be sure the injection is not accidentally intravenous.
Dispose of the used syringe and needle in sharps container. Do not recap or reuse.
Tip the left ear:
- Use the plastic ear-tipping guide to draw a line on the left ear where the hemostat should be placed to expose 3/8” of the tip.
- Place a straight hemostat directly below the line with crushing pressure.
- Using the flat tip on the cautery tool, run the edge across the top of the hemostat, removing the tip of the ear. When the tip of the ear is removed, run the flat side of the cautery tool across the top of the hemostat several times to ensure complete hemostasis. Remove the hemostat and place in the soapy water bucket
- Use new hemostats for each cat, and deposit the used hemostats in the instruments bucket containing warm soapy water.
- Clean the tip of the cautery tool with a brass brush in between cats.
- Save the paper towels from the instrument pack for spay board cleaning.
Check the Veterinary Examination Form for gender status to see where the cat goes next.
Transfer the cats to the appropriate station when they are ready to leave the Pre-Prep Station:
All Station Images
Station Closing and Cleanup
When the clinic is concluded all station volunteers are expected to assist in the following:
- Inventory the remaining supplies and record shortages on the Inventory Reconciliation included in the kit.
- Repack the kit, including station instructions.
- Empty the ice in the small cooler and dry the cooler. Return the Penicillin to the Clinic Supervisor. The small cooler is placed on the pre-op rolling cart and returned to the storage room.
- Clean both rolling tables, ensuring all tape is removed, including undersides of the tables and return them to Anatomy Lab or Prep Room as appropriate.
- Clean the surgical table, including all tape, and return to proper location, ensuring that the table is lifted entirely and does not scrape on the floor.
- Wipe as much of the surgical lamp as can be reached.
- Place the kit on the pre-op rolling cart in the proper location.
- Clean the area and dispose of all trash, including plastic covering from the tables.