Medical Treatments and Tests

This document contains an outline of the medical treatment procedures.

About Medications

  • Routes: PO (Oral), SQ (subcutaneous), IV (intravenous)
  • A Bolus is an administration of a certain amount of plain fluids (without any medications added) given subcutaneously or intravenously and quickly 
  • A Continuous Rate Infusion (CRI) is when IV fluids are administered at a calculated rate using an IV pump.
  • Types: Antibiotics, antiemetics, fluid boluses, opioids/pain, antiparasitics

Preparing Treatments

Refer to Treatment Sheet for each medication and dose needed for each puppy. Every puppy always has their own medical treatment sheet.
  • Ensure right med, dose, route, time, and dog, referred to as the 5 rights of medication.
  • Locate Appropriate Fluid Bags - Veterinary Lactated Ringers Solution (LRS)is the most commonly used.
    • ALWAYS READ THE LABEL OF WHAT IS IN THE BAG AND MAKE SURE TO OBTAIN THE APPROPRIATE FLUID BAG FOR THE APPROPRIATE TREATMENT. Some bags will have medications such as “5% Dextrose” added. These bags will indicate this on the label and should not be given unless prescribed as the results can be disastrous if a medication is given in an unintended route or at an unintended time. For example, giving Dextrose SQ causes skin to fall off in several days. This is extremely painful. 
    • If there is an LRS bag with a line currently set up, use this bag. If not, open a new bag by adding a line using aseptic technique.
    • Make sure you are not using a bag which is labeled for use with a specific dog or as a diluent. 
    • Make a note of where the fluid line is before each use (using the measurement guide along the side of the bag); this will display how much fluid you have given. Each mark from 10 to 1 indicates how many 100cc’s is in the bag.
  • Changes to medication will occur and noted on the Treatment sheet by a doctor as the dog improves. Make sure to observe the check marks on the appropriate day/shift.
  • Observe if dog has any of the following symptoms and ask a doctor if you should give Hetastarch if you observe them in a patient:
    • Yellow, Orange or Reddish serum diarrhea oozing out.
    • Blow out bloody diarrhea.

Performing Treatments

Although there will always be new medications coming and going which may have special procedures, the following is a list of recommendations for treatments and procedures for certain medications.
  • Bring all medications in at once to reduce repeated entering and exiting of the rooms.
  • Take care of assessments and vaccinations first; assessment may result in changing of treatment plan and prioritization. Vaccinations should be given sooner to increase the time protected against each vaccination’s respective disease.

Treatment Quick Checklist

For convenience, you should always ensure you have checked the following facts are correct before performing a treatment:
  • Correct medications
  • Correct dosages
  • Correct route of administration (IV, SQ, PO, Topical, Inhaled, etc)
  • Correct time of administration (given slowly, given in constant rate infusion over 30min, etc)
  • Correct patient (check the chart vs dog's name!)