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Dart Unit 06 Medical Intake


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Medical Intake module for the Disaster Animal Response Team (DART).

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Dart Unit 06 Medical Intake

  1. 1. + + +
  2. 2. Unit 6: Medical Intake © 2006-2010 Frans Hoffman
  3. 3. <ul><li>SAFETY FIRST! </li></ul><ul><li>Wear clean gloves & sanitize hands before and after animal </li></ul><ul><li>Create baseline medical record </li></ul><ul><li>Perform ‘snout to tail’ examination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for wounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check for discharge (eyes/nose) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check sex (verify intake form) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check neutered or intact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check teeth, color of gums, ears </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Put all paperwork in plastic sleeve (accompanies animal) </li></ul>Photo © and Courtesy of Troy Snow Photo Courtesy of Pit Bulls On The Web
  4. 4. DART follows guidelines from the American Veterinary Medical Association regarding disaster response. While we intend to have veterinarians and veterinary technicians perform any and all veterinary medical procedures at the emergency shelter, we know from experience that especially during the initial stages of a disaster veterinary medical personnel may not be available. DART members should be able to perform simple triage on an animal, do a snout to tail assessment, and collect and record appropriate information on the condition of any animal at the shelter. During a large scale disaster DART members are also expected to assist veterinarians and veterinary technicians.
  5. 5. <ul><li>Where possible medical operations will be led by a Licensed Veterinarian and a Registered Veterinary Technician </li></ul><ul><li>DART members will perform triage on any animal that enters the shelter and create the paperwork needed to track the animal’s health </li></ul><ul><li>All animal handlers will know how to do a snout to tail assessment to monitor the condition of an animal </li></ul>Staff should examine animals in a quiet, well-lit area with minimal distractions. They should wash their hands frequently and wear disposable gloves to avoid contracting or transmitting disease; they should also use appropriate restraint equipment, including tranquilizers (when necessary) for aggressive or frightened animals. For safety and efficiency, a staff member trained in handling animals should assist during the exam, and the exam table should be cleaned with a disinfectant after each examination. Lila Miller, DVM in: Shelter Medicine: A Basic Physical Examination for Shelter Animals ( - May 2007)
  6. 6. <ul><li>2+ members </li></ul><ul><li>Overall responsibility: Licensed Veterinarian </li></ul><ul><li>Registered Veterinary Technician (team leader) to determine and record health issues regarding the animal and to refer animals to a Veterinarian </li></ul><ul><li>DART members can be asked to handle the animal while the Registered Veterinary Technician performs his/her task and to provide animal care in hospital areas </li></ul><ul><li>At least one team member will have a radio and will be listening at all times. </li></ul>Photo © and Courtesy of Troy Snow “ Animal health technicians, shelter staff, and volunteers should be trained by a veterinarian or licensed/certified veterinary technician to recognize the signs of infectious disease and identify medical emergencies. That way, appropriate care decisions can be made quickly when a veterinarian is not present. Lila Miller, DVM in: Shelter Medicine: A Basic Physical Examination for Shelter Animals ( - May 2007)
  7. 7. <ul><li>Responsible for daily operations </li></ul><ul><li>Assists Licensed Veterinarian </li></ul><ul><li>Examines and cares for animals </li></ul><ul><li>Documents and keeps records of animal’s health </li></ul><ul><li>Administers medication and medical care </li></ul><ul><li>Assists with surgeries </li></ul><ul><li>Supervises assigned DART members </li></ul><ul><li>Responds to medical emergencies </li></ul><ul><li>Will always carry a radio </li></ul>Photo © and Courtesy of Troy Snow
  8. 8. <ul><li>DART Member </li></ul><ul><li>Assists Vet Tech </li></ul><ul><li>Administers medications, IVs, changes dressings upon request and under supervision </li></ul><ul><li>Assists with medical paperwork </li></ul><ul><li>Has experience and training in handling all types and temperaments of dogs and/or cats and/or other species </li></ul>Photo © and Courtesy of Troy Snow “ Recognize that stress and travel may affect the results of the physical examination. Stressed animals may show a variety of medical and behavioral problems, such as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, depression, or aggression. (Ideally, an evaluation of temperament and behavior to determine adoptability should not be undertaken until the animal has had two to three days to adjust to the new surroundings.” Lila Miller, DVM in: Shelter Medicine: A Basic Physical Examination for Shelter Animals ( - May 2007)
  9. 9. <ul><li>Each animal should be examined </li></ul><ul><ul><li>hydration status, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cuts and abrasions, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>paw/hoof/foot health, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ear health, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>oral injuries, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>vomiting or diarrhea, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>respiratory disease, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>evidence of parasite infestation. </li></ul></ul>Photo Courtesy of Noah’s Wish Photo © and Courtesy of Troy Snow The animal’s owner may not understand the need for medical intake. It is important to the safety of other animals that medical intake procedures are followed. An owner who refuses to agree with these procedures may be denied access to the shelter.
  10. 10. <ul><li>In general, medical operations will follow the Interim Guidelines for Animal Health and Control of Disease Transmission in Pet Shelters from the AVMA </li></ul><ul><li>“ While the AVMA normally recommends that vaccination programs be customized to individual animals, in disaster situations vaccination status may be difficult, if not impossible, to determine. For this reason, administration of ‘core’ vaccines to animals upon admission to shelters when vaccination status is unavailable or not current is considered appropriate” </li></ul><ul><li>A Licensed Veterinarian will determine in each deployment what procedures and protocols are to be implemented </li></ul>“ Doctor’s orders” should be followed to the letter by the DART Team volunteers and the owner. Observations, questions and comments should be added to the medical log. In an emergency a supervisor should be notified.
  11. 11. <ul><li>Will need to know how to collar animals to owners </li></ul><ul><li>Will need basic animal restraint and handling. Will need to be able to vaccinate animals safely (basic syringe handling will be needed). Should also be able to recognize which vaccines are feline and which are canine </li></ul><ul><li>Will need to know how to give oral medication to animals. This could be using a syringe or putting in meatball </li></ul><ul><li>Will need to know how to apply topical medication. This could be eye medication or flea medication </li></ul><ul><li>Will need to know how to categorize animals based on how they come to us (i.e. Stray, owned, etc.) </li></ul>Photo courtesy of Linda Swanson
  12. 12. <ul><li>Determine vital signs of most common pets during intake </li></ul><ul><li>Do snout to tail assessment or assist a Vet Tech in doing such an assessment, i.e. triage the animals (recognize ones needing immediate attention, ones that are possibly contagious, etc.) if required by a Licensed Veterinarian </li></ul><ul><li>Need training on basic disease control (i.e. Isolating sick animals, proper cleaning and husbandry, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Notice when new diseases arise in the shelter </li></ul><ul><li>Keep a basic log of animals being cared for (i.e. initial when treatments are given, feeding are given, etc.) </li></ul>Photo courtesy of Darnfar Ranch
  13. 13. <ul><li>Head: Snout </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Starting with the head, begin at the snout. The nose should not be so wet that there is discharge, or so dry that it is hard and cracked. Next, run your fingers over the muzzle, checking for bumps, lumps, abrasions or sores. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mouth, Gums & Teeth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lift the animal's muzzle to look in the mouth. The gums should be bubble gum pink (unless normally black). The teeth white with no chipped, cracked or missing teeth and no bad odor. Now is a good time to check the animal's capillary refill. </li></ul></ul>Photo courtesy of The Pet Safety Guy <ul><li>This assessment will be done during intake </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Eyes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The eyes should be clear with no discharge and they should track movement. Compare one eye to the other for differences. Are the whites of the eyes white, red or yellow? Are the pupils pinpoint, dilated or unequal? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Crown/Skull </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Next, check the crown/skull of the head. As you come over the head, check the front, sides and back of the neck for any abrasions, bumps, masses, tenderness or sores. </li></ul></ul>Photo courtesy of The Pet Safety Guy Unit 6 – Medical Operations – slide
  15. 15. <ul><li>Ears </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Checking the ears. The ears should not have any odor or discharge. They should not be sensitive or painful to the touch. Compare the ears to each other. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Neck & Spine </li></ul><ul><ul><li>While anchoring the spine at the neck with one hand, slide the other hand along the length of the spine down to the base of the tail with firm, gentle pressure. Is there any pain, discomfort or guarding? </li></ul></ul>Photo courtesy of The Pet Safety Guy
  16. 16. <ul><li>Chest & Ribs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Feel the ribs under the fur. Breathing should be smooth, rhythmic and easy. Check breathing rate. Be sure to check the front of the animal's chest too. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Front Legs & Paws </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Check each of the front legs and paws. Observe the range of use and movement of each leg. The dew claws and nails should not be cracked, split or painful. Check for torn pads and between the toes and pads for any foreign bodies or excessive hair. Some animals have sensitive feet. </li></ul></ul>Photo courtesy of The Pet Safety Guy
  17. 17. <ul><li>Hind Legs & Paws </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Check hind legs and paws by following the same procedure as the front. This is a good location for checking pulse </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Abdomen & Genitals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using the flats of your hands, palpate the abdominal area. The abdomen should not be sensitive, painful, hard or rigid. Check the mammary glands and genital areas. There should be no colored discharge. The anal area should be free of hair, debris and feces. </li></ul></ul>Photo courtesy of The Pet Safety Guy
  18. 18. <ul><li>Tail, Skin & Coat </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The tail should be examined for deformity, pain and range of use and movement. The skin and coat should be appraised throughout your assessment for quality, texture, color, temperature and excessive shedding. </li></ul></ul>Photo courtesy of The Pet Safety Guy
  19. 19. <ul><li>The easiest and least invasive place to check the animal's pulse is the femoral artery, located on the inside of the thigh of either back leg. Slide your middle two fingers inside the upper thigh, feeling for a slight depression. </li></ul><ul><li>Use a watch and count the beats for 30 seconds and double. </li></ul><ul><li>The pulse rate for adult dogs can vary between 60-140 beats per minute. Toy and small breed heart rates are higher and can range from 90-140 beats per minute. </li></ul><ul><li>A cat's pulse rate can vary from 110-240 beats per minute. </li></ul>Photo courtesy of The Pet Safety Guy
  20. 20. <ul><li>Place your hand on the side of the chest and feel or watch for the rise and fall of the chest. </li></ul><ul><li>Count the breaths (I breath = rise + fall) for 30 seconds and double to get breathing rate. </li></ul><ul><li>The quality and character of the animal's breathing should be smooth, rhythmic and easy while at rest. </li></ul><ul><li>The breathing rate for dogs is 10-30 breaths per minute. </li></ul><ul><li>Cats breathe approximately 20-30 breaths per minute. </li></ul>Photo courtesy of The Pet Safety Guy
  21. 22. <ul><li>While Frans Hoffman, the author of this training course, provides the information in this presentation for free (as hand-outs) to anyone who attends a Disaster Animal Response Training (DART), he and his licensors retain copyright on all text and graphic images. </li></ul><ul><li>Text and graphic images are protected by worldwide copyright laws and treaty provisions. This means that YOU MAY NOT copy, reproduce, modify, publish, upload, post, or include this information in your training or documents, reuse the text or graphics, transmit or distribute the text or graphics to others without the express written permission of the author. The author reserves all other rights. Except as expressly provided herein, he does not grant any express or implied right to you under any patents, copyrights, trademarks or trade secret information. </li></ul><ul><li>The DART logo is a service mark of Frans Hoffman. </li></ul><ul><li>For more information on how to legally use these materials, please contact Frans Hoffman at </li></ul>