How Veterinary Technicians Assist in the Diagnosis of CKD in Cats
Role of Veterinary Technician in the Diagnosis of Feline CKD
VETERINARY TECHNICIAN – VETERINARIAN’S PRIMARY MEDICAL SUPPORT PERSON
The veterinary technician has a variety of responsibilities that include:
- Assisting the veterinarian throughout the examination, diagnosis and treatment phases.
- Relieving veterinarians of technical work and administrative detail.
- Communicating with clients about their pets.
EARLY DIAGNOSIS IS IMPORTANT IN CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE (CKD)
The most important thing cat owners can do to protect their cats from CKD is to take their cats to a veterinarian for an examination. Early detection of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is important because it has been shown that early intervention, before clinical signs become evident, can reduce the rate of progression of disease and increase longevity and quality of life in affected cats.
DIAGNOSTIC TESTS FOR CKD
Several of the following tests and procedures may be required to diagnose CKD:
- SDMA blood test (sensitive kidney function test that helps to identify kidney disease in cats)
- Blood pressure test
- Urine tests: bacteria, concentration, pH and presence of protein, red blood cells and other cells
- Blood tests: urea nitrogen, creatinine, electrolytes, red blood cell count, protein concentrations
- Abdominal ultrasound: look for small/asymmetrical kidneys and/or an enlarged bladder
- Observed clinical signs: muscle wastage and poor body condition
- Microscopic evaluation of biopsy samples
- X-rays to examine kidney structure
VETERINARY TECHNICIANS AND VETERINARY DIAGNOSTICS
Veterinary technicians aid veterinarians in a similar way laboratory technicians and nurses assist doctors. They have been educated in:
- Animal care and handling
- Basic principles of normal life processes
- Basic principles of abnormal life processes
- Various laboratory and clinical procedures
Their involvement in the treatment of animals therefore plays a very important role in maintaining and promoting animal wellness and well-being.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF VETERINARY TECHNICIANS
Veterinarian technicians assist veterinarians with the tests required to diagnose CKD.
- Carefully restrain cats during exams
- Obtain and record patient case histories
- Collect and prepare samples/specimens for testing
- Perform the necessary laboratory procedures/tests
- Administer treatments prescribed by the veterinarian
- Advise and educate cat parents on the disease
- Expose and develop X-rays
Other responsibilities of veterinarian technicians may include:
- Emergency first aid
- Specialized nursing care
- Supervise and train practice personnel
- Assist in administering medications and vaccines
- Perform dental procedures, including preventative ones
- Assist with administering anesthesia before procedures
- Assist in other diagnostic, medical and surgical procedures
- Prepare animals, instruments and equipment for surgery
- Monitor and document patient vital signs and activity
Veterinary technicians are committed to compassionate, high-quality veterinary care for all animals.