Rules of Restraint: The Intro

20 Sep

The animal kind, that is.  It’s so important to any sort of animal work that I’m going to write a three part series on the MOST important (as I see it, and as my experience dictates) aspects of animal restraint.  Specifically cats, since that’s what I’m working with currently.

I was trying to figure out what percent of my day as a veterinary assistant is devoted to animal restraint. I couldn’t decide if it was 20% or 80%. Between that and cleaning–it’s the vast majority.  And surprisingly, a lot of people are incompetent at it.  Even the best techs and workers and vets sometimes struggle.  Here are just some of the things to consider:

Don’t get anyone bit

Don’t get yourself bit/scratched

Do not manhandle the pet OR let the owner perceive that you are

Don’t let the animal get away

Close doors

Don’t let the animal injure itself

Diffuse the situation

Don’t show stress

Don’t get frustrated

Don’t get angry

Be supportive

Don’t be impatient

Be gentle, yet firm

Be slow, yet have fast hands

Stay quiet

Talk soothingly

Position (and re-position) the animal for whatever procedure

Change that position if necessary

Utilize help (other holder, distraction, towel, gloves, net, box, sedation. . .).

Hold the animal still

Distract the pet

Utilize the “Kitty Earthquake” trademarked by me

So upcoming:  My 3-part series on animal (cat, in particular) restraint.

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