Physical methods used to alleviate pain: nursing considerations

image of Physical methods used to alleviate pain: nursing considerations
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Veterinary nursing staff play a fundamental role in effective pain management; they are the integral link between veterinary surgeon, owner and patient. This chapter describes physical methods of alleviating pain, with a focus on suffering and the emotional component that is involved in pain modulation, and is split between inpatients and outpatients.

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6.2 Using a padded arm retainer. This keeps the front limbs out of the surgical field without the need for tying.
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6.3 There are a variety of harnesses on the market. It is important to find one that provides the best fit and support for the individual patient’s needs and any conformational challenges. Pet Support Suit™. Examples of harnesses in use. An improvised device using two slip leads, padding and cohesive bandage to form a harness for the hind legs. This is great in ambulatory paretic patients that are weak and wobbly in the rear legs. It helps prevent the back legs crossing when walking, splaying out, knuckling over or stumbling.
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6.4 A kennel padded out using a mattress and pillows for the recumbent patient to be able to lean against and remain upright.
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6.5 Use of a Comfy Collar™ and a towel to absorb drool from the patient.
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6.6 Sighthounds with little body fat are particularly susceptible to urine scalding and skin irritations when recumbent.
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6.8 (a)Brachycephalic breed being cooled by a fan. Brachycephalic breed stressed and dyspnoeic after a car journey. A fan is used to cool and destress the patient prior to examination. Note the airway management kit on standby.
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6.10 A timid cat using its own cat carrier base as a secure space. Blankets inside are from the cat’s home environment so will have familiar pheromones.
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6.11 Author performing acupuncture in an elderly Greyhound. A thick mattress is used for comfort. The patient is calm, unrestrained and does not need sedation. Veterinary nurses can perform acupuncture under the direction of a trained veterinary surgeon.
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6.12 A toy (Kong™) used as a method of feeding a Greyhound in hospital. This method of feeding encourages natural feeding behaviours, increases the time taken for the patient to eat and provides a great distraction.
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