Fluid Therapy for Veterinary Nurses and Technicians

Fluid Therapy for Veterinary Nurses and Technicians

By Paula Jane Hotston Moore, MEd, RVN, Internal Verifier and Tutor, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK


1. Water and electrolyte balance in the body: Definition of key terms; Fluid distribution within the body compartments; Electrolyte balance in body fluid; Water balance and its importance; Ways in which fluid is lost from the body; Ways in which fluid is taken into the body; Normal fluid requirements; 2. Assessment of fluid balance: Definition of key terms; Causes of dehydration; Causes of hypovolaemia; Clinical signs of dehydration; Ways of assessing dehydration and hypovolaemia; 3. Acid base balance: Significance of acid base balance to the animal; How the body maintains its pH; How changes to the body?s pH arise; Causes of metabolic acidosis/alkalosis and respiratory acidosis/alkalosis; 4. Types of fluid available: List of fluids available in the UK; List of constituents in each fluid; How fluids differ from each other and why this is significant; 5. Blood administration: When administration of blood is indicated; Blood collection; Blood typing; Storage of blood; Blood volume; Blood transfusions; Plasma/blood products; 6. When to use each fluid: Shock ? definition and types of shock; Common conditions and when to use each fluid ? and why; 7. Administration of fluid therapy: Routes available for fluid therapy administration; Common routes of intravenous fluid therapy ? veins and anatomical locations; Intravenous catheter placement; 8. Equipment available for administration of intravenous fluid therapy: Describe equipment, how and when it is used; 9. Calculations and Flow rates: Explanation of calculations; Worked example; How to calculate the amount of fluid to give and the rate of flow; 10. Monitoring the Patient: Central venous pressure; Clinical signs of over transfusion; Blood transfusion reactions; General care of patient whilst receiving intravenous fluid therapy; Care of intravenous catheters; Prevention of patient interference; Common problems; 11. Other species (e.g. rabbits, reptiles, calves, etc): Clinical situations when fluid therapy is indicated; How to administer fluid therapy in species other than cat or dog; Different equipment required