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Veterinary Technician's Manual for Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care

Veterinary Technician's Manual for Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care

Christopher L. Norkus (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-30224-8

Mar 2012, Wiley-Blackwell

567 pages



Veterinary Technician's Manual for Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care provides a comprehensive reference on emergency and critical care medicine for veterinary technicians of all skill levels. Beginning with information on initial patient assessment and triage, the first section covers shock and initial stabilization, venous access, monitoring, and cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation. A section on specific conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory emergencies is organized by system, with a final section highlighting select topics like anesthesia and analgesia, transfusion medicine, and critical care pharmacology. Case studies, review questions, and images are provided on a companion website at

Coverage focuses on dogs and cats, with special considerations for handling exotic and avian emergencies covered in a dedicated chapter. This in-depth material in an easy-to-navigate format is an essential resource for veterinary technicians and assistants, emergency and critical care veterinary technician specialists, and veterinary technician students.

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Contributors ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgment xiii

Section 1: Initial Patient Management

1: Triage and Initial Assessment of the Emergency Patient 5
Amy N. Breton

2: Shock and Initial Stabilization 25
Jennifer Keefe

3: Venous Access 45
Kara B. Trent

4: Monitoring the Critical Patient 63
Trish Farry

5: Cardiopulmonary Cerebral Resuscitation 83
Christopher L. Norkus

Section 2: Specifi c Organ System Disorders

6: Cardiovascular Emergencies 101
Christopher L. Norkus

7: Respiratory Emergencies 127
Dana Heath and Lori Baden Atkins

8: Gastrointestinal Emergencies 151
Amy Campbell

9: Urogenital Emergencies 177
Andrea M. Steele

10: Endocrine and Metabolic Emergencies 197
Angela Randels

11: Hemolymphatic, Immunologic, and Oncology Emergencies 221
Mary Tefend Campbell

12: Neurological Emergencies 263
Sally R. Powell

13: Musculoskeletal, Integumentary, and Environmental Emergencies 283
David Liss

14: Toxicological Emergencies 313
Christopher L. Norkus

15: Reproductive Emergencies 337
Jaime Maher

16: Ocular Emergencies 355
Jonathan A. Esmond

17: Special Species and Avian Emergencies 369
Kimm Wuestenberg

Section 3: Select Emergency/Critical Care Topics and Therapies

18: Critical Care Pharmacology 389
David Liss

19: Fluid Therapy, Electrolyte, and Acid–Base Disorders 433
David Liss

20: Anesthesia and Analgesia 465
Jennifer K. Sager

21: Transfusion Medicine 495
Lindan Spromberg

22: Nutrition for the Critically Ill 523
Ann Elise Wortinger

Appendices 543

Glossary 553

Index 559

"A comprehensive reference on emergency and critical are for vet technicians. From patient triage to stabilization and monitoring, this offers recommended best practices, techniques, case studies, and plenty of supportive illustration to provide a fine review of the most common emergencies experienced in hospitals and clinics."  (The Bookwatch, 1 November 2012)

“The text is clearly written and well supported by high-quality photographs and images.”  (Book News, 1 April 2012)

“Based on the knowledge required to pass the Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians exam, this book provides in a very thorough and logical format with everything you need to deal with these stressful situations.”  (Vet Nurses Today, 1 April 2012)

ChapterPageDetailsDatePrint Run
39Text correction
Incorrectly spells "hydromorphone" as "bydromorphone".

128Text correction
The sentence should read ?The right lung is made up of a cranial, middle, caudal, and accessory lung lobe? instead of the left lung.

205Text correction
States a normal fructosamine is 225 - 360 and this line should read: "A normal fructosamine in a non-diabetic dog is 225-365 mmol/L ."

212Text correction
States low fructosamine is < 350, but this line should read "low fructosamine in a diabetic dose on insulin is <250 mmol/L with excellent control ranging from 350-400 mmol/L."

304Text correction
Describes fluid requirements for burn patients as 1-4 mL/kg x TBSA %, but should clarify that is ?for the first 24 hours? (Silverstein and Hopper, 2009)

308Text correction
"Reportedly, lactated ringers solution is less toxic..." and should be changed to ?reportedly, lactated ringers solution is less irritating to tissue than normal saline and tap water? (Silverstein and Hopper, 2009)

326Text correction
In the ethylene glycol section "Because of its sweat color it is frequently...." This should read ?Because of its sweet color it is frequently??

406Text correction
Says dobutamine has only beta 2 effects, but should read ? It has predominantly beta 1 agonist effects.?

407Text correction
This chart should list dopamine as having "beta 1" effects at middle dose and "alpha 1" effects at high dose. Right now it does not include the 1s which is important.

430Text correction

In the first paragraph, "CFH" should be corrected to "CHF". The math problem is wrong and should be corrected to:

  • A patient needs a furosemide CRI at 1mg/kg/hr. The patient is in fulminant CHF and needs little to no IV fluids. You pick a rate of 1ml/hr and decide to add the furosemide to 150 mL of D5W In a Buretrol. Furosemide is 50 mg/mL. How many milliliters will you add to the buretrol if the patient weighs 9.6 kg?
  • Step 1: Calculate how many milligrams/hour to administer of furosemide:
    • 1mg/kg/h x 9.6 kg = 9.6mg/hr
  • Step 2: Calculate how many hours the fluid will last:
    • 150 ml/1ml/hr = 150 hr
  • Step 3: Calculate how many milligrams to add to 150 ml D5W
    • 150 h x 9.6 mg/hr = 1440 mg
  • Step 4: Calculate how many milliliters to add to D5W bag
    • 1440mg/50mg/mL = 28.8 ml furosemide to 121.2 mL D5W to equal a total volume of 150ml

430Text correction
Question #4. Glycopyrolate's dose should be changed from 1.2ml to 1.4ml.

437Text correction

This section may be made clearer with the following wording:

  • "Thus, if we add the major cations (Na+ and K+) and subtract from this the major anions (Cl- + HCO3-), we are left with the measurement of the unmeasured anions and cations." FROM ORIGINAL: subtract from that AND remove "sum" after "anions"

449Text correction

The corrected chloride equation is wrong in that the numerator and denominator are inverted. The correct formula is:

  • Corrected chloride = Cl- (patient) x (Na+ (normal) / Na+ (patient))

547Text correction

Here are some modifications and clarifications to some of the kcal/ml numbers of various diets to ensure the most correct and up to date information:

  • Add in: "Intravenous Lipid 10% Fat Emulsion- 1.1kcal/mL" so reader is not confused with different lipid % and calorie contents
  • Change "Lipid 20%" to read "Intravenous Lipid 20% Fat Emulsion"
  • Change Hill's A/d: to "Hill's Prescription A/D Recovery Diet: 1.19kcal/ml"
  • Change "royal canine recovery: 2.4kcal/ml" to " Royal Canin Recovery diet: 1kcal/mL". Notice change of both spelling and calorie content.
  • Change Eukanuba Max Cal to "Eukanuba Maximum Calorie Diet: 2.1kcal/mL"

Text correction

Since the publication of the book, the ground breaking guidelines on the CPCR in dogs and cats have been published. As a result, Chapter 5- CPCR is no longer current, and in some parts is already out of date. There should be an addendum put into the beginning or end of the chapter notifying the reader that they are encouraged to review these guidelines.

Companion website

  • Offers information on initial patient assessment, specific body system conditions and other select emergency and critical care topics and therapies
  • Fully authored  by leading  Veterinary Technician Specialists in Emergency and Critical Care
  • Includes access to a companion website featuring case studies, images and review questions at
  • Covers the most common emergencies experienced in hospitals and clinics
  • Focuses on handling dogs and cats with a special chapter on exotic and avian emergencies
  • Provides a comprehensive reference on emergency and critical care skills for veterinary technicians of all skill levels