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Urinary Catheter Discussion

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Megan Brashear, CVT, VTS (ECC), explains the differences in common urinary catheter varieties, and how they serve specific patient needs.

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Megan Brashear's picture
Megan Brashear


Enrolled: 07/2011

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Hillary Owen's picture

How do you secure a closed collection system to the slippery sam catheters? We have them but have stopped using them on a regular basis because the closed collection system seems to fall off easily. We also ran into problems when trying to flush the catheter when it is attached to a closed collection system. Every time we flush the line pops off of the slippery sam. We use an IV line and an empty IV fluid bag as our closed collection system. Thanks!

Megan Brashear's picture

Hillary, there is a hard plastic adapter called a Little Herbert (I wish I was making this up...) that has one end that goes into the slippery sam, the other attaches to the closed collection system. At DoveLewis, we will actually hook a T-port between the little herbert and then the IV line for the closed collection system. The curve of the t-port keeps things from pulling on the prepuce. Then we make a tension loop in the IV line that is sutured to the cat's hip to prevent pulling. That system works great for us. I'll find a photo and we'll post it on Facebook for you!

Darcie Harrell's picture

How often and how much sterile saline do you use to flush the urinary catheter in a male cat? Also, do you ever flush indwelling catheters for patients that are not blocked? (ex. back dog).

Thank you!

Megan Brashear's picture

Darcie, a lot depends on the cat... We do not routinely flush the urinary catheters. In a cat with a large amount of grit discovered when we unblock him we will flush 10-20ml of sterile saline through the catheter every 4 hours (make sure the bladder is empty prior to flushing!). If we notice some sort of obstruction (like tissue or blood clots) in the line then we will institute flushing. Flushing the catheter is an opportunity to introduce infection so we don't routinely flush the catheters in back dogs, pelvic fractures, etc.