Two Catheter Method for Urethral Catheterization in Female Small Dogs and Cats


CHF Grant 02922-E: Clinician-Scientist Fellowship, Josephine Dornbusch, DVM, The Ohio State University

Publication: Dornbusch, JA, Yaxley, PE, Hechler, AC, Byron, JK, & Selmic, LE. (2023). A novel two-catheter method for urethral catheterization improves success rates of urethral catheterization in female dogs and cats weighing less than ten kilograms. JAVMA261(11), 1623-1627.

What can we learn?
It can be difficult to place a urethral catheter in female small dogs and puppies since the reduced size of the vestibule in these patients precludes the use of digital palpation or traditional speculums to guide the catheter tip. Investigators previously developed a 2-catheter technique designed to obstruct the vaginal canal (similar to a finger during digital palpation) to help direct the catheter into the urethra using supplies that should be readily available in most veterinary practices. In this study, qualified hospital personnel of any experience level placed a urethral catheter in a female dog or cat weighing less than 10kg using either the traditional technique or the 2-catheter technique. The 2-catheter technique was more successful than the traditional technique regardless of the placer’s previous experience.

A new, 2-catheter technique for urethral catheterization in small female dogs and cats is a good alternative in patients where concurrent digital palpation is not possible – even for clinic personnel with minimal previous experience.

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