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A new puppy!!

Posted

Specializes in Pediatric Private Duty; Camp Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

My ct recently got a teacup-style puppy! I'm not a dog person normally but I can handle a kitten-sized puppy, it's been a lot of fun and very therapeutic for my ct. Since she's an adult now and lives in an in-law apt on her own that adjoins the family home, the care of the pet falls mostly to me. It's part of her daily ADLs. I don't mind; it's quite easy. However I'm thinking the care of a therapy animal should be included in the 485, lest there comes a nurse who thinks feeding a dog and picking up poo for the ct's pet is not her job. Do any of you care for any pets? Is it in the 485?

Haven't come across this situation, but I also think it should be on the 485, partly for liability issues in case there is some kind of 'accident' and the nurse sustains an injury from the pet. Have no trouble seeing that there could be no Workers' Comp allowed if activities not signed off by the MD.

Oh, and glad you are enjoying the little one just as much as the client!

SDALPN

Specializes in Peds(PICU, NICU float), PDN, ICU.

I would think it would be covered under ADLs. There's no way every little detail of a patients day and activity could possibly be covered.

smartnurse1982

Has 7 years experience.

I personally would not do it.

Her family should do it.

I do not see how taking care of a pet is apart of her AdL.

I am not even sure insurance would agree with that added to the 485.

The insurance companies barely want to pay for pt care,much less an animal.

SDALPN

Specializes in Peds(PICU, NICU float), PDN, ICU.

I personally would not do it.

Her family should do it.

I do not see how taking care of a pet is apart of her AdL.

I am not even sure insurance would agree with that added to the 485.

The insurance companies barely want to pay for pt care,much less an animal.

Adults are different than kids. We are there to help them with ADLs. I had to cook for an adult pt that was a quad. I sure didn't go to culinary school, but I can cook most anything. I've had to check mail for quad patients. Sometimes its part of the job.

Now if the pet shows aggression or is difficult to handle, I won't take chances. If its aggressive, I'll notify my office so they can document it.

I can't see how it would be added, unless it's a working animal which assists the patient. If you enjoy it and don't mind that's fine. However, having and caring for a pet is not an Activity of Daily Living. Baths, food, eating, shopping, doctor visits, cleaning, laundry, social visits, those are activities of daily living. One does not require a pet to live, unless it's a working animal. I don't mind animals myself, but it will not be added.

CloudySue

Specializes in Pediatric Private Duty; Camp Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

Well, if she were an able-bodied person she'd get up on her own, shower, do her own hair, makeup, brush teeth, feed her own dog, and play with it. Those are her regular activities of daily living. I see feeding her dog when she asks me as the same type of necessary request as washing her face. I do document "Assist w ADLs incl care for therapy dog". This dog is too little to do anything like retrieve things for her, but they will eventually have this dog sound the alarm if the ct is in trouble. Plus she brings so much joy to the ct. So they are calling it a therapy dog.

Edited by CloudySue

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

Teacup puppies are not therapy dogs...the puppy may be a therapy dog in training but it sounds like your client is not capable of training the puppy. You may want to be careful documenting caring for a "therapy dog" that does not meet the basic definition of therapy dog. Not all therapy dogs are considered service dogs. Self-declaration of a new puppy as a therapy dog does not legally mean that the pet is a therapeutic or service animal.

If you don't mind taking care of the dog that's your choice however if this dog was not ordered by a physician it's not your responsibility.

There are therapy dogs and service dogs. The way you are describing the puppy is as a service dog and would have be be certified as such by an agency which does that, such as the AKC. https://www.akc.org/akctherapydog/about.cfm Therapy dogs are used in settings with their owners. At any rate, if you wish to care for the puppy and it brings happiness, it's great. Document it if you wish, but I don't believe it is necessary unless you are helping to train the dog for certification as a service dog.

Edited by ceebeejay
spelling

CapeCodMermaid, RN

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health. Has 30 years experience.

Better a teacup dog than a tarantula! I kid you not.

Neither a therapy/emotional comfort animal nor a service animal need to carry any kind of documentation or have any kind of certification. Service dogs must be trained to perform a task for a disabled person.

A therapy animal fits the criteria for assistance animal when it pertains to housing and when it pertain to flying.

It does not apply when going to places that would generally disallow pets such as a grocery store, restaurant or shopping mall.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

Documentation is not required but it is helpful. Generally speaking a puppy does not qualify as a therapy or service dog. Maybe one in training but developmentally most puppies need training to meet the general standards.

There are chihuahuas that expertly serve as seizure and diabetic dogs. Not all service animals must be giant golden lab-retrievers. But therapeutic/service mini ponies have been excluded from ADA protection when challenged in court as have service cats and birds. Id have to find the link but it's an interesting read.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

Vent mommy as one of our resident family experts do you feel that care/training of a patient/client's new puppy should be done by nursing? Perhaps a HHA?

I will let a family dog out if my patient & I can do it. I will help my pedi patient fill a water bowl or give the dog a treat. But letting the dog out/in is not expected on any of my cases with dogs. Helping my patient is therapeutic as it works fine motor and each is thrilled when the dogs listen (these kids have awesome dogs that can hear my good cognition but nonverbal) to them.

I have mixed feelings on this. We had and still have pets in our home. I definitely appreciated nurses that cleaned up overnight hairballs but I didn't expect it and didn't mind if one said "Kitty puked last night in the ___ and I put a paper towel on it."

If we had a seizure dog, then absolutely, yes, I would expect the nurses to be willing to work with the dog and open the back door so he could go out, do his thing and come back. I would not expect nurses to feed/water unless I wasn't home.

For a therapy dog or pet dog for someone with no family is where I have my conflicted opinion. I absolutely understand the positive impact that even just a regular old pet has on the life of a disabled or sick person. I hate that nurses might be the only option to provide care but if the pet is improving QOL of the patient, then I kind of support it even though it's definitely not something that is a nursing duty.

PS - Mini horses do have some ADA rights. I love minis! They are so cute.

cubrnjvm, MSN, RN

Has 14 years experience.

I was always trained not to do ANYTHINg that was not included in the 485. Report that there is a dog and you have to take care of him ( her) as well, just in case.

How can you possibly not do anything not on the 485? My son's doesn't say anything about hygiene, diaper changes, ordering supplies, stocking supplies, checking the go bag, etc.

I checked with two parents of children with service dogs. One child has trach/vent and the dog is for seizures. The child is neuro intact. It does not say on the 485 that the nurse is responsible for the dog but it's part of the rules/responsibilities that the parents gave to the agency. At school, the nurse is responsible for picking up poop and giving the dog water. At home, the parents do it unless they are asleep or not home. The dog is responsible for alerting the caregiver that the child is about to seize so that the nurse or parent can take appropriate action.

The other child is blind and hearing impaired. The dog knows sign language! He does not have a nurse but I thought you might be interested. At school, the teachers and his aide are responsible for picking up poop and giving the dog water. At home, the parents and the aide are responsible.

I had to take care of a cat once but as a caregiver not a lvn. I hated emptying the litter box. I left soon after.

Elektra6, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Home Health, LTC, subacute. Has 16 years experience.

My patient got a Rottweiler puppy! Luckily she is very smart and gentle. She's one now and will escort me to my car when I leave! I don't have a problem filling an empty water bowl or letting her out/in. The client lives with his family and they take care if her.