Veterinary Equipment Maintenance: Tips for Prolonging Lifespan

Whether you operate a doggie daycare, boarding facility, or veterinary medicine practice, you almost certainly want to get the most usage possible out of your veterinary equipment. Prolonging the lifespan of your veterinary equipment can help you delay costly replacements.

No matter your specific industry, attentive cleaning practices are essential for the lifespan of your equipment. Use the following best practices to make your veterinary equipment last as long as possible.

Maintaining Your Veterinary Surgery Equipment

The proper maintenance of veterinary surgery equipment is not only essential for improving durability, but also for the health and welfare of your patients. Following these best practices can minimize the risk of veterinary hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).

Keeping Surgery Instruments Sterile

Establish surgery instrument sterilization protocols in your office and ensure that each staff member adheres to them. Additional training for some staff members may be necessary.

The first step is to ensure that all surgical equipment is properly sterilized within 10 minutes of completing the procedure. If biomaterial and other debris is allowed to remain on the equipment longer than this, it can lead to corrosion.

Corrosion not only compromises the integrity of the instruments, but also facilitates the process of microorganisms adhering to the material. As a result, your instruments will fail prematurely, and you may see higher rates of post-surgical infections.

If you cannot sterilize you veterinary surgery equipment within 10 minutes of each procedure, at the very least you should keep the instruments moist with an enzymatic spray until you’re able to clean them. However, be careful not to soak your instruments for too long because prolonged moisture will also lead to corrosion.

It’s recommended that you use both manual cleaning and ultrasonic cleaning for the best results. In addition, follow these tips:

  • Use pH neutral cleaners that are specifically labeled for cleaning veterinary surgical instruments.
  • Avoid using harsh cleaners that can eventually cause corrosion. These include bleach, peroxide, and chlorhexidine.
  • Do not let the instruments soak.
  • After each cleaning, visually inspect the instruments. Immediately discard and replace any that show signs of defects, including pitting, corrosion, and cracking. These defects can provide a breeding ground for microorganisms.

Servicing Surgery Equipment

In addition to following a rigorous sterilization routine, you can prolong the life of your veterinary surgery equipment by having all instruments serviced routinely. Find a reputable repair facility and have them service your instruments at least twice per year.

Good Practices for All Types of Veterinary Equipment

While veterinary surgery equipment requires special care and maintenance, all types of veterinary equipment can benefit from the following practices. This includes everything from exam tables and kennels to powered medical devices.

Daily Checks

One of the simplest ways to prolong the life of your veterinary equipment is to inspect it daily. It’s best to do your inspection in the morning, prior to the equipment being used. This allows you to verify that the equipment is ready to be used that day. It also lets you identify any potential problems as early as possible—before a major malfunction can occur.

Power Supply

Any sort of veterinary medical device that draws power should always be turned off when not in use. If a device is left on continuously, it may be more susceptible to overheating.

By getting into the habit of turning off devices that aren’t currently being used, you can reduce the risk of heat-related damage. You’ll also save on your electricity bill.

Reagents and Lubricants

Some types of veterinary equipment require the routine replacement or refilling of consumables, such as reagents and lubricants. For example, lubricants are often necessary to prevent friction-related wear and tear damage around moving parts, while reagents are necessary for diagnostic equipment.

Establish a schedule for checking these consumables and replacing them as needed.

Staff Training

No matter how well-intentioned your staff members are, they may inadvertently damage veterinary equipment if they don’t know how to use it or care for it properly.

Assess the current training requirements of your staff and develop a plan for getting everyone up to speed quickly. And don’t forget to train new staff thoroughly!

At TriStar Vet, we care deeply about the welfare of animals. Our mission is to design and manufacture durable, ergonomic veterinary equipment of the highest quality so that veterinarians, boarding facilities, and doggie daycares can provide exceptional care. Contact us today to speak with one of our representatives about our veterinary equipment.