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Sub-Q fluid givers: Need some tips

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

Our cat has been prescribed 250ml of lactated ringers a day. Seems like a lot of fluid based on what I have read, but I'm no expert.
Today was day two of giving the fluid and it went a lot better than yesterday. The thing I'm worried about is all the fluid goes directly to her right front leg. Vet said to keep massaging the area throughout the day to help disperse the fluid.

Is there a way to alternate each day to help the fluid go to the other leg? She is small and I think 250ml is to much for her at one time. I'm afraid to insert the needle to far from where I was instructed in fear of hitting the wrong area.

I've read a few online articles but they mainly were instructions, I'm looking for personal experiences. Thanks so much

BTW, for the few that read my "Something is not right" thread, Our cat is seeing a specialist on Monday.
post #2 of 10
When I had to do that, I alternated where I placed the needle each time, and for anything over 100ml, I moved it to a different place about halfway through. I did this at my vet's recommendation.

I know, 250ml seems like a lot, but eventually cats with CRF (I'm assuming you are doing this because of CRF) get to those levels or more. A friend of mine was up to 500ml a day for her large boy.
post #3 of 10
You can move the needle anywhere really, Subcutaneous means under the skin, nothing specific. I wouldn't keep sticking the needle in the exact same place, that would get pretty painful. You could put the needle on the back of the neck too. Or move it up and down in direction on the leg. You could also do half in one leg and half in the other. I wouldn't do all 250cc in the same spot all at once.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Jen- I have been putting behind the neck, above the shoulders. I guess the needle was pointing slightly in that direction and the way she was laying, the fluid migrated that way.

Momofmany - What are the most popular places to place the needle? When you say you moved half way through, did you take the needle out and re-insert, or move it under the skin?
post #5 of 10
Originally Posted by just1cat View Post
Momofmany - What are the most popular places to place the needle? When you say you moved half way through, did you take the needle out and re-insert, or move it under the skin?
I generally placed it anywhere to the left or right of the spine anywhere from mid back to an inch from the neck. If the fluid wasn't moving smoothly, I would move the needle under the skin. If I was giving a lot of fluids, I would re-insert it on the opposite side of his body to avoid the problem that you were describing. My vet told me to look for fleshy parts that you can pull away from the body at the point of needle insertion.
post #6 of 10
When I worked at the animal hospital and shelter, we'd give sub-q's in the scruff of the neck... most of the time, however, these cats only needed like one or two treatments and weren't dealing with a chronic illness... but I would move the needle around, rotating places with each treatment and I do like the idea some people had about moving places halfway through the treatment - especially if the kitty is small
post #7 of 10
I've never had to give more than 100 cc at a time, but would try to vary the insertion area each time so it wouldn't get too sore. My favorite was the loose skin just above the midpoint of the shoulder blades, but have done it back of the shoulder blades...so long as I could easily lift enough skin to gently insert the needle.

I never did have the fluid slide down one side, though I've heard of this a number of times.

Please do read over the section on giving fluids for what the signs of overhydration are:
I'm glad to hear you'll be taking her to a specialist.
post #8 of 10
Here's a great "How To" instructional on how to do sub-Q fluids. http://www.weirdstuffwemake.com/weir.../catjuice.html There's a picture on where to give fluids. I give Cleo her fluids anywhere in the area where you would place a saddle if she were a horse. I usually give fluids back a little farther than the scruff area, because I don't like to see the fluid pocket go down her front leg. If I give it back farther, it seems to settle into the abdominal area and doesn't bother her at all.

Unless your kitty is quite large (over, say, 15 pounds), I'd be VERY, VERY hesitant to give more than 100 ccs per session. Small cats can become overhydrated quite quickly. My sister's friend actually put her cat into congestive heart failure by giving too much fluid, and he died on the way to the vet. Please watch your cat VERY closely after giving that much fluid. Rush her IMMEDIATELY to the vet if you notice open mouthed breathing, restlessness, lethargy or coughing. Absolutely DO NOT administer the next session of fluids if the previous fluids haven't been completely absorbed. Your cat might be more comfortable if you divided the fluids into two sessions, 12 hours apart. This would also help the fluids to absorb a little more uniformly. Please talk to your vet about the amount of fluids. Perhaps this amount is only for a short time to see if her numbers will drop quickly. You might want to talk to your vet about congestive heart failure signs and symptoms and see if he will give you some Lasix to administer if any of those symptoms present with the amount of fluids you are giving.

Please read the sticky thread about CRF at the top of the Health and Nutrition forum. We've collected a lot of handy info about CRF treatments. There's lots of links included in many of the posts that might be helpful.

Good luck to you and your kitty!

Pookie & the girls
CRF Cleo, CRF Maggie & Lola (the terrorist!)
post #9 of 10
All great advice!! I would still call and verify anything new with the vet before you attempt it...after all they do have a degree in veterinary medicine and should always have time to consult with their patients!!

Good luck, I know this must be a little unnerving!
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the great advice. I only gave 100ml tonight. I'm a little worried she was getting to much for her size. I will consult with the specialist on Monday about fluid intake. My baby is only 7-8 pounds after losing weight, and seems uncomfortable after 250ml of fluid.
Some is better than nothing at this point until I can get a second opinion. I may be wrong but I'm erring (sp) on the side of caution.
She seemed more comfortable after 100ml than 250ml.
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