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Giving cat fluid injections - tips/advice?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Reggie has kidney failure and has been losing weight over the last year or so. My vet said the next step to help him feel a little better and keep him hydrated is to give him fluid injections. We brought him to the vet last night and she showed us how to do it. I put the needle in myself and did it with help holding him, but after a few minutes he got irritated and hissed.

The plan is for me to give him this injection at home 1 or more times per week. It only takes around 2-3 minutes to do it but since it requires him to be somewhat still and calm (aka not irritated) I'm nervous about how to handle that. My wife will be helping so she can help hold him while I do the injection but if he starts getting upset it won't be so easy to finish the injection.

Any tips or advice from anyone on doing injections like this? Anything we can do during the injection to help him? The vet suggested we maybe "scruff" him which she showed just by grabbing the top of his skin by his neck but I'm nervous about freaking him out so much the first time we try this that we won't be able to do it again.
post #2 of 14
My Coco has CRF and I have been doing fluids since January.
I sit her on the sofa next to me and the put the needle in.
Of course she is easy to give fluids to.
Try wrapping him in a blanket and give him something to eat when you do the fluids.
What size needle is it?
Cocos is a 18 g and I have got cut 2 times with the needle.
I hope it works out well for you.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
It's also an 18g needle and she warned to be very careful with it. The injection seems to be quick and only take a few seconds, but it's the couple minutes it takes to finish that concerns me with keeping him calm and accepting of whats going on.

How long has Coco had CRF? Has she lost weight?
post #4 of 14
We found out she had CRF last Sept.
She was given 5 months to live last Jan.
Coco only weighs 6.2 pounds now and was 8.7 before she got CRF.
How old is your cat.
Coco is 17.5 years old and she is not my first cat with CRF.
My Stripe had it also.
Coco used to scream when I did the fluids the first few times.
She would try o get away also.
Now she just sits there and even purrs when I give the fluids.
How much fluids are you giving?
Is he on any other medicines?
Coco has other medicines and other problems besides CRF.
I buy her fluids online.
You can save a lot of money that way.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
We found out she had CRF last Sept.
She was given 5 months to live last Jan.
Coco only weighs 6.2 pounds now and was 8.7 before she got CRF.
How old is your cat.
Coco is 17.5 years old and she is not my first cat with CRF.
My Stripe had it also.
Coco used to scream when I did the fluids the first few times.
She would try o get away also.
Now she just sits there and even purrs when I give the fluids.
How much fluids are you giving?
Is he on any other medicines?
Coco has other medicines and other problems besides CRF.
I buy her fluids online.
You can save a lot of money that way.
Reggie has lost a good deal of weight and is down to 9 lbs. When you pet his back you can feel his spine and all of the bones. We're starting off giving him 150cc once or twice a week depending on how he does. His potassium level is good due to potassium powder we've been giving him with his food for months now. He just seems to be dehydrated.
post #6 of 14
I had a rescue quite a few years ago, Winkin, who was on fluids the last two months of his life. I would put him on the bathroom vanity, and hold him next to my body to do his fluids. I did it on the vanity so that I could draw a warm sink of water, a let the tubing lay thru it so that the fluids would warm up before going into his body, as opposed to cold straight out of the bag. Once I started doing this, he never squirmed at all, just sat patiently while I rubbed his head.
Best of luck to you! I know of cats that have lived many, many years while on fluids!
Bobby and the Gang
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfish29 View Post
I had a rescue quite a few years ago, Winkin, who was on fluids the last two months of his life. I would put him on the bathroom vanity, and hold him next to my body to do his fluids. I did it on the vanity so that I could draw a warm sink of water, a let the tubing lay thru it so that the fluids would warm up before going into his body, as opposed to cold straight out of the bag. Once I started doing this, he never squirmed at all, just sat patiently while I rubbed his head.
Best of luck to you! I know of cats that have lived many, many years while on fluids!
Bobby and the Gang
Thank you for the tips. She did suggest warming the tube in a bowl of water during the injection but I've read online that you can warm the whole bag in a bowl of warm water before the injection which sounds even easier.

I hope Reggie lives as long as he can but with his weight loss it appears that he's heading down the wrong path. Anything like this to help however can't hurt.
post #8 of 14
Here is how my Coco looks.
She was 10 pounds at one time.
CFR do get dehydrated fast.
I do fluids every other day with Coco.
Do you have the blood test results for your cat?



Sorry the pictures are big.
It will not let me resize them today.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
I had tests done a few months ago and none of the levels were extremely bad but they were lower than normal. Typical of a CRF cat I'm told. I put a little tuna fish water in his water to make him interested in drinking more too.
post #10 of 14
One thing you may want to consider is something called a fluid button. For cats that get at home fluids pretty frequently it's a big help to owners. What it is is a little plastic disk inserted right under the skin that has a hole in it. Instead of having to poke an 18 g needle through the skin, you just insert the needle into the "button". They can last for up to a year. At the clinic where I work the CRF kitties that have gotten them have done incredibly well with them. Owners love the ease of them.

The procedure to insert it is incredibly easy and quick. They'll probably be down a total of 30 minutes and definitely home the same day. May be worth asking your vet if they have any experience with them.
post #11 of 14
Milo has been getting fluids for a year now, he also has CRF.

my method is to put him in a cat bag and put a pillowcase over his head; for some reason with the pillowcase over his head he is much calmer.

i try get the fluids warm before he has them by putting them in a warm bowl of water so it is closer to body tempeture.

the wierd thing is that milo has gained wieght since getting CRF, he is at his highest wieght ever now (a healthy 14 pounds). to reduce the amount of fluids he has to get i feed him lots of wet food.

i give him fluids if he is getting dehydrated (i use the pinch test to tell) and he is supposed to be getting 140 cc a week but he gets a bit less since he loves it if i mix water into his wet food and he gets lots of extra water that way, it would be a much differant story if he were only eating dry.
post #12 of 14
I gave my Smokey (R.I.P.) sub-q fluids every other day for the last 2 years of her life. I found that for her sitting on my bed with her laying between my legs worked best. She was preety good. You are lucky if you got an 18 g needel. Smokey was a tiny cat, 7 lbs at her larges, 6 lb by the time she was diagnosed with CRF. So my vet had me use 16 ga needles. It was a slow process. At the shelter I have found that some cats are much more tolerant of the fluids if being fed at the same time.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by furryfriends50 View Post
Milo has been getting fluids for a year now, he also has CRF.

my method is to put him in a cat bag and put a pillowcase over his head; for some reason with the pillowcase over his head he is much calmer.

i try get the fluids warm before he has them by putting them in a warm bowl of water so it is closer to body tempeture.

the wierd thing is that milo has gained wieght since getting CRF, he is at his highest wieght ever now (a healthy 14 pounds). to reduce the amount of fluids he has to get i feed him lots of wet food.

i give him fluids if he is getting dehydrated (i use the pinch test to tell) and he is supposed to be getting 140 cc a week but he gets a bit less since he loves it if i mix water into his wet food and he gets lots of extra water that way, it would be a much differant story if he were only eating dry.
Interesting. Recently Reggie's weight has leveled off, even increased on some days. We feed him Science Diet KD which is supposed to be good for kidney disease. He seems to like it and while he doesn't always eat it all everyday we mix in regular canned food for a little flavor and he LOVES that. What kind of food do you give Milo?

We did the fluids for the first time last night and it went pretty well. Hanging the bag from a ladder, we sat on the floor. My wife had a bowl of canned beef food that he LOVES and so while he ate that I easily put the needle in and started it. Only took about 2-3 minutes to finish. While eating he jerked back a little bit right at the very end and the needle came out but we got about 90% of it in him fine. In the end I don't think he even knows that we did anything to him!
post #14 of 14
Milo acts like he is gonna die when ever he gets fluids. He is a very wimpy cat...

He gets whatever wet food he wants if it is low in phosphorus. He decided a while ago he hated the K/D canned.

http://www.geocities.com/jmpeerson/canfood.html
http://webpages.charter.net/katkarma/canfood.htm

above are sites with lists of canned food and how much phosphorus is in them. wellness chicken, fancy feast minced beef, felidae, and gerbers 2nd stage beef and beef gravy are what i use.
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