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subcutaneous hydration ... need tips for calming my kitty

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm new to posting here, but I've been reading lots of threads, and learning so much .

My Muffin, age 19, is moving toward the end-stage of kidney failure (CRF). Last week I took her to the vet clinic each day for sub-q hydration treatments, which were successful not only to improve her hydration status, but also helped to flush the toxins out of her blood (urea and creatinine both came down). I believe the exta potassium in the fluid solution also helped, as she has perked up and has been more active the last few days.

So ... I'm now starting to give the infusions at home. I should say that I'm a registered nurse with many years experience in critical care and emergency, so IV's and needles don't bother me at all. What I'm nervous about is maintaining Muffin's trust ... I've given the infusions 3 times now and although they went fine, she now runs and hides whenever I go near even to pet and cuddle .

The vet tech. suggested I put her in a box or bottom half of the carrier cage (with the top half removed) and a towel or blanket in it. She thought the confined space might be comforting, and I did try that today and seemed to be okay.

Anyone else have experience with this? What worked for you and your kitty??

{{hugs and purrrrs to all}}
post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 
I should also add ..

When the vet first advised me that Muffie's kidneys were bad, he stated she had maybe a few months to live. I immediately switched her diet from grocery store crap to premium food, no more cornmeal, soy and by-products. That was over 6 years ago!

One morning I awoke and she was on my pillow having a seizure. I rushed her to the vet, and they diagnosed a brain tumour. She was given needles of cortisone, and remains on a daily dose of prednisone (cortisone). The vet said she had a couple weeks, maybe a month or two tops. That was 2 years ago.

This sweet angel kitty definitely has 9 lives! and I want to do everything I can to make sure this last life is comfortable and stress free!!!
post #3 of 21
Bless you for your patience & love for Muffin. I went through this with a 14-year old Persian...Misty. Very draining on both patient and caregiver.

The suggestion of a carrier with blanket/towel is a good one. Misty hated having her treatment. I would put down a blanket for her to be comfortable and with the IV hanging, it freed one of my hands, so I could pet her during treatment. That seemed to help.

Best wishes for you & Muffin.
post #4 of 21
[b]When the vet first advised me that Muffie's kidneys were bad, he stated she had maybe a few months to live. I immediately switched her diet from grocery store crap to premium food, no more cornmeal, soy and by-products. That was over 6 years ago!

Wow!! That is very interesting. Out of curiousity and a bit off topic...what food did you switch to? Wet...dry...both?
post #5 of 21
I have never done this, but would suggest you try to do it when she is tired. Also, try to give treats afterwards. We are finishing up treatment on a horse-a shot and oral antibiotic twice a day for over 2 weeks. She would go into her stall and turn her behind to us. After giving her carrots before and after the meds, she is now turning to face us expectantly. (She also feels a lot better now!)

Good luck with your kitty. It comes in handy having that nursing background when giving intensive medical care!
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leesali
Wow!! That is very interesting. Out of curiousity and a bit off topic...what food did you switch to? Wet...dry...both?
hi leesali

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post brand names, but I'll just say that I started buying a premium brand of "senior cat" food from a pet food store, rather than the cheap grocery store brands. I read labels, and chose foods that listed real meat, chicken, fish, whatever as the first few ingredients .. NOT corn, soy or other cereals.

At first it seemed expensive .. but soon I noticed both cats were eating less, so the food lasted longer! In the end, the cost has balanced out. I feed them a couple spoonfuls of canned food in the morning, and dry crunchies at suppertime. I don't leave out food for them to nibble through the day. There's several water bowls throughout the house for them though!!!!

Just to be clear .. Muffin is now getting prescription food from the vet, dry and canned, which is lower protein and phosphorous, and higher potassium, omega-3's and other good nutrition .. designed for older cats with kidney and/or liver disease.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
I have never done this, but would suggest you try to do it when she is tired. .........
hi Beckiboo,

Thankyou! That sounds like a good idea. I waited today until she was more lively and alert. But now that I think about it, last week when I took her to the vet, I basically grabbed her when she was sleeping and not very alert. She barely made a peep, and perked up afterward like a kitten!!

I'll try the *tired* thing tomorrow, and keep y'all posted how it goes
post #8 of 21
I am near that pt with my 17 yrs old.. she eats homemade and canned not vet she dont like)
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
I am near that pt with my 17 yrs old.. she eats homemade and canned not vet she dont like)
hi sharky

{{{hugs}}} to you too!!! My other cat, Bettie .. is also heading there. She's 13, and last blood tests showed she's headed toward kidney failure too. Right now she's perky and playful and otherwise healthy. So I give her premium "senior" cat foods, and make sure there's no corn or soy. Cheaper foods might have lots of "protein" in them, but it's a type of protein cats can't digest very well .. at least not from what I've researched,

My thought is .. if your sweet kitty is failing, and the hope is not for a cure but just to keep her/him comfortable ... then, you should feed your baby what they like. If they like some of the new food, or only like it sometimes ... fine. If they prefer the old store brand crap .. fine. Try to mix it, or alternate days. My babies took a couple weeks to switch over. Now it's okay, they like the new stuff.

Just my opinion though!!


{{{hugs and purrrrrrrs to you}}}
post #10 of 21
Exactly at 17 she has had a good life and she is just being comfy ... and since the vet approved her weird diet , I feel better with it...

Tell Bettie she doesnt want this...lmao.. Like a cat would listen...

Yeah premium foods help Kandie was on senior for about 18 months before I pulled dry from her.. My 17 month old eats better than me..
post #11 of 21
Wow she's 19. You must be a wonderful kitty meowmy
post #12 of 21
19! You're a good kittty mom.

When I had to give my Macumba girl subQ fluids I experienced the same problem - she tolerated all the medicating well, but I began to notice that any time I reached for her that she was expecting medication or fluids.

I addressed the problem by giving her definite cues for her medication sessions, so she could clearly separate them from other times when I just wanted to pet her.

I began by using a towel every I medicated her - I would pick up the towel, go and get the cat (NEVER call her to you to for anything she might consider unpleasant - she needs to continue to associate coming when called with only good things), then I would say "time for your medicine" and place her on the towel on my lap to give her the fluids or her pills (she was hyperthyroid and had kidney failure). You might also want to designate a specific spot for giving the meds - ours was on a chair by the kitchen table. That will also help her separate the med-giving occasions in her mind.

Hope this helps
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thankyou tuxedokitties, those are great suggestions! I'll try to incorporate some of those ideas in today's routine, and report back later how it goes .

I'm waiting for Muffin to get tired and groggy as Beckiboo suggested, but for some reason today she's on high alert. I just nonchalantly walked past the bedroom door (she's curled up on the foot of the bed), and although her eyes were shut, her ears were standing at full atten-SHUN!!

Thanks for all the good wishes everybody. I just want her last days, weeks whatever, to be as stress-free as possible.

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedokitties
19! You're a good kittty mom.

When I had to give my Macumba girl subQ fluids I experienced the same problem - she tolerated all the medicating well, but I began to notice that any time I reached for her that she was expecting medication or fluids.

I addressed the problem by giving her definite cues for her medication sessions, so she could clearly separate them from other times when I just wanted to pet her.

I began by using a towel every I medicated her - I would pick up the towel, go and get the cat (NEVER call her to you to for anything she might consider unpleasant - she needs to continue to associate coming when called with only good things), then I would say "time for your medicine" and place her on the towel on my lap to give her the fluids or her pills (she was hyperthyroid and had kidney failure). You might also want to designate a specific spot for giving the meds - ours was on a chair by the kitchen table. That will also help her separate the med-giving occasions in her mind.

Hope this helps
When I had to sub-q Bogart at home, I thought that doing it in his "happy" space would calm him (on my lap on the recliner). He immediately stopped coming to me while I was in that chair. I moved over to the kitchen counter, where I could hang the bag up high out of the way on a cabinet handle, have him at a better level, and get my arms wrapped firmly around him to comfort him. He was never happy about the sub-q's, but he tolerated it because I talked softly to him, gave him lots of hugs (he was a very snuggly cat), and eventually he figured out that he felt better afterwards. I also had to keep myself calm. The more anxious I was about the process, the more nervous he would be. I started a mantra in my mind whenever I had to do it: it makes him feel better, it makes him feel better......

So sorry that you have to go thru this. It is so hard on both of you!
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your suggestions everybody .

It's not a "routine" yet, but so far so good. I removed the top half from her carrier, lined it with a nice fluffy towel, and she has been relatively content to curl up in that while the deed was done. That way, my hands are free to pet her, and also adjust / reposition the needle in order to keep it flowing .. and prevent it from popping out. She did try to make a run for it a couple times, but I was able to snuggle and nuzzle her ears and neck, which calmed her right down.

I noticed it's a lot easier to pull the tent of skin like a sheath over the needle than to just make a jab with the needle itself.

Well, we do this for 3 more days, then find out if it has to continue every day or maybe we can cut it back to every other day .

I know it's helping her feel better, and I don't feel nervous about it, other than keeping her still while it's going. I just don't want her to end up mistrustful and hiding under the furniture all day .
post #16 of 21
From everything I've heard, it is easiest if you do it while the cat is sleepy and don't make a fuss - just do it. With practice it will become second nature.
post #17 of 21
I don't know how I missed this except I've not been on the forum as much as usual lately.
First, I am sorry your kitty's crf is progressing to that point - I too have a crf kitty, who is now 18+, so I understand well some of the emotions that go along with this, and the issues they face.

I've been doing sub-q's for Patrick for over 3 years now. I think I may be lucky in that he is rather laid back. But our routine is - I put a favorite, comfy cat bed up on the counter I use (I have a cup hook on the side of this cupboard, which allows me decent height for hanging the iv bag and tubing), I warm the fluids first by submerging most of the bag (keeping the injection port above the water) in a large container of warm water, then flushing the colder fluid through the line after it's warmed for 10-15 minutes. Of course, I do a wrist check for final temp of the solution prior to beginning the infusion.

I tell him what I'm doing, praise him while doing it (and btw, I find that ultra thin wall terumo's are much sharper, and more comfortable re insertion) and when we are done I tell him it is treat time (he loves the word "treat" )
and give him a treat, then we are done and off he goes to have his next nap

You may find some good tips on this site feline crf dot org - my favorite site on the Net for crf info. and tips.

Feel free to pm me any time,

(ps - had to smile, I'm a retired RN)
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hello again everybody

Sorry I didn't post for a while. We've had a bad week here ... but things are better now.

Last weekend was terrible .. Muffin dragged around, barely ate or drank anything, and basically hid in a dark corner for 2 days. Meanwhile, I had a total meltdown from worry, plus other stress that's going on. But by Monday, Muffin rallied and so did I .

The vet recommended that I continue with daily sub-q fluids at least until this hot weather has passed, since that's a huge contributor to her dehydration. I've increased the volume as well, and this has really helped a lot.

We're getting things down to somewhat of a routine now. As semiferal noted, it's best that I don't make a fuss or do anything "out of the ordinary". I get everything set up (thankyou for the suggestion to warm the fluids .. much better!), then without a lot of fanfare, I put her in the carrier base (with the top off, and a fluffy towel liner), give her a nuzzle and "good kitty", then in goes the needle and that's it. She usually meows a protest when the needle goes in, but after that she stays still and cooperates .. I just need to keep one hand gently on her back, so the needle doesn't pop out if she moves a bit, and the other hand I pet her ears and rub her chin. When it's all done, I give a cuddle, and off she goes with a tail-swish to check out her food bowl.


Thanks for all your wonderful suggestions! I'm working on getting some pictures up ... just need to crop and shrink the pics before they can be posted on the web.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix
...You may find some good tips on this site feline crf dot org - my favorite site on the Net for crf info. and tips..
Thankyou so much for this link! That's an excellent site.
post #20 of 21
You are welcome..glad to hear warming the fluids also helped Patrick gives me the business if I forget.
post #21 of 21
Doreen...you & Muffin are in my thoughts & prayers. What a wonderful, loving relationship you two share.
Lei
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