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Giving Your Cat IV Subcutaneous Fluids at Home (With Photos)

Updated on July 14, 2015

Joined: 8 years agoFollowers: 50Articles: 3
A bag of fluid connected to an administration set, needles, and a coat hanger will do the job.
A bag of fluid connected to an administration set, needles, and a coat hanger will do the job.

Your Kitty Needs Help!

OK, your precious feline is getting up there in years and has developed kidney problems. Or maybe he or she is just recovering from an illness or surgery. Your vet tells you the pet will need subcutaneous fluids for a time—perhaps permanently. So you're faced with the choice of either learning how to give your pet the fluids or paying an animal hospital lots of money to do it. After having given fluids to our cat Babe every other day for the past five years or so, I recommend doing it yourself. Once you've got it down, it's quick and relatively easy. Your kitty will be spared the trauma of being constantly hauled off to the vet—and you'll save money. And if you do it long term, your pet will come to appreciate your act of love.

What Are Subcutaneous Fluids?

What are subcutaneous (or "sub-Q") fluids? Subcutaneous means "beneath the skin," and subcutaneous fluids are sodium, potassium, calcium, and other electrolytes that are injected below a cat or dog's coat to rehydrate them—just like Gatorade rehydrates an athlete. The fluids come in the same clear plastic bags as IV fluids given to humans, and with the same fluid lines, but you only have to put these fluids under your kitty's coat, not in a vein (thank God!).

Getting Started

OK, you've decided to do it yourself, and it's your first time. You need four things to start:

  • A 1000 ml bag of subcutaneous fluids (usually carrying the label "Lactated Ringer's" or something similar and numbered from 1 to 9)
  • An "administration set"—the flexible line that carries the fluid out of the bag
  • A supply of small needles that you push onto the end of the fluid line. The size—18 x 1A, for example—is written on the needle cap
  • A coat hanger with a hook that can be rotated, so you can hang it on top of a door, shower curtain rod, or other high place.

Setting up the Bag and Line

Remove the bag of fluid from its wrapper. Warm up the bag of fluid by putting it in a large bowl - a salad bowl works well - of warm water (you should be able to keep your fingers in the water; otherwise, it's too hot). It takes 5 minutes at most to warm up. Remove the bag and pat it dry.

A 1000 ml bag of subcutaneous fluids labeled Lactated Ringer's.
A 1000 ml bag of subcutaneous fluids labeled Lactated Ringer's.

Remove the fluid line from its plastic wrapping. You'll see a little flow-control box on the line that controls how fast the fluid comes out of the bag. Slide that little box down the line until it's about 12 inches away from the needle end of the line so it's in reach when you want to adjust the flow. Make sure the little wheel that controls the flow is pulled tightly to the narrow end of the box so the line is closed. You'll know you haven't closed it if it starts dripping out of the line—it will, even if the line is capped—once you hook it up to the bag!

Make sure the little wheel on the flow-control box is pushed all the way to the narrow end (closed position) before you connect the fluid line to the bag.
Make sure the little wheel on the flow-control box is pushed all the way to the narrow end (closed position) before you connect the fluid line to the bag.

How to Do It:

  • Take the bag of fluid in one hand. At the bottom of the bag is a tube-like protrusion that sticks out. On the bottom of this tube, is a little rubber seal with a flap on it. Remove this seal with the flap on it. It's just a cover that protects the sterile seal inside it. Now take the cap off the sharp plastic point on the end of the fluid line, making sure it doesn't touch anything (to avoid contamination) and slowly but firmly push the point through the seal until it penetrates into the tube and can't go any farther in. You'll be able to see the point entering the bag. Make sure it's in all the way and that it doesn't puncture the bag. I've found that twisting it as you push helps. Once the point is in, bring the bag upright. Just below where you stuck the line in is a little see-through chamber where the fluid drips out. Gently squeeze this chamber until it's about a third full of liquid. Hold the end of the fluid line over the sink and push the little flow control wheel back to open the line up and drain it of any air bubbles inside (you'll be able to see them in the line). This should take just a few seconds. Stop the flow. Remember to keep the exposed end of the line from touching anything.

Remove the seal with the flap at the bottom of the bag while the bag is facing upward.
Remove the seal with the flap at the bottom of the bag while the bag is facing upward.
  • Next, press one of your little needles onto the end of the exposed fluid line. Lastly, massage the bag to make sure any cold or hot spots dissipate, then test the temperature of the fluid by running some of it over your wrist, as you would with a baby bottle. It should be warm, but not hot. OK, your bag is ready to use.

Hanging the Bag Correctly

  • You need a way to hang it though, and a wire coat hanger works great for this. Bend the hook of the hanger so it's perpendicular to the rest of the hanger. Then slip the hanger's hook through the open slit at the top of the fluid bag and swing the bag around so the side with the numbers on it faces out (you'll need to see these numbers so you know when to stop the fluids).

Hang the bag on a hanger with the hook bent so that it is perpendicular to the rest of the hanger.
Hang the bag on a hanger with the hook bent so that it is perpendicular to the rest of the hanger.
  • Next, you need somewhere elevated to hang the bag, so the fluid can drip down and into the cat. Some recommend buying an IV stand from a medical supply company. That's not really necessary. If your chair or couch is next to a closet, you can swing the closet door open and hang the bag there, numbers facing you. Or you can hang it from a nearby door-frame or a wall shelf and position the bag to face you. One kitty owner says she puts a towel in the bathroom sink, puts her cat there and gives it fluids from a bag hanging on the shower curtain rod. As long as the fluid line is at least two feet higher than the cat and reaches it without being pulled tight, it will work. You want to position it so the bag and your kitty can become one, and you can clearly see the bag and its numbers as you administer the fluid.

Hang the bag off of the top of a door or somewhere else where it will be at least two feet above the cat.
Hang the bag off of the top of a door or somewhere else where it will be at least two feet above the cat.

Cat Meets Fluid Bag

  • Placing the cat on the couch or a large chair just below an armrest helps keeps him or her in place. The key is to place the kitty so he or she is parallel to the length of the couch or chair and facing the armrest, so that the armrest creates a barrier to escape (using the sink will also accomplish this). Then squeeze yourself alongside or just behind the cat. This gives him or her nowhere to go once the fluid starts. I learned this the hard way when I began giving Babe fluids and she'd jump up and walk away, giving my couch and me a saline solution shower.

Cat and bag must be arranged so they can connect without pulling the line tight.
Cat and bag must be arranged so they can connect without pulling the line tight.

Making the Stick

  • OK, you've got your kitty in position and your bag armed and ready. Take the cap off the needle and twist it around so that the underside (the side with the hole exposed) is facing upward. This seems odd, but it lets the needle more easily penetrate the cat's coat. Keep the syringe cap nearby; you'll need it later. Pet your cat and talk reassuringly to him or her for a moment, then casually lift up the scruff of his or her coat between the shoulder blades with one hand—I used my thumb, index, and middle fingers for this—and push the needle all the way in with the other. Try to stick it right in the middle of the loose scruff; too high, and it will poke out the other side; too low, and it might stick into the cat's underlying flesh. Your kitty won't like this.

Using your left hand, pull up the loose scruff above cat's shoulder blades. Model: Babe
Using your left hand, pull up the loose scruff above cat's shoulder blades. Model: Babe
  • I've found that sticking the needle in is much easier if you pull up the cat's scruff with your left hand and push the needle in with your right. So you'll want to position the kitty so she or he is on your right when you're sitting. Otherwise, doing the stick will be awkward and more difficult. Unless you're left-handed, in which case, you're fine. If your kitty submits to the fluids without trying to escape, then positioning doesn't matter so much. I suggest wearing a glove—I use a leather garden glove—on the left hand until he or she gets used to being stuck. I always wear the glove just in case, so I don't have to worry about being bit.

Push the exposed needle (hole side up, remember) into the cat's coat and gently release the scruff. This is easiest if you hold the scruff with the left hand and stick with the right.
Push the exposed needle (hole side up, remember) into the cat's coat and gently release the scruff. This is easiest if you hold the scruff with the left hand and stick with the right.
  • The first few sticks are the toughest. When I did them, I winced, certain I was hurting my cat. But it doesn't really hurt them; the scruff is loose and there's nothing inside. They still don't like it, and may yell. If the needle doesn't go in, you just have to force it in. This is one of the most difficult things about giving a cat fluids. I've done this many times, and the most our cats have ever done is flinch. The experience was actually harder on me than it was on the cat. Then I got used to doing it, and it became routine. Now that I'm on my second cat with CRF, I've discovered something about doing the stick: Position the needle touching your kitty's coat and gently work the tip of the needle up and down (or back and forth) while pushing it in. If you do it right, the needle will slide right in with very little resistance and your kitty will barely notice the puncture.

Tip

How your cat responds to being given fluids depends a lot on his or her disposition and sensitivity levels. If it's his or her first time, you may need to wrap your kitty up in a towel or place him or her inside a cat carrier that opens from the top before you can administer the fluids.

  • Now you've got the needle in, and, hopefully, your kitty hasn't scratched your face off. Next, start the fluid flowing by slowly sliding the little wheel on the flow-control box forward toward the wide end. It's important to do it slowly because otherwise the water will shoot out in a jet, and that may startle your kitty. You've probably seen the slow drip-drip-drip of an IV on TV or in the movies. You can adjust the wheel to make it do that slow drip at first, then speed it up to a faster drip later on. I've gotten to the point where I can give Babe fluids in about five minutes. Keeping the kitty calm and still can be a challenge even when she's used to getting fluids. Stroking the kitty and massaging her ears while making soothing sounds helps.

The drip chamber; when starting the fluid flow, watch this to measure how fast it's flowing. You want drops—not a steady stream.
The drip chamber; when starting the fluid flow, watch this to measure how fast it's flowing. You want drops—not a steady stream.
  • While the juice is flowing, keep your hand lightly on the needle to hold it in place. This will also let you know if it gets loose and starts leaking. A cat can somehow eject the needle by making a very slight move or squeeze of her coat. You'll know this happens when you suddenly see a stream of fluid running down the side of your kitty (in that case, just reinsert the needle and keep going). I try to keep my cat as boxed in as possible, with my hand either over the needle or on the line close to the needle, to keep this from happening.

Gently hold the needle in place while blocking your cat in with your body (See  "positioning the line" photo below.
Gently hold the needle in place while blocking your cat in with your body (See "positioning the line" photo below.
  • Note in the "positioning the line" photo below I am holding the line in position lightly with my fingers. If the fluid from the bag suddenly slows to a trickle or even stops, it likely is because the juice bulge surrounding the needle has pushed the needle to one side. Look up at the little drip chamber while you gently move the needle back into alignment. You should see the fluid start flowing again. If the line still isn't flowing, do the opposite and try moving the line gently from one side to the other, so the needle angles this way and that. Also make sure that neither you nor your kitty are resting on the line and that the line isn't crimped or twisted.

Bad Needle?

If you simply cannot get the fluid to flow, or if it only does a very slow drip, you may have a defective needle—one with a hole that is partly or mostly closed. Try replacing the needle and see if that makes a difference.

Positioning the line

This shows me giving our cat Stormy fluids. Note how I've used the sofa arm rest and my body to hem her in so she can't easily escape. I'm giving Stormy an ear massage, which both relaxes and distracts her while the fluid is flowing.
This shows me giving our cat Stormy fluids. Note how I've used the sofa arm rest and my body to hem her in so she can't easily escape. I'm giving Stormy an ear massage, which both relaxes and distracts her while the fluid is flowing.

Which Size of Needle to Use

The needles you typically get from the vet aren't the best quality; some call them "kitty harpoons." Make the procedure easier on your cat by requesting a higher-gauge syringe (the higher the number, the smaller the hole). The smaller needle size will be less intrusive and do less damage to the cat's coat long-term. The downside? It will take longer to give your cat the fluids because the flow of liquid is slower. I use 20-gauge needles, and it takes me about four minutes to administer 75 ml of fluid, Stormy's daily dose. I've found this to be a good compromise between the 18-gauge "harpoons" and the slow-flow 21 gauges. Several commenters here have recommended Terumo needles, which are sharper and slide into your kitty's coat more easily.

Keep Your Eyes on the Bag!

How much "juice" do you give your kitty? You should already have been told that by your veterinarian. I give our Babe 150 ml (milliliters) every other day (see update below). That's 1.5 numbers on the bag, which is on a scale of 10 ml. 100 ml would be one number on the bag. Make sure the bag is oriented toward where you are sitting with the cat and there is enough light in the room so you can clearly see the numbers.

Keep your eye on the bag as the fluid flows, and when you've reached the recommended amount, stop the fluid by pulling back the little wheel tightly. Then slip the needle out of your kitty and immediately press a few fingers over where the needle was. (Keep them there for about a minute—this keeps "the juice" inside kitty.)

Put the cap back on the needle. Once your kitty is taken care of, remove the old needle from the end of the line, moisten a cotton ball or pad with some rubbing alcohol and swab the hole at the end of the line with it. Then immediately stick a new needle on the line. This will help prevent any bacterial contamination from a used needle while the fluid bag sits unused. I should note here that my cat sitter, a former longtime vet tech at a major animal hospital here in D.C., tells me there's no need to clean or sanitize the line afterward as long as you put a new needle on. I like to err on the side of safety, though.

Tip

Make sure the fluid is completely shut off before you put the administration set away (I leave it hanging in a closet) by pushing the fluid line into the notch of that little dangling piece of plastic on the line (yes, that's what it's for!). Just remember to free the line before you begin your next fluid session. I also always position the needle so that's it's facing up—just in case.

The Juice Creature

Don't be alarmed when you see a large bulge on your kitty's neck, back, or sides afterward—the fluid takes anywhere from six to eight hours to be completely absorbed. Don't worry, it will go away—and so will your darling little Quasimodo. Sometimes the fluid ends up down around one of the kitty's legs, making your kitty briefly look like a Bactrian camel. This makes for a great photo.

Bargain-Price Fluids

Costco's pharmacy sells a 12-bag box of subcutaneous fluids for $26.09—a little over $2 a bag. Vets typically charge $10 or more for a bag.

Update: Doctor Says Smaller Doses More Often Work Better

During our Stormy's recent heart exam, the kitty cardiologist asked me how often I give her fluids. "150 ml every other day," I told him—that was the amount the vet had prescribed. "Why not give her 75 ml every day?" the heart doc asked. Giving her 150 ml all at once is like when you gulp a large energy drink down after exercising, he noted: "You just pee a lot of it away" afterward. The cardiologist is a sharp guy. I thought about this, and it made sense to me. So I began giving Stormy 75 ml every day. She seems to have responded well to this new regimen; the last trip to the vet showed a slight improvement in her kidney values.

I would recommend this approach to anyone who isn't already giving their cat fluids on a daily basis, in consultation with your vet, of course. It means more sticks (I downsized the needle from an 18-gage to a 20-gage to minimize the puncture) and a cooperative cat, so it seems especially suited for a cat who's been getting fluids for a long time and submits to the procedure without resisting.

Any thoughts on this from fellow kitty owners?

Postscript: Please Do Your Cat's Blood Work

If you don't have a blood analysis done as part of your kitty's annual evaluation, please, please, please do so. Cats can develop chronic renal failure (CRF) without warning and at a younger age than you might expect. And they are experts at hiding the discomfort they feel from kidney problems until their condition becomes serious. I know this, unfortunately, from personal experience. While my wife and I were dealing with Babe during her last weeks and then her passing, we let her sister Stormy's annual evaluation slide. Stormy was always the intrepid hunter, full of energy, mischievous and constantly jumping on the table looking for a treat or to swipe a bit of food. We never even imagined her coming down with CRF. It wasn't until more than a year later, when Stormy began looking tired and down, that we took her in for blood work. I was shocked when the vet told us she'd lost 75 percent of her kidney function. A blood analysis of her creatinine and bunin would have flagged this much earlier. The vet pointed out that a middle-aged cat going two years without a blood analysis is like a person going eight to 10 years without one.

On the bright side, a regimen of fluids, a KD diet, and close monitoring has stabilized Stormy, and she lives a relatively normal, if more sedate, life now. But the thought that our precious kitty needlessly lost kidney function still haunts us. So get that blood work done at least once a year!

Support Group for Owners of Cats with CRF

The Yahoo support group http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Feline-CRF-Support/ is an invaluable source on where to get the best-priced supplies and new medicines and which therapies work best. It also provides moral support for cat owners coping with a CRF diagnosis.

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    • Barbra Snyder 8 years ago

      Great article, very helpful and easy to follow. I have a cat with the same problem & I'm going broke from the vet bills.After reading these step by step instructions I believe I can handle this myself.

      Thanks Again,

      Barbra Snyder

    • danielmybrother profile image
      Author

      danielmybrother 8 years ago from D.C.

      Thanks Barbra! You absolutely can do it yourself. When I started giving fluids to Babe, it was intimidating. And she wasn't the kind of cat that would let you do it willingly, either. But she gradually became used to it, and now it's obvious she knows its good for her, because after I've got the needle in she settles down contentedly and purrs! If you have any specific questions, I'll be glad to try to answer them.

      daniel

    • Blaize 8 years ago

      2 comments......

      1, There's a far more comprehensive reference site here http://felinecrf.org/

      2. Most people here http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/feline-crf-info... (online practical support group of CRF caregivers) use and recommend #20 needles

      3. Yes, fluids must be warmed...MORE IMPORTANT is HOW WARM? "5 minutes" may/may not do it....You MUST be sure of the temperature of the fluid, which should be 98-105F max....you don't want to SCALD your cat!

      Nice to see this...every bit helps!

    • elisabeth reid profile image

      elisabeth reid 8 years ago from Colorado

      Outstanding hub...well written and informative without being too clinical. I think you hit just the right note with this one.

      Very well done.

    • danielmybrother profile image
      Author

      danielmybrother 8 years ago from D.C.

      Thanks, Elizabeth! I've had pretty good feedback from cat people. I hope dehydrated cats out there somewhere will benefit too.

    • whbos 8 years ago

      Very nice instruction site. The kitty in the images looks like my Siamese cat, Bandit. Fortunately he doesn't have CRF--yet. Pooky does and he hates the needles more than I do.

      To "Dog gone": Your negative comments aren't welcome so why don't you go play in another sandbox. Many of us take this seriously. Your immaturity and ignorance is showing.

    • Chris  8 years ago

      Nice little site, Daniel. BUT..... that white plastic cap on the "outlet tube" of the bag is supposed to come off the bag before you insert the spike. The spike is sterile (under its cap), but that plastic flap and the thick white plastic it's attached to (what you are calling the 'rubber seal') are NOT sterile. They are there to protect the inside, the *real* seal--which IS sterile; that seal is up at the end of outlet tube where it attaches to the bag; it is inaccessible except to the spike. If you leave that white plastic thing on the bag and stick the spike through it--instead of removing it first--you might as well just spit on the spike or drop it on the floor before you insert it. The little flap you have handled with your finger in that picture--and have contaminated by doing so--is actually put there in order for you to grab it and tear off the outer (white) seal. I'm surprised Babe has not gotten an infection from contaminated fluids!

      A note on proper terminology: you talk about the "syringe" you're using here. There is no syringe being used. A syringe is a device composed of a hard plastic "tube" with a plunger. It may or may not have a needle on the end; one used for subq, IM, or IV injection WILL have a needle, but one used for feeding or giving oral meds to a cat will NOT have a needle. For this purpose--giving subq fluids to your cat--you are using a bag, a venoset (that's the tubing), and a needle. No syringe; it's just a needle, that's all.

      And last--a note to/about "dog gone": what I want to say has four letters in it, beginning with an F, followed by the word "you." But I won't say that. Instead, I'll just figure your dog is gone because it ran away from the likes of you. Smart dog.

    • Bill Boswell 8 years ago

      I agree. You have to pull that "plug" out first. I also think the coat hanger bit doesn't work too well. For one thing, it can easily fall off the door or wherever you hang it and it is too high to see the line on the bag where you should stop. I use the dresser because it has a knob on it that the bag fits nicely to. A hanger on the doorknob would suffice just as well especially since it is lower.

      Heating the bag is a number one problem in my experience. The bag could be warm, but the fluids are always cold. Also, heating the bag causes unnecessary bubbles in the line. May not be harmful to kitty, but an irritation. I think heating is overrated.

    • Lori Davis 8 years ago

      Is that a Monoject needle (aka "Kitty harpoon")? If so, I would advise a switch to Terumo.

      I use a coat hanger as well, but I hang it over the shower rod. I agree that it could fall over the door. I found that I needed the height to get the fluids to flow well.

    • danielmybrother profile image
      Author

      danielmybrother 8 years ago from D.C.

      Chris, Bill and Lori,

      Ooh, I stand corrected. I've never been told that before about the flap. I'm going to add this information to the Hub immediately. And start removing it when I give fluids. THANK YOU!!!!! As far as the coat hanger goes, it's never fallen on me. Whatever works to keep the bag elevated. The shower sounds like a good idea, but I like to leave Babe in her comfort zone spot. And Lori, yes, it is a Monoeject needle (not syringe!) Are Terumo's better?

      Thanks for such valuable feedback.

      Daniel

      p.s. and "Dog Gone" is .. gone.

    • Chris 8 years ago

      Bill, I disagree strongly about warming the fluids. That's something we stress on the Feline-CRF-Support group. A cat who is sick, old, or thin needs to have warm fluids. Cold fluids rob needed calories from the cat--it takes "x" number of calories for the body to warm that fluid up to normal body temp (102º F). Kitty could (and should) be using those calories for something important. Also, cold fluids are uncomfortable, and chill the cat. To warm a bag of fluid, fill a container (sink, pitcher, pot, whatever) with hot tap water. Insert the bag so that none of the connections at its bottom are in the water. Let it sit. Periodically pick up the bag and "squish" it around in your hands to mix the fluid around inside, to speed up the warming. A full bag will take longer to warm up than will a mostly-empty bag. refill the container w/hot water again if necessary.

      Tiny air bubbles are not a big deal at all. If they're in the bag, they will never make it into the tube; they'll migrate to the air-filled space at the top of the bag anyway. If they're in the tube, just run your fingers along the tube to purge it. Also, flicking sharply at the tube w/your fingers will dislodge the bubbles. Tiny bubbles like this are not uncomfortable for the cat; only large pockets of air cause discomfort--and that is only temporary at that, and very mild.

      Lori is right about the Monoject needles. We call them "kitty harpoons' for a reason! Terumos are sharper, thinner, have better flow, and are a much higher-quality product than those awful Monojects. I've seen Monojects with no hole in them; I've seen them with "spurs" on the tip. And that's just the stuff you can *see*; makes you wonder what's going on "under the hood." Terumos cost the same as Monojects, so I see no reason not to use a better product on my kitties.

    • Chris 8 years ago

      Oh--I forgot. Hangers: I just use those plastic ones w/the rotating metal hooks--like you see in clothing stores. They will hook over just about anything without slipping off.

    • danielmybrother profile image
      Author

      danielmybrother 8 years ago from D.C.

      I've been through three vets since I began giving Babe fluids and no one ever mentioned that a different kind of needle was available. Anything that will make things less stressful for the cat is good -- thanks again.

    • laurief 8 years ago

      Daniel,Thank you for a wonderful resource. It's very well done and understandable. There are a couple of things I would add, though.One is the importance of bleeding any air out of the line before each fluid administration, esp. when using it on a new bag for the first time.Second is gently rocking the fluid bag back and forth a few times after warming to make sure the warmth is evenly distributed, then testing the fluid temp by allowing a bit of fluid to run across your wrist, just as you would test the temp of formula from a baby bottle. It's always safest to err of the side of a bit too cool rather than any too warm.Thank you for putting this page together. It'll help many folks who visit here.Laurie

    • danielmybrother profile image
      Author

      danielmybrother 8 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Laurief,

      Someone else suggested bleeding the line, but my experience has been that I rarely see bubbles in the line, and if I do, they're small and aren't going to hurt the kitty. I have bled the line once or twice when I saw a stream of bubbles. As far as doublechecking the bag temp., several people have recommended that. I've always gauged the temp by handling the bag, but I think I'll take your suggestion so I know exactly how warm the fluid is before administering it.

      Thanks!

      Daniel

    • danielmybrother profile image
      Author

      danielmybrother 8 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Whbos,

      Sorry - responding belatedly. Thanks for your nice message. I hope Pooky will be OK

      Thanks!

      Daniel

    • laurief 8 years ago

      Daniel, bleeding the line is critical when starting a new bag of fluids. When you close the flow control to attach the venoset to the bag, all of the line below the flow control remains filled with air. It's important, after attaching the venoset to the bag and a needle to the venoset, to open the flow control long enough for the air to bleed out (until a steady stream of fluid comes out of the needle). THEN it's ready to begin fluid administration. Laurie

    • Chris 8 years ago

      It's lookin' good, Daniel!

      About Terumo needles: I have never heard of a vet who recommends them or uses them. Some have never heard of them. Go figure. Monoject must have some kind of choke-hold on the vet market--I don't know. But you can get them from medical suppliers, the same places you can order cases of fluids--Brico, Thriving Pets, etc. They're hard to get from local places like Costco or Walgreens, though. They're really worth chasing down. One member of the Feline-CRF-Support group said: "Compared to a Terumo, sticking my cat with a Monoject is like poking a knitting needle through leather."

    • Danielmybrother 8 years ago

      Thanks, Chris. If I can get my wife to take yet another photo, I'll replace the one I removed with an updated correct one. I'd never heard the phrase "kitty harpoon" before or was told of Terumos; I'm looking for some now. This is the real value of Hubs, I guess -- that it's a two-way information exchange, and everyone benefits.

    • compu-smart profile image

      compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

      Excellent first hub..Congrats 2u.

      Ps, i saw your profile about your liking for Lily Alan. I can see your attractiuon 2 her..i have a hub about her you will enjoy;)

      I look forward to more of your hubs!

      ;)

    • danielmybrother profile image
      Author

      danielmybrother 8 years ago from D.C.

      hey thnx. yup, I love Lily Allen. i'm going to read that Hub!

      Daniel

    • compu-smart profile image

      compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

      im just watching Lily now on tv uk, bbc3 10.30:)

    • danielmybrother profile image
      Author

      danielmybrother 8 years ago from D.C.

      just tried to access that, got "available in the UK only" msg. i'm jealous!

    • monitor profile image

      monitor 8 years ago from The world.

      "The first few sticks are the hardest" never a truer word spoken. Your hub contains very supportive information. I appreciate your effrot.

      Your fan.

      Mon.

    • daniel 8 years ago

      thanks Monitor. that's nice to hear.

      Daniel

    • compu-smart profile image

      compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

      Doh!!;)

    • leo811 8 years ago

      hi daniel and others!

      i have been doing subQ on my kitty for almost three yrs now.

      nice of you to take the time to do a step by step demo.

      i have a couple things to add or expand on.

      *first, after watching your video and looking at your photos,

      you might want to try inserting the needle by making a tent

      with the fur. can be done by placing the index finger and middle

      finger at the bone area above the shoulder blades, below the neck

      and using thumb pull up on skin to form a pouch like tent.

      *another tip re insertion as it looked like you might have done a double poke,

      its best if you don't succeed the first poke, change the needle because when its drawn out of the skin it gets bacteria on it and reinserting it can cause infection.

      *re terumo needles and needles in general. DEFINITELY get the terumo ones.

      they come in "ultra thin walled" which is the smoothest for insertion. also when the vet first have me needles they were #18!!! this is wayyyyyyyy too big for cats.

      horrible that they even think this is ok. i am currently using #20 (the higher the number the smaller the barrel). this works the best i think for flow and size of poke, which is important because after a period of time there can be scare tissue developing which will make some insertion sites tougher to poke. i have recently started giving the subQ everyday and if i keep with that i will go even lower possibly to a 21/22/ or even 23. the flow will be slower with those, so if you choose to try them, know that you must have a very patient kity!

      *re bleeding the lines. i am very freaky about the air bubble thing and check it before each treatment. its a quick glance and worth it. the place i commonly find the bubbles is in the elbow part of the line and near the needle base. with the cap on i just flick the elbow and the base with my finger and the bubbles usually loosen and move toward the tip so when you run a bit out before hand (i do whether theres bubbles or not) they will clear out.

      *re heating the water. i let the bag sit (below the line insertion site. its important to not get anything near there and to keep it sterile) in hot water, not scolding but hot enough that its more than warm) let it sit for about 45 min. then i test it. i do think it helps but i don't think it ever gets that warm.

      that's all i can think of right now,

      hope those bits are useful

      kim and meeper do!

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 8 years ago from D.C.

      Kim and Meeper Do,

      This is valuable info. Thanks for taking the time to post it (i've been away and just got this). I generally do "make a tent" when I insert the needle. I don't always replace the needle if the first stick is unsuccessful. Thanks for pointing that out -- I'm going to start doing that. I'm planning to order Terumo needles when I run out of these Monojects, but just getting a higher gage is a good idea -- never thought of that.

      hope meeper (your kitty?) is doing well!

    • kim 8 years ago

      hey daniel,

      glad to be of some help.

      meep ROCKS! he is fantastic.

      he is currently circling like a shark

      as he has veto'd the first three can offers

      today lol! just had his treatment and purrs

      thru the whole event. ... thankx for asking.

      hope your kitty is doing well.

      kim

    • Lucy 8 years ago

      Where can I find 20 x1A needles online ?

      Thank you

    • KP's Mom 8 years ago

      I'm keeping this EXCELLENT information for frequent referencing. I must start this process tomorrow on my beloved Siamese pet of 20 years. I still have one big worry: am I going to be able to handle this while crying my eyes out? I'm so horribly sad at seeing my girl begin the downslide to the end of her life.

      Mom

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 8 years ago from D.C.

      Dear KP's Mom,

      I've been away and just got this. How's the fluid-giving going? This process may sound distressing, and it is at first, but I can tell you that it soon became routine and even a pleasure to see our precious Babe plump and sassy with a fresh load of "juice." The fluids helped give her a normal life for years.

      thanks for your comment

      daniel

    • Nancy  8 years ago

      Hi, thanks for the info. I have now given my 16 year old cat Svetlana 3 SQ treatments and my heart breaks each time. I keep reading info to make sure I do not miss a step and try to catch some helpful hints. I never thought I could do it. I will start warming the fluids now! Your posting was more helpful than my vet! I also have a 15 year old kitty who is getting her yearly senior Catizen bloodwork this month- I am hoping we do not have to go down this path with her, too. My heart is already breaking knowning Svet is in early renal failure. We have symbiotic relationship :) She is the ying to my yang... I will do anything to help her and ensure she is comfortable. Thank you for the very detailed information and layman's way of explaining the steps. And to the goober "BLAIZE" with their comment about "there is more /better info out there" that you allowed on your post-Go stuff a sock in it and leave in a Blaize of Glory... Were you raised in a barn? You are obnoxious & rude.

      Anyway, again for the info. I saved it to my Favorites for easy reference!

      Nancy

    • Shadow's Mom 8 years ago

      Just wanted to thank you for the informative site. Got news today that my foster kitty, Shadow is positive for FIP. It's fatal but I'm supporting her with fluids and anti-inflamitories, and nutri-cal until she's ready to pass on. It's fatal.. but I don't think she's ready yet.. she has a lot of spunk and spirit. Today I watched the vet give her fluids.. but she didn't go in a whole lot of detail other than showing me where to stick. So when I did it myself for the first time tonight and a bubble under her skin came up I got a bit scared that I was doing something wrong. I'm glad to know that bulge is normal.. it's gone now anyway. Which makes me feel better.. poor Shadow, she's such a little trooper! I stuck her twice while trying to give it to her and she just curled up in my lap comfortable as could be.. Thank you for your site, it's very reassuring that I'm doing things ok :)

    • danielmybrother 8 years ago

      Dear Shadow's Mom,

      I'm sorry to hear your kitty has FIP. I didn't know about this until I read your post. I'm so glad to hear my article helped you. Our precious Babe passed on in May, and it was hard to lose her, but comforting to know I did all I could to make her comfortable while she was alive. Shadow's lucky to have such a loving mom.

      -daniel

    • sooz 8 years ago

      thank you daneilmybrother for the excellent info re iv fluid treatment i have been giving henry my dog treatment for several weeks -i like the terumo needle, but have had trouble removing the needle. began using monjects but 18x1A seem bigger than terumo 18 x1 any info? also i initially stored the fluids in the basement where it was cold - when i moved bag upstairs - process went better and faster - and i concluded it was temperature change - my vet had never heard this.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 8 years ago from D.C.

      dear Sooz. thanks for your comment. People who responded to this Hub said Terumo needles were smaller and therefore caused less discomfort to your pet. As it turned out, I never got the chance to try the Terumos and compare, so I'm not sure why they would be harder to remove. Anyone else care to comment about this? As far as storage goes, I've always heard keep medicine in a dark, cool place. Hope this helps. - DMB

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 7 years ago

      very informative hub thank you daneilmybrother for the excellent info re iv fluid treatment

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 7 years ago from D.C.

      thanks Lgali. hope your kitty (if you have one!) won't need this

    • sheila888 7 years ago

      Hi,

      First, let me tell you that your site gave me the confidence to give my cat sub-Q fluids. It was the only one that made it easy for me to understand and reminded me it's okay to have humor...always a fear squelcher. My husband and I have actually gotten pretty darn good at it, if you will pardon the immodesty. Two questions: 1-One of my cat's rear feet is swollen to twice the size (I have reduced hydration from 100ml 1x pday to 1x every 2-3 days), and they feel a little cold.2-I keep asking my vet about high blood pressure, as my cat cannot see much, which seemed like it happened rather suddenly after a crash 2 months ago (he had hyperthyroidism, cured with the radioactive iodine treatment, and has CRF, both of which I understand are contributing factors, and he had the iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism 4 yrs ago), but I think my vet, who is a delightful individual, thinks I should just be grateful for the remaining days that I have with him. My cat is 20, but he is a cantankerous little fighter, and seems to have the will to live if given the chance. He is still social, hungry, and interested in things. He has taken to wanting to sleep in the tub, however, if that has anything to do with anything.

      Are these reasons for concern, and should I be more proactive in determining underlying factors for the swollen foot and possible high blood pressure? Basically, I am wondering what we need to really be watching out for after learning how to give fluids successfully.

      Thank you sincereley for your good works,

      Sheila

    • Sheila 7 years ago

      Sorry-I realize now that you are not a vet, and cannot give medical advice. I think the picture of you looking like you're wearing scrubs kinda' threw me off. Does not diminish the helpfulness of you site, however!

      Thanks again.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 7 years ago from D.C.

      Dear Sheila,

      It makes me really happy to hear my hub helped you and your kitty. Those conditions sound familiar, because Babe had a hyperthyroid condition on top of kidney and other problems. But the fluids and a combination of a great vet and new anti-inflammatories gave us many extra years with her we would not have had.

      Hope your vet can help you with the mystery of the swollen foot. Sounds like your kitty is in pretty good hands.

      Best wishes,

      daniel

    • anna I need help 7 years ago

      hello, My cat is 15 and i took her to the vet because she was dehydrated,so the new Doctor injected the subcutenious fluids into her armpit instead of the spot shown on pictures ,besides i knew where exactly itt was supposed to be injected. So now my cat has a fevermswallen red paw including the entire armpit and if could call it an arm.. and is unresponsive and cannot walk or step on that paw ,because all the fluid dropped into that area.. please help me and let me know what she has... thank you .

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 7 years ago from D.C.

      dear Anna,

      sorry i'm not a vet, just a cat owner. i do know that the subcutaneous fluids produce a big bulge in the area where they are injected -- and that gradually goes away after the fluids are absorbed. but i've never seen subcutaneous fluids injected in a cat's armpit. it sounds odd but there might be a good reason. i would ask -- insist -- on another doctor's opinion at the vet where you go -- or get one elsewhere.

      hope this helps and your kitty gets better fast.

      daniel

    • Jenny 7 years ago

      Thank you for this great post. I have been giving our Siamese, Slim, sub q's for several months now and it is good to know I have been doing it right! At first the results were amazingly positive, but recently he has begun vomiting every time we give him his fluids. We've reduced him to once a week, but he still vomits and dry heaves every time. I was wondering if you or anyone else has had this problem? Unfortunately, our vet has no idea what might be happening.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 7 years ago from D.C.

      Thanks Jenny!

      Maybe you could ask your vet if some bloodwork or other tests would help determine why Slim's getting nauseous from the fluids. i never experienced that in the 5 - 6 years I gave our Babe fluids. If your vet doesn't know why, the only thing I could think of is to divide his fluid dosage into two smaller ones given at separate times on the same day and see how that works.

      Hope it works out.

      daniel

    • David 7 years ago

      Where have you found the best prices for the lactated ringers and iv sets? My vet gave me a prescription, so I can buy them cheaper, elsewhere. I found some pretty good prices online, but since you've been doing this for several years, maybe you can give me some advice for the least expensive way to do this. Don't get me wrong.I'll pay whatever it takes to keep my baby well and feeling good, but there's got to be a cheaper way. Thanks in advance.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 7 years ago from D.C.

      Hi David,

      Wish I could help you on this but I always just bought the fluids from our vet. Think they were about $15 a bag. I know there are lots of petmed places online but you don't want to take chances. I'd ask your vet techs if they can recommend one or join a cat bulletin board and ask the people there. I've gotten lots of good feedback about caring for kitties at the link below. good luck!

      http://www.i-love-cats.com/forums/

    • David 7 years ago

      I'll do that. Thanks Daniel.

    • doctor 7 years ago

      If anyone wonders, yes bubbles are harmfull to kitty! Bubbles in your blood can kill you

    • Jen 7 years ago

      Thanks for these great tips! Being a pet-sitter, I've been thinking it would be a valuable skill to learn how to adminster sub-Q fluids. Now here is my own Sameow to teach me.

      Our vet taught me to push the needle into a tent above Sameow's shoulder blades, but someone mentioned administering fluids in the hip area. Has anyone else administered fluids into the hip? Where exactly would a person make the 'tent'?

      Thanks to everyone for your help,

      Jen

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 7 years ago from D.C.

      i'm trying to type right now around the body of my kitty, Stormy, who's licking the condensation off my bottle of beer!

      as long as you get it under the cat's coat, it should be fine. the "tent" above the shoulders is easiest bc it's the loosest part

      good luck!

      dmb

    • prachee 7 years ago

      I just came upon your site. I have been doing fluids every other day for my cat for over 1.5 years now and lately she has been protesting a lot. I checked and found that my vet supplies me with NIPRO needles, #18. I am for certain going to ask for #20 since my cat is small, has always been that way - she's just 6 lbs. But have you heard of Nipro? Are they comparable to Terumo? I'll get some Terumo anyway I'm thinking, to compare. Thank you for all the information. It is very helpful.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 7 years ago from D.C.

      dear Prachee,

      thanks for your comment. I haven't heard of Nipro needles. Another poster strongly recommended the Terumos, but I always used the Monojects, which someone described as "kitty harpoons." i would say use the smallest needle you can that will stay in place throughout the subcu process. if they're too small, they may fall or pop out and then you'll get a saline solution bath.

      hope you find the right ones for your precious kitten.

      dmb

    • Prachee 7 years ago

      Thanks Daniel.

      I have had my cat walk away with me holding the needle. I used to do the hanger at first but then a cat sitter showed me how to keep squeezing the bag really hard while administering the fluids...a little difficult to do by yourself but it ensures great flow. She never had it up high and that didn't seem to affect the water flow.

      Regarding warming the bag, I have had no luck. It never warmed up. So now I keep the bag wrapped in a woollen blanket inside a drawer between uses.

      Prachee

    • Wendy 7 years ago

      I just gave my cat fluids for the first time. The needle kept falling out. My vet told me it doesn't need to be in very far (just about 1/2 an inch).Perhaps it needs to be in farther?

      Drops of fluid are now dripping out of the sides of her mouth. Have you ever had this happen?

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 7 years ago from D.C.

      dear Wendy,

      fluid coming out of the mouth -- I've never seen that before. where on the cat are you putting the needle into?

      I know that the fluids give cats a bad taste in their mouth, especially when you start out giving them fluids. maybe your cat was drooling a bit.

      as far as the needle coming out: i just recently found out our cat Stormy, Babe's younger "sister," has beginning CRF (chronic renal failure), so I'm back in the fluids business, after doing it for 5 or 6 years with Babe.

      anyway, to start out, the doctor gave us these "Monoject" 1.8 needles that are pretty long -- probably qualify as "kitty harpoons." cat owners generally don't seem to like these, but I have to say that, when Stormy jumped to get away on her very first "subcu," the needle stayed in, because it was so long. maybe you could try these before going back to a shorter needle (1.5's). I've transitioned to a shorter needles AND a smaller gauge -- it has a smaller hole. sticking your kittty with this is a lot easier, and there doesn't seem to be a big difference in the time it takes to administer the fluids, despite the smaller hole.

      hope this helps.

      DMB

    • KAKES 7 years ago

      Hello. I just went through alot with my British Blue. He was a beautiful cat. He was only 10 and a half when he just stopped eating and drinking. Then we found out he had lymphoma and his kidneys were failing. It happened so dam fast. All in like a month in a half. I was giving him fluids under the skin and that is what led to his demise. He had so much fluid in his lungs towards the end, that is what killed him. My advice is to just be careful with how much fluids cause that can kill also. My baby couldn't breathe. It was so sad. He sounded horrible. He was crying to me and I couldn't help him. So just watch out. Listen to your vet yes, but sometimes, I don't know, use your own jugement also.

    • Jenny 7 years ago

      Hi again. A couple of months ago I posted that our cat suddenly began vomiting after receiving his fluids. After extensive testing (and vet bills!) we have a solution: he was reacting to Normosol R and is now on Lactated Ringers. Simple as that! It's pretty unfortunate that our vet couldn't figure that one out--we ended up having to take him to the university vet school.

      Anyway, I just thought I'd report this just in case someone else's cat decides to start vomiting, too.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 7 years ago from D.C.

      I'm on my second cat who needs fluids now, and I've never been given anything by the vet but Lactated Ringers. I've never heard of Normosol, but thanks for the head's up. Sounds like something to steer clear of, barring any special situations.

      Thanks, Jenny.

      Oh, and Kakes: so sorry to hear of your kitty's rapid decline. very traumatic experience.

      but are you sure the fluids led to your Blue's decline? Because, our precious Babe, the "star" of this Hub, succumbed in the end not to kidney failure, but to a failing heart that resulted in congestive heart failure. she went from being normal late one night, and the next morning going rapidly downhill right before our eyes. it was congestive heart failure; her lungs filled with fluid because her heart wasn't pumping properly. but I don't think the fluid in the lungs was due to subcutaneous fluids. I don't know.

      If there's a vet or vet tech reading this, I'd welcome any information on this.

    • Susan 7 years ago

      Well I give my first sub-Q fluid to Kira tomorrow morning. She's down to 5 pounds 8 oz and the vet recommended sub-Qs to give her a few more months and more importantly, comfort as she lives out the rest of her 18+ year life. Thanks to your site and the links within it, I have the courage and confidence to do the deed.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 7 years ago from D.C.

      Susan,

      thank you -- that makes me so happy to know I could help in any way. I know how hard it is dealing with your precious kitty being in declining health. 18 years plus! -- bet you've both been through a lot together. giving Kira a better quality of life for however much longer she's around will be good for you both.

      peace, and happy holidays

      daniel

    • Paul  7 years ago

      Pricked on the tip of my finger by a used kittie needle...

      I poked my finger with a used needle that was inserted in my cat Cameron three days ago(I was giving him IV fluids). If I know for sure that he doesn't have Rabies, am I at anty other health risk or should I seek some treatment of some kind of test to be safe? Thanks,

      Peter

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 7 years ago from D.C.

      Ouch! Paul, I've pricked my finger with the sub-Q needle a few times over the years. I immediately swiped it with alcohol and put a band-aid with neosporin on it and never had a problem. I don't know of any specific health risk, but I'm not a vet, and maybe you should call your doctor to make sure.

      daniel

    • kd 7 years ago

      I have to start giving my cat fluids and I'm scared. She's hard to handle. For example they use a muzzle on her when they clip her nails at the vet. Anyone have success doing this on a very stubborn cat?

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 7 years ago from D.C.

      kd,

      I'm on my second cat who needs fluids, our younger cat, Stormy, and she fights me sometimes and doesn't want to submit to being given fluids. Like this morning. I actually have put off giving her the fluids until she's in a calmer mood. When she's drowsy or napping can be a good time, because you can whisk her into position and insert the needle before she's had time to get defensive. I've found that if you can casually do the stick almost immediately after getting the cat in position -- before she can get worked up -- it's a lot easier.

      What I do is hang the fluid bag on a coat hanger from an opened closet door next to the couch in our living room. That allows me to hem Stormy in at one end of the couch, facing the arm rest. I then position myself on sort of a diagonal so my body blocks her on the side and from behind. This makes it easier to do the stick.

      Sometimes she'll turn her head and make motions to bite my hand as I pull up her fur for the stick. In that case, I slip a leather glove on my hand to protect it.

      I know the vet will wrap cats up in a towel when they put up too much of a fight. I've done this when giving fluids, but it's tricky to keep the cat confined in the towel while making room for the needle stick.

      If all else fails, take her to the vet and have them do it. Maybe you could watch the techs and discuss a strategy with them.

      Hope this helps. Happy New Year!

      daniel

    • lbb87 7 years ago

      I was instructed by the vet to give my cat 100 mL of sub-q fluids twice a week because of a kidney stone. After about two times or three times, my cat became sort of lethargic. He stopped playing his favorite game which involved him running up and down the hallway chasing dry food. So the vet said to only give fluids once a week but he was still somewhat lethargic so the vet said to stop fluids. My cat got a little better and played more but still remained slightly lethargic.

      About three months after this, my cat was put on a low dose of Prednisolone for a skin allergy. Two weeks later he had to be euthanized due to congestive heart failure and kidney failure. He was perfectly fine until his second or third time getting sub-q fluids. The day he started the fluids he had an x-ray that didn't show any heart problems. He had only been diagnosed with a grade 2/3 (out of 6) heart murmur. I believe the sub-q fluids caused the congestive heart failure and that the Prednisolone is what finished him off.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 7 years ago from D.C.

      lbb87,

      thanks for your comment. so sorry to hear what happened with your kitty. giving a cat with a heart problem fluids can be a problem. I know because our beloved Babe, seen above, in fact had a heart murmur. The cat needs fluids to keep her kidneys functioning, but all that fluid in her system can pose a risk if the cat has a heart murmur. So vets try to strike a delicate balance between the fluid therapy and protecting the heart. I'm not a vet, and I don't know if it was right to prescribe those fluids for a kidney stone. Nor do I know whether Prednisolone played a part in your kitty's death. Maybe there was a lack of knowledge on the part of your vet, or your kitty should have been more closely monitored, I don't know.

      I can tell you this: Babe, and other cats, have lived much longer and have had a better quality of life due to fluid therapy. In the end, Babe also died of congestive heart failure. But she was 18 and had many other problems.

      You raise an important issue, though, one that I take to heart because I'm doing this thing all over again with our younger cat Stormy (the tabby pictured above), who has CRF and a heart murmur also. I recently had an ultrasound done of her heart and a consultation with a heart doctor, who said it wasn't too bad and to bring Stormy back in 9 months. I'm letting the heart doctor and our regular vet work out what's safest as far as fluids go.

      Best,

      Daniel

    • Siamese_Nadia 7 years ago

      I just finished giving Nadia her first subq treatment. Needless to say she was not happy and I had to reinsert the needle twice - while she was squirming and trying to bite me. I know it will get easier - thank goodness my neighbor (who is an RN) came over to help me. I could not have done it on my own. The part that will take some getting used to is inserting the needle - I feel like I am not getting it in right.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 7 years ago from D.C.

      Keep trying, Nadia. it will get easier. I've found making the stick farther back -- more toward the mid-section of your kitty -- can be easier. But in any case, it's nerve-wracking to push the syringe in the first few times (and even after that), but just do it. it doesn't feel good for the kitty but it doesn't hurt her. Just make sure it's going into the loose section of her coat, not too high up and not too close to her flesh. And before I make the stick I always rotate the syringe so the hole side is facing up. Seems to go in easier that way.

      good luck

      daniel

    • Siamese_Nadia 7 years ago

      Thanks for the words of encouragment! I am sure it will get better with time. I have to remember that Nadia's Siamese disposition surfaces from time to time. I have been lucky that she has done so well in her 20 years and look forward to her turning 21 in May!

      - Gretchen

    • Soraya 6 years ago

      Thanks for all your posts and sharing what you have gone thru. I have been giving my 5 yr old Siamese, Graycie, SubQ fluids since Sept. It seems with time, it's getting harder and harder. I don't know if you or anyone else has experienced this but she hardly has any "loose" skin to grab. Up until now, I have only been able to grab a tiny bit of skin on the sides of her front legs. If I even attempt to go for skin on her shoulder blades, she'll growl. I'm out of ideas.....frustrated as I end up sticking her several times with each administration of fluids. Any thoughts/suggestions is apprecaited.

      Soraya

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      Dear Soraya,

      you may have to wrap Graycie in a towel in order to administer the fluids. I give my cat Stormy subcu fluids. She's a small, brown tabby and doesn't have a lot of coat to grab onto, so I had to experiment finding different places to stick her. you don't have to do it just between the shoulder blades; you can also move farther back toward her tail, or down a little on either side of the kitty. when I started doing it, I used a towel to keep her restrained, but that makes it harder to lift the fur up. I eventually found that wearing a leather work glove to protect the hand that's lifting up the coat works pretty well. also, how the cat is positioned can affect how much of her coat you have to grab. if she's curled up or tensed up, it's much harded to grab some coat to lift up, so make sure she's in a straight line. what I do is try to make absolutely everything is ready to go before I bring Stormy onto the couch -- the fluid bag is in position hanging on the top of the door, the line and needle are resting so I can grab it immediately for the stick, I have the glove on (when needed,) and the pillows are arranged so she can't escape easily. the very last ingredient is the cat, and I try to make the stick almost as soon as I set her down, before she can get defensive and hissy.

      thanks for commenting, and let me know how it goes.

      daniel

    • Patti 6 years ago

      Thank you, Daniel for your "hub". Our cat, Chip, is 13. We've been giving him sub-q fluid for about a month now. He is so resistant we can barely get 50ml down before he launches himself out of our hands. We're really getting frustrated. He's got a very stubborn but sweet personality so this is breaking our hearts. Seems we're keeping him going against his determined will. I keep telling him it's good for him. Maybe we'll try the towel wrapping thing. We're down to 2-3 times a week, but I don't know if we can take it. Any encouragement would be appreciated.

      Blessings to you!

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      I had the same problem when I began giving Stormy fluids. It's really hard to give fluids to a cat that's determined not to get them. So I'd say try the towel, but also see if you can use two people -- one to hold Chip down, the other to administer the fluids. I've also found that wedging in the kitty in between yourself, some pillows and the armrest end of a couch helps. That blocks him from going forward or backward. Of course, if the kitty decides to "go vertical," than that's really tough. The last resort would be to take him to the vet to have it done and ask the techs there for suggestions. I know that that could quickly prove expensive, however. I'm already at fluids every other day with Stormy. If you can manage to somehow get fluids in your kitty, I've seen with Stormy and our late, beloved Babe that both cats came to understand that the fluids made them feel better, and began to accept being given them.

      Hope this helps, Patti.

      daniel

    • Chris 6 years ago

      I want to thank you personally for this article. We just had our older cat injected with electrolytes and vitamins and he had the bulge on the leg. We were concerned (as we'd never seen this before). Wasn't able to find anything else anywhere on the net about it...until we came across your article. Very well written and informative.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      thanks Chris. it's really nice to hear that from a fellow feline "parent". Don't fear the bulge! :)

    • Ana 6 years ago

      Found your site....thought I might be able to find anything on GOOGLE :)))) I left the vet without looking in the bag and found all the separate pieces without instructions on how to attach everything. Thank you for putting this up! My kitty just got 100ml and I am sure he had a very easy time because you made it possible!

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      Thanks, Ana. glad to hear my Hub helped you out. hope your precious kitty is juiced up and feeling better soon. and good for you for being such a good "kitty mama" :)

    • Jason 6 years ago

      Great hub. Our little kitty recently lost her appetite and started the potential downward spiral of fatty liver syndrome. Fluids greatly help her. She recently has made a couple bowel movements and her appetite is returning to normal :) . The vet said to administer 150cc's once a day which seems like a lot... She isn't drinking on her own but its likely due to the fact we're giving her quite a bit of fluids. Shes slowly regaining her appetite and starting to rally for us. Just wanted to thank you for the good article, its great for building some confidence.

      Couple tips, vet tech told us to pinch a little hard when you're making the tent, this way the cat is focused on the pinch and not the needle. The 20's are definitely better than the 18's in my short experience, our cat would constantly shift around with the 18's. 150CC takes about 4-5 minutes. We usually give our cat a break and go to a different spot halfway through. Talking to our cat helps a lot and above all, be confident. Cats can definitely tell if you're nervous and frustrated. Bringing those emotions in with the procedure can make it more stressful for the cat which makes it harder for everyone.

      Good luck people, subq fluids can be nerve racking but after a few times it becomes routine and GREATLY helps our kitties.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      thanks for relating your experience with fluids, Jason. glad the hub helped. I agree that the smaller gage needles work better overall even if it takes a little longer to administer the fluid. and you're so right about your mood affecting the kitty. I always try to give the fluids first thing in the morning (after I fix my coffee, of course!) when I'm calm from sleep. I make sure I'm the only one in the room, talk in an affectionate voice to our kitty and even put on some classical music. I've never tried the pinch but that sounds like a good technique to distract cats starting on fluids. Once the fluids are flowing, I give Stormy a long, deep ear massage, and that seems to calm her. I wouldn't give a cat fluids when I was pissed off, definitely not.

      OK, good on ya, mate.

      daniel

    • Marie 6 years ago

      Am so happy I found this website since my 20 plus year old cat, Tom, needs to be hydrated for a few days. My instructions from the vet were no where near as clear as yours (he didn't say anything about warming the bag). I just gave Tom his treatment with the help of my husband & grandsons & everything went well. Thank you again for your detailed instructions -- I couldn't have done it without reading & rereading your every word.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      that is so nice to hear, Marie, thanks. it's hard giving fluids those first few times but it does get easier -- for both you and your kitty. 20 years plus -- that's impressive. hope he stays juiced up and healthy for many more years.

      daniel

    • Belinda 6 years ago

      My kitty is on Normosol-R. Just like one of the earlier posts, vomiting is a problem. Other sites suggest that this is a cause of Normosol-R. I'll be going to the vet tomorrow and requesting Lactated Ringers.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Belinda,

      I don't why you would be given Normosol, but I've used Lactated Ringers for 5 years on my kitty Babe and for the past year or so on my kitty Stormy and have never had a problem -- they've always felt better after their fluids. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

      daniel

    • genee 6 years ago

      Best tip from our vet: if your cat is on a dry food diet, serve soft food while administering fluids. This is great incentive -- our cat actually looks forward to the treat and is happy through the procedure. Be sure to check with your vet before changing your cat's diet considerably though.

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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      Genee,

      I never thought of that, Good suggestion. Thanks!

      Doug,

      Thanks for these two links. And the CRF forum is a great resource.

      daniel

    • mike1242 profile image

      mike1242 6 years ago from London

      great hub, great dedication well done.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      thanks Mike!

    • kenny 6 years ago

      I agree with Doug about the forum on Yahoo.

      Similar - http://felinecrf.org

      Also for those with high potential for getting bit or scratched, a cheap pair of welders' gloves from Harbor Freight gives good protection at least half-way up to the elbow. (My daughter-in-law's cat educated me about the flexibility of a cat that is not happy).

      My cat is going to the vet for a re-check of a "virus" that he still hasn't fully recovered from (1 month later). Vet gave subQ fluids last time in and if he needs it again to get him jump-started ... I might as well do it myself & save a bundle.

      Thanks, Kenny

    • kenny 6 years ago

      Oh, if your concerned about the hanger giving way...

      1) try an 'over the door' bath towel hook (more available & much cheaper than an IV pole and more sturdy than a hanger)

      2) If your chosen treatment location isn't near a door, an inexpensive coat hook or peg could be mounted on the wall

      -kenny- [~:

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      thanks for the tips, Kenny. welder's gloves? hope I never have to deal with a cat that requires those! :)

    • sherm 6 years ago

      Hi danielmybrother-

      Thanks so much for this hub. When we gave Couscous, our beloved Manx, fluids about 18 yrs ago it was a 2-person undertaking, but it wasn't too difficult, since she was very cuddly & trusting, willing to endure the discomfort we caused her.

      Last night Clover was an entirely different story-she's high-strung, somewhat suspicious, & wants any handling to be on her terms. For instance, she loves being on my lap, but only on her LEFT side, not her right. She was totally unwilling to be positioned on the couch, so we put her on my lap, where she insisted on listing to her left.

      Try as I might, I can't quite make sense of the photo titled Positioning the line. Is your back against the couch back? Which end of the couch are you on, & which way are your knees pointing? Your model's rear is backed into the corner, yes?

      When we gave Cootie fluids I knelt on the living room floor, with a towel under me. I backed Cootie in so she was lying in between my legs, & DH did the sticking. Unfortunately we couldn't do this now w/Clover. I know you won't see this in the next 30 mins, so good luck to us tonight!

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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Sherm. Thanks for your comment. Is Clover taking the fluids OK yet? Your experience made me realize I should add somewhere in this article that you should let your kitty decide what's most comfortable for her/him as far as where and how to sit, if that's possible. Between your legs with another person helping sounds like a pretty good position. Is that working? I wrote this hub on the assumption you're giving the fluids solo.

      As far as the "Positioning the Line" photo, the kitty is sitting in a corner of our couch with her head facing the armrest. I'm sitting also facing the armrest and on the edge of the couch at an angle, so my legs wedge her body in diagonally. I've since added a pillow that I put in front of my knees to block the kitty in even more. Fortunately Stormy (in the photo) has calmed down now that she's gotten the fluids for a while. She used to leap vertically up and away, leaving me fighting a squirting fluid line! Once I make the stick she's OK except she squirms sometimes. I keep my hand on her head and give her a deep ear massage/scratch during the fluid session. This helps calm her and it also helps keep her from moving or escaping.

      OK, good luck and lemme know how it goes ...

    • LisaJ 6 years ago

      Thank you SO much for this Hub! My 12-year-old Zoe was just prescribed 100 ml/day of subQ for 10 days to get her stabilized (then have her blood rechecked), and while the first two days went OK, my little 5-pound princess fought me like crazy today, until I was in tears (I've shed so many tears over this cat in the last 4 days, I think *I'm* the one who needs fluids now!) and beyond frustrated. I tried her on the coffee table with a towel on it, then with her between my legs, and each time she squirmed and clawed to get away. Your suggestion to put her on the couch, facing the armrest, is an excellent one, and one I will definitely try when we've both calmed down a little!

      One question, just from your experience with both your furry friends - the vet said to give Zoe 100 ml, once a day, for 10 days. If I consider today a wash, is that dooming the whole process to failure? She's drinking water pretty regularly and eating some, and while I know that the subQ solution has more in it than just water, it would really help me not to panic to know that I'm not killing my cat by missing one day of subQ fluids.

      Many thanks! Lisa

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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      Lisa,

      Thanks for your comment. My experience is that missing a day would not be a problem if your vet is trying to see how Zoe responds to fluids. He might tell you to go one more day to make up for it. But if Zoe has advanced CRF or some other serious condition, than you'd probably want to take her in and have a vet tech give her fluids if she keeps refusing to be given them. I'm not a vet, so you should check with him or her to make sure.

      You sound like a very loving kitty mama, and Zoe is lucky to have you. I know how heart-wrenching nursing a sick cat can be, Lisa, and a big reason I wrote this Hub. Best of luck with your little princess.

      daniel

    • Steven 6 years ago

      Silly to blame yourself for not doing blood work. They get it whether you have blood work done or not.

    • Lisa 6 years ago

      Many thanks again, Daniel! I went back to the vet for a "tutorial" on how to get fluids into Zoe (I wasn't able to use the couch trick, although I think that we've both calmed down quite a bit, it may work now). The vet tech showed me how to "scruff" her by grabbing her by the scruff of the neck, which of course is how mother cats carry their kittens. She showed me how to scruff her while "tenting" the skin with the left hand, and it worked! I've even noticed that while Zoe still squirms a bit toward the end, she's much calmer and I don't have to hold her as tightly each day. I won't say that either of us enjoy it, but now I know you were right when you said it gets easier! I can definitely tell that she feels much better when she's hydrated. Many thanks again for your reassuring words. :-)

      Lisa

      p.s. The vet & tech didn't seem at all phased that I had missed two days of fluids - they just gave her some additional (150 ml) fluids and pushed her blood test back a couple of days.

      p.p.s. We just finished the fluids about 10 minutes ago, and Zoe is now sitting on my lap, purring. :-)

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      Lisa,

      This makes me so happy to hear. You just have to take it one day at a time and settle for the small victories. Keep up the good work. Stormy says to give a shout out to Zoe :)

    • Aimee 6 years ago

      Thank you for this site. I needed some encouragement tonight. I've been giving my 17 year old thyroid issue cat fluids for about a month now on my own and some days are easier than others. Tonight was a hard one. I went through several needles and had to wait a few hours before trying again. I try to give him fluids every day but I miss some and that's okay. I let him drink milk while I'm doing it and that keeps him still. Treats don't work. Congrats to everywhere that has tried this.

    • Mary 6 years ago

      My last cat HATED subQ fluids. He was so Stressed by it. Only cooperated at the vets because he was SCARED to death there. I got pricked and was bleeding trying to do it myself and the vet said forget about the cat, take care of yourself. His sister who is 20 years old was just diagnosed with kidney failure. I got her the special food which is very expensive but I will NOT give her subQ injections as vet recommended twice a week. She is lively, alert, happy, eats well, no other symptons so I am not putting her and me through that and when it is her time to go, its her time to go. Period.

    • Andrea 6 years ago

      I just started giving fluids to my 15 1/2 year old cat. I'm not very good at it, but I keep trying. She's supposed to get 150 ml. three times a week. We don't always get the full 150 ml. administered before she decides she's had enough and gets up and jumps down. I'm not too concerned about that, because the vet tech. said not to worry if we could only do 100 ml. Today though, as well as the last time I did fluids, there was no bump under the skin in her neck. I'm wondering what I might be doing wrong. Last time, I got air into the line and subsequently into the cat. This time I checked the line and ran fluid out into the sink before inserting the needle into the cat, to try to make sure there was no air in the line. Today we almost got the full 150 ml. into her, but no bump under the skin in the neck appeared. I kind of heard a sloshy sound near the top of her shoulder, but didn't feel a bump there either. I only hope I didn't put air into her again. Also, she's very furry, and it's hard to know exactally where to poke her. I'm frightened that I will stick the needle in the wrong place and hurt her. Our first attempt included my husband, and I ended up sticking the used needle in my finger. It hurt like heck, so I try to be very careful with the kitty. And no more husband help...he's much too critical...expects me to be a vet tech., among other things! :) Anyway, has anyone ever given fluids and not had a bump emerge?

    • Sylvia 6 years ago

      Oops, my kitty has been getting subq twice a week for a year now. Today I made a mistake and used the old needle instead of the new one. What could this affect? What should I watch for? Thanks for your website!

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Sylvia,

      You're welcome! I can tell you that I've actually done that before and it didn't seem to affect my kitty. But I'm not a veterinarian, and I think you should give your vet or local animal hospital a call and ask them to be on the safe side, especially if your kitty displays any signs of an infection, like being unresponsive or having peeing problems.

      Good luck,

      Daniel

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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      To Mary and Andrea: Sorry for the delay in responding to your comments/questions. We've been busy with our new, non-feline baby :) and that's taken me away from Web stuff. Mary, I can understand not wanting to do this. It can be a pain, and the medical care you give your pet is a personal decision. But fluids could prevent your kitty from needlessly suffering and prolong her life. Couldn't you have the vet techs or a cat sitter who knows how to do it give your kitty fluids?

      If anyone else has a suggestion ...

      To Andrea: I've given fluids to my kitty and only a small bulge appeared, because the fluid kind of slid down on one side. I wouldn't worry about that. As far as sticking your kitty, I think the main thing is to be sure you're lifting up her coat first, and when you stick her, the needle is more or less parallel to her body and not pointed down. As far as the critical husband, sounds like you've made the right decision!

      DMB

    • Sylvia 6 years ago

      Thank you Daniel. Kitty appears to be fine.

      I would second your suggestion to have a vet tech come do the fluids. That's what we did for a few months to get kitty used to the procedure. Now our vet tech comes sometimes and we do it ourselves the rest of the time. Once kitty got trained she was much more cooperative.

    • Sylvia 6 years ago

      Congratulations on the addition to your family!

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 6 years ago from D.C.

      thanks, Sylvia! glad to hear your kitty's adjusting to the fluids. our Stormy used to fight me but she soon figured out the fluids make her feel better, and she sits quietly most of the time now while getting them

    • AnnaS 5 years ago

      Thank you, Daniel, for posting this fine guide. I read it when I need reassurances about how to give my kitty fluids, a process that sometimes leaves both of us in tears.

      I'd like to add my suggestions for making it easier/safer:

      1. CHECKLISTS. I taped a daily injection checklist [warm the bag, prepare treats, disconnect the phone, clear & un-kink the line, Pinch&Poke, DEEP BREATHING, clean & sanitize afterward] next to where I give the injection, and it's prevented a few mistakes & oversights. I check the list twice: Once during setup [I then I take a 5-10 minutes to breathe & relax], and then just before I get the kitty. There's also a checklist for setting up the new RLS bag every week.

      2. I use masking tape to mark where the fluid level should be when the injection is finished on the RLS bag.

      Thanks again for your very thorough guide.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      Thanks, Anna. I think this could be a big help to kitty "parents" starting the fluids regime. Deep breathing -- definitely a good idea! The masking tape sounds like an excellent way to guarantee a uniform dosage. I usually do it just by looking, and I know some times I'm either shorting my kitty or giving her extra fluid. Once you've been doing this a while I think some of these will become automatic for you. At least that's been my experience.

      Glad you enjoyed the hub. And I hope your kitty thrives under the care of such a devoted mom :)

    • Ann, best acne treatment specialist 5 years ago

      This is such a good tip. Instead of bringing your sick cat to the vet, it's great to know that there are also first aid solutions that we can do at home.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      Thanks Ann,

      Doing this not only saves you vet fees but I think it's less stressful to your kitty than putting her in a carrier, driving to the vet and having a stranger do it. I'm a year into doing this for our 15-year-old kitty, Stormy, and it's obvious she's figured out it's good for her, and she rarely tries to get away now.

    • Megan 5 years ago

      Hi Daniel,

      Just wanted to send you a big thanks for your detailed instructions; they were a big help when I was starting to give our kitty his SubQ fluids a few weeks ago. And this is the only place I learned about moving the wheel slowly...a very helpful tip! It made a big difference in getting our cat to stay still for the fluids. I also got 20gauge needles & they're much, much better. Thanks again for your help! -Megan :)

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      you're welcome, Megan. It's really nice to hear that this has helped someone, because I remember how difficult it seemed starting out. Hope your kitty will do well with his/her fluid regimen.

      daniel

    • MikeR 5 years ago

      Thanks for this great site. My cat Milo was just diagnosed with Kidney disease- we tried the KD food- but his levels still got worse- so now he needs Subcutaneous Fluids. We took him to the vet they showed us how to do it- he was very calm and had no problem. But now at home, he's not playing along. I can get the needle in- but as soon as we start the flow- he screams out like he's in pain and wants to dart! And has, every time- no matter how much I try to pet him, hold him.

      I make sure the IV bag is in warm water first- so I don't think its that. I'm thinking I need to do a much slower flow? Or could I be doing something wrong and the liquid is going to the wrong place? Or is this normal for a cat to hate the feel of the liquids?

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for writing. I've never heard of a cat reacting like that to the fluid flowing in, but it doesn't surprise me. I would try starting with a much slower flow, a real slow drip, drip, drip, and then see if you could gradually increase the volume of fluid as Milo gets more comfortable with it. What gage needle are you using? Because I have to stick her every day, I use 21 x 1As on Stormy (aka "21s); it's a smaller hole so the flow is slower. If you're using 18 x 1As the flow is going to be stronger. If you're seeing a continuous stream of liquid going through the little chamber below the bottom of the bag, that may be too much for Milo.

      So, a lower gage needle and a slower flow may help. Let me know how it goes.

      Daniel

    • Mike R 5 years ago

      Thanks! Right after I wrote this I tried for the slow flow and it worked! And then if he started to twitch or get upsset I slowed it down even more or stopped it til he calmed down and started it up again- it worked! He had no problems- sat calmly and purred. Phew! Not sure of needle size- got them from vet- but seems pretty big and the liquid flows out very fast.

      The weird thing is- the chamber below the bag is totally full- so I can't see it drip to be sure its all working right. but obviously as I see the liquids in the bag go down- I know. Glad I found this blog!

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      Mike,

      That's great to hear! I remember how hard it was when I started giving fluids. When Milo gets used to it after a while you should be able to increase the flow. And when I give fluids to Stormy, I always accompany them with a deep ear scratching and massage to distract and calm her.

      As far as the little chamber below the bag, it sometimes gets flooded and then you can't see the flow. Just invert the bag and squeeze the fluid out of the chamber and back into the bag until the chamber is at least half empty. I like it almost completely empty because I can see the flow better.

      Good luck!

      Daniel

    • Elma 5 years ago

      Thanks Daniel for the best information that I need so urgently! I'm a nursing sister and was not sure that the vet give me the correct information about Sub -Q.

      Now I will do it. One tip: In ICU they use a 150ml Burette Set. Ref 011-C7002 You connect it between the bag and the line. Fill the Burette with the exact amount of Ringers, and close the big bag of. This way you make sure that only the prescribed amount of fluid is in.

      I've been told, even if your cat drink a lot, they urinate more than the orally intake. That the reason for sub-fluid.

      Thanks again! There is hope!

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Elma,

      You're welcome! So glad to hear this helped you. I've never seen a Burette. Probably not needed as much with house cats as with ICU patients but you never know. That's true about cats, especially CRF cats, drinking a lot. We've have at least 3 "water stations" around the house; a big bowl in the kitchen, a plastic glass on the bathroom floor and a cup on the bedroom window shelf where Stormy lounges, so she always has access to water. It's amazing how fast those cups get used up.

      OK, good luck with the Sub-Qs.

      Daniel

    • Patty 5 years ago

      I just gave fluids to my cat for the first time and she has a huge bulge above left leg and close to her neck. I got very worried that I may have done it too close too high up instead of between shoulder blades. Is it dangerous to insert needle too high up. I thought it was lower but she kept moving. I called my Vet but they are gone for the day.

    • Patty 5 years ago

      Hi Daniel,

      I apologize for posting on your page, I thought this was a public forum and did not realize I was posting on your personal page. I am a little confused and was trying to get help with first time giving fluids to my cat.

      thanks, Patty

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Patty,

      I welcome your questions! This comments section has kind of turned into a public forum because so many readers have posted questions and comments about giving a cat fluids here, and that input has been invaluable.

      I wouldn't worry too much about the bulge. It might pose some discomfort for your kitty but otherwise shouldn't be a problem. I've filled my cat Stormy's leg up many times; sometimes the fluids just migrate there, but they eventually are absorbed. That said, I would try to avoid sticking your kitty too close to her head. Between the shoulder blades is best because the coat is loosest there and there's more room. If you want to alternate places where you stick her, you can move back farther toward her hind quarters or pick a spot a little bit on one side or the other of her coat.

      Good luck.

      Daniel

    • Patty 5 years ago

      Daniel,

      thank you so much! You are not going to believe what I did. I just went back to the bathroom where I tried to give fluid and had the bag hanging and when I gave her the fluids I only got about 1/2 the amount I was suppose to give her because she jumped up. Anyway, I was so obsessed with the bulge that I left the switch open somewhat and all the fluid is gone. I am going to Vet tomorrow anyway so I might just bring her back to get have them help me again.

      Since you are so generous with info can I ask you one more question?

      Muffin finished eating the other night and was cleaning her paw when all of a sudden the right side of her body became paralyzed. She eventually was able to move but her gate was totally uncoordinated and wobbly. Now she is not showing any signs that it ever happened. The vet said she can not tell me why or what happened. Muffin is 16 and has a UTI and beginning stage of Kidney disease and has lost a lot of weight but eats non stop. Have you ever heard of this paralyzed state in a cat that lasts for about 2 minutes?

      thanks, Patty

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Patty,

      I've never heard of such a thing. But I'm not a vet, so maybe you should ask other veterinarians or the vet techs where you take Muffin, or inquire whether some tests are needed. Sorry you lost your fluids. Oh, and by the way, if you're looking to buy cheap fluids, Costco sells them for like $24 a box of 12 -- a little over $2 a bag. Just need your vet to give them a prescription.

      Good luck!

      Daniel

    • Patty 5 years ago

      Daniel,

      Thanks!!

      Wow, thats awesome!

      She is feeling so much better already. She is on antibiotics for 21 days. She was so confused and afraid but she has been cuddling up with her sister Fluffy. She hasn't done that in years and it is so cute.

      Thank you so much for responsiveness and empathy! It is appreciated more than you will ever know.

      Patty

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      you're welcome, Patty. glad to hear Muffin and her sister are cuddling!

    • Patty 5 years ago

      Hey,

      I guess the Paralysis situation was a sign things were coming because Muffin had an all out seizure. I am trying to make her comfortable but this is really painful. She is eating a lot and still plays so I am going to continue to nurse her back to health but I am so sad. Dr said since she is 16 years old and no history of epilepsy might be a brain lesion or tumor and doesn't know if I should move forward with a specialist because of the cost and her age. He offered a script for phenobarbitol but I am not sure if it will be too much for her with kidney disease and make her too lethargic.

      I just wish I could make it all better for her. She has a huge appetite and seems like she has more energy with the fluids though.

      thanks

    • Sonia 5 years ago

      Trying to find out if it's bad not to refrigerated the subcutaneous fluids Lactated Ringer's solution after each use. I have never been told by any veterinarian that it must be refrigerated after use, but just read it online on several websites that it should be refrigerated after each use. I have been giving subq fluids to my mother's sick cats and was never told about this, so is it bad that I have been giving these cats subq fluids that have not been refrigerated after each use?

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      @Patty: How's Muffin? Hope the paralysis has passed. You're doing everything you can to help her, and that's all you can do. It's tought, I know. Hang in there!

      @Sonia,

      Thanks for writing. I have never heard of refrigeration subq fluids. I've been doing this on and off for 7 years, and no vet I've dealt with has ever given me refrigerated fluids. I think they have a long shelf life because of the salt/electrolytes in them. I would ask your vet just to make sure.

      Daniel

    • Mike 5 years ago

      Well its going well a few weeks later. It's still a pain to get him to be calm- but once the squirming stops- it seems to go well.

      The Dr also has him on special food. The KD Hills formula. He hates it. Barely eats it and always wants his sisters wet non prescription food. The Dr said its better that he eats. Does anyone know of any other types of food that he my actually like? Is it OK that he eats non KD prescription? And if so- what should I be on the look out for to not feed him?

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      Hi, Mike. Sorry, I've been out of town and just got this. We had the same problem with our cat Baby, who had CRF for 5 years before she passed, and her sister, Stormy, who's on a CRF regimen. Just like your kitty, Stormy doesn't like the Hills KD wet, and basically will only eat the first scoops out of a newly opened can. She does eat the dry KD chow however, no problem. Are you giving your kitty the chow also? There are several kinds of KD foods; Royal Canin makes a moist one that comes in pouches. Maybe ask your vet if they know of some other brands of KD?

      Something I found that encourages Stormy to eat the wet KD is to mix a teaspoon or two of baby food into it, and make sure it's a baby food that contains meat. Ex. Turkey vegetable, beef and peas, etc. As far as alternatives, we also supplement Stormy's wet catfood with something called Tuna for Cats that she likes. At this point, we've settled into alternating the KD wet with regular wet cat food from Trader Joe's, just to make sure she eats something. Our vet, like yours, said the most important thing is to make sure the cat eats enough to not lose weight, bc that's a downhill slope. Guess you have to use your best judgment and strike a balance.

    • diane-and-Siamese-DC 5 years ago

      for the mommy of Siamese, Slim... My siamese was also throwing up as part of his RF. The Vet told me to get human PEPCID (10mg) give the kitty 1/2 of the tablet per day. This has almost eliminated the vomiting in my Siamese (12 yrs old = 64yr in human years)

      hope this helps

      diane

    • Cherrys mum 5 years ago

      We give our cat 300mls of hartmanns solution a day(ringers solution),100mls a time ,eight hours apart. The only way to keep her hydrated and well.Our vet has inserted a catheter under her skin, the collar of which is stitched in place, so we dont have to stick needles into her, just attach the iv line to the catheter.I also use a burette in order to measure the fluids accuritly.I wrap a soft bandage under and over the hub of the catheter between fluid administrations, this prevents any pressure sore developing on her skin, I then put a light weight cat coat, good snug fit, that I bought online on her so that she can't accidently claw out her catheter. she is as happy as the day is long! all the best to every one caring for sick cats. what an emotional roller coaster it is.

    • Mike 5 years ago

      Thanks again for this site. Milo suddenly took a turn for the worse today. 3 weeks ago he had blood work done and everything was stable. But over the past week or so he wasn't eating as much- and then last night refused altogether. I took him to the vet this morning and his kidney levels were at a horrible 200. The vet said basically with kidney disease a cat teeters on the edge of a cliff- and Milo sadly fell off of it. He is now at the vets for the weekend as they are hoping they can figure out the cause and can reverse it. Keeping my fingers crossed and not sleeping all weekend.

    • Cherrys mum 5 years ago

      Mike, so sorry to hear about Milo, we've been through this many times with Cherry,she has had three admissions in the last four weeks, hence the amount of fluids we now give at home, which i'm glad to say is working really well.I'll mention a few things we give to her incase it's of help to you,you may already be giving Milo the same. The lack of appitite is so common with renal failure cats and the important thing is that they eat something, great if it's renal food but it's not the most tasty, and if you're feeling sick any way...We give Cherry an appitite stimulant,She has mirtazapine, 1/4 of a 15mg tablet every four days. We've been through the nightmare of trying every food imaginable and find this works very well.At present she eats dry renal food having refused it for months. We also give her Zitac(cimetidine) 1/4 of a 100mg tablet twice a day.Renal failure cats get gastritis from the high urea levels, this helps. If Milo has taken a turn for the worse, does he have a urinary tract infection? has your vet checked for this? also very common in renal failure cats, maybe He needs antibiotics.As you know I'm sure, these cats also get anaemic, the kidneys produce erythropoietin, which stimulates red blood cell production, this can be affected in a renal failure cat. Cherry has epo injections to stimulate her red blood cells and is also on iron tablets at the moment. She has regulur PCV and HB checks as well as the usual blood tests. If Milo is anaemic, He wont fell much like eating.Other medication Cherry is on, Benazecar 2 1/2 mg daily, they can get hypertensive, she's not luckily, but this improves blood flow to the kidneys, She also has Kaminox, potassium and vitamin supplement, 1ml morning and evening,as they can leak potassium from their kidneys.Her potassium level is checked often. She has Renalzin,a phosphate binder on her food as well. I put her tablets in a capsule! easier of her and for me, though she's as good as gold. I hope this helps and i really hope Milo feels better soon.

    • Mike 5 years ago

      Thanks. He's still at the vets. I was hoping to take him home today- but that didn't happen. His levels are still bad. Tomorrow they will do an ultra sound to find the underlying cause. I understand that some cats take 5 days or more on IV to bring BUM and CRT numbers down- I am hoping this is the case. It is very costly- but I'll deal with that down the road. I just want him home.

    • Mike 5 years ago

      Milo has passed away. Thank you so much for this site. He got so sick so fast. In the end I talked with 3 vets and a specialist. All said the same thing- his numbers were so high- they couldn't do much. 255 BUN 16 CRE They tried fluids for 3 days straight until his breathing became very bad. They then realized he also had a heart condition. This if course means- they can't be as aggressive with therapy. I took him to a specialist to at least find out what was causing all this. The specialist agreed they could look into that- but prognosis wasn't great. Within 10 min of that decision- Milos breathing became worse (they had to put him in an oxygen tank) and he wasn't really moving. The decision for everyone but me was clear, it was time. For 2 hours I fought them on it- and asked every question I could. But poor Milo simply wasn't going to have the strength or healthy heart and kidneys to pull this out. It is a very sad time here. But I thank you so much for this site.

    • Cherrys mum 5 years ago

      Thinking of you Mike, so very sorry. You did every thing you possibly could.Milo was a much loved cat.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      Mike, I'm so sorry to hear about Milo. It's clear you did everything possible to give him a good life. I know how painful saying goodbye is because I've had to do it with our Babe (the cat pictured above). You were a great kitty dad.

      daniel

    • Sara 5 years ago

      Sooo Sorry to hear of your loss of Milo, Mike.

    • Debbie  5 years ago

      Wow, what an awesome site. Thank you, Daniel. Blessings to you :)

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      thanks, Debbie! it's nice to know people appreciate this.

      daniel

    • Doreen 5 years ago

      Hello and a big thank you for such great information. I have been giving my cat fluids for about one month. It has been very successful, but all of a sudden he's resistant to it. Unlike a previous post about resistance, it's not when the fluid goes in, but, when I'm trying to put the needle in. I don't think I'm doing anything different. I tried making a tent in various places around the neck and shoulders to see if that would help and he just does not want to be stuck. Any suggestions? Thank you.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Doreen,

      our cat Stormy sometimes will fight me a little when I try to stick her. I get her in place and then give her a deep ear massage, pet her, and talk soothingly to her. Did you change the way you were giving him fluids at some point (like the location or needle size?) That might have unsettled him. Changing the needle size might help. A smaller needle like a 20, instead of an 18 (it will say "1 x 20" on the side) may be more comfortable for him. I wear a leather glove on my left hand (nearest the cat's head) just in case I encounter resistance and have to restrain her while making the stick, bc when she's not in the mood, Stormy will try to bite, or act like she's going to bite, once in a while. The last resort is to wrap kitty in a towel in order to keep him in place. I would ask your vet next time you go to see if they've seen this before and have any ideas.

      daniel

    • Kate 5 years ago

      Fantastic article. Luckily I have never had to do this for any of my cats buts its good to know that it isn't as daunting as it may first appear.

      thank you for sharing your experience in such detail.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      thank you, Kate. I'll hope you won't need to use the info here for your kitties!

      Daniel

    • Larry 5 years ago

      Great site! We just started our kitty on sub/fluids. We just discovered he has added problem of fluid on lungs.Well just confirmed today. Alittle upset as even thought vet sees the fluid he will treat until councils with a radioligist. He told us it was ok to still admin the sub-q fluid. Im worried about doing that. So stressed about all this. He is having trouble pooping too so vet but him on ducolex. Hasn't had a bowl movement in a couple of days. Is it common for cats to have bowl movement problems with crf? Thanks Larry

    • cherrys mum 5 years ago

      Hi Larry, It's such a worry when you have a sick cat.There is an excellent web site run by feline vet specialists (feline advisory bureau), www.fabcats.org There is information there for cat owners and for vets. there is advice on giving sub cut fluids and also on every condition you can think of that affects cats. all the very best to you and your cat.

    • Kathy 5 years ago

      Your site is wonderful. We've been giving our 14-yr-old Phoebe fluids every other day for just over two months now, and still have problems because she's a willful little wriggler. But we manage and she seems to be thriving. Aside from all the good tips, what I love about your site is seeing that so many people have bigger problems than I do. At least I don't have to wear gloves, let along welding gloves! Once in a while when Phoebe totally defeats us I'll take her to the vet the next day to give myself a break. Also, I'm sure that when I'm stressed out she picks up on it, so a vet day gives her a break from me too.

    • Deb Culmer 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for this account. It helped me FINALLY be successful in giving fluids to my cat (with the help of my partner). What worked for us: warming the fluid, having treats to give kitty while the fluids are going in, and sticking that needle in with confidence and no hesitation. While he was squirmy and obviously in distress before, now he barely lets out a peep. Thanks so much, again!

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Fantastic and comprehensive article everyone who has a companion kitty should read...a MUST read educational article! Over years; decades, my friend and I have rescued and nurtured many a cat...our feline friends usually live way beyond the usual 'expected' lifespan and, invariably, some have developed renal failure...so far, I would estimate that we've had to administer Sub-Q fluids to 10 cats. One, Samauri Sam, needed nightly fluids for 2 years. We sustained her easily and she grew to love the warm liquid, specially during the colder winter months. We have always been successful (knock on wood) thus far. You are right when you say some of the needles are kitty harpoons....dull and useless. I have grown to be able to detect a dull or damaged needle almost immediately upon attempting to slip it in the tented nape neck of my cat.

      this is an incredible hub. Useful and interesting, thorough and complete. Thank you.

    • Betty Martin 5 years ago

      Thank you for your site. I am now in the process of trying to give fluids to my Mr. T. and he is resistent. I have been successful at times, but not without a "fight." He is a sweet kitty and will not scratch or bite me, but doesn't like the fluids. I have picked up some helpful tips on the site about methods and kinds of needles I can use.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 5 years ago from D.C.

      Thank you Betty, Lucky Cats, Deb Culmer, Kathy, Cherry's Mum, Larry and others of you who have expressed your appreciation for the site. Like Kathy, I have found it really is a morale booster to know that you're not alone in dealing with CRF, and that others are out there struggling with far worse situations. I'm now on my second cat who needs fluids; our precious Babe, the brown-and-white calico pictured above, passed away 2 years ago. I gave her fluids for years, and they not only extended her life but contributed immeasurably to her quality of life, along with anti-inflammatories and other drugs now available to ailing kitties. Now I'm giving fluids to her "sister," Stormy, the brown tabby pictured farther down in the article, and they have stabilized her and given her a semblance of a normal life. She's been on them for a year now.

      I thought I had a lot of experience with fluids until I read Lucky Cats' comment above that she's administered fluids to 10 cats! It's really important that you all have communicated that cats not only DO get used to fluids but they eventually come to appreciate them because they figure out they feel better afterward.

      Thanks again for your comments.

      Daniel

    • thepete 5 years ago

      Reading just the captions and the tips at the end gave me just enough confidence to do this for my cat. I suppose I'll read the entire thing and feel even more confident. :) Thank you so much for writing this!! I've never had a cat with kidney problems before and I've had 8 cats, so this whole thing has caught me completely off guard. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience!

    • JamieinMN 5 years ago

      I am so glad I found this article! I've been a nervous wreck for the last 24 hours after being told my fiance' and I will have to give our cat fluids subcutaneously for a couple of days to see if her kidney values improve. I'm still scared about doing it, but I know I have to do it (he can't) and that this will make her feel much better.

    • SueinSD 5 years ago

      A friend of mine sent your site to me as a link. Her kitty received sub-q's for several years. She thinks it might help my Nikki kitty's last days be more comfortable. Nikki appeared well for most of her 12 years. Recently, she suddenly stopped eating and became very thin. I took her to the emergency vet (our local vet isn't open on weekends). After tests, it was found that she has hyperthyroidism, fatty liver disease and a Grade IV heart murmur. I was shocked - I had no idea she was so sick. I'm sure she is somewhat dehydrated - although she will lick up a plate of melted ice cream and also water. My concern is that the fluids could cause problems with her heart. After 2 weeks on the thyroid medication, we had tests done. The vet said her Bilirubin (sp?) reading was the highest she had ever seen. My Nikki is going to die. I know you're not a vet, but do you think it would be worth trying sub-q's? She is very lethargic. I don't want to cause her even more suffering. I have an appointment to talk to our vet on Monday, but if anyone has any suggestions to make her more comfortable, I'd greatly appreciate them. Thank you.

    • SueinSD 5 years ago

      I'm sorry. I guess I'm distracted and heartsick about my kitty. I didn't realize this is not a forum, but your personal page. I apologize for intruding.

    • JamieinMN 5 years ago

      Update on my kitty. Vet says she's pretty certain Ms. Rag has kidney failure and the best thing we can do for her right now is to keep her on fluids to keep her comfortable. For 3 weeks, we had the vet administering the fluids (we just couldn't do it, I tried 3 times and gave up) but now that this is going to be long-term, we MUST succeed at giving fluids. I do feel a bit more comfortable since the last time I posted, probably because I watched them do it about 10 times.

      SueinSD- I'm so sorry to hear about Nikki :-( This link may help you gain more insight on liver disease,

      http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_hepatic_lipid...

      Good luck-Jamie

    • ccoop 5 years ago

      Hi, this is great info! I could have (I think) done this for my rat, fritz. She was at the vet and had this done a few times. The last time she got fluids (yesterday) There was quit a bit of fluid that leeked out, with blood mixed in.I have never seen any blood leak after a treatment. Not on a cat or dog and not on my rat. Until yesterday. She had been very lethargic but was eating applesauce via a medicine plunger. Yesterday after the fluids she began jumping/twitching. She seemed to be more alert/awake but was not wanting food or water. She passed not even 12 hours after the treatment. I keep thinking about the blood mixed with the fluids I saw leaking out of her-and the odd jumping. She did not "look" right to me. If fluids are not given properly is there danger to the animal? Are these symptoms of fluids being administered improperly? Thank you for your input.

    • sen 5 years ago

      Hii. May I know abt how long it takes for the fluid to disperse?

    • Mike 5 years ago

      Thank You so much for your wonderful site..My cat Little Mau was just diagnosed with CRF...I administer 100 ml of lactated ringers a day...Today is day 4...Wish us both luck....

    • Nancy 5 years ago

      Just came across your site and found it extrememly helpful and encouraging. I just started giving my 17 yr old cat fluids - all went pretty well being this was my (and her) first time. Your site gave many good ideas. BTW - someone recommended lining the bathroom sink with a towel and putting the cat in the sink while hanging the fluids from the shower curtain rod. My cat seemed very comfortable in her little "nest" - which after I first put her in I spent a few minutes just massaging her and loving her. When I started the fluids she really didn't react too badly and as we continued, and I continued massaging her during the process. Seemed to work perfectly. Thanks again for your suggestions!

    • Rheanna Romero 5 years ago

      I have to do the same to my 16 year old cat. =[

      But when I read "The Juice Monster" you have NO IDEA how glad I am that it says it's okay.

      I have my cat her shot today and I have never seen that bulge happen before! I got scared out of my wits, I thought I was going to kill her.

      But it's fine, and how long should it take for the fluids to stop being bulgy?

      It's been about 6 hours since I gave it to her. My mom keeps telling me that I'm going to kill her and that I did it wrong...=[ I'm scared I hurt her.

      If you can, can you email me to rheannaromero@yahoo.com

      I'd like more help when I have to give my cat her fluids and how to keep her calm.

    • Nicole M. 4 years ago

      I gave my 19 year old Siamese fluids for the first time just now. She was calm the whole time! Did not flinch or squirm. A trick I did (maybe it will help others): I showed her all the equipment beforehand so it was not a surprise. I also talked soothingly about what I was going to do right before. It calmed me doing it and I think the calm transferred to Gypsy. BTW Daniel, your site helped a bunch! I felt better and in more control of the situation after reading your guide.

    • Nicole M. 4 years ago

      Rheanna, when I got this done for the first time at the vet, it took about 18 hours to absorb fully. Today was my second time doing it so I am in the same boat as you. I read somewhere that it could take up to 24 hours. I also read that you shouldn`t give more fluids until the last batch has been absorbed.

    • Megan M. 4 years ago

      I just found out a few days ago that my cat has chronic kidney disease. They had me start him on sub Q fluids: 75mL 2x per day or 100mL daily. The first 2 days it went great, but for the past 2 days I haven't been able to insert the needle. My cat, Gus, stays totally still for it, but I can't get the needle in. I have tried both 18g and 20g needles.

      Any advice?

    • JennyF 4 years ago

      PLEASE, PLEASE CHANGE THIS: Need to make running some fluid through the line to get the air out a separate bulleted item, between installing the needle and massaging/hanging the bag. You say to run a little water over your wrist to check temp, but anyone who skips that thinking they have temp OK will be injecting a whole lineful of air into their cat! And every time the line should be checked and any big air bubbles removed. Also, bag can be warmed to body temp by having it in warm place such as under your clothing for a while (warms faster if sloshed around frequently). Otherwise, thanks for all the helpful info/pictures/encouragement. Best wishes to all the cat-caregivers out there....

    • Mikaela 4 years ago

      Thank you so much! I actually have to give my basset hound puppy fluids, and I am so nervous about the process. Seeing you explain it step by step took some of the fear out. Thank you! Also, how do you change the needle exactly?

    • Reb Furr 4 years ago

      I just wanted to pass on some info about obtaining the lactated ringers without a prescription and at a reasonable price. AllegroMedical.com sells both the fluids and the needles at very reasonable prices with no prescription required. I know how expensive it can be sometimes getting supplies through a veterinarian so I thought this info might be helpful to someone. Thanks for the great site and the helpful info. Purrs!

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      hey, to all the recent commenters above: apparently I stopped getting notified when people comment on this article, so I haven't checked back here for a while. Sorry! Going to address these asap -- and hopefully figure out how to receive my notifications again!

      Daniel

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      oh, Sue, this is meant to be a forum, and people's comments here have been invaluable in helping me improve this Hub, so please feel free to join in!

      Daniel

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Cherrys mum,

      I'm responding belatedly to your very informative posts above. Thanks so much for such detailed information. Our cat Stormy, the brown tabby featured in the main photo of this article, is 16 and has CRF, and eventually I, as others have, may find your recommendations about the meds and treatments quite valuable. I'm glad to see we're not the only ones who decided it's more important for the kitty to eat -- something, anything -- than to keep trying to force KD on them. Stormy has always eaten the KD chow, but no matter how many brands we tried, she didn't like KD wet cat food. We now give her regular cat food from Trader Joe's, and she loves it and has gained weight. OK, hope Cherry is doing OK, and thanks again for your posts.

      Daniel

    • Lula's Mom 4 years ago

      Hi, I have a CRF kitty who will be 16 soon. The vet recommended sub-Q fluids, but I am terrified to do this to her. I want her to be happy, not afraid (especially of me), and though she has moderate crf and is very small, she plays and runs and seems very happy. I am absolutely torn about what to do - how do you decide if it's worthwhile to do the fluids or not? Anyone's input is greatly appreciated!

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Lula's Mom,

      The tabby in the main photo above, our kitty Stormy, is 16 and has had CRF for about 2 years. The thought of starting her on fluids was painful for me, because I had gone through that with her sister, Babe (the other cat in this Hub) for almost 5 years, and we had always thought of Stormy as the super healthy, wild and care-free kitty. But I knew what a difference it would make, so I started the sub-Qs on her, and though she fought a bit a first, she now accepts them readily, is not in the least bit afraid of getting them, and is doing fine, still occasionally even making a daring leap or two or scrambling out of the living room at high speed. I can tell you that giving your kitty fluids is most definitely worth it, that she will feel and look better because of them, and that YOU'LL feel better when you see that.

      Hope this helps!

      Daniel

    • Lula's Mom 4 years ago

      Thank you, Daniel, I really appreciate your feedback and advice. I am feeling better about the prospect of doing this, now. I'll be getting a lesson at the vet this week and start trying this at home. I'll be sure to update you on how it goes!

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Reb Furr,

      Thanks for the site recommendation. I couldn't seem to find the lactated ringers and the administration kits/needles used on kitties on this site. Do you use a particular search term? I can tell you that I used to pay $12 a bag for subcutaneous fluids from our vet until I discovered that Costco's pharmacy sells a box of 12 bags for $26.09 (not including tax). That's a little over $2 a bag. You need a membership to buy there but I figure I recouped the $55 fee with just one box of fluids.

      Also, because I used to buy fluids there (and have spent a small fortune there dealing with our Babe's CRF) they now give me administration sets and needles free every whenever I ask. If your vet doesn't do this already, it might be worth asking them to give you a break on these.

      Anyone else have any recommendations on inexpensive alternatives to buying CRF supplies at the vet?

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Mikaela,

      So glad to hear the Hub helped you! It's quite easy to change a needle. Before you administer the fluids, have a fresh needle ready to go. After you've stopped administering the fluids and withdraw the needle from your kitty's coat, put the cap back on the syringe, then gently twist the capped syringe off the end of the line. Rest the line in a way that the end won't be touching anything (for me, it's easiest just to hold it). Uncap the fresh needle and push it onto the end of the line. And put your used needles in a capped bottle or some other closed container before you put then in the recycling bin. Hope this helps.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Please do!

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Hi JennyF. Thanks for your post. Your suggestion about the bubbles is a good one, and I'll add it to the article. A vet once told me that air bubbles in the fluid won't hurt a cat, but it makes sense to let the fluid flow all the way through the drip chamber and line so at the very least there's no delay in beginning the fluids (I have, in fact, been doing this.) That should be noted here, you're right. And as far as putting the bag under your clothing, seems to me that might take a long time -- unless your a really hot person :) OK, thanks again.

      Daniel

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Megan,

      Sorry for the belated reply. I use 20-size needles and usually don't have a problem, but sometimes they just don't seem to want to go in, especially when our kitty's coat feels dry. For starters, make sure the needle is rotated so that the open side is facing up (so you can see the opening). I've found that it helps to gently lift the needle up and down at a slight angle while pushing it in. If it won't go, push harder. I know, it feels like you're hurting your kitty and goes against your instincts, but sometimes you just have to force it in. I've done this a number a times and the most my cat has ever done is flinch. If none of this works, I'd explain the problem to your local vet or vet techs and ask them for pointers.

      OK, good luck and let us know how you make out.

      Daniel

    • Lisa 4 years ago

      Thank you so much everyone for all of the helpful information. My husband and I just started subq fluids and tonight was our 3rd time, after 2 months of taking my 20 year old cat, Pebbles, to the vet for the treatments. They make it look so easy. She is 5lbs with very little area to make the "tent". We are so afraid of hurting her, but we have to do it, and it's better than taking her out of the house for it. The vet has actually been trying to convince us to do it ourselves for a few weeks now, and we finally decided it was best for her. We did it with the vet's supervision the first time, which helped. Her bun is 80 or lower right now. She had the i.v. flush 2 weeks ago, and got down to 59, which was great, but I think it may have gone up a bit since, as she is just not looking / feeling very good, and eating very little. Hopefully the more frequent in home treatments will help her. Thank you again everyone, and I'm so sorry to those who have lost their pets to this disease. Hugs to you! Lisa

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Lisa,

      Thanks for writing. I felt a pang in the heart at your description of your little Pebbles, still hanging in there at 20 years old and just 5 pounds. The fluids should help her. It's inspiring to hear cat owners like yourself refusing to give up on their precious little ones. It's really good to know this article has been helpful to you. Hope Pebbles will be feel better soon.

    • Lisa 4 years ago

      Thank you - it's nice to know others who can relate to what we are going through. It sucks but I will not give up on her unless I really know I can't help her anymore. I have had her since she was a tiny baby, and have pretty much convinced myself over the past 5 or so years that she is immortal, because as of a year ago, she had no organ failures, and was/still is a marvel to the vets who have worked with her, and us, of course. She is sleeping, as usual, now, absorbing her lump of goodness =) I'm hoping she perks up in the next few days. We will do it as much as she needs it, and see how it goes. I was afraid tonight that we didn't get the needle back far enough, because it's hard to even find skin between her little shoulder blades, but the fluid went into her leg quarters on both sides, and it was comforting to see a couple of stories on here about that being okay. It did the same thing Friday when we did it at the vet, but I was concerned about the injection site tonight more than anything. Of course, we will try to get it back there further next time, and get better as we go. Thank you for your nice wishes for Pebbles.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      you're welcome, Lisa. I can related because I've had Stormy, the tabby pictured above, for 16 years and she has also been brave and taken everything in stride, even while dealing with a new addition to our family, our little boy, who's now 2, whom's she's been incredibly patient with. "lump of goodness" -- luv that.

    • Cherry's Mum 4 years ago

      Hi Daniel'

      Thank you very much for your kind words, posted eight days ago,a couple of days after our precious Cherry died on feb 24th. I'm very pleased that what I wrote may have been of use to others and will look on that as a tribute to her. She put up with having fluids down her line three times a day since last may. She also had more medications added since I wrote that piece. It was a big commitment but we loved her and it was worth it as it kept her well long after we could have lost her. We miss her terribly

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Sorry to hear Cherry has passed, Cherry's Mum. She sounds like a brave little kitty. We've lost a cat, Babe, the calico pictured above, and I know it's a heart-wrenching experience. I just try to remember the fun and good times we had with her, and that's helped. We also have a little shrine set up to her on the window with her box of ashes, her collar, and a photo. It's somehow comforting because it's like part of her is still around.

      condolences,

      Daniel

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Thanks for writing, Nicole. You bring up an important part of giving fluids -- remain calm yourself and reassure your kitty with soothing tones and lots of affection during the process. Showing her the equipment beforehand -- never thought of that. Good idea! Every time I give Stormy fluids, I give her a deep ear massage, and she never fights me anymore.

      Glad to hear the article helped. Good luck with Gypsy!

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Rheanna,

      Thanks for commenting on my article, "How to Give a Cat Fluids." Sorry it's taken so long to get back to you. Don't worry about the bulge; it always goes away, though it may take a few hours. Vets say fluids take from 6-8 hours to be fully absorbed into a cat's body (but the bulge shouldn't last that long). So don't be scared. One time most of the fluid I was giving Babe migrated down her leg, and she resembled a Bactrian camel!

      Regards,

      Daniel

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Mike,

      How's Mau doing with the fluids? Love that name!

      Daniel

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Hi, Sen. Vets say fluids take from 6-8 hours to be fully absorbed into a cat's body. They also say if the cat still has it's fluid "bulge," you should hold off giving it more fluids until the bulge subsides. This is probably only relevant to people who have to give their kitty multiple fluid doses a day.

      Daniel

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Nancy,

      Sorry for the delay in answering. I like the idea of the sink with the towel in it! I imagine it gives your kitty that "boxed in" sensation that they love. I use the couch and a nearby closet door to hang the fluids. Massaging and caressing during the fluids -- always good. Anyone else have some suggestions on where to put your kitty while giving her fluids?

    • Lula's Mom 4 years ago

      Well, the try at home was a disaster. The fluids wouldn't flow at first, and then she started howling and fighting to be let go, so we had to stop. She still eats, drinks, and plays a lot, so I think we are going to hold off on trying this again for a while. It was seriously a terrible experience! I'll be checking back for more tips later, as I am sure we'll have to do this at some point. Thanksfor your help and support!

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      hey thepete, you're welcome. glad you enjoyed the article. it's good to know in advance about CRF, because a kitty who's starting to lose kidney function can not show any sign of at all of something being wrong until the CRF is advanced. Hope your 8 kitties are doing well!

      Daniel

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Thanks for writing, Jamie, and sorry for the late reply. How did it go with the subq fluids?

      daniel

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      SueinSD,

      Sorry to repond so late but I wondered how things worked out with your Nikki?

      daniel

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Sorry to hear that, Lula's mom. When I first started, I would have the fluid bag already set up and ready to go, then sit our kitty down next to me on the couch, talk soothingly to her while giving her an ear massage, and then as casually as possible lift up her coat and slide the needle in as I talked to her. I made sure she was sandwiched in between the arm rest of the couch and my body, so she had nowhere to go. If the cat resists no matter what, you can always try wrapping your kitty up in a towel and then inserting the needle. Or take her to the vet and ask them to show you how they would administer fluids to your kitty. Good luck, and let me know how it goes.

      Daniel

    • Lula's Mom 4 years ago

      Thanks, Daniel,

      I'm going to give it another try in a day or two - let my nerves unfrazzle first. I did have it all ready to go when we started, but we tried it on a counter, where she has never been before, and I think our own nervousness also didn't help. I'll try again shortly using your suggetions, and let you know how it goes! Thanks again for all your help!

    • marya 4 years ago

      After I gave my cat fluids I was stuck by the needle trying to take it off the line. The needle got stuck and the cap went flying and I got stuck in the finger. Does anyone know how dangerous this might be. There did not seem to be blood on the needle but I bled. HELP

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Marya, I don't know how dangerous it is -- any vets/nurses reading this? -- but I've stuck myself with a needle before and I immediately swabbed my finger with alcohol and applied neosporin and a band-aid, just to be safe. I have experienced that same problem of the cap sliding off the needle when you're taking it off the line. Hold the fluids line in one hand and with the other hand place your thumb and index finger firmly around the bottom of the needle and then twist it off while pulling gently.

      @Lula's mom: you're welcome. Keep trying and let us know how it works out.

      Daniel

    • amp 4 years ago

      The first time I tried to give SQ fluids to my ornery by beloved kitty was a disaster. Luckily I was warned ahead of time by my excellent vet it would take a few tries to get it down and if it wasn't working, to just stop and try again later or the next day.

      So set your expectations low, initially. Don't stress about doing it perfectly, or even finishing it at all the first few times. Eventually you figure out what works for you and your cat and it will all seem very routine. Even then, you will still have some bad days, or your cat will. Remember, your cat is suffering a chronic illness and sometimes doesn't feel great, so if they're not up for it, it's okay! Avoid the compulsion to always finish or do it right. Just try again later.

      Good luck to everyone and thanks to danielmybrother for this page!

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Amp,

      Excellent advice! It can't be stressed enough: Don't give up if it doesn't work out the first time or even the first few times you try giving your kitty fluids. Think long-term -- and don't be too hard on yourself.

      Thanks, Amp

    • Barlee's Mom 4 years ago

      Hi. Thank you SO much for this site! It has helped so much already. I have a couple of questions.

      I just started giving my kitty Barlee sub-q treatments last Sunday, to varying degrees of success.

      As far as warming the fluids, I read through most of the comments, but I am still confused. I have been warming the bag and keeping the fluid line and see-through chamber out of the water. Isn't the water in those areas still cool and that is what initially goes into the kitty? However, I would be afraid to warm them due to the (possibly irrational?) fear of water seeping into the line or chamber. What is the proper procedure to make kitty comfortable?

      Secondly, I did well the third day I had to give him the treatment, but the next day, the needle kept on coming out. Then I think I stuck it too far, b/c the needle looked like it was in, but liquid still ran down his fur. How many sticks before you just give up and let the poor kitty be for a day?

      Lastly, I know you need a fresh needle daily. If the needle does come out during administration, should you use fresh needle as well?

      Thank you again so very much!!

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Barlee's Mom,

      Thanks for posting! Good to hear this article has helped you. I wouldn't put the line or drip chamber into the warm water. The amount of fluid in them is minimal -- probably only a few brief seconds of flow -- and I wouldn't risk possible contamination with tap water. I've never noticed my cats react to the first few seconds of a fluid session. About the fluid running out of your kitty's coat: I would pull the needle out and reinsert it, without worrying about a fresh needle. Don't think it's necessary (any thoughts, readers?) The maximum number of sticks I've done is three. More than that I'd say isn't worth subjecting the kitty to. Better to try later.

      Hope this helps,

      Daniel

    • louromano profile image

      louromano 4 years ago

      Wonderful hub ! Great information !

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      thanks, Lou!

    • jabby'smum 4 years ago

      this is a really great resource for those having to give SQ fluids to their kitties. my six-year old cat, jabby is fighting back from a quick onset and severe case of ARF that two different vets said would have killed most cats. i couldn't afford to keep my jabby in hospital for more than one night, so giving him fluids at home has been essential. before getting the setup, i spent his first night out of the hospital giving him pedialyte orally from a syringe every two hours. once we got the setup, the first day was a disaster. my mum came over to "help" me, but her palpable stress led her to hold onto jabby too tightly and he yowled loudly as i tried to stick him, the needle wouldn't go in, and the whole thing got out of hand. he even tried biting me! we went again, and this time i got the needle in and the line turned on, but my mum let him go within a few seconds and the needle pulled out. my confidence shaken, i wasn't sure i was going to be able to handle sticking my cat. anyway, after another failed attempt, i sent my mum home and let my kitty take a nap. later that night, after reading this, i tried again on my own and was successful. jabby barely made a sound as i put the needle in. he squirmed a little, but some chin scratches and pets kept him calm enough to finish. i can't state enough, that the mood in the room is so important. stay calm and your kitty will too. i think it's more important even than the type of needle, whether you warm up the bag, etc. best of luck to everyone with a sick cat-it's the scariest thing to be faced with losing our dear friends. i'm so glad that i have been able to nurse my kitty back from death's door.

    • Barlee's Mom 4 years ago

      Daniel - Barlee lost his fight with CRF/CKD early this AM. I had wanted to bring in a compassionate at-home pet euthanasia vet in the area today, but Barlee health started deteriorating in the wee morning hours, and I knew the best thing for him was to bring him immediately to the emergency vet.

      I just wanted to write and thank you so very much again for this hub. It was an amazing help when I definitely needed it; both your guide as well as other people's stories and comments were a blessing.

      Thanks again!

      Jodie

    • Dixie's mom 4 years ago

      Hi Daniel, I just went to a holistic vet to get some answers to how far advanced my cat, Dixie's kidney failure is and how to treat it through diet and medicine. I was told to start giving subcutaneous fluids. I thought, "Sure, I can do this, being a past nursing student." Well, it's a lot different when it's a cat that can't tell you how they feel. I tried unsuccessfully three times and gave up. I watched videos on utube showing the process. The needle doesn't seem to want to go all the way through the skin. When I took it out, (or it fell out)the fluid on the fur had a red tint to it, assuming this is blood. Is that normal or did I go too deep under the skin? I don't want to do this anyway and I certainly don't want to hurt my Dixie more than necessary. I did make a tent with the scruff, which she doesn't have much of because she is so skinny and dehydrated. I did give her food for distraction. Please help with me by answering whether it seems like I am going too deep. This is causing anxiety and stress for me and I know that in turns effects her. Help!!!

    • Michelle 4 years ago

      @Dixie's mom - you may want to take her to the vet the 1st few times so they can help you learn how to give the sub-q fluids. Especially since she is so dehydrated and it sounds like she needs the fluids. I've been doing the fluids for about 5 months now and I've never seen blood, so that worries me.

      @danielmybrother - thank you so much for this site. I've been reading the crf, this, and others and appreciate all the information and feedback from other cat parents. Cleo and Nala are litter mates, but Cleo was dx'd with diabetes when she was only three y/o. She was dx'd with CRF and a heart murmur in November and we're just keeping her comfortable and trying to enjoy every day we have left. Nala's BUN was slightly elevated when Cleo was diagnosed, so I will definitely heed your advice and take her back in because we were so focused on Cleo that we didn't finish testing or follow-up with Nala.

      You've done a wonderful thing with your site and I know it's a huge responsibility - thank you!

      Michelle (and Cleo and Nala)

    • Lisa 4 years ago

      I know chaning needles is a must but is there any risk in using the same SQ fluid bag on two different cats? Can any disease they carry be transferred from the fluids?

    • cassie 4 years ago

      thank you for this site, i wanted to let you know that at least here in california you can use costcos pharmacy without becoming a member. I just let them know that I am going to the pharmacy and they let me in. I can get anything that is also prescripted for humans there, I used to get my Angel Cat's thyriod meds there. Its cheaper than the Vet and I don't have to worry about price matching.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Dear jabby'smum,

      Thanks so much for sharing the story of your near-epic attempt to give Jabby his first dose of subq fluids. Good for you for not giving up and trying one more time. I'm really glad you noted how the mood in the room makes all the difference. Cat's are sensitive to people's moods, and tension in the air will put them on edge. Very nice of your mum to help, but I agree: for administering fluids at home, one person, one cat.

      Good luck to you and Jabby, and sorry for the late reply.

      Daniel

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Dear Barlee's Mom,

      So sorry to hear of Barlee's passing. It's a difficult experience, I know, and now matter how much you prepare you're never quite fully ready. Sounds like he had a very loving kitty mom. And it makes me happy to at least know this Hub helped you.

      Best,

      Daniel

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Dear Dixie's mom,

      Sorry for the late reply. Michelle's advice is a good idea; having the vet techs show you in person how to stick the needle in would be a good start. As far as your questions, no, a red tint on the needle is not normal. You should be keeping the needle level (not tilted up or down) when you insert it in the scruff, not too high up and not too low and close to the cat's fur. Sounds like you might have pricked the underlying flesh. I've done that once or twice and the vet told me it shouldn't be a problem, but you don't want to continue doing it. It's not easy with a skinny kitty, I know. Let us know how things turned out, and if the vet was able to help you.

      Daniel

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Dear Michelle,

      Thanks for your thoughtful post, and for helping out Dixie's mom with some good advice. Poor Cleo! Our Stormy, the brown tabby pictured above, also has CRF and a heart murmur, so there's always that delicate balance between keeping her hydrated and not causing congestive heart problems. Having diabetes on top of that is a tough one. I don't know much about its effects on cats and hope Cleo will manage to have some kind of quality of life despite her ailments. As far as Nala, elevated BUN is a concern. I would make sure to take her back to the vet within 3 months to see if anything's changed. And you're so welcome. Happy to hear this has helped you.

      Let us know how your kitties are doing.

      Regards,

      Daniel

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Lisa,

      I'm not a vet, so you should ask your veterinarian if there's any risk involved in such a case, and please let us know what you hear -- I think other readers would be interested to know.

      Best,

      Daniel

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Dear Cassie,

      Thanks for sharing that information (California readers take note!) Has anyone from other states managed to use Costco's pharmacy without purchasing a Costco membership? Do tell!

      Daniel

    • Alexis 4 years ago

      What do you do when you get to the bottom of the bag? Should you throw away the last bit? I am worried about draining it completely and letting air into my kitty.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Hi Alexis,

      If there's just enough fluid left in the bag for one dose, then I finish the bag and drain it dry to the last drop (if it's not a full dose, then I just toss it and start a new bag). I wouldn't worry about letting air into your kitty. I know a lot of people are concerned about this, but air bubbles don't hurt your kitty, a vet I asked about this told me. The instruction sheet I received when I bought fluids recently at one of the major animal hospitals in DC (I've been using them for about a decade) explicitly states that air bubbles are not a problem. So drain that sucker dry if you need to!

      Daniel

    • Jason Burkett profile image

      Jason Burkett 4 years ago from Marion, Virginia

      Thank You for this post. I'm new to giving Fluids and was afraid I was doing something wrong because our cat Foster would cry when I stuck him. But after I read this I felt better knowing this is normal. I found like a previous person said that an over the door hook works great for holding the IV bag. I also found the information helpful about moving the needle up and down while inserting it made it a lot easier to insert.

    • Jason Burkett profile image

      Jason Burkett 4 years ago from Marion, Virginia

      Also, I have found that with our cat Foster If you take the fluid to where you cat is instead of the other way around there is less problems with them anting to run or escape. It may still happen, but it's not as bad.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      thanks for writing, Jason. so glad you found the info here helpful and that Foster and you are getting more used to the fluids. That's a good tip about bringing the fluids to the kitty. They're not on the defensive so much when you do that. Of course, that depends on where the kitty typically sits and whether there's a place above to hang a bag . I'm lucky -- Stormy hangs out on our couch and I use the closet door!

    • Jason Burkett profile image

      Jason Burkett 4 years ago from Marion, Virginia

      If you don't have a door handy, (like we sometimes don't have) you can hang it over a curtain rod. I think it works better because its higher than the door.

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      yeah, if you have a place to put your kitty below one, curtain rods are great!

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Dear Kristin and Cokie,

      So good to hear my Hub helped you! A big part of the value of this article is the comments left by readers, which have taught me much and have provided invaluable information for parents of CRF kitties. Thanks for the link, and I hope it will be smooth sailing for Cokie's subQ treatments from here on. btw: I've been using Monoject size 20's and they have been working fine on Stormy, who's also a skinny kitty.

      Best,

      Daniel

    • bowiefied@gmail.com 4 years ago

      Just googled info about giving fluids/warming fluids and you just popped up. I've been giving my kitty fluids for about 6 months and just realized how uncomfortable the cold fluids must be. I'm giving him fluids again on Thursday and will be warming the fluids just like you do. Thanks for the information.

    • Jason Burkett profile image

      Jason Burkett 4 years ago from Marion, Virginia

      Good Afternoon Danielmybrother.

      Foster lost his battle with CRF this morning. He had stopped responding to fluids a couple of weeks ago and slowly went downhill. We were with him to the end. It's never easy to have to say goodbye, but I have peace knowing we did all we could for him. He was a trooper.

      Goodbye Foster, I'll miss you feller.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      dear Jason,

      so sorry to hear about your loss. I've been there and know how painful it can be. It's clear Foster had a very good kitty dad and knew he was loved. Condolences.

      Daniel

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Bowiefied,

      so glad to hear my article helped ... you're welcome! warming the fluids definitely makes the fluids more comfortable. good luck with the fluids

      daniel

    • Marlene 4 years ago

      I've been using a heat lamp to heat the fluids. Takes about 15 min. for a full bag. Recommended by my vet.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Hi, Marlene. That's an interesting way of doing it. 15 minutes sounds like a long time though; I normally let a bag soak in hot water 5 minutes tops and it's good to go. And if you forget the bag's soaking in the water, no problem. it just gets cool. Left under a heat lamp it could melt.

    • Steph 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for this article and all the comments. I have been giving my cat sub-q fluids for about a week now, and it's quite difficult; I always need someone to help hold him. I have two worries right now, though. One is that I read in the comments that blood is really bad. And I have gotten a little blood almost every time! Today was especially bad, he was dripping blood. Now I am very worried and wonder what I am doing wrong!

      The other thing is, when I saw the blood I got worried and distracted and took off the needle but forgot to put a new one on, and put the apparatus away with no needle, just an empty tube. Do I read correctly that now I shouldn't use it, that there might be bacteria? Or is there a way to sterilise it or clean it so I don't have to discard the whole bag and tubing? Yikes -- thanks in advance for any answers.

    • SubQQueen 4 years ago

      Hello all!

      Today will be my third time giving my 16 year old CKD girl kitty Bien SubQ. I did this about 16 years ago for my FeLv+ girl Angel for a few weeks at the end of her life to make her more comfortable. THIS time it's not just for comfort - it's to give Bien some more good years. The vet tells me we will go to 3X a week eventually, but right now, we're trying to lower her BUN and creatinine by at least 100ml/day of Plasma Lyte A 7.4 PH fluids.

      A friend has come by to help me steady Bien, and this has been very helpful. I don't have enough know-how to do it alone yet (almost though I would pass out the first time, when I had to stick her 3x; and then once more a little later to successfully complete the session. 2nd time was only twice. She moved - the needle came out; had to start again, oy!)

      We give Bien a treat at the beginning and at the end, and she is pretty cooperative. I haven't warmed the fluids yet since I haven't yet picked up a thermometer, but I have Terumo needles on order 20G UTW. I just can't do 18G (they use 16G for goats and sheep...18G is WAY too big for a cat, even if the fluids run faster). Right now I'm using Monoeject or BD 20Gx1"(longer length is better than 3/4" to keep the needle in) and the extra minute or so it takes for the fluid to flow is worth not harpooning her each time.

      If you are looking for an affordable supply for fluid - try Heartland Veterinary Supply - $5.95/bag of Plasma Lyte A 7.4PH; $60.06/case of 14. Also KV Supply is a good source too ($4.99/bag). I ordered Terumo needles from Thriving Pets.

      I have a wooden beam right above my dining room table where Bien likes to lay (and a perfect height for SubQ) so, I hammered a nail into the beam and use a caribiner to hang the bag. It's pretty secure.

      I stabbed myself with the used needle yesterday - ow. I read this is pretty common, so I wasn't so worried about it. Glad I wasn't using a harpoon on her!

      @Steph: make sure you are making a tent and insert the needle level in the middle of the pocket of the tent of skin. If it's too low, you might be nicking muscle, and thus getting blood. You can practice creating a tent with the leg of your jeans (not while you're wearing them) or maybe the skin of a chicken. My girl is very skinny too, but there's still plenty of skin near the neck and at the top of her back to get a tent and stay away from muscle. It's a learning process. An in-person instruction from your vet might help a lot.

      Thanks for all your comments. Nice to know I'm not alone in doing this. Felinecrf.org has been another HUGE help in dealing with CKD cats; getting info about SubQ and even info about supplies in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Good luck! Remember to keep breathing!!!!

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Dear Steph,

      If your cat is dripping blood when you remove the needle, then it likely is penetrating the cat's flesh beneath its coat or is jabbing the cat's fur from inside; either way that's not good. As SubQQueen mentions above, you pull the loose scruff in back of your kitty's head up with your fingers and make a tent, then insert the needle, keeping it as level and horizontal as possible, so it just goes through the fur and into the gap beneath the loose fur. You definitely don't want the needle pointed upward or downward.

      I also recommend having a vet tech demonstrate it for you, and then have the tech supervise you while you do it, so they can give you feedback. I've seen the tell-tale pink tinge on the needle once or twice over the years when I've pricked my cat's flesh, and it's alarming, but my cats were OK afterward.

      As far as the fluid bag being stored without the needle on, if it was me and the mouth of the line wasn't touching anything, just hanging somewhere, for example, I would just replace the administration set (aka the fluid line) but not the bag. If it was touching something or was dirtied, I'd replace the line and the bag. Any thoughts, readers?

      And SubQQueen, thanks so much for sharing your experience with your precious Bien (love the name!), and for the information you passed along. As far as the needles go, I personally think the Monoeject 18s aren't as bad as people paint them and that the "harpoon" description is an exaggeration. I used them on our cat Babe for about 5 years with no apparent ill effect, and that's what our vet tech-turned cat sitter uses on her charges. But if you use them long-term (I'm talking years) you may want to at least switch off between them and a smaller gauge needle. I'm using 18s and 20s on Babe's sister, Stormy, the brown tabby pictured above.

      Don't worry about the thought of going to three times a week fluids. When I was starting out doing this six years ago, I always dreaded the day when I'd have to give a daily dose of fluids to our cat(s), seeing it as an unimaginable ordeal. Well, I'm doing that now with Stormy, it's become part of the daily routine and not that big a deal.

      Daniel

    • Steph 4 years ago

      Thanks for your replies, SubQQueen and Daniel. I've been shown and usually do it correctly now, but sometimes I don't know what I do and there is a bit of blood. But not that much so far. He squirms a lot, and it's impossible to do without a helper. My fairly steady helper is going away a lot this fall, and I'm asking around for someone who can help me in return for pet care that I can provide for them. I hope I can find someone because my cat gets so stressed when I take him to the vet for the techs to do it, and even though they do it for free we have to wait for a long time there.

      As for the set-up without the needle, I called the vet office that evening and they said to just flush it out with the fluid and it should be ok. So far so good, but now I'm taking care to put a new needle on as soon as possible.

      Thanks again, and thanks for the support here!

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      hey Steph,

      you're welcome!

      Don't give up on the subQs; it does get easier with time. Hope you can find a helper. I know that makes a difference. Good to hear you didn't have to throw out a bag of fluid and the line.

      OK, take care, and thanks for responding to my Hub.

      Daniel

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      danielmybrother 4 years ago from D.C.

      Correction: I'm using 18s and 21s -- not 18s and 20s -- for needles.

    • Dbloodworthy 4 years ago

      I was just advised that I need to start giving Banshee SubQ fluids. She doesn't have kidney disease... just bad arthritis and she stopped drinking water, hence the dehydration and need for fluids. I've done this before for my baby boy who I lost almost 2 years ago to CRF, but I am really nervous about doing this again. This is very informative and will help a lot. I was told to administer 80 - 100 ml once or twice a week. I am wondering if it's better to give her 50ml twice a day or give her the full 100ml at once. I can't remember. Also, she's really squirmy, so I'm not sure she would tolerate the full amount at once. I am so glad that I found this article. I'm relieved that she doesn't have kidney failure, but not ready to give her fluids.

    • SubQQueen 3 years ago

      Howdy all!

      Just giving an update from months ago. I am now subQing Bien every other day 100-150 ml of Lactated Ringer's from Valley Vet ($60 for 14 1000 ml bags, free shipping) and her brother Leo (who also has CKD) with about 100. Leo is a little clown -- he has come to actually eagerly anticipate the process and climb up on the table (no mean feat since this 16 year old boy has arthritis in his hind quarters) and purr since we give him treats while hydrating. I heard legends about cats purring during subQs but didn't really believe it. Now I do.

      I continue to have a helper - I have three different people who agree to help me, so no one person has to be the helper all the time (though one friend has been a trooper and has been coming to my house every other day for several months to assist). I think I am going to try doing it myself soon - it would make it more convenient time wise. I am fortunate that both cats are pretty docile about it. The biggest challenge will be keeping the needle in when Leo is looking around for the next treat!

      Also, I want to mention that I warm the fluids before administering. This seems to make the cold fluids less of a jolt flowing into their bodies. I have a big bowl that I fill with hot tap water - sometimes I have to add extra to make sure it's warm enough. I test the temperature of the water in the bag as I bleed out the line - to make sure it's warm, but not TOO warm. I think it's a lot more comfortable for them this way.

      After a few months, they have both improved - hydrating helps a lot! And so did a change from K/D dry -- which they were hardly eating and different wet foods that they were hardly eating, which meant they were hardly eating and getting very little nutrition. I switched to grain-free Natural Balance Alpha Cat Turkey/Duck dry (which gets some of its protein from garbanzo beans so it is reduced nitrogen) and Fancy Feast canned. Both are thriving on this even though it is NOT kidney food and the protein is a bit higher, as is the phosphorus, (but they get Epakitin as a phosphorus blocker) and they are happier, healthier and more active. I made this switch because they BOTH also are diagnosed with IBD and I was convinced that the rice and corn gluten - which are major ingredients in K/D -- were irritating their digestive tracts. Since the switch -- very little vomiting -- a true blessing. Proof is in their behavior and their coats.

      Dbloodworthy -- the fluid gets slowly absorbed from the tissues, so your baby is probably fine with the 100 twice a week. If she is squirmy, would it make her more squirmy to have to do this twice a day? 100ml doesn't take that much more time than 50 ml, and you already have the needle in, so go for it. Expect that she may be squirmy at first though, as she gets used to this. What I weigh is how stressful is it for the cat and for you to administer the fluids? Having a break a few times a week when you are not giving fluids is probably a good thing for both of you. The fluids will make her feel better and will help her bowels work better too -- sometimes if arthritis is painful and things get too hardened in there, constipation can result and that's no fun to deal with for either of you. I went through that with both cats a few months ago, oy.

      Steph -- maybe to avoid the blood, can you insert the needle more towards the top part of the "tent?" Angle the needle straight or slightly up vs toward the body where it might hit muscle tissue. Also, when you get a new IV line, it will come with a cap on the nipple that you connect to the needle - you can recap it after you are done if you don't want to store it with a new needle. I always put a new needle on after I'm done, so I am ready to go the next time. There's a little leeway with bacteria, etc. since you are not injecting into a vein, but the flushing out idea sounds like a good idea -- you're probably doing this anyway if you are bleeding the line before you hydrate to get the bubbles out. Maybe washing the nipple a bit first and rinsing it well before bleeding the line.

      Keep at it everyone! You are courageous and loving, and are REALLY helping your furbabies feel SO much better.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 3 years ago from D.C.

      DBloodworthy, thanks for your post. so glad to hear my Hub helped you. If you've already given SubQ fluids, your a step ahead of a lot of people, so I wouldn't worry too much: you can do it again! I agree with SubQQueen, 100 ML twice a week would be easier and more acceptable to Banshee than twice a day doses. SubQQueen, thank you for providing this helpful information and encouragement to other parents of CRF kitties. I for one could use some at this point. The little brown tabby, Stormy, pictured above has had CRF for 2 years, and I'm afraid she's starting to go downhill. She's down to about 7 or 8 pounds and this past week has missed two jumps onto the heater vents where she spends most of her time. that's unusual for her; she's always been an ambitious jumper and even a few weeks ago she would leap into our bedroom armoire from a difficult angle. It might be the CRF, or it could be her heart, or her eyes are failing. She's going in for a doctor visit soon. anyway, thanks for your kind words.

      daniel

      p.s. I used to get e-mail notifications when people responded to this Hub but they stopped, so I may not always respond right away.

    • NipSponee 3 years ago

      I employed to find on top of existence although of late We've developed some sort of weight.

    • SubQQueen 3 years ago

      Here's a perspective I didn't think I'd have -- I've been so focused on KIDNEY issues, it didn't dawn on me that perhaps another condition would take my babycat.

      On February 23, we sent Bien to the Rainbow Bridge. In mid January, her weight was up and I was encouraged; but when I returned from a 4 day business trip at the beginning of February, she was noticeably bony, and her appetite was spotty. I had a post trade-show virus, so it wasn't until February 15 that I could get her to the vet, where a mass in her abdomen and fluid in her chest was discovered. Her kidney values were actually quite good, ironically. Ultrasound showed what appeared to be large cell untreatable lymphoma (based on comparison with an ultrasound in October), and a mass in her chest too. Her chest was tapped to facilitate breathing, but over the next heartbreaking week her energy started draining away and she wasn't even able to lay down to rest - had to sit like a sphinx all day and night, and could only walk a few feet before sitting to rest. Friday night the 22nd it was clear that although she made every effort to be with us, her quality of life was hugely diminished. The vet team came to the house the next day.

      I am deeply grieving her and missing my sweet friend, my companion, and my furry "mews." An interesting sidelight - as I was washing her bowls out about 30 minutes after she passed on, I looked up to see a rainbow on my kitchen backsplash. This room has no windows. Immediately I took it to mean she had made it to the Rainbow Bridge. I took a picture of it, and her stepdad, my boyfriend saw it too.

      I continue to hydrate Leo every other day since his creatinine is a little elevated, and he continues to LOVE the hydration process and purr through the whole thing. He heard the voice of my friend who usually helps me with it on the PHONE the other day and jumped up on the table waiting for it to begin. The biggest challenge with him is his enthusiastic munching on treats, since I sometimes fear he will dislodge the needle. Other that that, he is a breeze. Pilling him is another story, but he's fairly cooperative there too -- I still have all my fingers and no wounds. We are adjusting to the absence of his wombmate and sister Bien.

      Daniel, about your kitty - it could be so many things, maybe just arthritis that keeps her from jumping. My Leo has arthritis which has curtailed his jumping, but I've put steps and supports for him around the house so he can still climb on things and pretty much get to where he wants to go. And some weight loss is not unusual with both older and CRF kitties. I hope you get encouraging news from your vet and that some adjustments will keep your furbaby healthy and happy for many years to come.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 3 years ago from D.C.

      Thanks for your post, SubQQueen,

      your story of Bien's passing was both heart-breaking and inspiring. I love that you saw a rainbow! And glad to hear Leo is responding so well to your regimen of fluids. the loss of Bien must have been hard on you both.

      As far as Stormy goes, thanks for your encouragement but I'm afraid she's in her final days. after 2 years of managing her CRF pretty well, she started getting sick, sicker than usual, a few weeks ago with a urinary tract infection. when I took her to the vet to get checked out, her kidney values had shot up to something like 6 for creatinine and 40 -- or was it 60? -- for her BUN, and there were signs of phosphorus in her blood. we got past the urinary thing, then she got a cold virus that blocks her sense of smell and made her eat even less than she had been -- she now weighs a little over 5 pounds. she also has high blood pressure and trouble pooping.

      she's always rallied before but this time it doesn't appear to be happening -- she spends almost all of her time on the couch sleeping and looking unwell. I'm going to be facing a painful decision very soon. I've had my kitty daughter for 16 years, since I was single and living at the beach in Florida, we've been through so much together and I love her so ... sigh. I will need to be strong.

    • SubQQueen 3 years ago

      Oh Daniel, I am sorry to hear about Stormy. I know that dread in your heart as you shepherd her through these precious days with love and comfort. Bien had been dealing with an intractable UTI also -- probably since at least June -- that kept not responding to antibiotics, and yes, the weight loss. All so familiar.

      I can feel your love for Stormy, and she knows that and I know that she loves you back too. That love will connect the two of you forever. My heart is with you, with prayers for your strength, wisdom and clarity, and peace for both you and Stormy.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 3 years ago from D.C.

      thanks so much, SubQQueen. it's really comforting to hear that. I started her on an antibiotic for her cold/flu last night, and she responded quickly by beginning to eat again. I'm not ruling out another rally/ninth life for her

    • SubQQueen 3 years ago

      Hey, that is great news! She sounds like a little fighter. Keep me informed and give her some loving scratches from a friend in New Mexico.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 3 years ago from D.C.

      will do :)

    • Nielin 3 years ago

      Hi, I have searched but can't find an answer so maybe you can help.

      I need to know if bacteria can be introduced into the subq fluids bag is you need to replace the spike?

      My line had a crimp so fluids would not flow out so I replaced the spike with new gear and am now concerned that maybe I have introduced bacteria into the bag.

      Some say bacteria can grow in bags that get warmed, although I think it is much more comfortable to give warmed than cold fluids to my little angel kittie.

      Thanks for any help you may offer.

    • SubQQueen 3 years ago

      I've never heard of bacteria growing in bags that get warmed. Maybe if you keep them for months, but you will likely use up a bag in 10 days. I haven't heard any bacteria cautions about warming the bag.

      I'd think there is a slight chance of introducing bacteria into the bag, since the covered port was already breached when you inserted the first crimped line. Then in the process of removing the spike and replacing it, any bacteria that might have been around the bag opening might have gotten in. However, I don't think it's too critical if you were reasonably clean and sterile about replacing the line. I've had vets tell me I don't have to change the needle after every poke, and I'd think the opportunity for bacteria to grow on a needle that had already been inserted into a cat's skin is much higher (I DO replace the needle every time, and I do warm the bag). That's just my educated guess.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 3 years ago from D.C.

      Hi, Nielin,

      I don't think replacing your administration set (ie., the spike) with a clean, unused one would be a problem. Like SubQQueen, I've never heard of bacteria growing in a sub-q fluids bag, not one that's actively being used, anyway. As far as the needle, I would definitely change that after every use, because it does have bacteria on it. I put a new needle on immediately after administering fluids, so the bag is put away with a clean needle on it.

      thanks for writing (and thanks SubQQueen for your reply). p.s. Stormy's still hanging in there

    • SubQQueen 3 years ago

      I do the same thing - put the bag away with a fresh needle that is ready to for next time. That way I don't have to try to remember, hmmmm, did I change that needle or didn't I?

      Another SubQ milestone - I have now TWICE subqed my boycat Leo by myself. I just felt it was time to attempt it. I prefer having a helper, but sometimes one can't be found and I have to go out for the evening or have an appointment, and it's important Leo gets his fluids. He makes it so easy - as long as I am giving him treats throughout the fluid administration, he is patient and docile and calmly waits for me to be done. It took a little doing to figure out logistics of being able to keep my right hand over the needle (and steady him in case he gets too enthusiastic for the treats) and left hand reaching for the treats to feed him one by one, like reverse Pez. :-) I also have a hanger contraption set up to hook over a cabinet door to hang the bag and make sure the bubbles are out before I bring it over to the table where the actual subquing takes place.

      DMB -- I am glad to hear Stormy is hanging in there! Yay Stormy! xoxoxo

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 3 years ago from D.C.

      SubQQueen ... and my readers,

      About an hour ago, our precious Stormy, the brown tabby pictured above, joined her sister Babe at the rainbow bridge after a nearly 4-year fight with CRF. She had edema in these final days, was a bit disoriented and had trouble walking on her swollen paws. I had to make the hardest decision ever, but I know it was right for her to go out with a spark of life left in her and not a complete shell of her former self. At the animal hospital, with the little IV needle attached to her leg and the doctor on the way with the injection, she jumped onto the counter and managed to walk on a computer keyboard for a final time.

      Stormy had been my companion since I adopted her as a very young, lost cat who turned up at an animal hospital in Brevard County, Florida, after cutting her belly leaping over a fence in someone's backyard. Over the years she lived in Melbourne Beach, Cocoa Beach and Miami Beach, Florida; Arlington, Va.; Rockville, Md.; and, lastly, Washington, DC. She charmed and won the affection of a long line of girlfriends, friends, acquaintances and family members, including my wife and, in the last 3 years, our toddler son. She rode on trains, planes and automobiles. In her wilder younger days, she'd stay out till very late at night -- sometimes all night, as I constantly called her name and searched for her. I remember waking up in my apartment in Cocoa Beach in the morning and finding the window screen pushed out, opening the door and there she'd be, doing that lazy, swaying back and forth strut, her tail straight up and vibrating. I'm fairly sure she had a number of lovers. An expert hunter, she was also the last thing many poor mice, lizards, baby bunnies and insects ever saw.

      She was a classy cat, clever to the point of shrewdness, and yet incredibly affectionate and loving ... when in the mood. She never lost her style and stoic attitude during her long battle with CRF, never stopped grooming herself and holding her head up high. Even a week ago, weighing a little over 5 pounds, she still managed a daring leap from the dining room table to the back of the couch.

      Everyone who ever met her liked Stormy. I loved her more than words can ever express, and I take some comfort knowing she is at peace now.

      God bless you all and all our feline friends.

      Daniel

    • m4paws 3 years ago

      Daniel, I am so sorry for you loss. Sounds like Stormy was an awesome kitty who was well loved. We lost our last cat to CRF, and now have discovered our cat Meesha has elevated BUN and creatinine. The urinalysis shows her urine is not dilute, which I guess is good, but I don't know. The vet wants us to give Subq's once a week.

      Anyway, thanks for your hub. I was looking for instructions on how to remove the plug/seal from the bottom of the bag. I'm assuming I just yank on that white rubber thing hanging from the bag and the whole seal will come out.

    • SubQQueen 3 years ago

      Oh Daniel, I am so, so, so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks with you and my tears join yours. I resonate with and thank you for expressing "but I know it was right for her to go out with a spark of life left in her and not a complete shell of her former self." Exactly.

      Stormy touched SO many lives in person and extended her reach to all of us online . Your love for her drove you to share your wisdom with the rest of us, and in doing that, we got to know her and love her a little bit too.

      Stormy's dignity and spirit are not gone, even if her limiting physical body no longer houses them. Know and trust she is right there beside you and always will be. That bond, once forged, is eternal. And know, in the mystical way of kitty spirits, that at the rainbow bridge, she is welcomed and joined by Bien, as they romp together in freedom and comfort and talk about their beloved humans, even as they watch over us. Love to you, Daniel My Brother.

    • SubQQueen 3 years ago

      m4paws:

      Yes, you pull the white tab from the seal and then you insert the (usually white) pointed end of the venoset into the hole. Sometimes you have to twist it a bit until it is fully seated. Make sure the dial regulator on the tube is closed, so when you hold the bag up, fluid doesn't flow through the tube right away.

    • m4paws 3 years ago

      SubQQueen, thank you so much for your reply. At this point, we are going to wait 1 month and have Meesha's bloodwork redone, mainly because I found some information that had me concerned. I sent the info to my vet who agreed we should wait for the next test.

      I found the information here and would love to hear yours and anyone else's thoughts: http://www.felinecrf.org/subcutaneous_fluids_givin...

      Please note Paragraph 6: "Processing the extra fluids in itself places an additional workload on the kidneys which can make the CKD progress faster; plus it can flush out certain nutrients, and giving fluids when they are not needed may increase blood pressure; so it is best not to begin fluids until the advantages are likely to outweigh the disadvantages. Dr Katherine James of the Veterinary Information Network believes that most CKD cats will benefit from subcutaneous therapy once creatinine levels are consistently over 300 -350 (US: 3.5-4). If your vet thinks your cat's CKD is less advanced than this, then it is probably safer to hold off on sub-Qs for the moment"

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 3 years ago from D.C.

      dear SubQQueen,

      thank you so much for your kind words. they comforted me and brought tears to my eyes at the same time. yes, I like to think of Stormy romping with Bien at the Rainbow Bridge!

      M4paws, thank you for your kind words. you've been through it, so you know. I hope Meesha will get off easy. looks like SubQQueen has answered your question ... yup, you pull that tab off, then stick the white sharpy end of the administration line into the little tube.

      best,

      daniel

    • SubQQueen 3 years ago

      Hi DMB:

      You remain in my thoughts and prayers. I understand the comfort/tears dichotomy - I get that more and more these days! I like thinking of our beloved furry ones playing together too. I've been working on some art that honors Bien and makes me feel close to her; I would be happy to share it with you privately (since I don't think we can post images here). Stormy may send you some messages and inspirations in the coming days. I am glad we can share our love and loss through this forum; letting go is never easy, especially of those little loves that light our lives.

      M4Paws, I'm sure your vet knows the right thing to do based on Meesha's numbers. Too much fluid does tax the heart, but it was my understanding that the subQ actually HELPED the kidneys by flushing through toxins, etc. that the kidneys couldn't really process on their own. Never heard that it makes the CKD progress faster. Conservative treatment is probably the best way to go.

      SQQ

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 3 years ago from D.C.

      thanks SubQQueen. I like the idea of Stormy sending me some messages and inspiration. I feel that sometimes. I think about her a lot still, especially when I see her empty spot on the couch. I haven't been quite able yet to put away her now-empty litter box that is still sitting in her bathroom (we called our small bathroom with her box in it "Stormy's bathroom.") I still like having the reminders around for now. Also need to gather up my SubQ supplies and donate them to the Humane Society. I'd like to see your art work about Bien. sounds like she was a wonderful kitty

      daniel

    • SubQQueen 3 years ago

      Maybe when you think about her, she is thinking about you too. There's that loving connection. You will know how long to keep your reminders around. I carry Bien's collar around in my pocket, and sometimes run water in "her" sink or bathtub before I go to bed or first thing in the morning like I used to do for her. Heck, whenever I get to the end of a roll of paper towels or toilet paper I tap it against my hand for ANGEL, who went over the Rainbow Bridge 17 years ago!!! She used to LOVE being tapped at the base of her tail with anything rolled up, or empty cardboard tubes. So I think wherever she is, she hears this and knows I am thinking of her STILL (yes, you may call me a crazy cat lady).

      I'd be happy to send you pictures of Bien artwork, but I don't think I can post here. Do you have an email I can send them to? Thank you for wanting to see them and share a little bit of Bien with me. Little ambassador that she was, she would love this.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 3 years ago from D.C.

      oh, those little rituals for Bien and Angel are funny! and I totally understand doing that. sometimes I "talk" to Stormy or Babe when I'm near their little boxes that form our kitty shrine. if you'd like to send me that art of Bien, SubQ, my email is:

      mozfan47@yahoo.com

      regards,

      daniel

    • kits 3 years ago

      I had to do this daily for my big old cat at least daily if not two times a day. He wanted to stay. Another younger cat did not like the process. So instead of torturing him, we let him go. It was almost funny when the big old cat started to leak from old pokings. It was a long time ago. It was easy to do.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 3 years ago from D.C.

      funny, kits, that happened to me with both our cats, especially Baby (the calico pictured above). how successful you are at giving subq fluids does depend on your individual kitty, I guess, but my experience has been that most of them get used to it and eventually realize it makes them feel better. thanks for writing!

      daniel

    • SubQQueen 3 years ago

      Oh, I don't like the idea of Leo eventually starting to leak from his pokings. For now though, he still accepts the hydration well and even jumps up on the table to receive it (because he gets fed turkey lunch meat treats at the same time). I give him 100 ml M, W, F - then he (and I) get a break for the weekend. This seems to work out well for all involved. I think I probably could even cut back to 2X a week but he is on a very low dose of pred, and that can raise kidney values so we keep him hydrated, keep things flowing. He is 17 this month and despite his arthritis, is feeling well enough to figure out a way to climb up on the patio fence and jump over it to the yard (and grass he is not supposed to eat) on the other side! Ack!!!!! I'm grateful for his shenanigans and for how tolerant his is of hydration and pilling.

    • danielmybrother profile image
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      danielmybrother 3 years ago from D.C.

      good to hear Leo is still well enough to pull a kitty caper or two, SubQ. he sounds like a cool kitty

      daniel

    • G-money 3 years ago

      I think your a gem and love to see people who care for they're cat so much. Mine is on a drip atm spending the night at the vets after using Bob Martins flea spray, it near killed her. Please never use it.

    • liev 3 years ago

      I haven't read all the comments yet so I don't know whether or not this question is already up there and answered.

      I have no medical background but I often found cats near my home---most of the time kitten---who suffered dehydration. In case of unexpected event---the vet on call arrived late or the vet clinic suddenly closed or not enough money to go to the vet whilst the stray kitten of maybe one of my cat are dehydrated, do you think I'm allowed to learn this procedure?

      Thanks.

    • Andrea 3 years ago

      January 15, 2014

      Thank you for your time in teaching the correct way to administer Sub Q Fluids. I read this site to refresh my memory before injecting my cat, and was able to do so with confidence for almost two weeks.

      Unfortunately, my baby had to be put down yesterday because she was very ill and suffering. I am devastated over losing her and want to WARN others about this experience.

      I took her to the Vet for seasonal allergies, and he gave her a cortisone shot without my permission. I am against cortisone and other steroids because they suppress the symptoms rather than treat the cause. Anyway, within two months of receiving this shot my beautiful cat's health deteriorated; despite a good appetite her weight dropped from a healthy 8.5 to 4.9 pounds, she was drinking water and urinating excessively, and the litter box was flooded with sticky urine. I took her to another Vet who took complete blood work and diagnosed her with a Diabetic Reaction to the Cortisone Shot and said, " NO MORE CORTISONE EVER! " The Veterinarian told me to inject her with Lantus Insulin, 1 unit two times per day, and we had to monitor her closely. This adverse reaction to Cortisone was very expensive and she never ever regained her health.

      Our trip to the Vet for diagnostic evaluation yesterday had revealed terminal cancer. I was warned that autoimmune diseases appear in cats and dogs who have been treated with corticosteroids like Cortisone and Prednizone because these chemicals suppress the body's immune system; and that negative side effects can and will show up eventually.

      An adverse reaction to a Cortisone Shot damaged my cats pancreas and kidneys, which resulted in diabetes, kidney failure and a severely weakened immune system unable to protect itself from cancer.

      Until this day, the Veterinarian who administered the Cortisone to my Cat, refuses to acknowledge the long-term side effects of this dangerous Drug, because he is narrow minded! His reaction to my cats pain and suffering was, " I treat the symptoms as they arise! "

      Please say No to Cortisone and other steroids! They are destroying the health of our companions. As you are injecting your cats and dogs with Sub Q fluids which are important, think back to how it all began. Review their medical records (always request a copy and keep them in a file for future reference) and see if they ever received a Cortisone Shot or other steroids; so you will never allow your Vet to give these Drugs again!

    • Andrea 3 years ago

      January 15, 2014

      Dear Daniel,

      I forgot to say that I am deeply sorry to hear that your beloved Stormy passed over. I am sure that both of your Angels; Babe and Stormy, are watching over you and your family. You were an excellent Father to both Babe and Stormy, and a good friend to all of us who so desperately needed your help in learning how to administer subcutaneous fluids.

      Thanks to you, Babe, and Stormy these directions will always be available to help others.

      Best Wishes Always,

    • Andrea 3 years ago

      Hi liev,

      Daniel must be very busy, so I will try to help you.

      I would take all stray kittens and their mother if possible, to a no-kill shelter so they can receive proper medical care, food, water and shelter from the cold.

      Regarding your own cat, you need to have a consultation with a Veterinarian before administering Ringer's Lactate; aka: subcutaneous hydration, to find out why your cat is dehydrated. Then, just follow Daniels perfect directions on this web-page.

      Also, if money is an issue right now, please check with the animal shelter to see if there are low-cost clinics in your area, or maybe they have a Vet at the shelter who would be willing to help you.

      Thank you for caring about stray cats!

    • SubQQueen 3 years ago

      Andrea,

      I am so sorry to hear about your sweet baby. Surely it sounds like the cortisone shot overwhelmed her system and triggered the diabetes. What a terrible experience and unnecessary loss of your dear companion.

      I do want to mention though, that steroids, used carefully can be godsends for cats. My 17 year old boy has been on prednisolone orally since December 2012 for IBD; it also has helped tremendously with his arthritis, which was causing him to be terribly rickety and in frequent pain. It is a small dose - only 2.5 mg 3x a week. It seems to keep things in check and is tolerated well.

      I totally understand your alarm and aversion to steroids after your experience- and to your vet's callous reaction. Your story is a cautionary tale for being very careful with powerful drugs and trying more gentle alternatives first. And to any vets reading -- to be sure the pet parent approves the treatment and to attempt more gradual treatment before such a drastic one. I know that comfort in the loss of a dear pet is hard to come by, but I hope knowing that you were such a dedicated guardian and advocate for your baby helps bring healing.

    • TJ'S DAD 3 years ago

      DEAR ANDREA,

      THANK YOU FOR WARNING US ABOUT HOW CORTISONE SHOTS ARE LINKED TO DIABETES IN CATS. I AGREE THAT STERIODS ARE DANGEROUS FOR BOTH ANIMALS AND HUMANS. I WOULD NEVER ALLOW A VET TO GIVE MY CAT A CORTISONE SHOT BECAUSE YOU ARE RIGHT, IT SUPPRESS THE SYMPTOMS INSTEAD OF FINDING AND TREATING THE CAUSE.

      ALSO, I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH. MY CAT WHO RECEIVED COMPLETE BLOOD WORK FIRST WHICH CONFIRMED EXCELLENT HEALTH, WAS GIVEN A CONVENIA SHOT AFTER HAVING DENTAL WORK AND DIED FROM A REACTION TO THE CONVENIA. BROKEN-HEARTED FOREVER!

      I DID SOME RESEARCH AND FOUND OUT THAT THIS ANTIBIOTIC IS INJECTED AND STAYS IN THE BODY FOR 2 MONTHS. THIS MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO SAVE THE PET. AND SEVERAL VETERINARIANS HAVE FILED REPORTS WITH THE FDA AND ARE WARNING COLLEAGUES THAT MANY CATS AND DOGS HAVE SUFFERED SEVERE ANEMIA AND DEATH AFTER RECEIVING THIS DRUG.

      DEAR SUBQQUEEN,

      SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR CAT WITH THE IBD. HERE IS A GREAT WEBSITE CREATED BY A VETERINARIAN IN CALIFORNIA :

      CatInfo.org

      READ ABOUT HER CAT WITH IBD AND WHAT SHE DID TO HELP HIM @ http://www.catinfo.org/?link=origin

      READ ABOUT IBD AND DRY CAT FOOD.

      ***EVERYONE HERE NEEDS TO VISIT THIS SITE AND READ THIS WOMANS STORY. ESPECIALLY ALL OF US WHO HAVE CATS WITH CRF.***

      HERE IS A QUOTE FROM THIS VET @

      http://catinfo.org/?link=vaccines

      Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

      As already mentioned, this is the most common subject that I consult on and it is upsetting to see so many domestic cats end up dying from kidney disease when it is not that prevalent in wild cats. I understand that cats in the wild do not typically live as long as our little furry buddies but I still cannot accept that natural aging is the only factor involved in this disease process.

      Why do so many cats end up in kidney failure?

      The answer - or at least, part of the answer - may lie in the fact that we have been over-vaccinating cats for many years.

      Studies have demonstrated an association between the FVRCP vaccine and interstitial nephritis which is the fancy term for kidney inflammation.

      Here is an excerpt from one of those studies: (See below for a 'plain English' summary.)

      "The Center for Companion Animal Studies at Colorado State University has shown that cats vaccinated with FVRCP vaccines grown on Crandell-Rees Feline Kidney (CRFK) cell lines can develop antibodies to renal (kidney) proteins, and that cats hypersensitized to CRFK cell lysates can develop interstitial nephritis.

      The immunodominant antigens to which antibodies are formed in these cats are α-enolase and Annexin A2, both of which are linked to autoimmunity and renal disease in humans.

      Recently, we have shown that cats administered FVRCP vaccines parenterally (i.e. injectable) have higher levels of circulating antibodies to these antigens than do cats who were administered a FVRCP vaccine via intranasal administration."

      Now...in plain English:

      The viruses used to make vaccines need to be grown in what is called a "cell culture". The cells used to make the FVRCP vaccine are feline (cat) kidney cells.

      When these kidney cells are injected into the cat (along with the vaccine), his immune systems views them as foreign and makes antibodies against them. Unfortunately, those antibodies do not know the difference between the injected kidney cells and his own kidney tissue resulting in a potential autoimmune 'attack' on his kidneys. ('Auto' means 'self''.)

      HOPE EVERYONE READS THIS VETS ENTIRE WEBSITE - WHEN YOU HAVE TIME. SHE PROVIDES THE BEST INFO ON KEEPING OUR CATS IN GOOD HEALTH!

      P.S THANK YOU DANIELMYBROTHER! THIS HUB IS AN INVALUABLE RESOURCE FOR HOW TO GIVE FLUIDS, AND A FINE PLACE FOR ALL OF US TO SHARE OUR LEARNING EXPERIENCES!

    • whiteknight2000 2 years ago

      Howdy all,

      Tonight is my first attempt to give Earl Jewell, my cat I saved from a barn that was left behind whom is about 23 yrs old we estimate, sub q fluids do to high enzyme level in his kidney test. Earl is on cerenia for throwing up, milk thistle, and one other liquid I can't think of at this time & he's asleep on my lap so I'm not able to check. Anyhow, I went to his doctor today and went over how to give the fluid & it seems like a piece of catnip pie but still wish me luck. If possible I'd like a list of stuff I should have to make this as painless as possible for Earl ie: size of needle. I was thinking of ordering a UTW18 X 5/8-1" but I'm not sure 100% if this is what I should get and I'm gonna get a I.V. hanger to make easier, these are the things I'm looking for to make it easier. Is their a alcohol pad with lidocaine that helps w/pain on injection site or anything? I've read allot of different sites and it's allot to take in but it seems ok, I'm diabetic so I'm used to handling needles also which helps & when I drank I used to get myself I.V. fluids in morning to cure hangovers.

    • Moo-n-speedys mom profile image

      Moo-n-speedys mom 2 years ago

      Thank you so much for this information! On Friday when I was supposed to bring speedy in for tooth removal (dis colored broken top canine teeth) the vet did a blood panel. His levels are elevated in kidneys basically, everything after that was kind of a whirlwind. Yesterday I couldn't do the fluids and brought him to another vet to help since mine was closed. Today after a little pep talk to myself I did it successfully. I have a question though, how do your cats behave after it's done? Are they energetic, sleepy, relaxed? I'm being over paranoid about it now I think. Anyways sorry for the long post, but thank you for giving us a place to vent/talk and get and give info. :)

    • whiteknight2000 2 years ago

      My cat starts off the same way as he was before I did the fluids but then as he absorbs them I think he becomes more awake. I just took my cat to the vet to check on his constipation issue and they started talking about putting him down. The vet asked how many others I have and because I've got 9 others she made me feel like she thought Earl wasn't special & I still have 9 more so what's the big deal? I love every one of my fury kin, they're all very special & I'm glad I didn't listen to her. Earls not in any pain, he's just really old, like 25 years or more and he just wants to lay on my lap & be loved. Today he's like he's in his teens again, walking around, eating allot, and just being the best cat he can be. He's pretty much blind now and he runs into the other cats but they seem to understand & they don't mind, Blinky my one eyed seems to help him when she's not being a brat.

    • Moo-n-speedys mom profile image

      Moo-n-speedys mom 2 years ago

      Awww your babies are lucky to have you. I have two fur babies. My one is trying to treat Speedy like her own baby haha. He's only 6 years old so it's hard for me to deal with this all. He seems awake after fluids but then sleeps a lot. Vets have a way of making you feel like they don't care sometimes, but they see so many animals that sometimes they are desensitized to it now. I'm trying to remember that when I ask advice and stuff. Earl sounds like he has a great life! I could only wish mine will live that long!

    • Johnd389 2 years ago

      Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely useful information specially the last part dfceddbdekbg

    • Shelly 2 years ago

      I just started reading these messages; for the tips and to hear about other people loving their cats so much :) I just started my Hanna on SQ Fluids 4 days ago. I am unsure as to what to expect. She is actually less active than she was prior to the start of the fluids. I am not sure if this is normal at the start?? I also noticed she is constantly grooming her front legs and paws. Is this something to be concerned about?She is talking and there is no way I can get her to purr. The one good thing is she has eaten more in the last couple of days than she has in the past few weeks.

      thank you all.

    • Angela Borman 2 years ago

      Hi Daniel. I wanted to thank you for making this thoughtful and informative page. Last week, I was advised by my vet to start administering these fluids with my cat, Shadow. When they showed me how to do it and had me give it a try, I cried the whole time. Its very hard for me to stick a needle into my little girl, and Ive struggled every other day to get it done. Today was attempt #4, and I still didnt get more than 30 seconds into it before failing. I am so glad to have found this article, because I now know what Im doing wrong and how to get it to work for sun. I have a hard time gripping the scruff and thought i was supposed to hold it up the whole time. I worry about her getting sore in the spot where the needle is inserted if i do it so often. Do you have any thoughts on that? I would love to hear them if you do. But either way, you just made this a whole lot easier to handle, thereby allowing Shadow to get this treatment as frequently as she needs it, and that was not happening before today. You helped my Shadow, and you helped me, by making this post. Thank you from my very soul for that.

    • Yvonne 2 years ago

      Great Site Daniel, thank you, and thanks for the tips on the Terumo needles. The monojet 18 is a harpoon, and the 20 is a little slow.

      I just wanted to let you all know that my cat Sabrina died of renal failure (diagnosed at 7, made it to 8 1/2 on diet, but wouldn't tolerate fluids), so I had her sister Angel tested. Her BUN and Creatine were fine, but 6 mos later, one kidney had shut down and the other was greatly enlarged -she was dying. When I brought her in b/c she was lethargic, the blood levels were through the roof, and the ultrasound ($140) showed the kidney situation. I am mad at my vet b/c she should had offered me the ultrasound when I expressed my concerns when Sabrina died, because BUN and Creatine levels CAN BE JUST FINE IF ONE KIDNEY IS STILL FUNCTIONING. And I had told the vet that Angel was throwing up a little bit. You want to know if a kidney is shutting down asap and get them on the renal diet/fluids to save the failing kidney(s). Angel is my kids' baby sister, and more like a dog interacting with us, so I wasn't ready at all to let her go at 9 yrs. $140 is nothing compared to the thousands of dollars I spent at UCDavis Vet Clinic trying to save her. It has been a year and she is doing well on fluids (1x per day, 100ml). She is on borrowed time though. So if you really want to know your (older) cat's condition, I would recommend having an ultrasound next to the BUN/Cr. test. Or at least get the cat's blood tested every 3-4 months if you suspect anything. Hope this saves another precious kitty :)

    • Mark 20 months ago

      Thanks for this awesome site. I started giving my 15-year old cat subq last night. One question: the bag of fluid bulges at the bottom, which seems like it would change the amounts measured by the numbers on the bag. So I'm not sure how much I'm really giving her. Any tips out there from people who've had this problem?

    • Bob 17 months ago

      As other have posted above we were giving our cat Snagglepuss subcutaneous for a number of months with no problems. All of the sudden he stared to vomit right after giving him the fluids. It happened for 4 nights in row. My wife found this site and a couple of others. Sure enough we had just purchased more fluids and they gave us something different this time - Normosol-R. We went back to Lactated Ringers (which we had been using) and he stopped vomiting. He did seem to be less hungry for two or three days but now he is eating better. We also stopped giving him an antacid so we are not sure if that caused his appetite to improve or if it just took a couple of days after going back to Ringers.

    • SUBQQUEEN 17 months ago

      Mark, about the bag bulging at the bottom. If you look at the calibrations, you can see that they are spaced farther apart the further down on the bag you go, so it allows for the bulge and gives you 100 ml between each numbered marker. I figure from the last number 9 to the bottom of the bag is about 100 ml.

      Bob, I had vomiting problems with my cats and Normosol-R as well. No problem with Ringers. Hope Snagglepuss has regained his appetite by now.

      White Knight, I am hoping Earl is still going strong. My almost 19-year old Leo gets constipation issues from time to time and increasing the fluids a little for a few days (in addition to giving him about 1/8 tsp Miralax in his morning baby food) seems to correct the problem. Constipation happens to many beings once they start to get older -- no reason to put him down.

      You are all brave and loving kitty parents. It's never fun to have to stick your cat with a needle, but it truly does so much for them, and helps their quality of life tremendously. Blessings!

    • Andrea 14 months ago

      If air bubbles do occur... Is it okay to continue giving scheduled fluids or should I wait until the air bubbles are absorbed before giving another round of fluids?

    • Adam 11 months ago

      Hello, my Bichon is going to die from kidney failure. My vet wants $1,100 to $1,500 to give him sub fluids for 3 to 5 days. I do not have the money. I think I can purchase the fluid but I can not find the line and needle for sale anywhere. Hopefully someone can respond and let me know where to purchase the line and needles soon. Thank you.

    • Kathy 10 months ago

      I just gave my cat, Petey, her usual round of fluids. I have been doing this with her for several months. I gave her the first treatment out of a brand new bag this morning. Everything was going as normal when suddenly she died. She was fine last night and was fine this morning until I was giving her her fluids. I barely got maybe 20 seconds into when she arched her head, went limp, and then died. I am in a state of shock and do not know what to think. I have been giving subcutaneous fluids to cats with kidney issues for years and NEVER ever had this happen. I am beside myself wondering how could this have happened and why. She had a great appetite and was a special dietary kidney food, drank her water, and used her litter box. She gained a small amount of weight back and loved laying under my bedside table lamp for the warmth until I came to bed . Then she would cuddle with me all night and sleep. She was fine last night and fine this morning. A brand new bag of fluids.....and now my kitty is dead and I do not know why. She always was cooperative when I gave her fluids. She would assume her normal position and lay still, purring, while she got watered. I just do not have any answers and am hoping if you may have, but to me I feel I killed my cat. When I bought my bag of fluids at the vet last Thursday (today is Sunday) it came out to me without its outer package covering. Somebody tore it off of it before they gave it to me which I thought was unusual. Could the bag have gotten contaminated somehow?? My darling Petey is gone forever. I wish I could go back in time and not give the fluids to her but it was an everyday normal routine for her and how could I know this would happen? But I still feel to blame in killing my dear kitty.

    • Christine 3 months ago

      I put the IV bag on top of the dryer and let the dryer run for 15 min to warm the bag up. I have a rod in my laundry room so I give her fluids on top of the dryer with the bag hanging from the rod. Other than the initial prick of the needle, she complains very little...I think it was the creepy cold fluid running under her skin that she hated so much. I always have one hand over the needle, petting with the other one and she doesn't mind it so much.

    • Mona 2 months ago

      Hello - I really feel more confident doing this procedure through your detailed descriptions. The problem I have is that our little cat has been poked so many times that when I try to administer the fluids I find that they pour out of her previous poked sessions. Kind of like a funny cartoon, but this leaves me feeling hopeless. I can tell my cat can feel my frustration and she starts to meow. I have incorporated the practice of a little bit at a time and she tends to work well with that.

    • gutterstars 2 months ago

      My bag of fluids is about half empty at this point. This is my first round of giving my cat fluids. Last night, there seemed to be so many air bubbles in the line, even after we flushed it twice. Is there any obvious reason for that? I made my friend stop before it was finished because I was too concerned over that many tiny air bubbles going into his skin. This entire process has me a nervous WRECK! I'm so afraid we are going to hurt him!!

      Any ideas on why this could be happening and should I still attempt to do it tonite if it happens again??

    • Miruna 3 weeks ago

      Thank you so very much for the tips. My cat has been diagnosed with CRF this week and we have to hydrate him now with fluids every day. He is very gentle and doesn't seem to mind the needle, but I am worried that I am not doing it right. I will follow your tips more closely tomorrow. When your cat was feeling poorly due to CRF, was she eating or was she lethargic? Mine has not been eating since last night.

      Thank you again for your article

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