Where To Buy Sub Q Fluids For Dogs

A caregiver’s ability to administer subcutaneous (subQ) fluids to their cat at home is a fantastic tool for supporting the cat in a variety of illnesses, including, but not limited to, IBD, pancreatitis, lymphoma, liver failure, triaditis, diabetes, and constipation. Subq fluids provide assistance by hydrating and replenishing electrolytes. Cats should never be given subq fluids unless the caregiver’s veterinarian has prescribed them specifically for that cat and specified the kind, quantity, and frequency at which they should be given. It is essential that the veterinarian be consulted before administering subq fluids to any particular pet, even if the caregiver is skilled at doing so and has them available for another creature.

Please be aware that there are alternative ways to hydrate your cat, such as mixing water into its food or giving it oral hydration sachets, which you can explore with your veterinarian. Subq fluids, on the other hand, can be quite helpful if a cat needs additional hydration because it is not eating or is unable to acquire enough by oral ways. On the other hand, there are some circumstances where the cat may have a more urgent need for fluids that can only be met by IV fluids given by the veterinarian.

The list of subjects to cover with your veterinarian if they have advised subq fluids for your cat is summarized below. Included are details on the many fluid options, the supplies required to deliver fluids, fluid administration advice, and a video lesson.

Subq fluids can aid in correcting electrolyte imbalances and restoring hydration for any of these situations when the cat may be vomiting or experiencing diarrhea. They can also offer general support to help the feline feel better. Although treating chronic constipation frequently necessitates a multi-tiered approach, subq fluids can benefit cats with constipation by providing more hydration.

Cats with kidney disease, whether acute or chronic, frequently have trouble concentrating their pee, which increases their risk of dehydration. There always comes a time when more fluids, in the form of subq fluids, are required, especially in CKD where the cat cannot drink enough water to be well hydrated. When subq fluids should be started for a cat with CKD should be determined in consultation with your veterinarian, but typically they should be begun when the creatinine is about 3.5. (in the U.S.). In some circumstances, the vet might begin them sooner for a particular cat. Additionally, it is often preferable to administer lower doses more frequently rather than overwhelming the cat with a bigger amount given two or three times per week, although it’s always vital to speak with your veterinarian about this.

When treating diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in diabetic cats at home after hospitalization or when the veterinarian determines the cat is stable enough to be released home, subq fluids are most frequently used if ketones are present in trace amounts. Please you not administer subq fluids for ketones at home without first visiting your veterinarian. even though “You should call your vet right away if you see any ketones. For specific information about diabetes, please refer to the more in-depth Diabetes discussion on this website.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that cats can become dehydrated. Never believe a person or a doctor who claims that you can overhydrate a cat. The best method of hydration for a cat is drinking water, which is followed by having extra water dishes throughout the house, a water fountain, and the caregiver giving a little more water to its meal.

Before administering subq fluids for an extended period of time at home, it is frequently a good idea to have an echocardiography or, at the absolute least, an EKG performed, even though it might not be financially viable to do so. Not all cardiac diseases are obvious or easy to spot only by listening to the heart, according to the vet. Fluid administration to a cat with a heart problem has the potential to endanger heart function and cause fluid to build up in the chest or abdomen. Your veterinarian can evaluate whether it is safe for you to administer subcutaneous fluids to the cat at home and can specify the quantity and frequency of fluids that are safe if they are aware of any heart conditions.

It is crucial to inspect the cat each time before delivering subq fluids if your veterinarian has prescribed them to make sure the previous fluids have been fully absorbed. If it seems there are any leftover fluids or the cat seems uncomfortable, do not administer fluids without first seeing your veterinarian “squishy everywhere (including behind or below the front paws, under/around the chest, in the sides or belly cavity). Weighing the cat frequently to make sure there isn’t a sudden weight gain that could be caused by fluid retention is an excellent technique to prevent overhydration.

Whatever the caregiver takes to make administering subq fluids as stress-free as possible, some cats will not adjust, and the entire process will wind up stressing them out much more than the potential benefit of administering fluids. We sincerely hope that your cat does not experience this, as it usually does not due to how much better subq fluids may make a cat feel. But it’s also crucial that you pay attention to your cat and ask your vet if there are any other options, such as a mobile vet who can administer them at your home or a vet tech who is ready to help you, if you’ve tried it for a few weeks and the issue isn’t getting better.

The three types of subq fluids are isotonic (the same salinity as human tissues), hypotonic (the opposite of body tissues), and hypertonic (higher salinity than body tissues). Isotonic solutions work best as subq fluids in general. Below is a description of some of the several subq fluids. Use subq fluids that come in DEHP-free packages and tubing whenever possible. The fluid bags are softened using a chemical called DEHP, but there is fear that the DEHP may seep into the solution. There are no studies on cats specifically, but if DEHP-free bags (like BBraun) are available, being careful is the best course of action.

The most typical subq fluid for cats with AKD or CKD is LRS. The liver of cats with CKD processes the lactate in the LRS and turns it into bicarbonate, which can aid CKD cats with mild metabolic acidosis. However, there comes a limit where low potassium levels cannot be restored simply with LRS and your veterinarian may need to prescribe additional potassium. LRS also contains potassium and is a viable option for those CKD cats with lower potassium levels.

The demand for subq fluids will heavily influence how and when saline solution is used. Saline solution can sting, and it might make the cat less receptive to receiving fluids. It is not the ideal option for cats that have hypertension, CKD, or liver problems because it is extremely acidic (due to the salt content). Since it doesn’t include potassium like LRS does, it might be advantageous for cats with high potassium levels.

Despite having different manufacturers, these subq fluids are essentially the same. Your veterinarian could advise one of these fluids if your cat has lymphoma, liver issues, or high calcium levels. We offer Normosol-R in two different pH ranges (6.6, similar to LRS, and 7.4). The variant with a pH of 7.4 is more recommended for cats who have lymphoma, liver issues, or higher calcium levels. These fluids have been known to make cats throw up after being administered. They often sting the cat and can make the area where the needle was inserted squirm. These subq fluids also contain magnesium, which makes them potentially harmful for cats with high amounts of the mineral.

Since these fluids include sugar, they are typically better for diabetic cats with low blood glucose in the short term. They are shorter than “Bacteria can proliferate and have a long shelf life since sugar is present. For the majority of cases where the caregiver would be giving subq fluids at home, these fluids are not the preferred subq fluids.

How to Give Your Cat Subcutaneous Fluids at Home (Includes a detailed description of supplies needed and a list of resources)

It’s best to locate a good fluid giving spot that can always be used, where there is good lighting, a cozy place for the cat to lay, easy access to all equipment, and a good place from which to hang the fluids as the more fluids that are given, the more likely it is that the cat will survive “The less space there is between the needle and the bag, the better the fluid flow. Medical supply stores sell IV stands for a reasonable price. A coat hanger can be used to suspend fluids from the top of a door or shower pole. The cat should be laying flat on a cushioned area, near the caregiver’s waist or breast, with the fluids hanging close by and above the cat.

  • Subq fluids must be purchased from a pharmacy or a veterinarian. The cost of a bag will often be marked up significantly by veterinarians (by 50–100%). Subq fluids must be purchased from a pharmacist with a prescription, however purchasing by the case makes greater financial sense.
  • It is permitted to utilize a specific bag of subq fluids (other than dextrose) for 10–14 continuous days after “opening” as long as it is handled carefully. After this period, any liquid in the bag should be thrown.
  • After opening, fluids do not require refrigeration.
  • The fluid in the bags can be “gently warmed” in the sink with a warm pan of water (never microwave a bag of fluid!). It is advisable to purchase an infrared digital thermometer to determine the temperature of the fluids within the bag if the caregiver decides to do this. Never allow fluids to be warmer than a cat’s body temperature (usually around 95 degrees F works just fine). Many cats find it more comfortable if the fluids are slightly warmed in a pan of warm water, while some cats may handle the fluids at room temperature.
  • In some States, you need a prescription to buy needles. If your state requires a prescription to purchase them, you will need to give it to the internet retailer if you are ordering them online.
  • Remove the packing of the needle only when you are ready to insert it into the cat and attach the line since needles should be kept sterile. Put a fresh needle on the line if the needle were to come out of the cat during fluid delivery since needles should not be used more than once. Even if an insertion doesn’t work the first time, never reuse a needle. Comfort is a factor, but maintaining sterility and avoiding the introduction of microorganisms into the procedure is more crucial.
  • The needle’s gauge determines how comfortable it is for your cat, particularly during insertion. In order to provide subcutaneous fluids fast, even with 100–200 ml of fluid, most veterinarians utilize Monoject 18g needles. However, it is much better to use a smaller gauge needle, such as 20–21g, when giving subq fluids at home. Even while it will take a little longer, the cat will be more at ease, and less scar tissue will build up if fluids are given for a longer period of time.
  • The Terumo Ultra Thin Wall (UTW) needles are the ideal ones to use at home. Even though Terumo is ceasing production of these needles, they still produce a “Sur-Vet needle” with a thin wall that would be a suitable backup if the caregiver is still unable to locate the UTW needles. Many caretakers discover that placing a few needles at a time in the freezer before use reduces pain experienced as the needle is put into the cat’s subcutaneous layer.

This is the tube that attaches to the needle on one end and the subq fluids bag on the other.

  • You may need a prescription to buy IV administration equipment in some States. If your state requires a prescription to purchase them, you will need to give it to the internet retailer if you are ordering them online.
  • The sets are usually either 80 or 100 long, and many caretakers choose the 80 line. Additionally, they come in 10 or 15 drops per milliliter. The 15 drops/ml sets are also preferred by the majority of carers since they make fluid delivery quicker.
  • DEHP-free lines, lines with luer locks to make sure the needle does not readily separate from the line, and lines with ports if kitty needs other drugs (as prescribed by the vet) that can be administered at the same time as fluids are further options to consider.

Although some cats are quite calm and receiving subq fluids doesn’t faze them, the majority will need time to get used to it. It’s crucial for the caregiver to breathe and maintain their composure. In the beginning, it usually helps if two people are involved—one to quiet the cat and the other to insert the needle and hold it throughout the fluid administration. A cat can be calmed using a variety of techniques, such as spraying Rescue Remedy or Feliway on the caregiver’s hands and then stroking the cat’s fur with those hands. Additionally, Feliway plug-ins can be stored in the space where the fluids will be administered.

Favorite snacks can also be used to divert the cat; they should be put in front of the animal right before the needle is inserted so that it can be entertained by the treats. Some cats become hungry after receiving fluids, so treats or a plate of food should be ready as a reward.

Although a gentle hand resting on their body as the needle is held in place is comforting, cats often dislike being restrained. The Thundershirt or EZ IV Harness will facilitate the process for cats that are more tense or cantankerous. Additionally, you can apply a soothing collar or any of the alcohol-free flower essences from Green Hope Farm. (The links are all provided here.)

Learning how to administer subcutaneous fluids at home takes time and patience, but the potential advantages for your cat surpass any early learning curve or stress that you or your cat may experience. Approach it positively, explain to your cat each stage and how much better she will feel after it is over, and then spoil her with affection and food. And congratulate yourself for helping your cat.