Does Anyone Else Have To Do Sub-Q Fluids For Their Cats?

Lounge By costumeczar Updated 20 Jul 2008 , 5:15am by KatieTaylor77

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costumeczar Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 7:55pm
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I have a 16-yr-old cat who has chronic kidney disease, and she's at the point where she has to have sub-q fluids twice a week. Administered by me, and I'm not enjoying it. If anyone has experience in doing this and has any tips or tricks I'd appreciate it. I don't know if I'm putting the needle in too far, she doesn't seem to be as comfortable with me doing it as when the vet tech did it. It could be that they always "misbehave" for their parents more than for the doctor, but I'd appreciate any advice. icon_cry.gif

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TheCakerator Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 8:50pm
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I never had to give my cats these injections, but I did have a cat pass due to kidney problems, so I'm really glad you are doing all you can to help your fur baby out, I wish you lots of luck!

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tammycake Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 1:28am
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I've done it to 2 cats. I never really enjoyed it but I got used to it. There are some good diagrams on the internet re: good ways to do it.

I had a hook that I hung the bag on so I could sit in a comfortable position and hold my cat. I also tried to mark the bag so it would be easier to know when we were done.

The needles aren't that big. If you tent the fur and stick it in between it probably doesn't bother her too much.

Best of luck with her health.

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itsmylife Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 4:18am
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I did this with one of my cats several years ago. He was about 12 years old. I first started out with the vet doing it, and then I did it at home to save money. He was getting injections for about 2.5 years.

He was a very docile cat and very loveable. He tolerated the whole thing very well, and he never fought me. If your kitty is a bit more skittish, you might want to get someone your cat knows to help you.

I usually did it on the bed, and had a hook to hang the bag on the headboard. I would start scratching him around his neck (he LOVED that), and he would usually just flop onto his side and be happy as long as one hand kept up the scratching.

Once you get the bag/needle ready, it's just a matter of pinching up the fur/skin, putting in the needle and letting the fluid go. Needles are usually very short and very thin. It usually takes only a few minutes, and you (and your cat) will get more used to it as time goes on.

This website was one that I found when I was going through all of this with Beasley....they have a lot of good info, and here is their instructions for giving the injections.

Best of luck to you and your kitty. PM me if you have any other questions at all.


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costumeczar Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 3:28pm
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Thanks for the info...The needles they gave me are about 2" long, so I think I'm just going to stick them in a little bit. She tries to get away but eventually just lies down, but there's a lot of shifting while I'm trying to do it. I get my kids to help read the fluid levels in the bag so that I can keep a hand on her and on the needle the whole time.

Poor thing, we had another cat that just went into kidney failure with no notice at all and had to be put to sleep last month. This one had has kidney disease for the last 2 1/2 years, so she's hanging on. She's so dehydrated all the time it's hard to get enough skin to even inject her, but then she'll perk up and obviously feels better afterward, so what can you do? As long as she's eating and using the litter box I can't say that she's suffering, so it's hard to decide when it's time to let her go, too. The other cat's system just shut down over the course of two days, so it was pretty obvious that there was no helping her at all.

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itsmylife Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 8:04pm
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Just make sure that you get them (needles) in enough under her skin. I would try to go about an inch in.

Do you have her on one of the special foods too? I think we had used Eukanuba... but not totally sure... I remember that we could only get it at the vet and it was specially formulated for cats with kidney failure, and it was expensive.

Something else I had learned too, while I was going through it, was to give your cat wet and dry food.... since the dehydration thing is such an issue... wet food obviously has more water content... so it could help a little. I know that Eukanuba had both the dry and wet food for cats with renal failure.

If I think of anything else that may help you, I'll post again.


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costumeczar Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 8:33pm
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I had her on the KD food, but then she decided not to eat it at all and was losing weight. She's eating regular Friskies now, both wet and dry, and she seems to be maintaining her weight. She's got the phosphorous binder that I add to her food, which seems to be helping.

She's been lying around doing nothing for most of the day the last few weeks, and I've been waiting for her to look like she's going downhill, then today she decided to play with the kids! Who knows...I just know that she's at the far end of the normal window for kidney disease at this point, so I think I'm starting to freak out.

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KatieTaylor77 Posted 20 Jul 2008 , 5:15am
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If you are "tenting" the skin, your not really going to stick the needle in too far.

Your vet tech made it look easy because they do it enough times its simple to them . . . kind of like how baking is to you.

The trick is to not hesitate. It hurts worse to poke around and hesitate . . . just go for it.

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