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How to administer subcutaneous fluids to your pets at home



Hello, pet parents. My name is Courtney. I'm a veterinary technician with Central Texas Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Hospital. I'm in the emergency and critical care department. There's another video about how to set up your subcutaneous fluid administration. We will often send home subcutaneous fluid instructions with you as the pet parent, to help with hydration and diaeresis on your pet. This is Bug. He is my own cat, and he has been doing a wonderful job as a demonstration buddy. So to start, we have our already prepared fluid administration set. Our bag is spiked, and our line is what is called primed. Which means that the fluid has made it all the way to the end of the line. At home, if you don't readily have a coat hanger or a wall hook in a good area, to be able to administer the fluids then I recommend utilizing a hanger, inch in a hole of the top of the bag, that's there. And then hanging it on say a curtain rod or an area that can support the fluid bag and the hanger. For this demonstration, I will be using it or administering it manually.

So to start, you'll have your pet in a comfortable position. Sometimes this will be on the couch. If you're comfortable, it can be on a countertop or table. Or you can also utilize their carrier with the lid off. Or if you have a soft cloth carrier, with the top area zipped open to keep them contained.

To administer the subcutaneous fluids, you'll have your cat position in a comfortable location. You'll grab an area of their skin, to create a tent. You'll feel in there and be able to feel into the crevice and feel a solid area of skin. You'll want to insert your needle at a 30 to 45 degree angle, working to avoid your own fingers. You'll gently uncap the needle. Again, nice healthy tent, scruff there, and poke with confidence. They may respond a little bit, as you saw. You'll open up the wheel of the clamp, and the fluids will begin their administration. Now, sometimes you see a little bit of a reaction because the fluids are cold. So it feels strange for them. But as you can see, that area of skin is starting to grow. You can actually feel it. It's a little bit of a bubble.

Continue on the bag for the doctor's recommended amount. Once administration is complete, you'll roll the wheel of the clamp back down. Pinch the area of skin near the insertion site and pull straight out, and continue to keep that pinched. Sometimes fluid might leak out because we use such a large gauge needle, and occasionally the fluid might be blood tinged. That is okay. If you're seeing that continue to hold the pinch, or hold a paper towel over the area that is leaking. This fluid bubble will absorb over a few hours. Sometimes it'll settle to one side or the other, and it may then give them a little bit of jiggle on their underbelly. And then give some good pets, maybe some treats if they'll accept it to make a happy experience.