Hi my name is Dr. Uri Burstyn.
I’m a Veterinarian in Vancouver BC and I’d like to welcome you to my series
of Practical Skills for Pet Owners. We’re here today to talk a little bit about
subcutaneous fluid administration, or giving your cat some fluids. Now this is probably, one of the most common procedures we teach people to do at home, and it’s really really helpful for cats who have kidney disease, diabetes,
chronic constipation, thyroid issues because it’s a way for you to hydrate
your cat effectively at home without having to bring them to the vet, and I just want to pause here for a second
to say that people often tell me that they’re giving their cat or dog fluids by
mouth like with a syringe or something. Please don’t ever do that.
That’s not a useful thing to do. You cannot ever get enough fluids for it to be meaningful into the cat’s mouth with a syringe. What you can do is get scratched
and stress your cat out. So please don’t do that. IV fluids are really of course the best
way to hydrate a patient, but that’s something that they
have to be in clinics for but subcutaneous fluids is something
that you can do at home. That is cheap and easy and it makes
such a big difference for cats. Particularly ones suffering from kidney disease. It really is a life-saving procedure as are more effective than any medication we can prescribe, and you know I have clients who are you know
in their seventh or eighth decade of life have arthritis and they’re still quite
happy to do this at home. Of course your cat’s temperament will determine
a little bit how easy or difficult it is to do. This is something you most people can
do at home by themselves. I’m gonna ask my assistant Jess to help me just
to make the video go a little smoother, but this is something that most people with most cats will be able to do on their own at home. Or at most if you get something to help
you out then it’s really easy. Now, to do this we need a bag of fluids
and IV line and a needle. Now your vet should set you up with all of this. Home Fluid Care Kit. This is really easy to set up.
You get this, you take it home. Now, These bags are one liter bags.
You see little divisions down the side. Each one of these is about a, is a 100 milliliters. Most cats will receive two to three hundred mils, at a go. Your vet will tell you how often to administer it. So the way you read this bag is you just stretch
it a little bit just to make the fluid go level, and just read it from the bar there so Right there we see midway between the 8 and 7.
750 mils left in this bag. And Really Just Stretch the Bag a little bit and Just Measure the Fluid Level. And then there’s usually a little dial right
here that you can close and open. Sometimes there’s a little clip down
here you can pinch it open. Open it up and then the fluids will start to drip, and eventually they’ll start coming out of your needle. So we’ll close that for now and grab a cat. All right, so I’m joined Here by my
assistant Jess and Lancelot and I’ll show you how to administer
subcutaneous fluids. Now first thing to do is you prime the line. Just by running the fluids down from
it so the lines full. There we go. The line is primed. See some fluid
came out of the needle. Now, what we’re gonna do is we’re going to
take this needle and we can introduce it into this massive space Lancelot has under his skin. Now, you want a bevel of the needle up
you see the needle isn’t completely flat. There’s a little bevel on top.
Point the bevel of the needle up. You now pinch up a little tenth of skin
right between the shoulder blades. This skin Is very thick and there’svery few nerve endings. So it’s not going to hurt him. You pinch it up and the base of the tent should be
nice and broad, and what you want to do is just Introduce the needle parallel to his back. Into the base of that little skin tent. Just like this. Nice and gentle. There we go. Just slides right in. You can actually let go of the needle
and now you can open up the fluids. Now, you do have to hold the bag
higher than the patient. You can do all sorts of things. You can hang
this up on a coat hanger or a little hook. Or you can simply hold it with your hands and,
i usually squeeze the bag because it takes a while otherwise to run in and squeezing
the bag makes things go a lot faster. That certainly helps when you have an
assistant petting your cat. You can also do this with one hand. Now squeeze squeeze squeeze the bag and remember we’re probably gonna — the average cat is gonna get two to three hundred mils of fluids so Two to three of these little divisions right here. So, we’re just gonna give Lancelot a little bit of Fluids. Notice the line Is running.
We know this is working because The line Is running through here. You see fluid is dripping as I squeeze. The flow becomes faster. This usually takes about two to five
minutes to administer 300 cc’s. So, let’s pretend we’ve administered
our dose of fluids to Lancelot. You can check just by stretching the bag and looking at the division.
So we’ve actually administered just about 75 — just over 50 cc’s there. You could keep going, but for the purposes of
this video we’re going to stop right here. We’re gonna close off the fluid line, and then, we’re just going to withdraw the needle
just in a smooth gentle motion. Pull a needle. Don’t forget to cap it off so you don’t get poked with it, and that’s it you’re done. There’s gonna be a little bump here. I always say that our cats look a little bit
like a camel by the time we’re done. This bump is where the fluids sit under the skin. They will get absorbed over a couple hours. Sometimes you can actually, slide down and you, a little bump can move and like hang out under his arm. That’s not a problem. Doesn’t really bother him at all. and it could also be a little bit of fluid
coming out of the hole. Usually we just put gentle pressure
on there for a few seconds. And It can feel a little bit wet, but that’s it. And this is something you can do to your cat every day, every other day, twice a week, whatever your vet prescribes, and it makes
a huge difference in their quality of life. It effectively corrects dehydration, makes them feel a heck of a lot better,
keeps them out of the emergency clinic, and keeps them happy and healthy at home. So thank you very much for watching!
I hope you will find this useful. Please give us a like. Feel free to share this video,
and don’t forget to have fun with your cat.