Giving subcutaneous fluids to your cat can be intimidating, but it's something that pet owners can master with practice. If you're new to this, here are some tips and tricks for making giving subcutaneous fluids more effective, and ensuring that your cat is getting the most out of them.
If you have a moment, take out a needle and take a close look at it. Turn it over until you find the hole. This is where the fluid comes out of, not the tip.
When you insert the needle, you want to make sure that this hole is facing upwards. This allows fluids to come out more easily and to fill the 'tent' of skin at the back of the cat's neck. You simply lift that up, gently insert the needle, and then turn the fluids on. If done correctly, the fluids should flow rapidly as there's plenty of space for them to fill in.
Keep Holding Pouch Up
It may seem like once the needle is in that you can release the scruff and let it settle again. Unfortunately, doing this may allow your cat's skin to rest against the needle, slowing down the flow considerably. This is a no-no, as it will make the procedure last longer and could make your cat more unhappy.
In addition, continuing to hold the pouch up serves one extra purpose. This is the cat's scruff, after all, and cats have a natural calming response when that area of their body is pulled on. It's left over from being lifted by their mother when they were kittens. So as long as you hold onto that, your cat will be calmer and more at ease during this procedure.
Seal it Off
Once enough fluids have entered the subcutaneous pouch, it's time to pull the needle out. But you might be horrified to realize that after you draw the needle out that fluid is coming out of the insertion point.
Unfortunately, water and saline fluids are thinner than blood, so they flow even more readily out of the body than blood would. As a result, you can lose a lot of the fluid that you just painstakingly ensured that your cat would get.
To prevent this, put your fingers over where the needle is while it's still in the body. You should be able to feel it through your cat's skin. Very gently, press your fingers together so that you're lightly pinching the skin. Then, withdraw the needle and continue holding pressure there. This will help the body to knit the hole back together more quickly, ensuring that as little fluid as possible is lost.
That's it! With these tips in-hand, your cat will have a less stressful, more peaceful, and more effective subcutaneous fluids session. If you still have questions or concerns, consult with your veterinarian for help.
For more information you will want to contact a place such as Sylvan Corner Pet Hospital.