Subcutaneous Fluid Administration in Dogs and Cats

We provide patients with a calming and relaxing environment, while our gentle approach to helping prevent dehydration.  Subcutaneous fluid administration is useful in treating pets with chronic kidney disease and is a valuable management tool for these pets.
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Subcutaneous Fluid Administration

Whether your vet has recommended subcutaneous fluid administration or you’re just doing some research on the topic, it’s something that causes much confusion for pet owners. Have no fear, we’re going to cover everything you need to know in this short guide. For starters, the word ‘subcutaneous’ itself simply means that it takes place under the skin. For example, where subcutaneous fat is found in humans.

Cat Lying On Table During Ultrasound

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What is Subcutaneous Fluid Administration?

Though the phrase might seem confusing, it actually refers to the process of administering supplemental fluids to a dog or cat to help with a specific medical condition. We recommend teaming up with an experienced vet for this type of procedure, and it’s especially helpful if it takes place at home. Fortunately, Home Veterinary Care of Fort Lauderdale have a reliable and professional mobile vet in Dr. Vincent Guerrero D.V.M. With a mobile veterinary clinic, your pet is comfortable and you keep stress to a minimum since you don’t have to wait in a crowded waiting room.

Depending on the circumstances, Dr. Vincent Guerrero D.V.M. may be able to teach you how to administer the fluids yourself. Before you panic, it’s simpler than the name suggests, and you’ll feel comfortable knowing that you’re helping your furry friend.

Subcutaneous Fluid Administration in Dogs and Cats

Why go through this process with a dog? Well, it’s actually useful for several health conditions including chronic kidney disease. Dogs have four areas where the skin is loose - two at the base of the neck and two towards their back legs. Once the dog is comfortable, hang the fluid bag above your dog’s head (about three feet above) and align the needle’s point with a loose roll of skin. From here, it’s a case of pushing the needle forward slowly while also bringing the roll of skin towards it. Let Dr. Guerrero demonstrate and explain this process.

As you release the skin, the needle will remain underneath. At this stage, you’re ready to release the fluid set lock. Dr. Vincent Guerrero D.V.M. will explain how much fluid to give, but the average dose is between 100ml and 200ml.

What about cats? Again, subcutaneous fluid administration is used for cats with issues in the kidneys. As well as the needle method we saw with dogs, your vet may recommend a more permanent solution such as a catheter. While intravenous fluid therapy is more direct, subcutaneous fluid administration is better for ongoing treatment from owners and where intravenous administration isn’t recommended.  Always consult with your veterinarian.

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Tips for Subcutaneous Fluid Administration

We offer supreme service at our mobile veterinarian clinic with Dr. Vincent Guerrero D.V.M., and pet owners are always given the advice they need for this type of treatment. Some additional tips for cats and dogs include:

  • Not panicking when you see a lump of fluid form near the injection site. Over time, this liquid is absorbed.
  • Try to store the liquid at room temperature to minimize the disturbance.
  • Any crackling sound when pushing on the skin is likely just pockets of air; this might cause discomfort for your pet but won’t cause long-term problems.
  • Feel free to contact Dr. Vincent Guerrero D.V.M. if ever you need help or advice.