Animal Health Advice Centre
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How to give fluids under the skin.
Sub Q Instructions (subcutaneous fluids i.e. dribbled under the skin)
What you will need.
1 x 1 litre Bag of “Hartmans” saline solution. (In the USA they call it Ringer's Lactate solution)
1 x large needle (say approx. 20g 1 TW (0.9mm x 25mm)
2 x 30ml or 40ml syringes
Plus (12 or more) small 21 gauge butterfly needles to use for giving fluids under the skin
( 2 - 4 weeks supply)
Step 1 Attach a “large needle” to one of the 30ml or 40ml syringe
Step 2 Then gently Insert the needle into the fluid bag via the white banded teat.
(this is a one way valve so will not cause leakage)
Step 3 Slowly Draw up (fill up) the two syringes with fluids TIP: do both syringes one after the other.
Step 4 Remove the large needle and put cap on it (keep in safe place to use again next time)
Step 5 Put both syringes of fluid in microwave for 10 seconds or (place in hot water for 5 minutes)
(test to assure that the fluids are warm not hot i.e. dribble a little on your inner wrist to test)
Step 5 Place a small 21 guage butterfly needle onto the syringe remove any air bubbles from syringe,
now ready for use.
Ready to give warm fluids just under the skin.
This needs to be done in a calm manner and normally only take 5mins total to complete session of fluids.
To do this go to the place your pet is sleeping or resting and give the fluids there, so not to disturb them too much. The best site to put the needle and administer the fluids is around an 1 inch either side of the spine in the shoulder area. (never directly over the spine area)
Tip: place some food in front of your pet, and they may like to eat while you are giving them fluids.
Create a routine.
Step 6 Gently and slowly grab some loose skin with forefinger and thumb and gently pull up a little form a
tent of skin.
Step 7 Gently but firmly Insert the butterfly needle horizontally into the base of the skin tent
(go slow and steady)
The butterfly needle has a bevel at its point this need to be facing up when inserted
Step 8 Gently apply consistence pressure to the syringe plunger patting and reassuring the animal as
this is done. (go slowly so it take about 2 to 3 mins )
Step 9 Remove the first syringe form the butterfly needle and place the second on in its place.
Proceed as above. (go slowly so it take about 2 to 3 mins )
Step 10 Then once completed required amount of fluids for your size of pet, gently pull out the butterfly needle and remove it from the syringe.(discard the butterfly needle into the bin, these needles get blunt normally after one use)
You will notice your pet will look forward to the fluids as it makes them feel better.
A pet does not need to be dehydrated to get Sub Q fluids, as this fluid therapy is also assisting in flushing toxins from kidneys/body. Usually after 10 hours the fluids would have dispersed through body, so continue to repeat daily until wellness is seen. Then can reduce frequency opposed to amount given each session. Never give a small animal like a cat more than 100mls per session per day.
If your pet is in kidney failure, then never give less than 3 x weekly Sub Q sessions per week.
For other conditions Example: things like loss of fluids (chronic or acute diarrhoea) diseases, FIP, Cancers, after Surgery, loss of appetite and condition etc give once daily then stop when well again.
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Sub Q Fluids
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