My lovely boy has bad kidney failure. To support his kidneys the vet has suggested I learn to administer subcutaneous fluids as it is such hard work for him to stay hydrated. Has anyone got experience with this? I'm worried that I may struggle and hurt him.
Yes I do it all the time. It's very easy and you are very unlikely to hurt him.
I always heat the fluid slightly in the microwave to lukewarm. I use one needle to draw the fluid into the syringe and I leave the needle in the fluid until I've finished. Likewise I put one needle in the cat, then, to refill the syringe, I take the syringe away, leaving the needle in the cat, and attach the syringe to the needle I left in the fluid. That way you're not making lots of holes in the cat. (I did that one and after a while as I was squirting fluid in,and it was squirting out of the holes I'd already made, like a colinder ).
Cats tend to be quite ill when you get to this stage so you don't seem to get much resistance. And it doesn't seem to hurt or distress them.
Yes, but do it in my job. I understand why TCN does it they way she does, but there are risks associated with leaving the needle in the skin. I like to load my cats with 20mls either side each time I do it do there is not too much to absorb from one site. In animals that have repeated subcut fluids their skin does thicken over time and it dies become tricky. Most cats don't mind it, however, there are some who find it uncomfortable. If your cat is struggling to maintain hydration you are in end stage kidney failure and in the nicest possible way I think you need to think about who you would be doing this for.
My sister did this to keep our much loved childhood cat going at the end. I felt really uncomfortable with it tbh. I'm not sure it benefitted the cat, it was just that my sister couldn't let go. The cat was showing other symptoms of end stage kidney failure and while the sub-qs improved hydration it didn't significantly improve her quality of life.
Fluids will definitely help your lovely boy but - having gone through this with 4 cats now - I have to agree with Lonecat. Typically, you don't see any symptoms in cats with kidney failure until they have lost around 75% of their kidney function so this gives you an idea of exactly how ill he is.
I'm afraid to say that I think that a lot of vets take advantage of our love of our animals and our desire not to see them go in a bid to line their own pockets.
I have to agree that I probably wouldn't do it for kidney failure. I typically do it for cats with some sort of acute illness to help them through it and which have a chance of having quality of life afterwards.