How-to give fluids to your cat – no stress tutorial

Dr. Burstyn shows you how to give subcutaneous fluids to your cat.

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Comment (25)

  1. Hello Dr Burstyn, thanks for this channel, its so great that you are doing this. Could you make a video on CKD..? My five year old is four months into treatment, and only seems to be getting worse.

  2. Thank you for your videos! I picked up a cat off the street a couple of months ago and she's a blind elderly lady diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. The vet showed me how to administer subcutaneous fluids and had me do it, but I had help. I'm not sure how to do it on my own. Any tips would be really appreciated!
    Keep up the good work!

  3. I just started this with my cat today, and while a vet tech gave me a quick lesson yesterday, this video was very helpful with encouragement and reminders getting started at home. Thank you.

  4. What wonderful information! I’ve lost three cats to kidney disease as they reached 16-20. One went into my Vet every morning as I came to work and went home with me at night so he could have daily fluids. Dr. Dykehouse practice was only 200 feet from my office and he and his staff cared for Katmai for a minimal fee of $150 a month for years. Katmai finally passed on at 21 having traveled more than most of my friends.

  5. How do you know if your cat is drinking enough fluids? My cat has very early kidney disease and I want to make sure he drinks enough.

    I try to encourage him to drink more water by redirecting fresh water from the tap with my hands towards him. I think he drinks more like that?

  6. Thanks for this video. Speaking from experience, this easy procedure can save your cat's life. Something I always do before giving sub-q fluids is to warm the bag of fluids (be careful not to make it too hot). Room temperature fluid can feel a bit cold, especially to older cats. I found that warming the fluids made the experience less shocking to my kitties. take care and thanks for the videos, Dr. B.

  7. I've given my cat water with a syringe and he doesn't seem stressed about it, of course he does not have a condition that needs fluids. this has been only when I've given him a pill or if a pill has made his mouth foam, to rinse it. And when he was suddenly sick I gave him gravy from his regular food with a syringe because he would not eat or drink. My vet told me that it might've saved his little life!
    Very interesting to see this if I ever need to do give my boys a lot of fluids!
    I've had to use a needle like that to administer antibiotics to my other boy at home, it was scary at first but very easy to learn πŸ™‚

  8. Thank you very much Dr. Yuri, You're the best. We could never get this kind of insightful advises from a common vet here in Sri Lanka. We really think we could save our cat by doing this.

  9. My mom used to administer fluids to one of our cats (Pokey) growing up. We called it "puffing" because of the pocket of fluid under the skin afterward πŸ™‚

    Tip for cat owners with multiple cats: let fluid time be quality, quiet petting time with just that one cat. We had the best success when other cats were locked out of the room. After awhile, Pokey started to enjoy being puffed πŸ™‚

  10. One of my cats was diagnosed with kidney failure & we were told he wouldn't last the night as his blood levels were the highest the vet hospital had seen. He'd also had a heart condition (HCM) since he was about 4 years old. His CRF diagnosis was in early Spring 2016 & he has improved dramatically since then. His blood test results are now so good that, were he diagnosed with kidney failure today, he would be between stages 1 & 2, not end stage.

    It's not easy looking after him: he's at the vet's every 2 weeks for injections (vitamin B, ferrous sulphate & darbopoetin, all for anaemia which is common in CRF cats). Drug-wise he takes ranitidine for the CRF, mirtazapine when necessary & cerenia 5 days a weeks for the anorexia you usually get with CRF, & cardisure & benazecare for his heart. The most important treatment is subcutaneous fluid, together with a diuretic, fuorosemide, because of his heart being unable to deal well with the fluid.

    We started out his fluid treatment when he was first released from hospital 5 days after diagnosis. He was prescribed 75ml of saline twice a day. After about a month, he developed congestive heart failure. The treatment was to take him off fluids & try to dehydrate him so much the fluid built up in his chest disappeared. Medications were tweaked, some removed & the diuretic added. Fluids were reintroduced &, a few weeks later, he was back in hospital with fluid on his lungs again. Medications were again tweaked. We had 2 years where everything was working well then it happened again, but this time we caught it before it had fully happened so he recovered quickly & didn't even need the fluid removed from his lungs.

    His current schedule is 37.5ml of subcut saline every 6 hours, day or night. Coupled with all the meds he takes & the need to starve him for 90 minutes before & after giving 1 of his tablets means we have to do something for him every 3-4 hours, day & night. It's exhausting, but so worth it when we see him bouncing around the garden, playing non-stop & generally loving life. Not bad for a 14-year old who we thought we'd lose 2.5 years ago.

    TL, DR: don't give up hope if your cat is given a very poor prognosis with kidney failure. They're tough little animals & can bounce back from a lot of things. Don't be scared of giving them fluids. I used to have a needle phobia & would pass out even when seeing actors giving injections on TV. I've learned how to inject saline into a cat & am my beautiful Scamp's main carer. It's not difficult to do & it doesn't hurt the cat, in fact Scamp sees it as an extra opportunity to be cuddled. It's the most vital part of treatment for a cat with CRF. Their kidneys no longer work properly so your job is to assist them by means of subcut fluids. Doing this will means your cat has the chance of living years longer with no or little change to his quality of life. The injections do not hurt the cat if you do it in the scruff of his neck. Sometimes Scamp falls asleep when I'm doing it, he wouldn't do that if it hurt. He doesn't even twitch when the needle goes in. One tip though, some saline solutions seem to sting. Ask your vet for one that doesn't. Our vet recommended Hartmann's & we saw a difference in Scamp when we switched over to that from a cheaper one.

    Don't stress if your vet says you need to do this for your cat. If I can do it, anyone can & it will lengthen your cat's life. This video is great, but if you have any questions for a lay person, someone who's been through the process of getting their cat's CRF diagnosis & having to learn all these things, send me a message. 😸

    (Edited for typos)

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