Subcutaneous Fluids Administration
1 liter bag of lactated ringer's solution
fluid administration set (drip set)
needles, 20g (1 dozen)
- Remove the fluid bag from the protective covering (if it has one). You will see that there are two "nipples" at the bottom; one has a removable cover (the spike port) and the other has a rubber end through which drug are injected (the injection port). You won't need to do anything with the injection port.
- Open the drip set package and disentangle the tubing. Identify the drip chamber and spike at one end, and the needle attachment at the other. Keep the caps on the ends for now.
- Close the roller clamp on the tubing.
- Remove the rubber cover from the "spike" port of the IV bag.
- Remove the cap from the spike of the drip set.
- Carefully push the spike through the spike port. Make sure it is in all the way.
- Squeeze the drip chamber and fill it half full.
- Open the roller clamp and let the fluids flow until they reach the end of the tubing.
- Close the roller clamp.
- Open the needle and attach to the end of the tubing.
- Lift the cat's skin over the shoulders to form a tent.
- Remove the cap from the needle.
- Slide the needle into the skin at about a 45 degree angle downward, until most of the needle is in the skin.
- Release the skin and open the roller clamp.
- You may need to un-flatten the tubing where the clamp was in order to get the fluids flowing.
- When the proper volume of fluids has been given, close the roller clamp.
- Remove the needle from the skin.
- Remove the needle from the end of the tubing and replace with a brand new needle to use next time.
- If flow is sluggish, try rotating the needle in the skin ¼ to ½ turn.
- There may be a little leakage of fluids from the injection site; this is normal and won't hurt the cat.
- Keep the ends of the tubing and needles from touching anything.
- Sometimes it is more comfortable for the cat if you warm the fluids up to body temperature by immersing them in warm water in the sink for 15 or 20 minutes prior to administration.