Administering fluids (Lactated Ringer's Injection USP) to your cat or dog is something you might have to do in his or her lifetime. Usually this happens when your pet gets older and needs extra hydration because of renal (kidney) failure or whatever other aliment she or he has. Below you can watch two videos. The first one is of needle preparation. Before Rags died on March 30, 2009, he got 100cc of fluids each night for about 6 months. A new needle was used each night.
The bag of fluids and the tube that is attached to it can be used for the full 10 days. In other words, 100cc can be used every day for 10 days and you only have to change out the needle.
The cost of the bag of fluids can vary greatly depending on the vet. In the Kansas City area, the bag of fluids and the tube ("the whole set up") can be anywhere from $15 to $21. Regardless, $15 or $21 every 10 days can certainly add up quickly. If you have any suggestions about how to reduce this cost, please let me know.
Please watch the videos below to see administering fluids and how the needle is put on the bag of fluids and also to see how it was given to Rags.
Below is a video of fluids being administered to Rags.
So, as you can tell. You lift up the skin that sits behind your pet's neck. With your fingers holding the skin up, there is a V that is created. It is in this "V" that you try to get the needle inserted--without hitting a muscle or the spinal cord (of course!). You want the fluids to sit under the skin so that they can be absorbed by the body.
Once the fluids have been administered, then you will probably see the bubble of fluid that forms fall to your pet's belly area...it isn't absorbed immediately, but will be over time.
Once your cat or dog are used to receiving fluids, you can usually administer them by yourself, however, as with anything, it is easier to have two people. I certainly appreciate it when my boyfriend can squeeze the bag of fluids (to hurry up the process) while I rub Rags' chin. He seems to be more comfortable when he is distracted. As the bag gets depleted, I would suggest rolling it down (like a tube of toothpaste) and then squeezing it to help the fluids come out faster.
Another tip is to warm the bag of fluids in some warm water before you give them to your pet. The cold fluids going under their skin might sting a bit.
As far as the Lactated Ringer's Injection USP is concerned...for those of you who are scientifically inclined and are curious. Each 100mL contains 600 mg Sodium Chloride USP, 310 mg Sodium Lactate, 30 mg Potassium Chloride USP,20 mg Calcium Cholride USP.
To see more of Rags' procedures, like administering fluids, please click on any of the relevant ones below: