If your cat is going through kidney disease and your veterinarian has told you that you need to give them subcutaneous fluids, you might be feeling nervous. Although your vet has most likely shown you the proper technique and you know what to do, it can be nerve-wracking to stick a needle into your pet. However, these subcutaneous fluids are a big part of keeping a pet with kidney disease healthy. Here are a few ways to feel less anxious about giving your cat subcutaneous fluids.
Positive Nerve Response
Cats are given subcutaneous fluids in the area of their scruff, usually either at the nape of the neck or over the shoulder blades. There's a reason for this: manipulating a cat's scruff tends to relax a cat and make them feel good.
A cat's scruff is designed so that mother cats can pick them up and move them easily by grabbing them in that area. This part of a cat's body is designed so that when it's tugged, pulled, or even bitten, it causes your cat to feel good, rather than experiencing pain. As a result, poking them in the scruff with a needle will cause very little pain. Your cat may make a fuss about it, as it feels weird to have fluid flowing into their body, but don't worry too much about it hurting them.
Giving your cat fluids doesn't have to be a negative experience for them. If your cat gets riled up or seems unhappy when you give them their fluids, try making the experience a positive one.
Offering your cat their favorite treats during the process may help them to feel better. It will distract them from the feeling of the liquid going into their body, and act as positive reinforcement that good things happen when they're given subcutaneous fluids.
Initially, it's a good idea to give your cat some treats before, during, and after the treatment. As they get more accustomed to it, you can just give them treats during the process, since they'll already have positive associations with receiving their fluids.
Enjoy the Perks
Now that you know that it doesn't hurt them very much and that you can make it a positive experience for your cat, focus on making it a positive one for you, too. Watch how your cat acts after they receive their fluids. They should be perkier, more active, and they should generally act more like themselves. Generally, Ringer's Solution is given to cats, rather than just plain saline. Ringer's Solution is full of nutrients and minerals that will help to restore your cat's electrolyte balance, so always remember that you're helping them to live a fuller, happier life.
Giving subcutaneous fluids to a cat is a pretty easy process, but it can bring some guilt with it. Remember these tips the next time you give your cat fluids, and it should make the process a little easier for you both. Visit http://www.1stPetVet.com for more information.