Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Sub Q fluids at home

  1. #1

    Sub Q fluids at home

    My 17 yo Siamese has just been formally diagnosed with kidney disease. He has never been much of a water drinker and I'm thinking home treatment may be the way to go to keep him hydrated. Running to the vets 1-2 x per week isn't in the budget and I had an insulin dependent cat for years so the needle thing doesn't bother me. For those on this forum who are also doing this, how much did you spent on the intitial equipment and how much is the actual bag of fluid? Where did you find this equip? I'm in southern New England.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    Hi, I've been giving Sub-Q fluids to various cats of mine for years now. Currently Bob and Sydney get some every day.

    I get the supplies and equipment from the vet's office (perhaps something like a medical supply house would have them cheaper?): the fluid bags themselves (I get a case of 12 at a time), the needles (I get them in boxes of 100 at a time), and the fluid lines to connect the bag to the needle and have it running in a steady stream (I use one line every two bags, so I get 6 more lines each time I get a case of 12 bags).

    As for how and where to hang the bag, it needs to go somewhere high enough that the fluid will run down. I hang it from a bent coat hanger hook and then hang them up on the shower curtain rod.

    One thing I learned early on: it is MUCH more economical to buy fluids by the case than to buy one bag at a time. When I started out, I was paying around $10 for a bag, but then I found out I could get a whole CASE of 12 bags for about $35. Ever since then I've always bought it by the case.

    Giving your kidney-challenged cat fluids will help keep him going much longer. Best wishes!

    I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
    Death thought about it.
    CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.

    -- Terry Pratchett (1948—2015), Sourcery

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    I only had to give my Taz fluids for a couple weeks. So I just got the supplies from my vet.

    Keep in mind, the needle for the fluids is MUCH larger than the needle for a regular injection, like insulin. And you have to hold it there while the fluids slowly go in. If you have someone to help it is easier. I had my boyfriend to help me. But I know several people here on Pet Talk that do just fine by themselves at it.

    I hope the fluids help and you have months or years more with your kitty.
    Our goal in life should be - to be as good a person as our dog thinks we are.

    Thank you for the siggy, Michelle!

    Cindy (Human) - Taz (RB Tabby) - Zoee (RB Australian Shepherd) - Paizly (Dilute Tortie) - Taggart (Aussie Mix) - Jax (Brown & White Tabby), - Zeplyn (Cattle Dog Mix)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Westchester Cty, NY
    Pink Nose gets fluids. There is a great demo on one of the Chronic Renal Failure sites. Here it is. (The model patient is very well-behaved!) Good luck!
    I've been finally defrosted by cassiesmom!
    "Not my circus, not my monkeys!"-Polish proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    In my garden
    Like Phesina I've been giving subq fluids to cats, both mine and fosters, for many years. I get them by the case from Costco and only pay about $23, less than $2 per bag. I get the lines from KV Vet online and the needles also. It's really quite reasonable, especially if you are giving fluids only a few times a week.

    The video smokey suggested is very helpful though not all cats are that cooperative. I've come to the conclusion that the best place is the bathroom counter with the door closed. I've tried giving them on the floor with the cat between my knees, and on a bed or sofa, but the bathroom counter works for all kinds of cats best of all. It's a very controlled space and they are at just the right height.

    You do have to hold the needle because even with the most accomodating cat they may move suddenly, the needle comes out and fluids spray everywhere. My current CRF foster, Sam, is really good about keeping still and I stroke her chest with one hand while holding the base of the needle with the other but the moment I move to turn off the flow of fluids she will start to move.

    The bathroom is good for another reason - you can warm up the fluids in the sink. When it's a full bag, I warm for a few minutes, drain the sink, and then turn the fluids bag over to warm again to make sure it's warm throughout. You do have to be careful not to get the opening under water even when the line is pushed in tight.

    Fluids therapy have given years of extra life to all my CRF cats and I think it's better than trying to feed them a low protein diet. I'm always staggered when talking to people I don't know, such as at adoption centers, who say their only treatment for their CRF cat was a change in diet - which they would barely eat anyway. Some vets, apparently, don't even suggest fluids.

    You may want to add vitamin B12 to the bag and potassium, but that may come later. Your vet will know.

    Anyway, good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Methuen, MA; USA
    Sparkle is in early stage CRF and for now, I am adding canned food once daily to her diet and this works.

    I had one cat I did the Sub Q fluids for. Did it in the kitchen, cat up on the counter. Bought an "S" hook from Home Depot, made a loop with some string, opened a cabinet door, put the loop of string over the TOP hinge, the "S" hook on the string loop and the bag on the S hook. I just bought it all from the vets office.

    We started at once every other week, but the disease kept progressing at a rapid rate and we quickly were up to 3 times daily. At 4 times daily I said NO, and made the decision to have him PTS. At that point, he was quite listless in between times and not enjoying live at all.

  7. #7
    I gave my cat Puddy subQ's twice a day, then backed off to once a day, then a couple of times a week. As she grew older and sicker (she had other issues besides CRF) I gave them once a day again. The needles are quite thick but that's so that the treatments will go quickly. It's usually over in approximately 5 minutes. I injected B vitamins (or just B12 if you prefer) directly into the port on the bag which really helped to give Puddy more energy and kept her mentally alert b/c she was also suffering from dementia, poor girl, which can be a problem w/CRF cats, especially when they're much older. I bought my supplies directly from my local vet. For one bag of fluids, a box of 12 needles and a line, I paid $12.50.

    Good luck. My Puddy's life was extended by several years due to subQ's.

    "Time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all." Ecclesiastes 9:11

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Washington, DC USA
    I give Oliver subQ fluids when necessary. You can buy the fluids by the case lot, just go talk with your local pharmacy and they can order them for you. The needles and tubing I buy on line, depending upon what state you are in you might need a prescription for the needles, but the website will let you know that.

    I have a hook that I hung on the powder room door and I have Oliver on the floor (it goes faster that way). I also give him a LITTLE bit of Fancy Feast to keep him "occupied" while I give him the fluids (he is really food motivated). That way we can both walk out of the room with no blood shed

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Cedar Rapids Iowa
    I dunno the cost and stuff, but I do volunteer work at the local Animal Control and one of the things that I do there (did it in my VA internship) is to give cats fluid if there is a need. It may be time consuming (It usually takes me 5-10min. Depending on the cat and amount) but it is so easy to do. Like some others have already said, hook the bag on something high (but not too high that you can't reach it) Also have a bowl of warm water because the fluids can be cold and it could make the cat's temp go down so you may want to warm up the water. But it shouldn't be too warm. I put it to warm enough that I can handle it, but I make sure that its not steaming hot.
    In loving memory of Tigger 2003-2009. In loving memory of Ashes 2001-2013.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    When my beloved Merlin was diagnosed with CRD, I had to give him fluids at home. One thing I learned was to give the fluid in some spot that was *not* one of his favorites! I tried that, thinking it was a good idea, but then he stopped using that place, and I felt guilty. I used to put him on the sewing maching cabinet and hang the bag from the curtain rod; that worked well.

    I also learned that it was possible to keep the fluid bag at a good temp by placing it on a towel-covered heating pad set on LOW (and not the kind that has the "auto turnoff"), and covering it then with another small terry towel. The fluid stayed comfortably warm.

    There's so much more treatment available now than there was when Merlin was diagnosed in 2001; I hope you have many more happy years together!


    Lady-in-Waiting to HRH The PrinCESS Althea

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by momcats13 View Post
    My 17 yo Siamese has just been formally diagnosed with kidney disease. [snip] For those on this forum who are also doing this, how much did you spent on the intitial equipment and how much is the actual bag of fluid? Where did you find this equip? I'm in southern New England.

    I did it for Limpet for a very short time - about two weeks - before she collapsed completely and had to be euthanised. If there's one thing I'd go back and do differently now, it would be to start doing it immediately we got her back from her first IV session. I don't know if it would have made any difference - she hid it beautifully until it broke through, and then we poured treatment on her but she still lost ground so fast. But that's the only area where I feel like I left something untried that might have helped.

    Anyway, my cat is not your cat and I have my thumbs crossed for yours. About your question. There wasn't any initial equipment that I kept reusing in my case - just a bag of fluid with a clean line and a pack of needles each time I 'refilled'. In Canada I was paying $20 to the vet for a litre bag of fluid and 10 needles. Never used the last one so I gave it to the SPCA, where they told me there were much much cheaper alternatives. I never had a chance to need them, but maybe you could try calling your own local SPCA and see if they have a similar suggestion for sourcing in your area. Apparently they go through a lot of the stuff, especially when there's a hospital attached to the shelter.

    Good luck. SubQ really did make a huge difference for ours while it was still working - she'd come home from her treatments at the vet and eat like her usual self until it wore off. As I say, I just wish I'd done what you're doing, and begun giving them to her daily right from the start. I hope it goes well for both of you.

  12. #12

    Sub Q fluids at home update #13

    Thanks to all who replied. My kitty has been getting his fluids for almost two months now. He is very good about it and I wound up getting all the supplies at Drs Foster&Smith. They carry the fluid, lines and needles and it is all delivered right to my door. They don't charge for shipping for this and no sales tax. He gets an appetite stimulant that keeps his weight up but he will only eat dry food, which I know isn't the best for him, so he gets fluids every day. At 17 I want him to be happy, not in a constant struggle to get him to eat food he doesn't want.

Similar Threads

  1. Need input on giving subQ fluids...
    By emily_the_spoiled in forum Cat General
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 10-03-2008, 09:38 AM
  2. We just gave Ripley sub-q fluids, so proud!
    By jazzcat in forum Cat General
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 09-20-2008, 03:03 AM
  3. Giving Subcutaneous Fluids to a Cat
    By fragrancehound in forum Cat Health
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 12-06-2006, 06:51 PM
  4. Experience Giving Your Cat IV Fluids At Home?
    By AvaJoy in forum Cat Health
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-19-2004, 08:57 PM
  5. Going to the vet for Fluids!
    By kimlovescats in forum Cat Health
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-23-2003, 03:10 PM

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Copyright © 2001-2013 Pet of the