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Cokie the Cat: Hollywood Insider: SubQ Fluids Day 1: Not So Good : (

Sunday, July 29, 2012

SubQ Fluids Day 1: Not So Good : (

Mom got a subcutaneous fluids kit for me from the vet, since I've practically stopped drinking water over the last week - which is one of my favorite things - and I'm very dehydrated. As you may know, I won't go to the vet, or let a vet come here. Basically I refuse contact with vets unless I'm knocked out - which they have to do by putting my whole carrier in a chamber, and which is very dangerous for an 18 year old mancat. I'm feisty. ; )

Lactated Ringer's solution

Anyway, Mom thought she could totally do the fluids herself, since I let her and Dad shave me with a loud trimmer thing (a few minutes at a time, anyway). They figured if Dad gave me lovings and face scrunchies, Mom could just come in and stick me (the cats in the videos don't seem to even feel it) and in a few minutes they'd be done.

Well, that didn't go quite right. She got some solution in me but not a lot. The water level - full - is above the 100 ml mark, now it's at the 100 ml mark. She jabbed it in once - that needle's bigger than we thought it would be! She didn't quite get it, and I cried and complained.

She had to try again and I cried the whole time for a minute or so (in a manly way), even though Dad was giving me my favorite face scrunchies. Then Mom noticed my back was starting to get wet and stopped the flow and pulled out the needle.

She thought I'd stuck it in all the way (she wasn't sure if she was supposed to do that), in a pocket under the skin - and there was no blood... Maybe I moved and it pulled out but she didn't notice that.

We can't figure out why it seems to hurt me when the cats in the videos don't even notice, and when Wynnie got hers once, she didn't even wince. I've gotten shots before without reacting. Now Mom's thinking she's a bad kitty nurse. I don't think that's it. She tries really hard and isn't too
squeamish about things that have to be done. She's really bumming now cause she thought she'd be good at this.

I'm going to try to be a better patient - but I don't see what I did wrong??

 I did a Google search for smaller cat subQ needles and found a great
Hub Page by danielmybrother *HERE* with all kinds of advice about giving cats subQ fluids.

Tomorrow, we're going to try these things:

1. Mom's going to see if the vet has to give fluids to one of their patients so she can observe.

2. Heat the fluid bag in hot water first, to warm it up a little.
3. Maybe we'll try it with me on the floor beside Mom's computer chair - my favorite place, or on the couch, between mom and the arm of the couch, with the bag hanging from a planter hook.
4. We saw someone suggest on another site that cats can eat while they're getting their fluids. That would distract me...
5. We're also going to see if we can get 20 gauge needles - and possibly the apparently sharper Terumo needles.

If you've had any experience with giving your cat subcutaneous fluids and have any tips or words of encouragement for my Mom, I think she'd really appreciate it! 

Thank you,
Cokes (and Mom!)

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At July 29, 2012 at 10:24 PM , Blogger The Indulged Furries said...

A couple tips I learned: stick the needle in as quickly as you can. The stick is the worst part. Also, warm the bag of fluids in a pot of warm water. A cat's body temp is higher than ours so fluids that feel a bit warm to your touch will feel better than room temperature fluids. Hopefully your second try will go better.

At July 29, 2012 at 10:34 PM , Anonymous Sparkle said...

Cokie, that's a bummer that the SubQ was not a good experience for you the first time out. :-( I hope that some of the stuff your human tries next time works much, much better.

At July 29, 2012 at 10:47 PM , Blogger Cokie the Cat said...

Thanks Sparkle, and Furries - We'll definitely warm the water and go for the quick stick tomorrow!! : |

At July 29, 2012 at 11:27 PM , Blogger Prudence said...

Hi Cokie, sounds like your mom is doing her homework, and tomorrow she'll be able to hydrate you like a pro! {{hugs}}!

At July 29, 2012 at 11:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Cokes, think your mom's idea of going to vet clinic tomorrow and observing is a good idea. The more familiar she can get with it, the better.
Maybe at vets she can have a practice in-front of vet, inserting syringes into water filled balloons until she can 'just do it.'
Thinking maybe you were doing "manly singing" because you could feel mom's trepidation.
The more confident mom is, the better.
Have a chat with @PetieTheCat 's mom, Louise because Petie was on fluids for a while too. He might have some tips for your mom.
Hang in there Cokes, tomorrow will be a better day.
Love you buddy! XXX

At July 30, 2012 at 2:20 AM , Blogger Fisher and Staff said...

Hi Cokie - wow, your mom is awesome to study and learn and do her best for you! Sending big purrs for a successful quick stick today!

At July 30, 2012 at 2:28 AM , Blogger dArtagnan Rumblepurr/Diego Hamlet Moonfur said...

Oh Cokie, I'm sorry you're having to get yucky shots. Inigo had to get SubQ quite a bit, but we live quite close to the vet so Rumbleparents just took him in every time he needed it. It's very sweet of your human to do it at home for you.

We're both purring SUPER loud for you.

At July 30, 2012 at 3:26 AM , Blogger Brian said...

We are all sending you tons of purrs Cokie, love ya pal!

At July 30, 2012 at 3:32 AM , Blogger hazelflagg said...

Kristen, you can email me any time there are support groups online for CRF that have links to SUBQ everything. Don't wait to get the to Vets to give him SUBQ again. Needles sometimes are NOT sharp, although needle size is important get a handful from the Vet or Extras at least in case they are not sharp. Not all SubQ is alike, I had to change to plain Sodium because one of my cats had a reaction. The method of wrapping the cat in a warm towel is online somewhere, that works too. I did mine alone, that is not recommended.
I gave SUBQ to two Cats for a couple of years one hated it and I had one bad incident after another but whatever you do don't let him go without fluids. Chronic Renal Failure for Cats has a couple of websites online. 1)Watching the Vet is very good but having the Vet watch you do it once is even better. My Vet showed me twice. 2) Heating thing is good, less in summer more in winter. Don't us a microwave..placing it in hot water always worked for me but it is unstable at best I would pull the needle out to find not all of it was heated. 3) ASK around find an actual IV stand, I live in geriatric central so that is EZ to say. I found mine for free, but goodwill sometimes has them. I donated mine to the Humane Society. Your local rescue might know where to get one cheap. If the Feisty Guy moves the stand can be moved. Instead of trying reposition him. 4) SubQ was a long term event for me and my 2 cats I bought them by the BOX, you need to get a prescription from the VET for the SUBQ plus one for Needles, Lines you can get anywhere. SUBQ cost me $25-30 for a box of 12, needles are cheap but lines cost.
The best place to buy it is at a pharmacy that will sell the entire box and that also does Compounding for VETS. They will understand why you need them. If this is long term take a look at the other risks at this PAGE. The best info on SubQ is at CRF pages for Cats.
Some cats end of life can live as long as a couple of years with this therapy. I had many different issues and in the end decided I would never do it again without more knowledge about overall health. That's why I'm reading Vet Manuals but they don't help that much either.

At July 30, 2012 at 3:56 AM , Blogger Emma said...

Hi, I feel so bad for you - sounds like an awful thing getting those fluids but you are so very lucky that your mom is helping you and doing her best. I have no hints or tips but just keep trying and think positive! Emma :)

At July 30, 2012 at 5:25 AM , Blogger Old Kitty said...

Oh my goodness!!! Me and Charlie are totally useless with any handy tips to help you and mum lovely Cokie as we let the vet's do everything! So we will send you all many hugs and positive supportive vibes instead and we will hope hope hope hope mum will be able to give you fluids for you to be ok. Please get better Cokie!! Take care

At July 30, 2012 at 6:27 AM , Blogger katsrus said...

Cokie you have a wonderful mom and dad. Hope they can get you fluids. Hope you feel better soon.
Sue B

At July 30, 2012 at 6:36 AM , Blogger Teri and the cats of Curlz and Swirlz said...

All very good advice from everyone. I always used 20g needles and had read Terumo are sharper but really didn't see much difference. And yes, different fluids can sting more than others. My vet starts out with Lactated Ringers, then tries Plasmalyte A and then plain Sodium as a last resort. Heating the fluids does help and you can wrap it in a heating pad set on low if you plan ahead or use the hot water soak. Cats usually start complaining after about 80cc, so sometimes it helps to put it in 2 different spots even though that means sticking them twice, once you get better at it you may find that easier. I kept my Bo going 5 years after diagnosis giving him 60cc Lactated Ringers daily. He had HCM, a heart condiiton, so he could only get a smaller amount, not the usual 15cc per pound. I think that is part of what helped him do so well, getting the fluids daily rather than the rollercoaster effect of up and down, but not every cat is so easy to work with as he was...

At July 30, 2012 at 7:16 AM , Blogger Lily said...

I'm sorry you need sub-q fluids Cokie - but your Mom & Dad are pawsome for learning as much as they can abt doing it right. My Mom had to give sub-q fluids to my OTRB sisfur Cozzie so she knows it's not the easiest thing in the world to do. Everyone has given you the same advise she'd give you except for 1 thing. Cozzie had long fur (like Cokie) & a few times when she put the needle in she actually pushed it out again a few inches away so the fluids came out all over poor Cozzie. It was an easy thing to do sadly.... (Mom is #blonde)
I hope these fluids make you feel better Cokie! Sending you lots of love & #HealingPurrs & a big ((HUG))

At July 30, 2012 at 7:53 AM , Blogger Pup Fan said...

I hope that the next try goes better. Hugs to all.

At July 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM , Blogger Mariodacat said...

So sorry the first attempt didn't go well. That is NOT unusual. So tell mom NOT to beat herself up for it. SHe'll get the hang of it. She probably pushed too hard on the needle and it came out about a half inch or more from where she put it in. That happened to M & D lots. This is new for you, so you probably did feel a little poke. Misty did at first too, but then after a couple of weeks she just laid there patiently and waited for M & D to finish. It will be okay., You have lots of advice given you above - all good too. Watch once at the vet's office. Maybe he'd even let you do it with his guidance. You and Cokie will get the hang of it and pretty soon you'll both be old pros. M actually felt Misty was happy to get it after awhile because she knew she felt better after fluids were administered.

At July 30, 2012 at 1:34 PM , Blogger tannawings said...

Cokie I read about you everyday- every post. You are a very brave mancat and your Mum and Dad love you tons. Don't be scared she will get the hang of it- look at all the great advice she got.

Your Mom and Dad do a terrific job with you, so keep those man panties on and try and stay still for her- she loves you and is trying to help

Hope you get feeling better soon- you have to drink or have fluids ya know!

At July 30, 2012 at 6:35 PM , Blogger The Island Cats said...

Cokie, you've gotten some good advice from the others. Definitely try warming the fluids first. And try a small guage needle. Our mom used a 20 guage and while it may take a second or two longer, it wasn't as uncomfortable as the 18.

BTW, the first time our mom gave the cat that came before us fluids, it went horribly and she sat and cried and cried. It does get better...and easier. Good luck!

At July 31, 2012 at 1:16 AM , Blogger Everycat said...

Cokie you are a marvellous cat and your Mum & Dad are brilliant for working so hard to help you out with fluids. We agree that they mustn't be hard on themselves for not getting it right first time. Giving SubQs is daunting and can take a while to get the hang of.

Everyone has given such good advice we can't add to it, so we are sending you and your family huge rumbly purrs and love

Oliver, Gerry & Mungo

At July 31, 2012 at 5:49 AM , Blogger Jan's Funny Farm said...

Aw, Cokie, we're sorry your mom is having such a hard time with this. Jan would suck at giving any of us fluids, so your mom is brave. We hope this will go better today! Purrs and pawhugs.

At July 31, 2012 at 8:23 AM , Blogger SuziQCat said...

You've gotten come great advice so far...this is what worked for us. Put the cat on the counter in the kitchen, hang bag on the cabinet knob. One person distracts the cat (sometimes tapping lightly on the nose) or petting. The other person sticks the cat, and holds the needle (it shouldn't come out, but it can) watch the line, but feel for the "goose egg" under the skin. remember, some fluid is better than you are doing a great job!

At July 31, 2012 at 11:51 AM , Blogger TK and Squashies said...

We was going to pipe in here, as our dear little Squashies got SubQ fluids for a few week, but you've gotten great advice above. I will agree with Teri- not all needles are created equally. We also used 20g for Squashes, the smaller bore makes the stick less dramatic, so the whole event goes along with less stress. (Squashies is a lot like Cokie- she does not like being handled.)

One of the things I've learned, while given TK his insulin- if I'm calm he's calmer. Of course we've been at it now twice a day for close to 4 years, neither of us really even thinks about it anymore.

The reason I bring it up is that at first I was so nervous that I was pinching him harder than I had to get the skin up, and I was restraining him way more than was necessary to get the job done. Now he sits at my feet and waits, jumps into my lap and positions himself (literally) for the best approach for me to stick him. I don't know if Cokie likes to be held, but TK definitely purrfurs it. I think in the beginning it made him feel secure.

You are in our prayers, both of you!
I have no doubt that after a few times you will be an expert.

At July 31, 2012 at 12:03 PM , Blogger Alasandra, The Cats and A Dog said...

We are sending healing purrs and crossed paws that everything goes as it should next time.

At July 31, 2012 at 1:14 PM , Blogger FURKIDSMOM said...

Mom has done sub-q for a few kitties and she says you've got lots of good adivce. Warming the fluids a bit is good and she always used Terumo needles. One of the biggest things is to stay calm yourself. Whenever she would be a bit hesitant, it never went well. Also, you might have actually gone in one side of the skin and out another. Mom had that happen a few times. She would think the fluids were going so well and then notice them running down the kitty's furs. Good can do this!!
Those crf support groups have lots of good info and will give you tips on purchasing online (MUCH CHEAPER).

The Florida Furkids and Lexi and Mom Sharon

At July 31, 2012 at 2:01 PM , Blogger The Lee County Clowder said...

No real suggestions. We just wanted to leave some purrrrrss for Cokie & her pawrents.

At July 31, 2012 at 8:29 PM , Blogger Tuxedo Gang said...

Hi Cokie and Mom!! We are sending lots of purrs and prayers your way as you work with the fluids!!
Your TX furiends,

At July 31, 2012 at 9:19 PM , Blogger Laura and Taffeta Rose said...

Sending purrs to you, Cokie and mom! It's great that you are willing to do this. The terumo ultra thin wall size 20 or higher will go just as fast as the "kitty harpoons" the vet carries. Pinch and rub the spot where the needle goes in for a few seconds before to desensitize the spot and after to seal the fluids in. An infrared thermometer can be used to check how warm the fluids are. Be sure to mush the bag so temp is even throughout the bag. The higher the bag hangs, the faster the fluids will run. Some cats prefer to be held or in a box with a warm towel. Above all, stay calm. Cats do pick up on nervousness. I gave my Venus subQ fluids all by myself for six years; you can do this! Purrs.

Laura & Taffy

At July 31, 2012 at 9:32 PM , Blogger Oui Oui said...

I had an older cat that needed fluids. I'd have someone else hold him. I hung the bag higher than the cat (he was on the kitchen counter & the bag was tied to a cabinet handle so gravity would help the fluid go faster). I'd put the needle in the loose skin of the scruff of his neck (it doesn't have to be in far and it doesn't have to be a big needle) and hold it in place with one hand and squeeze the fluid bag hard with the other hand so the fluids would go in faster. Otherwise its a very slow process.

The water could be warmed up a little, but make sure it doesn't have "hot spots". I wouldn't use a microwave. It should only be lukewarm, like a baby bottle. Be very careful. Sometimes I did it room temperature, but made sure he didn't get chilled.

I could do it by myself if I had to, but he fought it and sometimes he'd get away and I'd squirt the room. Its much easier with two people.

I tried to encourage him to drink as much as I could. He loved running water, so leaving faucets running a bit for him, or even a fountain would work.

Its not bad or hard once you get a system down. Good luck! You can contact me with questions.

At July 31, 2012 at 9:40 PM , Blogger Oui Oui said...

I forgot to say, when sticking him with the needle, pull the loose skin up then put the needle into the skin. If you don't pull the skin up, you could jab the cat in the muscle or even bone, and that would hurt.

When the skin is pulled up, pretend its a tent & put the needle in where the "flap" would be. Don't point the needle down too far, but keep it more horizontal with a slight decline.

When the fluids are under the skin, it will slide down to the side, and that is ok because there is nothing holding it in place.


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