Here’s the story of me giving subcutaneous fluids to our kitty cat. But, first, some back story:
Last month, our beloved cat Scooter looked a little skinny. We took her to the vet and, at just 2 years old, she was diagnosed with severe kidney disease and something called Protein Losing Neuropathy (PLN).
Based on her test results, the vet’s best guess is six months.
Boy, have I done my share of crying.
The good news is that Scooter doesn’t know she is sick. She is still happy, chasing bugs, lounging in the sun, talking, napping and playing with her cat toys.The bad news is that I am now a cat’s nursemaid and I suck at it.
Scooter is on a new kidney friendly diet (that she hates), a daily pill for her PLN (that I’m hiding in a treat), and subcutaneous fluids three times a week (that both she and I hate).
Let’s talk about the subcutaneous fluids. They are supposed to keep her hydrated since kidney disease makes her dehydrated.
But getting these fluids into her is an adventure.
The vet tech made it look sooooo easy when she showed me what to do at the doctor’s office:
- Get an IV bag, attach the hose, then attach the needle.
- Get your kitty and pinch the skin around her shoulders, making a tent of skin.
- Uncap the needle, insert the needle in the tent of skin and then turn on the IV drop.
- Insert 100 ml in your cat for life, love, and longevity. Just like in this video:
The First Time
The first time I tried it there was saline solution squirting all over my living room and the kids and I ended up in tears.
I made a couple calls to the vet that night where they assured me all was well.
Trust me, Scooter might have been well, but I was definitely unwell.
The Second Time
The second time was better. I watched 52 YouTube videos on sub q’s (that’s what the cool kids call subcutaneous fluids). It went pretty well.
Of course, I thought I was out of the woods and a pro.
Third Time is NOT the charm
The third time sucked again. I couldn’t twist the needle off to put a new one on. I kept uncapping the needle and sticking myself, rather than being able to twist the old needle off.
Fast forward past a bloody bathroom counter, bandages (for me!), and discarded non-sterile needles, and I finally gave my cat some fluids.
At least she didn’t have a huge lump under her skin this time.
Keep On Keeping On
Every time since then I’ve been better, holding her and the needle in her back, but she is miffed. Scooter is honestly the sweetest cat I’ve ever known, but she is NOT sweet when she is a sub q patient.
Indeed, she is NOT like the cats on the 52 YouTube videos I watched. They all loved to eat a treat and receive their fluids. So happy! Scooter is definitely NOT happy–but she is hydrated and, thankfully, not holding a grudge. She is still lovey-dovey with me afterwards.
So, as long as I can give her fluids to help her with her dehydration and quality of life, I will.
Just be glad Scooter is a cat. And that I am not a nurse for humans.
If you have a dog, cat, or exotic pet, please keep their paws crossed for Scooter’s quality of life. I’m handling the news and the treatments the best I can, but of course I am devastated.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever had to learn to help yourself or a loved one (pets included)?
If you are searching for information about chronic kidney disease in cats, definitely check out Tanya’s Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease.