Click here to learn more.
Q. Our 12-year-old cat has been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. The veterinarian wants us to stick a needle in him every other day and give him fluids from a fluid bag. Is this really a good idea?
A. Yes! Giving a pet subcutaneous (literally “under the skin”) fluids at home is one of the real success stories when it comes to the nursing care pet lovers can provide. It’s not only lifesaving, but it also can be life-enhancing. The experience can provide your pet with months or even years of additional life, in a way that builds a more loving bond between you and your cat.
Renal disease is not uncommon in older animals, especially in older cats. The kidneys are the true superstar organs of the body, with many jobs to do, including filtering waste and extra water from the blood and sending it out of the body as urine. (Kidneys are so important that animals — and people — have two of them, which is why kidney transplants are possible: You can donate — or lose — one kidney and still survive on the other.)
When kidneys start failing, their function can be aided with proper hydration, and that’s where subcutaneous fluids come in. Giving thirsty kidneys a boost can help keep them on the job, allowing them to continue their vital work.
While long-term fluid therapy at home is also done with dogs, it’s very common in older cats. Our feline companions spend much of their lives chronically dehydrated, and they’re not going to suddenly and sensibly start drinking more just because their kidneys need them to. By adding fluids at home, these cats can keep their kidneys happy. Fluids in, toxins out!
Giving subcutaneous fluids at home is easy and relatively painless to your cat, especially if you bring a positive attitude to the project. Your veterinarian will show you how to administer the fluids at home. Make this a special time for you and your pet (not a dreaded “chore”) and you’ll both enjoy the the experience, rather than dreading it.
Subcutaneous fluids are generally only part of treating feline kidney disease; a special diet and medications may also be necessary. But providing fluid therapy in a home environment is a vital part of older cat care for many pets and pet owners, and it’s truly a lifesaving gift of love to a special pet.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
A baby squirrel who fell 75 feet from her nest is being nursed back to health at a rehabilitation center in…
Jan Jeffries, Jr., was working at a miserable jobsite when he encountered a dog who would change his life forever.
With their adorable matching outfits, best friends Zoey and Jasper have quickly become the new darlings of the…
With Easter on our minds, we combed our database of rabbits names to find out the 10 most popular monikers of 2013.
Dentistry used to be the outcast of the veterinary world. Now many vets dedicate tons of time to oral care for…
Our friends at JeanKnowsCars.com reveal cars that are great for pet owners, from versatile minivans to rugged SUVs.
With Easter coming up this weekend, we jumped at the opportunity to celebrate the holiday's most iconic species.
The Abyssinian, who wears a beautiful ticked coat, is an intelligent and athletic feline who stays in constant…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.