Small Animal Fluid Therapy - Electrolyte solutions
Fluid therapy is a common supportive treatment for pets that have a medical condition. This form of therapy can be utilized to assist with fluid maintenance or replacement. There are a variety of fluid therapy electrolyte solutions that each contain different electrolytes in various amounts. Electrolytes play an important role in maintaining fluid balance as well as supporting nerve and muscle activity. Pending your pet’s medical condition, your veterinarian will develop a fluid therapy plan that includes calculating the volume of fluids to be administered, the rate that the fluids need to be delivered, and the type of fluids required. These products are available as a solution and are commonly administered either subcutaneously or intravenously.
WHAT IS THIS PRODUCT?
- A form of fluid and electrolyte replenishment
- May contain a combination of the following electrolytes:
- Given by intravenous infusion or by subcutaneous injection (under the skin)
Intravenous fluid therapy is commonly administered by a veterinarian as an accurate assessment of your pet is required to determine the type and severity of the medical condition. Subcutaneous (under the skin) injections can be easily administered in the comfort of your home if your pet requires this form of therapy.
If you are advised to provide fluid therapy to your pet at home, follow your veterinarian’s directions carefully.
Give the exact amount recommended and only as often as directed.
Baseline blood work may be recommended to assess your pet’s general health before starting this therapy.
Ongoing laboratory evaluation may be necessary to monitor fluid balance, electrolyte changes and acid-base status.
Fluid therapy adjustments will likely be made based upon these results and an assessment of how your pet is responding clinically.
Fluid therapy requires certain materials and a skill set for safe delivery. Inappropriate injection and delivery technique or use of non-sterile materials can result in infections.
WHAT IF A DOSE IS MISSED?
If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.
STORAGE AND WARNINGS:
Fluid products should be stored in a childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.
It is important to discard any unused portion as fluid therapy bags and plastic containers do not contain antimicrobial products.
Inspect fluid solutions prior to administration; they should be clear and lack discoloration.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS:
- Fluid therapy can result in changes to electrolyte levels
- Too much fluid therapy can cause clinical signs of breathing difficulty
- Inappropriate injection and delivery technique or use of non-sterile materials can result in a fever and infection of the injection site or vein
- All injectable medication has the potential to cause an immediate allergic or anaphylactic reaction. Affected animals may have a swelling, hives, changes in respiration, and display signs of agitation. This can be a severe and life threatening reaction, immediate veterinary care may be required.
- Notify your veterinarian immediately if your pet experiences any adverse reactions to this product
Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet receives more than the recommended amount.
WHAT TO TELL/ASK A VETERINARIAN BEFORE GIVING THIS PRODUCT?
Talk to your veterinarian about:
- When you pet will need to be rechecked
- What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment
- What are the risks and benefits of using this form of therapy
- If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
- If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
- If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
- If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
- All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet’s medications can be given together.
- If your pet is pregnant, nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
Notify your veterinarian if your pet’s condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
This is just a summary of information about Electrolyte solutions. If you have any questions or concerns about this product or fluid therapy, please contact your veterinarian.
Join the Conversation
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!