Subcutaneous fluids are administered to dogs that are suffering from chronic kidney diseases.
They are sterile fluids injected into the dog’s body to increase the percentage of fluids in the body.
Apart from dogs with kidney problems, the fluid may also be administered for dogs with dehydration issues to reduce dehydration in the body.
It also may be administered to dogs that cannot retain or take in fluid into their bodies.
Subcutaneous fluids can be administered to your dog if they cannot regulate and balance their fluid levels in the body for various reasons. There are other methods such as giving fluids through the mouth only if it is safe to do.
The other way would be to inject the subcutaneous fluids into your dog by injecting and administering the drug just below the skin. The different route would be to inject using the intravenous route. It is essential to consider cost, the ease of administration, and whether your dog is in the state to take in the fluids when deciding the method to use.
It is important to note that when giving your dog fluids through the injection route, IV fluid administration, it is always preferred to leave your dog.
Because the doses being administered need to be done regularly and in specific doses that could become fatal if they are not consistent.
This is slightly different when it comes to subcutaneous fluid administration.
The quantities can be given in more significant amounts; hence with this method, hospitalization is not necessary unless the dog owner wants to.
This means it is cheaper than IV fluid administration.
What are subcutaneous fluids and fluid administration?
These are fluids given to dogs by injecting them under the skin to provide their bodies with the required amount of fluids in their body.
This is subcutaneous fluids administration that involves injecting the dog with IV fluids into their bloodstream.
This happens when the dog is dehydrated or needs an increase in body fluids when the fluids are too low in the body.
The other similar solution to increasing body fluid in the dog is by giving the dog the fluid by mouth if they can swallow liquid without hurting themselves.
However, this is only possible when your pet can eat or drink.
Fluid administration becomes the only option if the dog cannot drink water, is unwilling to drink water, or keeps on vomiting.
Unfortunately, this makes them lose a lot of fluids, and the dog may experience body weakness until that problem is resolved.
When does administering subcutaneous fluids to your dog become necessary?
Most dog owners who perform this on their dogs or take their dogs to get the subcutaneous fluids have dogs with chronic kidney disease and receive the fluids regularly so as to regulate the liquid levels in the body.
However, in some other mild cases, the fluids may be given to a dog showing severe cases of dehydration and need help with fluid retention in the body.
It may also be recommended to dogs who find it challenging to drink enough water that their bodies require.
Dogs with acute vomiting may also get administered fluids because there is a lot of water lost when the dogs continuously vomit due to whatever reason.
An example scenario of dogs in such situations are dogs that are on chemotherapy or dogs with high fevers.
It is recommended to get a place to note down how much your dog is getting per injection just for references and accountability.
Alternatives to subcutaneous fluids in dogs
The alternatives of subcutaneous fluid administration are only two.
If your dog can take fluids by mouth, that is the first alternative to get fluids into your dog’s bloodstream by mouth.
If this is not possible, the other two options are subcutaneous fluid administration and IV fluid administration, both requiring injections.
What to know when getting started?
If the subcutaneous fluid administration is the way to go for you and your dog, it means you can go home with your furry friend but not before some few training sessions on how to administer the injections.
It is always good to ask for clarifications just in case to avoid any miscommunication that may happen.
Here is what you need to be prepared for as a dog owner:
1. During or after the training, ask questions
If you feel inadequate in any part of the training, always ask the vets during the training sessions.
This is because you need to be sure you can handle administering the dosage to your dog correctly.
2. Make sure to record your dog’s fluid schedule on a diary or a calendar
When recording, ensure to get the time and date you administered the fluids.
This will keep you in check to not forget when you last gave your dog medication and make it easier to track when you need more dosages for your dog.
3. You do not have to administer the dosages to your dog
It is okay to say that it may be difficult to do if you are not comfortable or will not be available due to your schedule.
However, you could always leave it for the vet team to do the injections because messing up could be dangerous for your dog.
If you decide to administer the fluids, ensure all the equipment given is appropriately sealed and is new. This is important for your dog’s hygiene and safety.
It is vital to take your dog for regular checkups at the vet to determine the reasons for the low fluid retention.
This is primarily because kidney failure and kidney diseases usually are not noticed until over half the damage has been done to your dog’s kidneys.
It is known as a silent killer because it is nearly impossible to tell whether your dog has any issues with its kidney without regular tests.
When it comes to the method of fluid intake, this can only be administered by a vet, so it is always preferred to take your dog to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.