Learning About Vet Care For Small Animals

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Why Subcutaneous Fluid Boluses for Cats Aren't as Scary as You Think

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If your cat has kidney disease, there's a strong chance that your veterinarian will suggest that you perform fluid boluses on your cat. This is an injection of saline solution that will help your cat's weakened kidneys to process waste material from their blood. While it's a helpful procedure that can prolong the life of a cat, it's something that pet owners also struggle with, as they don't want to hurt their cat. This guide will explain why you don't need to be afraid of giving your cat a bolus.

Fewer Nerve Endings

Veterinarians typically recommend that you give subcutaneous fluid boluses to cats in the back of their neck, where their scruff is located. This is the same fleshy area that cats are typically carried by when they're kittens. Evolution has provided mother cats a way to pick up their kittens without harming them. The scruff of a cat's neck has fewer nerve endings than the rest of the body, meaning that a cat has less sensation there than anywhere else. As a result, inserting a needle in the scruff won't be as painful for a cat as a standard injection in a vein can be.

Doesn't Cause Bleeding

Inserting a needle into your cat's skin isn't the same thing as placing a needle in a vein. Needles that are placed in the scruff for boluses are put in shallowly, which usually allows the needle to avoid any veins or even capillaries. As a result, it's rare to experience any blood flow at all while placing a bolus. Your vet will also teach you how to pinch the needle insertion site shut after you've administered the bolus, which will keep the fluid in and help to stop any minor bleeding in the rare case that there is any.

Less Traumatic Than Regular IV Fluids

While it might seem scary to you, it's actually a good thing for your cat to get their boluses from you, rather than getting IV fluids from the vet. Although going to the veterinarian will be a necessary part of your cat's health care regimen, chances are you'll only need to stop by every few months. However, your cat will probably need fluids multiple times per week.

If you chose to take your cat to the vet every time they needed fluids, it could be an exhausting and traumatic experience for your cat. They would be exposed to the strange smells, sights, and sounds of other animals at the vet every week, which wouldn't be very pleasant for them.

In addition, it will be easier for you, too. Most veterinarians can provide a prescription to order your cat's fluids, needles, and IV lines from a pet pharmacy. Rather than having to make regular stops in-person, you can order your necessary supplies and have them shipped to you.

If your vet wants you to administer boluses to your cat, you don't need to be afraid. Feel free to ask your vet any questions that you might have about the process, and practice it with them until you feel like you're certain you know what you're doing. Your cat's health will benefit from it, which makes you an excellent pet parent.

To learn more, contact companies where you can buy pet prescription medications.