How to give your cat an IV: all you need to know

Sometimes it is necessary to carry out small operations at home for the health of our pets. Do you know how to give the cat an IV? Here’s what to know.

Taking care of pets is not easy, for various reasons. Unfortunately they cannot speak to us, and for this reason we cannot understand why they are sick. But in any case it is possible to do some small operations, when prescribed by the vet, such as the drip. Do you know how to do it to the cat? Here is a short guide that may help you.

Always contact your veterinarian

It is obvious how useful it is to remember it: never do it yourself diagnosis. When the cat is sick, it is always necessary to contact the veterinarian. It will be he who will show you the correct therapy to follow for the pathology the cat is suffering from, and therefore, if necessary, any infusions.

And it will always be the vet to clarify if it is a drip that you can do to the cat yourself, without leaving home and that the vet himself will teach you to do. Much more experience, dexterity and knowledge of cat anatomy require intramuscular infusions, which the same professional will perform.

When it comes to therapies that last several days (sometimes even several weeks) it could be very stressful for the cat to move around in the car every day. 

The materials

Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need. Here is what you need:

  • IV bottle: can be of different sizes and materials (glass, plastic). As for the dimensions, the bottles normally on the market reach up to 500 ml. Buy what you need based on the amount of substance to administer to the cat. In any case, you could opt for the larger bottle, even for future events;
  • infusion set: it is a plastic tube that acts as a connection between the bottle and the needle that will go into the animal’s skin. A small wheel is fixed to the tube with which it is possible to regulate the flow of the liquid, until it is completely blocked;
  • hypodermoclysis needle: it is the component that obviously enters the cat’s skin and injects the medicinal substance.

The preparation

You will have to assemble all the components before starting the infusion to the cat. The infusion tube must be connected on one side to the bottle, just below the cylindrical section located in the lower part of the bottle; on the other obviously to the needle. Obviously during the operation the wheel must be positioned in such a way as not to let the liquid escape.

The bottle should be placed at the top of the surface where you will put the cat. This is because there must be a large difference in height between the cat and the bottle, so that the substance flows at the right speed inside the set. Once assembled correctly, squeeze the rubber cylinder located under the bottle until it is half full.

At this point, briefly open the wheel to let the liquid flow from the cylinder. This serves to eliminate the air inside the infusion set, otherwise the liquid will not be able to reach the needle. The air is not dangerous for the cat’s health. We are talking about subcutaneous infusions, so it would not end up in a blood vessel, with all the dangers involved.

How to thread the needle

Now everything is ready to start the infusion. The only thing missing is to insert the needle into the animal’s skin. The technique is basically the same as for the cat injection. So first of all calm the cat. Hold him in your arms for a few minutes and cuddle him.

Choose the correct location – it must be a solid, level surface, such as a table or floor. In many cases the latter is preferable, because remember that the bottle must be positioned much higher than where the cat is.

After that, choose a part of the cat’s body where it has more skin. Normally it is recommended between the shoulder blades. Then grab a layer of skin between the index finger and thumb of the hand where you are not holding the needle and lift it up to form a pouch. It is there that you will have to thread the needle, perpendicular to the skin.

At this point you will open the infusion valve, using the special wheel and adjusting the flow speed. Don’t be alarmed if your cat’s back swells abnormally. After a few minutes the liquid will be absorbed by the cat’s body.

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