Sub-Q's: A Desperate Move?

dwmcOctober 9, 2013

When YOU gave sub-q's did it occasionally feel like a "desperate" move? Sometimes it feels like that - though kitty still eats and enjoys going outside.
His last creatnine test was 7.(something) and he's about 9lbs. It's just that he sometimes has a look like he's just not feeling well. I guess in a way they're chronically not.
Just wanted about your experience.


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spedigrees z4VT

Loss of kidney function is unfortunately often a part of growing old. I enjoy caring for my geriatric pets and making their golden years comfortable and enjoyable for them. Giving subQ fluids adds substantially to their quality of life, so I consider it a part of routine care for my older pets, not a desperate measure at all. My cats, all but one, have lived comfortably into their 20s, in large part due to hydration therapy.

Many will disagree with me, but I seldom have blood drawn from my geriatric pets, at least not on a routine basis. I base the frequency of subQs on the recommendation of my vets and my and their observations of the animal's condition. Signs of dehydration, lethargy, nausea, loss of appetite mean the animal needs fluids more frequently. Typically I start out giving fluids once a week, and by the time they are out of their teens, we are usually up to every day or every other day.

If your kitty is eating well and enjoying outdoor excursions, it sounds like he is doing well and enjoying his life. Cats behave differently in their later years, as do we. But retirement years have their own special rewards. I'm in my 60s and retired, and despite arthritis and other ills, I'm not ready to pack it in yet! Being able to give my old animals a retirement filled with love and creature comforts is, and has been, one of the most fulfilling of all my life's accomplishments. I find it calming to administer fluids to my old pets.

This post was edited by spedigrees on Thu, Oct 10, 13 at 11:45

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 11:28AM
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I agree with spedigrees, though I do have blood draws done on my elderly, chronically ill cats at least once a year (more often if symptoms indicate a need). I also give meds and supplements, as necessary, to improve overall health and symptomatic relief. SubQ fluid admins are a first line treatment for my animals- nothing desperate about it. I admin fluids regularly to my kidney cats, but I also admin fluids to any cat who spikes a fever, is constipated, is recovering from a urinary blockage, or vomits repeatedly. It's the single most effective "treatment" for a variety of ills, and it's far more benign than strong medications.

A vet once described kidney disease as causing a chronic "flu-ish" feeling in a cat. Generally speaking, I agree with that characterization, though there are things that can offer substantial relief from those flu-like feelings for many cats. But even the best managed kidney cats are going to have days when they just don't feel great. If one of my cats strings too many of those days together, I have blood drawn to check electrolyte levels to see if they're out of whack. If so, there are meds and supplements that can put them back in balance and help the cat feel better again.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 12:57PM
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I did Sub-Qs with one of my cats for two years. He enjoyed quite a good quality of life until the end when I knew it was time. He tolerated the fluids very well and I didn't feel it was desperation at all. When it first came up that we needed to do this (had never had a cat require this previously) I thought it was a desperate move and even questioned whether or not I should do it. But we quickly got into a uneventful routine.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 3:50PM
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Absolutely not. My kitty has been getting fluids since December 2008. He still runs, jumps, sunbathes, comes when called, etc. Are you using Terumo brand needles? They work the best!! It sounds like your kitty has a good quality of life. I give a few treats after we are done so kitty has something to look forward to.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:35PM
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My kitty girl did really well for three years with sub q fluids. When she passed away last May, it wasn't due to renal disease, but cancer.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 4:37PM
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No, not at all.

I gave sub-Qs to three of my cats, and it really improved the quality of their last year or two.I second the Terumo needles. After a bit it becomes routine, not a big deal at all, and the cat looks forward to feeling better.

There are also many, many other things you can be doing for your CRF cat to make it feel better. I SO wish I had known about acid blockers, potoassium supplementation, blood pressure meds binders, diet etc... with my first two CRF cats. Please check out Tanya's CRF website for more information. Sub-Qs are only part of the picture (though very important).

I do not agree at all with not doing blood tests on your older cat. As I said, there is a LOT you can do to make them feel better, and you won't know for sure what you should be treating without the full blood panel information. Why would you want your cat to continue to feel miserable when you can help him feel so much better with the right medications? My last cat lived for 7 years with kidney failure, and those were for the most part very good years for him.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 6:56PM
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I have a dog that just had SubQ with an injection of Ceretin (sp?) unfortunetly for my dog he is not wanting to eat and his quality of life did not improve any with the one treatment, my vet thinks that this is not the way for him that we should have seen some change. His creatnine level is 4.4, I'm assuming its different between cats and dogs. So he is in renal failure.

I'm really glad that your cat is doing well on this treatment, I guess its just not the best treatment for every patient. It sounds like you are doing the best thing to give him back his quality of life.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 6:58AM
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As long as kitty has a good quality of life--enjoying dinner, sitting in the sun, etc.--and as long as you don't mind the sub-q's, it's not "desperate." Did someone tell you that? You would give him a pill if it helped, wouldn't you? Well, this isn't a pill, but it is helping maintain his health. Carry on!

Just curious: what is kitty's name and age?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 10:00AM
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