Saturday, April 11, 2020

She's Got Me Under Her Skin

I gave Cammie her first home-based dose of subcutaneous fluids on Friday. I noticed right away the difference between my own effort and those on YouTube videos featuring veterinary surgeons with thirty years’ experience , a docile cat and an assistant… I found greater help in a short video made by a couple of friends, colleagues in the rescue-group to which I belong.

Cammie never likes being picked up. That in itself is a clue to her that she will be receiving something she dislikes. I had prepared everything beforehand, of course, choosing to use the syringe-method, rather than delivery direct from the bag of fluids. I placed the princess on the bed, on which a towel had been spread. As soon as I started to pinch the skin near her shoulder blades, preparatory to insertion of the needle, she started screaming. She knew what was about to happen, and she didn’t care for the process at home with me any more than she did for it at a hospital with strangers. (I’m glad she didn’t use those claws on me…)

I did manage to put the needle in place, though I wondered the whole time if it was correctly inserted. I feared putting it into her muscles, though I don’t think that happened. If that had occurred, I believe I probably would have had a much more difficult time pushing the needle in. As it was, I was not sure it had even punctured the skin, not until I started pushing the plunger down on the syringe: no fluid leaked out on to Cammie’s fur or the towel, so it must have been going somewhere.

Cammie did not stop screaming, howling, growling and hissing the whole time, which did not reassure me that I was doing it right. But I think the feeling of the needle, and the expansion of the ‘bubble’ with its fluid, must have made her very uncomfortable. Holding her with one hand, I grasped the syringe with the other and pushed it backward against my knee, forcing the plunger very slowly forward.

I managed to put fifty milliliters of fluid into her. This is not a great amount: the doctor recommended twice to thrice that amount. However, she also stated that, at this time, Cammie need not have fluids more than once every few weeks. I have decided to try this process once a week. I don’t know if this will produce the same effects as what would be accomplished the doctor’s way, since the goal is not merely to provide fluids, but to flush out urea; the larger amounts, once a month, may be more beneficial than the smaller, once a week. I will watch Cammie and judge her behaviour to help me decide.

In truth, yesterday’s event was a test. I was able to put some fluids into my Siamese girl; in that, the test was successful. I will know better how to achieve this the next time, how to hold Cammie, how to position the syringe, etc. I did leave her with a little lump of fluids under the skin, so that part worked. And she forgave me, eventually, so that part worked, too.


  1. Oh, gosh...! I'd need a drink after that, just to calm down. Well, I say good job and kudos! It's all trial and error, a learning curve. I remember the weeks (6) of training Nicki to accept the Aerokat mask and Flovent...I also remember consuming alcohol during that process. LOL.

    My best to you all. Have a lovely Easter, in spite of the world situation at this time. Stay well and stay safe.

  2. To be fair, if someone injected fluids into me, I’d probably scream and hiss, too.

    It looks like she recovered pretty nicely from the indignity, though. :)

  3. I swear, Kea said it. If I was a drinking woman, I would head straight for the liquor cabinet! I am a gutless wonder.

  4. Well done John! Somehow I expect that Cammie's hollering was more for your benefit than hers. Glad it went as well as it did.

  5. Believe it or not it does get easier, for both of you. If you had hit the muscle the juice wouldn't flow very well.

  6. Bless! Are you playing that Frank
    Sinatra hit in the background John,
    whilst your preforming all this...
    Might help both of you to relax a bit.. least it's only once a week..!

    Oh! And a very Happy Easter to all of you
    at the cozy apartment..! God Bless! :o).

  7. Congrats on the first attempt! How do we ever convey to our pets,
    this kind of treatment is for their own good. Happy Easter and hope
    the day is quiet for all of you.

  8. You did a great job giving your first dose of fluids, John! I think Brian and Sasha and Saku were correct. Each time you do it, it will get easier, and Cammie's hollering was all for show. It wasn't so much that the procedure was painful - she just didn't like being held down. My fur-kids and I wish you and all your cats a Joyous and Blessed Easter!

  9. The first time for everything like that is always the hardest. Now you know that you can do it even though Cammie made her feelings very clear. She trusts you and doesn't understand why you are doing it to her. She will get used to it as will you.
    She looks very comfortable afterwards once she had forgiven you.