Carol is my cat’s nanny, and her cat Sasha was recently diagnosed with kidney disease. It appears that 15-year-old Sasha has experienced a health signal – she has asthma, diabetes (now solved) and her veterinarian believes she has cancer, although no tests were conducted at 15 to confirm this. Shortly after her recent visit to the vet with Sasha Carol turned to me to help her give Sasha fluids. Of course I was pleased. Carol, who was naturally very upset, thought that when she tried it herself, she hurt Sasha with a needle, and felt discouraged.
For the first few days, I gave fluid to Sasha while Carol was watching. After the first day, Carol emailed me to tell me that Sasha had become the new cat lady. She was cheerful, ate well and slept with Carol for the first time in a few days. One day she got sick and before returning home to drink liquids, she slept alone in the living room, while Carol and her other rather funny and charming cat, Echo, slept in the bedroom. It was music to their ears, although it’s not the first time I’ve heard this from a client who injects cat fluids under their skin – treatment can really help a cat feel better very quickly.
Carol, a brave soul, decided a few days later to give Sasha fluids while I supported her. Not only did she succeed, but she did it perfectly – without hesitation, without the beeps from Sasha, and the liquid flowed very quickly. I was amazed and for a moment thought I was representing it. I told Carol that she was doing it as a professional and asked her how she went from fearing to harm Sasha to introducing fluids as a veterinarian. She just said she was watching me closely while I was fighting Sasha. To be honest, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, because it usually takes a few tries for a person with my help to do it right, but Carol had an innate ability to do it. She reminded me that Sasha had been injecting insulin for a while, and although there is a link, I believe that fluid administration requires greater concentration and coordination.
For cats with kidney disease, fluid therapy helps stimulate urination, maintain hydration and maintain low levels of toxins in the blood. Hydraulic therapy corrects acid-alkaline imbalance and helps to restore normal levels of phosphorus and potassium. This is very important because increasing phosphorus levels and lowering potassium levels can accelerate the progression of kidney damage. In this section, I provide Arnold Carpenter, MS, DVM, ACVIM, ABVP, Manhattan Cat Specialists, with information on the benefits of liquid therapy. Dr. Carpenter has been my veterinarian since opening his practice in New York city in 2003. The MCS website has many valuable articles about the health, well-being and behavior of cats.
My dear friend and for me a lovely cat nanny in the Greater queens, New York city, Barbara, was the proud personality of her cat Iggy. Iggy, Iggy, Iggy were character characters and a cute funny soul who didn’t even think of lying in a tiny bread basket (he was a good size) on the dining table while we were eating. Iggy also had kidney disease, and when I met Barbara, she took him to the vet for a drink two or three times a week. Barbara hired me to look after Iggy many years ago in her absence, and all the while I had to take her to the vet for fluids. I had a better idea of drinking it myself without leaving his house. Since I was in the early stages of introducing fluid to sharp cats, it didn’t work! He didn’t have it, but Liz, a soul mate and excellent veterinarian in the area (words really can’t describe his ability to whisper cats), came the next day and fed him moisture in his house. She inserted the needle, and he kept getting up, so I took a bag of liquid, and she followed him to the apartment to make sure the needle didn’t fall out. Good luck!! When Barbara came back, Liz taught Barbara how to inject Iggy’s fluids, and they set up a bed mode with treats and everything. Never in a million years did I think Iggy would be able to stay home to hydrate.
I think the shock of hearing that your furry baby has kidney disease can be devastating. I experienced it firsthand with my daughter Rosie. In addition, your veterinarian often recommends moisturizing procedures at home. “Okay, doctor, are you suggesting that I stick a needle in my own cat to inject fluids?” I’m going to hurt her, and I can’t do it alone. ‘
I have to step in, scared cat. You can do it! I’ve worked with a wide variety of people, young, older, shy, aggressive, passive, intense – and, with one or two exceptions, each of these cat lovers has successfully learned to give their cats fluids.
Your veterinarian’s staff will provide you with a basic guide on how to accomplish this seemingly frightening new task. And like everyone else, there are things in the box. I give my students advice and tricks on smooth administration, how to do it effectively enough, without much difficulty on the part of their members of the feline family. There are ways to ensure a fast and stable flow, as well as the most suitable poses and places for cats in the house.
The introduction of fluid, along with nutrition and chemical treatment, can be invaluable in the treatment of kidney disease in cats. If your cat is diagnosed with kidney disease, consider following your veterinarian’s treatment protocol. I know that it has extended the life of (quality) to so many cats, and I have direct experience of slowing the progression of this common cat disease.
Do you need help learning how to give fluids to your cat family baby? Feel free to contact me. Most importantly, we’d love to hear your success stories and ideas on how you gave fluids to your cats. Let us help those who are doubtful and afraid to overcome this obstacle.