I decided to explain some of the basic ways that we provide fluids and medications to animals that are hospitalised. And figured l would pop up some photos of animals l have got catheters in. I remembered to take photos of 2 of the puppies l do not usually bother to take photos iv catheters are so routine. The kitten was so pathetic looking l had to take a photo.
The iv catheter is hidden in the blanket on the second pup l wanted to show his size and forgot the leg.
I am lucky that because of the emergency work l see so varied an array of patients in size and type.
On admit most animals have an IV catheter placed so we can give them fluids and certain medications directly into the vein. The smaller animals can be a nightmare to get an iv catheter in. The problem with the smallies is that there is no decent handles on them to grab. They generally wriggle a lot and your fingers trying to raise the vein are somehow always in the way.
Puppies are usually the worst, as they get better they often end up with a buster collar on or they chew out their iv. If the nibbling has not been noticed this brings the “It is your turn to go play with the little git” comments.
You can give fluids various ways. Into the scruff off the neck but not much at a time, it takes a long time to absorb and it often hurts.
Birds are crop fed via syringe and a special long curved sort of blunt feed ended needle.
Interperitoneal (into the abdomen) but in the youngsters it is always nerve racking that they may move at the wrong point and are so small everything so tight.
In rabbits iv catheters are generally placed in the ear. I have never liked ear veins they are so fiddly and easy to damage. We tend to pop on some local anaesthetic cream but the rabbit still jumps at just the wrong moment. And no matter how much you clip the hair is so fine it is almost impossible to totally remove so you have it covering the area you need to see.
As an added bonus we often need to syringe feed a lot of rabbits. Some take it well others cause more stress damage to their mental health than the good of getting food into them can do.
For the very young animals there is the syringe feed. You can be sure you get these in when you are rushed off your feet. And it is never a quick job. First they hate the syringe, they hate the replacement milk. To fast the milk goes into their lungs and they risk inhalation pneumonia, then there is peeing and pooping them. And often after you have done this they want more food as there is now more room so the repeat takes place, usually after the second lot they will sleep. If they are gluttons and love the syringe and replacement milk then they try and gulp it and scream when you decide they have had enough for that feed. So you end up taking even longer as they want more and won't settle.
The bird and the rabbit ear l admit to borrowing from the web as l have none handy l will place the rabbit ears onto my need to photo list. The other patients in these photos survived and were discharged, enjoy the awww factor.
Puppy with Haemorrhagic Gastro Enteritis (vomiting and shitting blood)
Another HGE Puppy with a pen leaning against him to show size
Abandoned Kitten Being Syringe Fed
Rabbit Ear Clipped for Catheter into Vein