Survey of owner subcutaneous fluid practices in cats with chronic kidney disease

J Feline Med Surg. 2018 Oct;20(10):884-890. doi: 10.1177/1098612X17732677. Epub 2017 Sep 26.


Objectives The purpose of this study was to survey owners regarding their practices and experiences with the administration of subcutaneous (SC) fluids at home to cats with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to gain insight that might help more owners be successful with the procedure. Methods A web-based survey was advertised online. Owners of 468 cats with CKD participated, 399 of whom administered SC fluids. Results Fifty-nine percent of the cats were domestic shorthairs, with >85% of the cats being 10 years of age or older. IRIS stage 3 was most commonly represented (37%). Ninety-five percent of owners said they discussed giving fluids with their veterinarian, with only 42% of those discussions involving additional educational resources. A large majority of owners (85%) said it was either an easy, somewhat easy/no stress or okay experience for them, and a large majority (89%) reported that the experience was easy/no stress, somewhat easy or okay experience for their cats. To increase tolerance, 57% said they gave a treat to their cat afterwards, and 60% said they warmed the fluids. Sixty-one percent reported using a 20 G or larger needle, with 49% saying size of needle affected tolerance. Seventy-four percent also felt that the length of time it took to administer fluids affected tolerance. One-hundred milliliters was the most commonly given fluid amount. Hydration status was monitored by 40% of owners by various methods, with 40% of those saying they skipped or added fluids based on hydration assessment. Conclusions and relevance A majority of owners gave positive feedback about their ability to learn and administer SC fluids to their cat wth CKD. Owners reported several strategies that they felt improved tolerance of fluid administration. Overall, the protocol should be tailored to the preference of the cat for best possible long-term success.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Cat Diseases / therapy*
  • Cats
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy / veterinary*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Subcutaneous / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Ownership*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / veterinary*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States