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Forum DIET & CARE Advice on administering subcutaneous fluids, anyone?

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    • Gina Won
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      One of my bunnies, Floppy, is experiencing some GI stasis and I’m having a lot of trouble getting her to hold still long enough to administer her subcutaneous fluids to keep her hydrated ( I hope I’m referring to it correctly– it’s that thing where you insert a needle under her skin and this bag drips fluid into her body, kind of like what you see next to patients on hospital beds?) I’ve tried the technique the vet showed me, covering her head with a towel and putting her on a table and facing the inside of the crook of my elbow so she thinks she’s "hiding," but she HATES it and fights it to no end. She’ll hop backwards out of the towel even though I’m gently holding her behind to try to prevent it, or she’ll use her head and push up really hard to pull herself out of the position, bite and dig at the towel, squirm and kick furiously etc… and we can’t seem to keep her still  long enough to get the proper amount of fluids in her. She’ll invariably fight back and escape our gentle grip which jiggles the needle and cord causing it to leak. It’s causing us a lot of distress, as my family and I realize how important it is that she continue with treatment but we still want to be absolutely humane as possible with how we handle her. She’s a very feisty and busy bunny and cannot hold still, especially if there’s a needle involved.

      We have tried giving her an apple stick to chew on, giving her a hay cube, even giving her an apple slice to try and keep her busy while administering the fluids but as soon as we have to get ahold of her to put the needle into the fur that we pull up into that little "tent" position, she’ll start panicking and writhing around and looking for a way to jump off the table. Even if we have a towel over her head, she’ll squirm her way out somehow. Maybe if we don’t hold her down but simply put our hand over her eyes? We will try that tomorrow.

      If anybody has any advice on how to do this please I’d greatly appreciate it.


    • ea hurse
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      i wonder if the ‘hypnosis’ trick would help? you have to practice a few times first, but it helped me with examining Lollo’s leg and with getting Chino to hold still for a bath. First get the rabbit on its back, with Chino i found cradling like you would with a baby perfect, with the head in the crook of my elbow and bunny along my arm, i could then keep the back legs firm with my jand. With Lollo who is very strong and determined, i wrapped the towel round his rear end, put him across my knee and cradled him that way with my arm round him and his front legs in my hand, leaving the other arm free to do what i needed. Neither particularly needed the head rubbing, but then it doesnt do much for them generally anyway- they seemed to get relaxed just by being on their back, but i know a lot of people say that massaging/ rubbing the head helps. I did find that they have to be properly on their back though, not just sort of tilted, you need to take all weight off the rear. Whilst one is holding like this, another could sort out the I.V ?

      hope this helps, it sounds really traumatic trying to get him to hold still!


    • Gina Won
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      thank you for the response, loopy-lop! we’ve never tried “trancing” floppy, but luckily today we were able to administer some fluids (phew!) it’d be interesting and definitely worth a try to do that…


    • Gravehearted
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      I am glad to hear tonight went a little better.

      I often will move the bunny onto a table and then wrap the bunny up in a towel (aka bunny burrito) and then unfold a small bit so I can give the sub-q fluids. It really is easier with two people – one to hold the bunny still and the other to get the fluids going.


    • qzobevmama
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      make sure your fluids are warm enough, if the fluid is cold then it causes pain when it goes in.  if you are using a different bag each time, then you can store the sealed bag at room temperature and give it at room temperature.

      if you are using one bag and drawing fluid from it each time, then i hope you are storing the iv bag in the refrigerator.  once the iv bag is punctured it has to be stored cold or else you risk bacterial growth in the fluid.

      clean the iv bag port with alcohol, draw up the amount you need and then warm the syringe.  you can either roll it gently in your hands (takes a while), hold the syringe over hot water so the steam warms it up, or else if you have the kind of syringe that comes in an outer plastic casing you can place the syringe back in the casing and place the whole thing in warm water to heat up.  you do *not* want to put the syringe directly in water because of contamination of the needle area.

      also, you can give the fluids anywhere alongside the spine.  not close to the spine, but on either side.  sometimes it’s ezier to hold or wrap the bun so his rear end sticks out (but back legs tucked & wrapped) and you can make your tent in the lower part of his body.  and again, it’s better to have 2 people if you can.

      make sure you give treats & lovies after you’re done!  😎


    • Gravehearted
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      Posted By qzobevmama on 09/20/2006 6:30 AM

      make sure your fluids are warm enough, if the fluid is cold then it causes pain when it goes in.  if you are using a different bag each time, then you can store the sealed bag at room temperature and give it at room temperature.

      if you are using one bag and drawing fluid from it each time, then i hope you are storing the iv bag in the refrigerator.  once the iv bag is punctured it has to be stored cold or else you risk bacterial growth in the fluid.

      clean the iv bag port with alcohol, draw up the amount you need and then warm the syringe.  you can either roll it gently in your hands (takes a while), hold the syringe over hot water so the steam warms it up, or else if you have the kind of syringe that comes in an outer plastic casing you can place the syringe back in the casing and place the whole thing in warm water to heat up.  you do *not* want to put the syringe directly in water because of contamination of the needle area.

      Ok you’re coming over to my house next time someone needs fluids! (For anyone who doesn’t know Qzobevmama is my bunny’s Auntie and Hareiette’s first foster mom)

      I don’t store my bag in the fridge – no one at the vet never mentioned they need to be in there. 🙁 
      I was told just to replace with a fresh needle anytime I give anyone fluids.
      Now I wonder if I should toss it?


    • Gina Won
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      thanks for the advice, qzobevmama and gravehearted =)!

      i don’t store my bag in the fridge either, no one at the vet mentioned anything about that =/ and i was also just told to replace with a fresh needle everytime i give my bun fluids.

      qzobevmama, when you say “once the iv bag is punctured” do you mean once it has the tube flowing out of it and it has been used? also, i’m a little confused as to what you are referring to when you wrote “clean the iv bag port with alcohol and draw the amount you need.” the way the bag that i have is set up, you measure the amount of fluids going into the bunny as it is being administered.


    • BinkyBunny
      Moderator
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      Just a quick FYI.  It is important to use a new needle each time.  This ensures that it hasn’t dulled, and it is sharp so it won’t be so painful when it sticks in.

      I also think that if you continue to have trouble, ask the vet if you can come over and have someone, a vet, or vet tech show you again.  I mean, people do this all the time for something as simple as a nail trim, so this reason is even more understandable! 

       

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Forum DIET & CARE Advice on administering subcutaneous fluids, anyone?