What are intravenous fluids?
Intravenous fluids are the delivery of fluids directly into your pet’s blood supply via a vein. Think of it like a Powerade – there’s some electrolytes and some sugar in a base of water.
Why are they recommended?
We recommend intravenous fluids for all patients undergoing surgery to provide them with a safer and more comfortable anaesthetic. IV fluids help to maintain blood volume and pressure, as well as ensuring the vital organs (kidneys, liver, heart) are well supported. IV fluids also help re-hydrate your pet after being fasted overnight, and aid in them feeling less drowsy when they start to wake from their anaesthetic.
What does it involve?
All patients undergoing a geneal anaesthetic have an intravenous catheter (or cannula) placed to deliver different anaesthetic drugs. We attach the IV fluids to this cather.
To place an IV catheter we first clip a small patch of hair halfway down the front leg, then clean the area with surgical scrub before placing the catheter in the vein. Once connected, we determine the best fluid rate for your pet based on their weight and the procedure being performed. The fluids are controlled by pumps that ensure the correct rate is maintained.
How long will my pet be on fluids?
Your pet will be placed on IV fluids at the beginning of their procedure and generally stay running for a further 60 minutes afterwards to ensure their liver and kidneys are well supported to metabolise the anaesthetic drugs.
Does my pet have to have fluid therapy during surgery?
If your pet is over the age of 7 years old, fluids are not optional. Senior pets often have more issues with lower blood pressure and are unable to metabolise the anaethestic agents as well as a younger animal. For your pet’s safety and a quicker, more stable recovery, we highly recommend fluid therapy for all animals undergoing a general anaesthetic.
Last updated on 6 October 2023
Tagged with: surgery