Animal Medical Clinic

1600 West Jefferson
Springfield, IL 62702


Subcutaneous Fluid Instructions

Supplies Needed:

1) Fluid Bag : Contains 1000ml (1L) of fluids.

2) Needle

3) IV Line






Prepping the bag:

1) Remove the blue stopper from the bottom of the fluid bag and the cap from the spike on the IV line.  Insert the spike into the opening left from removing the blue stopper.




2) Hold the fluid bag upright and fluid will begin to flow through the line. At this point the line is in an open position.  You may need to squeeze the drip chamber to get fluids to start flowing.  Allow a steady stream of fluid to flow until all of the air bubbles have passed through the line.











3). Using the roller clamp, slide the roller down until it firmly clamps the line and stops fluid from flowing.












4). Attach the needle to the end of the IV line. Leave the cap on the needle until you are ready to use the fluids.  Your fluid line is now primed and ready to use.










Administering Fluids:

1) You may need 2 people to help administer fluids to your pet: one to hold the pet and needle in place and one to hold and squeeze the bag.  If you only have one person, the bag can be hung at an elevated location to allow the fluid to flow while you hold your pet.  It may be helpful to wrap your pet in a towel and make a "burrito" to help secure them while you are administering fluids.



2) Place your pet on a solid surface. Grasp the skin at the shoulder blades and pull upward forming a "tent" of skin.  



3) Standing behind your pet, insert the needle into the center of the tent of skin, making sure not to insert the needle all the way through to the other side.



4) Release the roller clamp on the IV line by rolling it upwards. You should see fluids begin to flow from the drip chamber.  If you have an assistant, they can squeeze the bag to make the fluids run at a steady stream making administration faster.


If your fluids are not flowing, see troubleshooting at the bottom of the page.

5) Administer the appropriate amount of fluids as directed by your veterinarian using the numbered lines.  The numbers on the bag correlate to the number of 100 ml of fluids.  Do not administer more fluids than directed. In this photo, there is a fluid line at line 3 meaning that 300 ml have been used from the bag and 700 ml remains.












6) You will notice a "bump" under your pet's skin from the fluids you have administered. Once you have administered the appropriate amount of fluids, slide the roller clamp down to stop the flow of fluids.  Pinch the skin and gently pull the needle straight out.  Recap the needle.


Your pet may "leak" a small amount of fluid from the needle site - this is normal.  Apply pressure to the area for a few minutes to stop the flow of fluid out of the skin.


7) Replace the needle on your fluids with a fresh needle and your bag is now ready for the next administration of fluids.



Ensure all clamps are open

Make sure the line is straight and there are no kinks in the line.

Look for locations where the line has previously been clamped and may not be fully open.

The needle can be repositioned while in the skin without removing the needle from your pet by gently pulling back partway leaving the tip of the needle in the skin and then redirecting the needle in a different direction.