Friday night I received a call from my mother. One of her cats, Mr. Grey, is experiencing kidney failure and is very dehydrated and needs mass amounts of fluid. Our vet no longer boards animals except in extreme emergency and since Mr. Grey is stable, he had been coming home every night and then going back in the morning to receive his fluids and meds.
Well guess what? The weekend was here and my mom needed to care for Mr. Grey at home over the weekend. Mom called to see if we were home this weekend and if I could meet her at the vet's office the next morning to learn about what Mr. Grey needed. My mom mentioned that he needed fluids and that we needed to learn how to administer said fluids with a needle.
I assumed she was talking about giving him subcutaneous fluids (aka Sub-Q), which basically means injecting fluids between the skin and the muscle and allowing the body to absorb what it needed. (I worked with rescuing marine mammals in a former life so this was a normal task for me many moons ago -- oh the many lives I've had.) Most anyone who has had a pet that has gotten into any sort of trouble has been sent home with their loved one with a hump of fluids under their skin. This is exactly what I get to do to my mom's cat. Joy!
While at the vet we learn that Mr. Grey needs 200ml twice a day and it sounds like we'll be doing this for at least a few days. My mom didn't know any terms or what the cat's condition is called but from what I've heard so far, and from what I've read on the Internet, this is going to be part of the ongoing care. That means I get to stick this poor sick cat way more then I thought.
Eric has gone with me to each visit to my parent's house and we've all become quite the team. Mom holds the cat still talking to him softly (except when he bit me tonight), I perform the duty and scratch his head, and Eric squeezes the bag to make it all go faster. My mom is OK with needles but doesn't like to see her babies in pain. Eric HATES them and gets queasy when I talk about something too graphically. And me? well I'm the type that asked to be propped up so I can watch the doctor stitch up my leg when I got a gash behind my knee (he did a terrible job by the way!). Maybe I went into the wrong line of work.
Mr. Grey goes in for another blood panel on Monday. That will tell us if he is stabilizing or if other actions will be required. Mom is somewhat prepared for any news, but my dad not so much. Perhaps I'll go with my mom to the vet so I can hear the whole story. Sometimes I think she might choose not to hear the details. Sometimes it's easier that way.