Intravenous Fluid Therapy
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What is Intravenous Fluid Therapy?
Intravenous (or IV) fluid therapy is the infusion of a balanced electrolyte solution directly into the vein. Intravenous simply means “within a vein”. IV fluids are also called a “drip”.
Why does my pet need IV Fluids?
During a general anaesthetic, your pet’s blood pressure can become low. The organs work harder to keep blood at adequate pressure for normal function. If blood pressure is reduced for a long time, the organs can become damaged, and possibly exacerbate a hidden disease. Very young puppies and kittens, older patients over 7 years, and sick patients are particularly at risk.
How do they help?
Administration of IV fluids allows your veterinarian to maintain blood pressure, reducing stress on the heart and major organs. The presence of an IV catheter also allows for direct access to your pet’s vein for administration of medications, should they be needed in an emergency situation.
We recommend blood tests to assess organ function in sick pets and all patients undergoing surgery. This is important because the liver and kidneys are the main organs that remove toxins and medications (such as anaesthetics) from the body. IV fluids assist to flush out the anaesthetic from the body, therefore your pet will have a faster and smoother recovery.
Please discuss with your veterinarian how the use of IV fluid therapy would be beneficial for your pet’s medical needs.