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Ask the Veterinarian/Open bag of Veterinary Lactated Ringer's Injection USP?

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Question
My cat has kidney disease and I had been giving her Veterinary Lactated Ringer's Injection every day under her skin at the back of her neck as prescribed by my vet (100 mL per day). Well, at the time she had an almost miraculous recovery and gave me a hard time every time I tried to give it to her and since she seemed fine, I stopped. I knew that wouldn't last from what my vet said, and that her kidney disease was terminal. Well, it's 8 1/2 months later and she is sick again. I'm taking her to the vet tomorrow morning, but in the meantime, to make her more comfortable, I was wondering if it is still ok to give her some subcutaneous fluid out of the old bag. IT IS NOT YET EXPIRED, it's just been hanging there in my laundry room after being half-used for the past 8+ months. I have fresh needles to use and I will get all the air out of the line, but I still wanted to make sure the solution wouldn't have gone bad being opened or anything. Any help is greatly appreciated. My poor kitty seems to be feeling terrible.

Answer
While I have used fluids that old, but they were sealed up really well. Just be sure they are not cloudy or have anything floating in them. The problem is because they were sterile and once you stick needles into the bag that introduces bacteria into them.

If all you did was use the port and place sterile needles into that they should be okay, (as long as they are clear and no gray fuzz is in the bag) but common sense says you really should use a fresh, sterile bag.

If her kidneys have finally taken a downward spiral then giving her fluids might make her a bit more comfortable but they won't change anything at this point.

I went through this myself not that long ago and while I used a 'used' bag of fluids, I also knew they weren't going to help a whole lot and they didn't. After 15 yrs I lost my kitty so I know how painful this is.

I would spend my time just being with her instead of poking needles in her if she doesn't like it. But if she is eating etc, give her some tonight then spend a lot of time cuddling her..  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT

Expertise

PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!

Experience

I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

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Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

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http://askthevettech.com/

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Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

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Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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