Safari guide to subcutaneous fluid administration


Step 1

Remove the cover from the fluids


Step 2

Remove plastic cap from spike


Step 3

Push/twist the spike into the fluids


Step 4

Remove protective cover from end of tubing


Step 5

Open drip set cut off


Step 6

Open clamp and run fluids to the end of the tubing – close the valve


Step 7

Snap open needle, keep needle covered and place on the end of fluid set using sterile technique


Step 8

Fluid set filled with fluid and capped ready for pet


Step 9

Pick up scruff of skin to tent it and lay needle at base of tent


Step 10

Pull the needle over the skin


Step 11

Hold needle in place until required fluid amount is finished


Step 12

Recap needle when finished

If during the administration, the drip rate in the chamber is slow, reposition the needle. If this does not work you will have to place the needle in a new spot. The fluids will accumulate under the skin, causing a large bulge. Over time this bulge will be absorbed.

There are several new catheters and ports that are now available that can be surgically placed into your pet that keep you from having to stick your pet every time with a needle. These devices can be placed and have been successful for years in some pets that require long term fluid therapy. If you or your pet seems excessively distressed by this process please let us know and we can consider if this system is an option for you.

Skin button

The skin button is placed half on top of skin and half subcutaneously using biopsy punch to make the hole. Then it is sutured in place with a purse-string. It has a dacron seal that attaches to the skin over time. Infection is prevented by using newer injection ports and not just the blunt needles shown.



GIF Tube


The GIF tube is slightly more reliable and also uses a port cannula to prevent contamination and subsequent infection of needles.



Companion port

The companion port is surgically implanted and the tubing is inserted into a vein usually the jugular vein, I have used this for chronic renal failure in larger dogs.