Common client questions

Why does my pet need IV fluids? (For the sick pet.)

“[Pet’s name] is sick, and I know you want him to get better as soon as possible. Because he is not drinking normally and he’s losing fluids, there are imbalances in chemicals occurring in the body that can lead to other problems, and he is becoming dehydrated. Chances are, by providing the fluids and electrolytes he needs, we can get him feeling better sooner.”

Do I have to agree to pay for fluids during anesthesia?

Explain your practice philosophy about risk management for anesthesia and how you monitor the pet. Explain the type of procedure and any risk factors that might indicate the need for fluid therapy (e.g., length of procedure or existence of disease).

Why do fluids cost so much?

I saw on the Internet that you can buy a bag of saline for $5. Why are you charging me so much?
“It’s true that the bag of fluids doesn’t cost much, but there are other factors to take into consideration. These include supplies and equipment necessary to safely administer fluids to your pet and the cost of monitoring [pet’s name] to ensure he is responding to treatment. Our veterinarians choose the correct type of fluid and electrolytes based on your pet’s condition; then our technicians or assistants carefully monitor [pet’s name] to see how he’s doing. We check the patient’s status frequently throughout the day. The veterinarians may need to make changes to the amount or types of fluids he’s receiving. That way [pet’s name] has the best chances of getting better soon.”

Why do you have to do this in the hospital?

Can’t you inject fluids under the skin like they did with my friend’s cat?
“The way we administer fluids varies with the patient’s condition. Some pets, mainly cats, with ongoing medical problems can be managed with subcutaneous fluids. However, that route doesn’t work well in situations like this one. [Pet’s name] has a better chance of recovering sooner if he can receive intravenous fluids in the hospital. We hope he can go home soon!”

What happens at night?

Explain what you do at night. Be sure you are in compliance with your state regulations regarding unattended pets. Offer referral to a 24-hour facility if indicated and available.