Animals commonly need to receive intravenous fluid therapy. This can be because they are undergoing major surgery, are in shock after a road accident, have lost blood after an injury or are dehydrated after having protracted vomiting and diarrhoea.
The fluid therapy may need to be combined with other treatments such as steroids, antibiotics or electrolytes such as potassium.
There are different fluids available for a wide range of conditions.
A drip pump allows us to give very specific fluid doses to all sizes of patients. In some cases massive shock doses are given rapidly and a pump is essential to push these fluids in to the circulation quickly.
It also possible for animals to receive blood transfusions. At one time practices would have a donor dog available, usually a greyhound, which would mean that practices would take and store blood on site but the situation is now much easier as there is a centralised source of blood which can be dispatched within an hour by courier.
The biggest problem we have with fluid therapy is keeping the patients still once they start to feel better.