SQ Treatment

This document contains information on administering subcutaneous treatments.

SQ Fluids

Subcutaneous Treatments

  • Insert plain fluid bag line SQ with the new 18g or 20g needle on an area in the dog’s upper back in between shoulder blades at an angle parallel to the dogs spine, unclamp the line, and watch the drip chamber to ensure fluid flow. If the fluid doesn't flow, the needle is stuck on skin or muscle. Move the needle around a little but until fluid flows. The preferred choice of fluid bag for SQ treatment is plain LRS.
  • When giving large dosages of SQ fluids, divide the dose out and give it in multiple locations. Too much fluid pressure or tightness can cause tissue death.
  • Be mindful of where the needle caps are and recap needle carefully as soon as you can.
  • Always be sure about which medication you have given; you may use permanent marker or stickers to label the syringes before entering the room.
  • When finished, make sure you don’t leave any needles, syringes, etc. in the room.
  • Dispose of needles in red Sharps Container and place used syringes in dirty syringe container for cleaning, or trash.

Common SQ Medications

The following are the msot common drugs prescribed by the veterinarian for patients on SQ treatment: 
  • Reglan - (AKA Metoclopramide) can be given first, and directly, without fluids. Give this first. It is an anti-nausea medication.
  • Baytril - Insert Baytril in the port on the SQ line, only after allowing a golf size ball of fluids to develop under the skin, THEN begin injecting Baytril slowly, constantly ensuring that fluid is flowing in the drip chamber or an abscess could develop. Be sure to give with at least 20 cc fluids. When finished, close clamp, remove 18g needle, and squeeze/pinch the location where the needle was removed to prevent leakage. Baytril should never be given IV (unless given specific instructions by a doctor on how to do it safely).
  • Polyflex - If a lot of fluids are needed relative to the size of the dog and the size of the ball of fluids under the skin, go ahead and repeat the procedure for Baytril for Polyflex in another site, splitting the total amount of fluids needed into two different sites, reducing discomfort for the pup. Insert Polyflex into the port on the SQ line, injecting slowly, constantly ensuring that the fluid is flowing in the drip chamber. If a small amount of fluids is needed/the dog absorbs the fluids fast, you can give Polyflex directly under the skin. Dilute it in the syringe with the designated diluent bottles in the cabinet. Give this medication last because it stings. Give scratches/pets or taps on the face to distract from stinging. NEVER GIVE POLYFLEX IV-it kills!