Message Number: YG1083 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-03-10 21:13:00 UTC
Subject: Re: [Ferret-Health-list] Re: More on dehydration

In a message dated 3/10/01 7:35:41 PM Eastern Standard Time,
shurcool@t... writes:

<< I use a 22 gauge needle and have no problem
administering fluids. >>
A 22 gauge needle is just fine. I have several different gauges in big jar
where I store my needles. Most of my ferrets are pretty good size - thus 20
gauge is fine.

>> Are you saying to inject air into the bag? What
is the reasoning behind this? I pull straight
fluids into the syringe, no air involved in any

Most injectable medications and Lactated Ringer's are prepared in vacuum.
The rule in medicine is to inject the same amount of air as you plan on
withdrawing in fluid. Without injecting air - you must have hard time filling
syringe -- unless you are running directly from a bag

>> I think this would be for a very experienced
person who knows what it should feel like. Isn't
it better to actually calculate fluid need based
on weight and degree of dehydration (if
possible)? It's not difficult to do. <<

Good point. Yes, it takes practice to know when you have given enough. As a
rule, 15 cc's for a small ferret - to 20-30cc's for a larger ferret. Yes you
can calculate amount of fluid to give by weight but am generalizing here as I
wrote this as a guide to remember things to do. Those who wish to have
fluids on hand for ferrets should be instructed on how to do so and how much
to give by a vet or vet technician first.

>> I use a needle twice. By the third time, it is
dulled and difficult to insert. The second time
it goes in just fine. Sterility is not critical
since you're just injecting under the skin, not
into the bloodstream, or, at least that's how I
understand it. Maybe one of our vets could
comment on this. My vet says it's OK to use a
needle more than once for sub-q fluids. <<

Oh no, no, no - sterility is critical. While you can re-inject a ferret
while giving fluids in a different spot while you are still on the initial
fluid draw, never re-use a needle! I think even re-injecting on a different
site of a ferret with same draw & needle is not good, but have seen vets do
it many times. However, drawing more fluid from the bag or bottle with a
used needle can introduce bacteria into the Lactated Ringer's as well as into
your ferret. You might seriously contaminate the Ringer's as well as your

Also, did I mention the first thing you should do before any injection is to
wash your hands really well? Don't think so. Wash hands thouroughly using
lots of soap and scrubing hands for longer than a minute. Scrubbing and
rinsing action will wash away most of bacteria on your hands and keep you
from being the contamination!
Cheers, Meg