The diagnosis of chronic kidney disease in our cat brought us face to face with our fear of needles. Cat’s with kidney disease often need subcutaneous fluids as their kidney function deteriorates. Of course, if you are here on the hunt for where to buy subcutaneous fluids for cats this is all probably all things you know. So let’s dig into you options of places to buy subQ fluids for your cat.
I want to first start with where we started on our journey, our local vets office. When we brought our boy home from the hospital we were charged $20 for a 1,000 mL lactated ringer, IV administrational line, and a handful of needles for administering.
Since his recommendation was 100 mL of fluids 3 times a week I could see this was going to add up fast so after finishing the first bag we turned to ordering our own custom setup from other stores.
Where to Find Subcutaneous Fluids Online
This is normally my go to spot for prescriptions the pricing at Chewy is often hard to beat. However, the lactated ringers while it’s way better than the veterinarians office it’s pretty on par with other stores at around $10 per bag.
It’s convenient to get everything in one spot and you can save on shipping if you bundle in your back with other things and get your total to $50. We already get our food and litter shipped monthly so if I didn’t want to invest in case of fluids (a good idea not to do when you aren’t sure yet how well your cat will tolerate.
This is for online you can score a deal at Walmart. For orders of six or more bags each bag will get discounted to $9.08 per bag. As an added bonus you will also get free shipping. Just like Chewy you can also put your fluids on an autoship program as well.
You can either upload a copy of the Rx or give them your vet info and they’ll call to confirm for you.
Stores that Sell Subcutaneous Fluids for Cats
So keep in mind that any pharmacy should be able to fill your pet’s prescription. However, almost none of the pharmacies carry the fluids on stock and will have to order. So be prepared to wait a day or two for your fluids to come in.
So this one made the top of the list because it’s where people often find crazy good deals on a case of lactated ringers. How good of a deal? Like 12 1,000 mL bags for $32 which is crazy good pricing. But like all good things it comes at a cost, you are going to need to work for it.
First step you want get a FREE discount card from here: https://www.discountdrugnetwork.com. This is how people score big savings on a case of lactated ringers. Plus if you are in a rush you can print your card and instantly start using it.
Now I found it best to go in person and when the main pharmacist is on shift. I went during lunch on day and didn’t have much luck. Go with your biggest smile, lots of patience, and don’t give up. This is an unusual ask, not too many working at a human pharmacy have to order lactated ringers. So to help them along you can give them this – NDC #00409-7953-09 or #0264-7750-00. Then make sure to use the discount card you got above to get a better price.
Note that the two lookup codes above are a universal drug code so you can use them at any pharmacy to pull up pricing. Also both those codes are for a case of 12 bags of 1,000 mL so don’t be surprised when the price comes back high it starts to sound a whole lot better when you divide it by 12.
Not a member? Not a problem! You do NOT have to be a Costco member to use their pharmacy plus they do carry pet medications as well. Also, again like Walgreens they are not used to these requests so I recommend calling ahead. I also secondly recommend calling around to a few Costcos if you have more than one in your area since the pricing can vary wildly by club. If you are a member make sure you sign up for their prescription savings club as well as this can help with some added savings.
When you call if they are unsure how to help you you can try asking for asking for the price of NDC # 0264-7750-00 (Braun-brand, DEHP FREE). Of course, this is not the only brand of lactated ringers that Costco can order via their pharmacy.
Where to Buy Lactated Ringers for Cats without Vet Prescription
Update: Mountain Side Medical Requires an RX now. All US based places require a prescription to get lactated ringers.
So I want to start with my disclaimer that it is printed on the fluids bags that they are intended for RX only. Plus you really only should be giving under veterinarian advisements as there are side effects to fluids if your cat has other underlying condition.
Okay reason number two to not get lactated ringers without a prescription is it’s about double the price you can find elsewhere online. Mountain Side Medical Equipment is the only place I have heard you can get fluids sans a prescription.
Other Subcutaneous Supplies
So the tips and codes above are just covering the bag of fluids your cat needs but that isn’t the whole setup needed to administer the fluids. You will also need to pick up needles and administration lines.
Needles for your Cat’s subQ Fluids
It does vary but a vet typically uses 18G needles and it’s often what you are sent home with if you get subcutaneous fluids from them. However these needles are huge, people often refer to them as harpoons for cats. If you are getting supplies on your own I highly recommend ordering a smaller size.
When shopping you should keep in mind that the higher the number 20G, 21G, etc the small the needle is overall. The plus side to the smaller needle is the poke is much easier the downside is the needle is smaller so less fluid comes out. Some cats not only take the poke better but appreciate the smaller flow since too much too fast can just feel awkward especially if your fluids are not warmed up. One great work around for getting the smaller needle is to look for ultra thin wall needles so the opening in the middle of needle is as big as possible to get as much fluid as possible.
On that note the brand does help as well. Terumo needles are considered the best of the best for your pets. Why? Terumo has a unique double bevel and ultra-thin wall design, making those pokes more comfortable and unnoticeable.
IV Admin Set
Lastly we need to connect the needle to your bag, that’s where the IV Admin Set comes into play. There isn’t a whole lot to know with this they are all pretty generic. I like to go with the longest sets I can buy so we can hang the bag up high when administering to get the flow going faster.
You will want to get an IV Admin Set for every bag of fluids you get it’s something you throw away when the bag is done and you do NOT want to reuse.
Conclusion on Where to Buy Subcutaneous Fluids for Cats
I hope these options help you on your journey with your cat. Combating kidney disease has brought us a lot of highs and lows over the years. Stress of getting supplies or a mountain of medical bills should be an additional worry. Have any other low cost suggestions on where to get fluids please share with us in the comments below? If you find yourself struggling to administer fluids to your cat you can read our tips on giving them to difficult cats.