How to Administer a Saline IV Drip for a Jack Russell Terrier

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Regarding medical procedures, some dogs can be more sensitive than others, making it harder for owners. If you are currently caring for your dog, you might want to learn how to administer a saline IV drip for a Jack Russell Terrier.

How to Administer a Saline IV Drip for a Jack Russell Terrier

Performing an intravenous procedure on a dog can be difficult for the dog and the owner. Owners may fear hurting their pets when inserting the IV needle. Therefore, it is important to know how to do it correctly.

An image of dog with intravenous line on his leg

This procedure is often done when your dog is sick and loses too much fluid due to its illness (diarrhea, vomiting, peeing). The saline IV drip will allow you to insert fluid directly into your dog’s bloodstream, preventing dehydration and other related problems.

However, this should only be done if your dog is losing more fluids than what it can ingest. If they are not strong enough to drink too much water, they need an IV drip. Always ask for the opinion of a vet before deciding to do this procedure by yourself.

Get the Right Equipment

Before you start learning about the procedure, you need to buy the equipment you will be using. You will need a bag of saline water (sterile water and sodium chloride), a fluid drip set, and a syringe. You can find all of this equipment in a veterinary or a pharmacy.

You also need to make sure the quality of the drip set is good. A defective IV drip set could stop administering fluids to your dog, which could be inconvenient. A good way to avoid this is to acquire a spare one. If one of them is defective, you can quickly switch it.

Calm Your Mind and Ask Professionals

You need to make sure you are mentally fit to go on with this process. As I previously mentioned, it is not uncommon for owners to be afraid of inserting a needle into their dogs, especially if they are sick. This could feel like a lot of responsibility. Therefore, you need to stay calm.

One of the first things you should do is ask a veterinarian to show you how to do it the first time. This way, you can see how a professional does it, boosting your confidence. When they show you, ask lots of questions and clear your mind of any doubts.

However, if you feel like you don’t have the confidence or skills to do it, you can always call a vet and tell them to do it. The only problem is that this could cost you time and effort, which is why it is more convenient for owners to learn how to do it.

Dog’s Behavior

An important fact your need to consider before administering a saline IV drop on your Jack Russell is their past behavior. If you have had problems with them when trying to trim their nails or giving them medicine, then you might need extra help while injecting them.

This is because, even if they feel sick, they could move a lot, become angry, and try to take out the needle. To do it comfortably, you must ask for another person’s help to grab your dog and restrain them while you insert the needle.

Some dogs could need an e-collar to prevent them from touching the IV with their mouths. In extreme cases (a very angry and big dog), vets could choose to sedate them to place the IV without problems. However, this is only done in extreme or emergency cases.

An image of Intravenous fluid

Set up the Equipment

Once you are mentally prepared, you need to set the equipment up to start the procedure.

  1. You can start by unpackaging the water solution and the IV set.
  2. You need to make sure your hands and your environment are clean. Otherwise, the equipment could get infected.
  3. Once everything is clean, move the roller clamp up so that it squeezes the tube.
  4. Remove the protective cap from the water solution, and be sure to place it in a sterile place. This cap should not touch anything else as the water could get infected.
  5. Remove the protective covering of the hole of the water solution and insert the spike of the IV set in there (the pointy plastic part, not the needle).
  6. Be sure it is well put, and it doesn’t leak any water.
  7. Squeeze the bulb at the top of the IV set and wait for the chamber to be half full.

Preparing the Needle

Once the chamber is half full, you can remove the protective cap of the IV set and put it in a sterile place. This one should not get contaminated either. Now, hang the IV water solution bag in a high place, or if you don’t have anywhere to put it, hold it upwards.

This way, the tube will get full. At this point, make sure there is no air, and no bubbles inside the tube. Then, grab the syringe and remove the needle part out of it (do not remove the protective cap of the needle at any time; it could get infected or pinch you)

Once you have the needle, you can remove the cap on the lower part of the IV set (the one not connected to the fluid bag) and click the needle on it. To do this, press the open end of the hand against it, and lastly, check there are no leaks.

Insert the Needle

Although it may appear difficult, inserting the needle for a saline IV drip is not as difficult. To do this, your dog will require a catheter placed in its paw, which a vet normally does because it is a more difficult process.

Then, all you need to do is to prepare the equipment and push the IV set’s needle through the catheter. To insert it, just grab the catheter with one hand, and push the needle horizontally against it. The needle needs to go almost in. Otherwise, it could leak the liquid.

An image of IV line

Administer the Fluids

Once it has been inserted, you can open the dial on the fluid line and begin with the treatment. Once the treatment is done, slowly remove the needle following the same horizontal path and apply pressure on their skin for a few seconds.

To make it a better experience for your Jack Russell, you can give them a treat or praise them at the end of each treatment.

Related Questions

Here are some related questions about saline IV drips for dogs.

How Much Saline Do You Give a Jack Russell Terrier?

A small dog such as the Jack Russell Terrier should get between 100 and 200 milliliters of saline solution. However, always ask your vet how much should your dog get for each treatment.

How Long Does It Take To Give a Dog IV Fluids?

It usually takes less than fifteen minutes to administrate IV fluids to your dog. However, it could also depend on how much hydration your dog needs.


It can be frightening to perform a medical operation on your dog on your own. However, if you understand how to do it and ask your vet the correct questions, you will get enough confidence to perform it and help your pet.