Dog dehydration symptoms

Dog dehydration symptoms and signs

Dehydrated dogs are treated by replacing the estimated fluid deficit. First, the degree of dehydration in dogs must be estimated. Prolonged skin tenting is usually the first noticed dehydration symptom indogs at 5% to 6%. Dry, tacky oral mucous membranes usually indicate 6% to 7% dehydration.

Next, multiplication of the estimated percentage of dehydration by the dog's weight (in kg) yields the number of liters needed to replace the deficit. This amount is replaced over 2 to 8 hours, depending on the dog's condition. The fluid rate generally should not exceed 88 ml/kg/hr. It is better to overestimate rather than underestimate the fluid deficit, unless the dog has congestive heart failure, anuric or oliguric renal failure, severe hypoproteinemia, severe anemia, or pulmonary edema.

Maintenance fluids are administered once fluid deficits have been replaced. Maintenance requirements are approximately 60 ml/kg/day. In general, potassium should be supplemented if the dog is anorexic or vomiting, has diarrhea, or is receiving prolonged or intensive fluid therapy. Adequacy of fluid therapy can be gauged by regularly weighing the dog. Progressive weight loss implies inadequate fluid therapy in the face of ongoing fluid loss. A cjange of 1 pound represents approximately 500 ml of water. Ongoing losses can be estimated from observation of vomiting, diarrhea and urination, however, underestimation is common.

Development of inspiratory pulmonary crackles, a systolic heart murmur, a gallop rhythm, or edema (especially cervical) suggests overhydration. Central venous pressure is an excellent indicator of excessive fluid administration, however, it is rarely needed except in dogs with severe cardiac or renal failure and those receiving aggressive fluid therapy.
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