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Dehydration in Dogs
Tips To Avoid Dehydration
Maintaining a constant fluid level is as important in dogs as it is in humans.
1. Dogs lose a lot of water while panting. Leave two or three bowls filled with water around the house, so that he gets enough to drink.
2. If he has not had a good drink for a long time, start re-hydration slowly ... allowing your dog a few sips every few minutes. Overdrinking after a dry spell can quickly lead to vomiting and he may end up losing more fluids than he had.
3. Don't let your dog drink excessive amounts of water after a strenuous exercise session.
4. Wait a few minutes after your dog has exerted in very heavy exercise and then allow frequent but small amounts every few minutes.
5. If your dog is showing some signs of dehydration, give him electrolyte mixed in water. While water helps in replenishing a lot of nutrients, electrolyte can do the job more quickly.
6. Dogs who have gone a long time without water have a problem holding it down. So let him lick ice, he hydrates himself with licking the ice.
7. If your dog refuses to drink for any extended period of time, consult your veterinarian immediately!
Dogs lose fluid through:
breathing, panting, elimination, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, evaporation through the feet and other body surfaces.
Dogs replenish fluid by drinking water or other liquids and by eating moist foods. A relatively small drop in body fluid (4-5%) can result in visible signs of dehydration.
Symptoms of dehydration . . .
1. The skin loses elasticity as it loses moisture.
This can be somewhat misleading since younger and fatter dogs will have more elasticity than older, thinner dogs. It is important to have an idea of what your dog's skin looks and feels like on a normal basis. Pinch a little skin between your thumb and forefinger on your dog's back. When you release it, it should pop back into place immediately. (You can try this on the back of your own hand as an example) As the tissue under the skin loses moisture, the skin moves back more slowly. In extreme cases, the skin doesn't pop back.
2. The eyes appear sunken and lack moisture.
3. The mouth appears dry. ... gums and nose are dry.
4. Delayed capillary refill time
Pull up your dog's lip and look at his gums. Place your index finger firmly against the gums so that they appear white. Remove your finger and see how quickly the blood returns to the gums (they will become pink in that area again). This is called capillary refill time. If you do this when everything is normal, you will have a basis upon which to compare. The gums of a normal dog refill immediately, the gums of a dehydrated dog could take 3 seconds or so to return to their pink state.
If your dog shows visible symptoms of dehydration, he may need a trip to the vet for immediate replenishment of fluids. In serious cases, your veterinarian may administer fluids under the skin or directly into the blood stream.
Notice: All information provided as a helpful service, it is not intended as medical counsel. Please seek the services of a competent veterinarian at the first indication of medical problems.