Dehydration is a common emergency observed by our vets here at the Animal Emergency Center in Memphis. Dehydration occurs when your dog’s body loses more water and electrolytes than it consumes, causing serious problems with its internal organs, body temperature, joints and digestion.
Dehydration in dogs
All mammals, whether humans or dogs, depend on water to keep their bodies functioning normally. In fact, water plays a vital role in almost all body functions. When your dog loses more water and electrolytes than they eat, dehydration occurs and the dog’s body begins to collapse.
Dehydration in dogs is a more serious concern which can lead to kidney failure, loss of consciousness and ultimately death.
How does dehydration happen?
Your dog’s body will naturally lose water throughout the day through panting, breathing, urination, defecation, and evaporation through its paws. Then the fluid and electrolyte loss is compensated for when the dog eats and drinks.
If the puppy’s body reaches the point where the fluid intake is less than the amount it is losing, the blood flow in the body and the fluid volume decrease, which reduces the oxygen supply to the organs and tissues of your pet.
Electrolytes are natural minerals that humans and dogs need to keep their bodies healthy. Electrolytes include sodium, chloride, and potassium, which help balance the body’s pH, transport nutrients into cells, and facilitate muscle function and regulate nerve function.
Symptoms of dehydration in dogs
The most common symptom of dehydration is a loss of elasticity in the dog’s skin. If you gently stretch your dog’s skin and it does not easily return to its original position, your dog is likely dehydrated!
Xerostomia is another sign of dehydration in dogs. Dry mouth occurs when your pet’s gums lose moisture, become dry and sticky, and your dog’s saliva becomes thick and tasty. Other symptoms of dehydration include loss of appetite, shortness of breath, and a dry nose. In severe cases, your dog’s eyes may sunk or your pet may collapse in shock.
The main causes of dehydration
Your dog may become dehydrated for a number of reasons, including heat stroke, illness, fever, persistent vomiting or diarrhea, and insufficient fluid intake.
Treat immediately if your dog becomes dehydrated
If your dog exhibits symptoms of shock, heat stroke, or severe dehydration, contact a veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian may advise you to start introducing small amounts of water to your dog to begin the rehydration process while you head to their office. The treatment for a dog at this level of dehydration is rehydration with IV fluids.
If your dog is moderately dehydrated, offer him a drink of water every few minutes or give him a piece of ice to lick. You can also give your dog Ringer’s light (electrolyte replacement fluid) to replace lost minerals. It is important not to swallow too much water at once, as this can lead to vomiting in the dog, leading to further dehydration. Even if your dog has a simple cause of dehydration, it is a good idea to contact your veterinarian for more advice.
Prevent your dog from dehydration
If your dog has persistent vomiting or severe diarrhea, contact your veterinarian for a spot and check to find out what caused it. Severe vomiting and watery diarrhea can be symptoms of several serious conditions and require immediate attention. To get your dog to help him to be wet during the meeting of these symptoms, offer pet solution electrolyte until he or she is better feel if symptoms persist, liquids root may be the only way of looga prevent damage risk of dehydration.
To prevent your dog healthy looga to shell out, always keep your pet clean water and clean, and affordable. If your dog spends time outdoors in hot weather or enjoys strenuous exercise, he or she will need extra water to stay hydrated.