Dehydration, a lack of much needed bodily fluids, can lead to organ failure and death if the symptoms are not caught and dealt with before the animal becomes too sick. Since dehydration will hit dogs harder who are already elderly and/or ill, the humans in their lives need to know exactly what to look for and how to help.
Signs of Dehydration:
- Sunken eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Dry nose
- Lack of Skin Elasticity
- Major variations in urination amounts (too much or too little)
Causes of Canine Dehydration:
- Heat – overexposure
- Not drinking/eating enough
- Remember, dehydration may just be another symptom. Your veterinarian should see the dog quickly in order to check for underlying causes.
Treatment of Dehydration:
- Dehydration is serious and can be highly dangerous for your pet, so take them to the vet as soon as you suspect the illness. The vet will administer intravenous or subcutaneous fluids and other tests.
- If you cannot get in to see your veterinarian immediately, you can try to administer Pedialyte, a drink which replaces electrolytes.
Follow dosing directions for weight. If you have a larger dog (like I do) 1/8 -1/4 a cup every 3 hours might be about the best you can do.
- Use a large syringe or a turkey baster for best results while animals are still unreceptive.
Prevention of Doggy Dehydration:
- Provide them with fresh, clean water
- Keep the bowl clean and bacteria free
- Monitor their intake
- Check their mouths for sores, burrs, or blockages that might stop intake
- Travel/exercise with extra water, just in case they begin to over heat
- Don’t chain them outside. They risk tangling their bonds and risk being unable to reach the water
Always remember to monitor your animals. They can’t tell you what’s wrong, but they can show you.