Signs of dehydration in dogs

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Dehydration is common in dogs. This happens when the canine does not drink water in sufficient quantities and when he does not get the necessary electrolytes for sustenance. A few dogs get this condition as they lose excessive amounts of fluid. If your dog suffers from dehydration, then it could die if you leave it untreated.

Causes

All dogs are susceptible to dehydration. This happens if they either do not get access to sufficient quantities of water or do not drink an optimum amount. A dog not drinking water means it suffers from a fever or a heat-stroke. The dog may also feel lethargic or nauseous and unable to drink the required amount of water. Your dog can also lose water if it frequently passes urine and more than the usual volume. This happens when the canine suffers from diabetes and other internal problems like kidney failure. Although many dogs drink more when they suffer from these conditions, the rate of loss is more than the water gain rate. It is important you take your dog to the veterinarian if there is a change in its water drinking habits.

Symptoms and treatment

A dog will show multiple dehydration symptoms like sunken eyes, lethargy, body collapse, dry gums, and weakness. The elasticity of the skin will also go away. If you are in doubt as to whether your dog drinks sufficient quantities of water, use your forefinger and thumb to pinch a small amount of skin on the head of your pet or on its back. A dry skin will have difficulty bouncing back or it may not bounce back at all.

The condition “skin tent” happens when the skin loses elasticity. Obese or emaciated animals suffered from a skin tent in its milder form. The condition is hard to examine in older animals as the skin is covered by a hair coat. Some dog breeds come with excessive folds in the skin.

If you believe that your dog is dehydrated, then the veterinarian will do a complete body examination of the dog. The reason for this checkup is to understand the severity of the dehydration and to identify potential reasons for this symptom. A few reasons could be obvious like a heat stroke or an upset tummy. Most reasons, of course, may not be detected by a simple exam. The veterinarian will recommend a few tests like ultrasound scans and X-rays.

Place your dog on a drip to counter the effects of dehydration. The outgoing fluids will be easily replaced. Further dehydration will be stopped, The veterinarian may administer the fluid below the dog’s skin to get a camel-like hump. The fluid will then get absorbed within a few hours. Oral rehydration can be possible if your dog has the ability to drink.

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