When your dog is losing more fluids than taking it then he is most likely to suffer from dehydration. Sometimes you may notice your dog is becoming desperate for water. Dehydration in dogs not only creates discomfort in dog but also can cause some severe effect on the body.
Water is important to keep the normal activities of the dog so if your dog doesn’t have plenty of water every day for a long period of time then it can cause some serious problems in the future. There are many things that can’t go normal if the body doesn’t get the proper amount of water.
Water helps to maintain the normal body temperature, transporting nutrients and many more. If your dog doesn’t get enough water then he may have problems in breathing, defecating, urinating and panting which results in loss of electrolytes such as sodium, chlorine, and potassium. Also, keep in mind that dehydration can cause kidney and other organ failures in dogs.
What you should do
There may be some underlying problems that cause dehydration, however, if you have a doubt that your dog is having extreme dehydration then it’s a good idea take him to the vet. You can lift the fur or skin area of the neck or the area between shoulder blades to make sure whether the dog is suffering from dehydration or not. If the dog is not having any problem then the area should go to its natural position but if he is having dehydration problem then you will see that the area is not easily returning to the normal position. Also, keep in mind that if you have a Bulldog or Neapolitan Mastiffs then it may not come back quickly since they have wrinkly skin
Dogs who have a kidney disorder, infection or cancer tend to suffer from dehydration more often than the normal dogs. However, older dogs and pregnant dogs sometimes have dehydration issues which are normal.
When the Gastrointestinal Tract (GI) gets blocked from mouth to the rectum then it may turn out to lose fluid or dehydration.
Endocrine system diseases
Signs & symptoms
Loss of skin elasticity
Panting too much
Very fast breathing
Irregular mental activities
Loss of appetite
Most vets are likely to administer intravenous or subcutaneous fluids & later they may take some other tests to make sure what is the main cause of this.
To prevent dehydration it’s always important to provide fresh water to your dog whenever you can. It’s also important that you wash the bowel of water so that it doesn’t contain any germs
Whenever possible try to monitor the dog’s water intake because most dogs will require a minimum one ounce of each pound of body weight per day. Sometimes you may notice that you are providing fresh water but your dog is completely ignoring it or not drinking water as they should, so if that happens it’s better to consult with your vet.
Whenever you take your dog on traveling don’t forget to bring extra water
Sometimes your dog may have sores in mouth which makes them drink less water so if you see that your dog is not drinking properly check his mouth
When you take the dog for walking or exercising bring water for the dog
If the level of dehydration in a dog is at a moderate level & not vomiting then you could treat your dog with some Ringers lactate.
IF you see that the dog is having serious dehydration problem then you better to take medical help.
When you take the dog to the vet, first of all, he will ask you to give a thorough history & the symptoms that you noticed earlier. After getting every detail the vet may take a complete physical examination of your dog to see the underlying cause behind it. Depending on the condition of your dog he may also take some blood samples to determine if the blood coun & the serum biochemistry profile is okay or not. The vet may take some further tests like urinalysis & fecal sample for evaluating the parasite.
To make sure the plasma protein (TPP) & the packed cell volume, the vet may take the blood sample. The vet will take just a few drops of blood.
When the vet takes all the tests (blood, fecal & urine) they can find out the main cause of dehydration & depend on the condition of the dog they will prescribe recommended treatment options for the dog.
If 5 percent of a dog’s body weight in water is lost then the vet can confirm that the dog is having dehydration. It’s impossible to tell whether the dog is having dehydration or not just by having overall health information and functional capabilities. If the PCV and the TPP level increases then it may indicate that the dog is having dehydration but there is no guarantee to determine whether the dog is dehydrated or not.
If the dehydration level is extremely serious then the vet may go with some advanced diagnostic tests but first, they will surely take the initial tests (blood, urinalysis). After that, they can recommend thoracic radiographs ( Chest X rays) and the thoracic and abdominal ultrasound
Testing ingestion of antifreeze ( ethylene glycol)
Adrenal hormone production testing ( ACTH stimulation test)
Gastrointestinal barium test
Gastrointestinal barium test is very useful for determining the dehydration in dogs which are conducted under a series of radiographs (X-ray) on the abdominal area.
After taking the complete body test you vet may check out the level of severity of the dehydration & will allow you to know the potential underlying behind the dehydration in dogs.
Emily Anna is a dog lover who is studying Veterinary Nursing and Bioveterinary Science at University of Bristol. She is a regular author of this blog & also a former author of Lucky Pet Dogs and One Dog Day Care.