Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wet Her Whistle

In keeping with the continuing hot weather and last week’s post, today I've got a little information about dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include a dry mouth, sunken eyes, extreme exhaustion, and loss of elasticity of the skin. Here’s a test to use: Gently lift up the skin along your pet’s back. Normally it will snap back into place when you let go. In dehydrated pets, however, the skin loses elasticity, causing it to stay up in a ridge. If this occurs, it is an emergency and you need to get to your vet right away. Here are some ways to help prevent dehydration:

- Electrolyte up her life: Dehydration causes a loss of electrolytes. Plain water will replace most electrolytes, but you can help your pet recover more quickly by giving a drink like Pedialyte or even Gatorade. Some pets actually enjoy sweet, fruity flavors.

- Let her lick ice: Pets that have gone a long time without water may have trouble keeping fluids down. An alternative is to give an ice cube. As she licks it, it will slowly hydrate her system. Try to avoid letting your pet guzzle water. Getting an entire bowl of water at once can cause stomach upset which can result in vomiting, and less fluids actually getting in.

- Check her mouth: Occasionally dogs or cats will stop drinking if they get something lodged inside their mouth, like a burr. If your pet isn't drinking, take a careful look around. If you spy something in the mouth that shouldn't be there, try to get it out yourself or call your vet for advice.

*These tips are for home remedies only and should not ever be used as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your veterinarian. If your pet has a medical problem, we urge you to seek competent medical care.

Next Thursday, I'll explain what different barks may mean. For instance, if a dog is whining between barks he may be telling you that he doesn't want you to leave the house. In the meantime, you tell me: How does your pet communicate wordlessly with you?

Alice England


Pauline said...

Unbelievably good Alice!! Wonderful way to remind us all how important hydration is for pets.....and Sasha was a 'scream' catching all those fish. I thought for sure it was Athena singing..... well done!

Art and Sew Forth said...

The ice idea is great-my dog-in-law will do exactly as you said then throw up right on the floor if left to drink alone!

Giupetto and Gianna Tails said...

This was great Alice, and thank you. When I get out the gatorade both my dogs come running. They really love it. I of course figure if they love it it can't be good for them so I only give them one lick, but now that I know if will let them have a little more.
Sasha sure did look like she was having fun fishing.

doodypops said...

Wow, what a great idea- Gatorade- for my 20 year old cardiac Joe!

AngelPups said...

Great advice, Alice! I never knew that if a dog was dehydrated he/she SHOULDN'T down a whole bunch of water, but I do now! I keep about 5 bowls of water inside and out...and when they get low, I just add ice cubes. Either the pups dive and eat them or they melt and cool the water...the Pedialyte and Gatorade is great info too ;-)

SassySashadoxie said...

Thanks for the info and doing the guest blog post. Great!