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8,155 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Dehydration Test-------------------------

OF the many illnesses that your pet can get,
there is one VERY common symptom that you
need to be aware of.....Dehydration.

In serious diseases such as Parvovirus, it
is OFTEN the dehydration that is fatal.

And subclinically, treating dehydration
helps your dog or cat's immune system respond
better to most diseases.

First you need to know HOW to decide:

It is of utmost importance for your pet not to
become dehydrated.

The Skin

The first test for dehydration is 'tenting' the
skin. Pinch the skin between your pet's shoulder
blades and see how quickly it springs back. It
should go back in less than 5 seconds. If the
skin tent is prolonged, then your pet is dehydrated.

The Eyes

Your pet's eyes will be sunken into their head.
Specifically, the eyes recede into the eye socket.
It is often seen with dehydrated cats.

Capillary Refill

Your pet's gums are the best indicator of dehydration.
Lift your pet's lips to expose the gums (pink tissue
above the teeth). Place your index finger on the gums
and press your finger flat to the gum. This temporarily
squeezes blood in that spot out of the small blood vessels
(capillaries). When you lift your finger, the blood
should return in less than 2 seconds. This response will
be delayed in a dehydrated pet.

Gum moisture

The gums often feel dry and tacky in a dehydrated pet.
When you pull your index finger away from the gums, it
should feel wet, and easily slide away. In a dehydrated
pet, your finger will stick to the gums.

WHAT you can do IF this happens---------------------------------------------------


Some dogs will readily lick ice cubes when they are
dehydrated, even if they are reluctant to drink water.
Float the ice in their water bowl.


Pets that are more severely dehydrated will benefit
from additional electrolytes. 'Pedialyte' is an oral
electrolyte re-hydration supplement for children. A
needle-less syringe or a turkey baster works well.
Insert the tip into the center of your pet's mouth.
Tilt his head back, hold his mouth closed and squirt
in the fluid.
A safe rule of thumb is to give 30 ml (2 tablespoons)
per 10 lbs of weight every hour.

Even pets that have allergies can get dehydrated- ALL of
the scratching causes them to NOT drink as much.

They are then MORE prone to secondary skin infections.

So practice some of my dehydration tests on your

And if you are concerned about your dog or cat being
dehydrated, then you'll know at home.

7,757 Posts
Excellent information. :)

0 Posts
Thanks for the info, I read this post this morning. I used your tips all day long since Tank was outside all day today at the pool and playing with his buddies. Thanks again :)

Premium Member
4,567 Posts
Your dog can also suffer a heat stroke even w|o being dehydrated so try to limit efforts and long runs when its really hot...provide shade,lots of cold water.

Valant suffered one this summer and it was ugly.
He came back out of it 100% but I had to work hard on him...took him|me 2 months.

He first started walking in circle,then he was holding himself upright against fences (I tought he was scratching himself).
Then he collapsed.He drank a lot of water at 20 minutes interval all along prior to this.
Upon lifting him on my shoulders and bringing him home,the 1st symptoms became more sever.
Eyes rapidly shifting left-right,heavy breathing,limp.

What I did:
In the bath,cold shower very close to his body with massages so the water wouldnt stay stagnant and create a hot spot.
Concentrated around the head chest and belly as well as his behind.Ice cube in the bath until the heavy breathing subsided and i could feel his temp go down.
Rushed to the vet for shots of some products that help his overheated brain.
He had a tendency to overheat rapidly for a few weeks after,so cold baths every days...lots of sleeping time,I didnt allow him to do anything besides his routine stuff.
He slept with 2 fans on him day and night all the time.
His right eye took a fair bit of time to react to touching,his head stayed tilted to the right at least 6 weeks.
He had trouble with depth perception and took a few dives because of it.
My treatments continued and he improved a bit more every days.

Like I said earlier,he's now 100% healthy.

Hoping this never happen to anyone!

Premium Member
4,567 Posts
Both of those things scare the crap out of me.
Just got to stay out of panic mode and do the proper thing right then.

Its very important.

7,576 Posts
Thank you, Martin; for the real life application of this issue. So glad that Valant came out of it 100%, but I'm sure it was scary as hell while it was going on.

1 Posts
I used CBD Oil for my dogs when we go to our Vet. They are so excited when we go outside. I gave them CBD Oil 15 to 30 minutes prior. CBD oil for our pets can treat health issues such as digestive or upset tummy, inflammation, joint pain or even allergies. I tried this in my dog, I gave it when I know he faced a stressful situation. And as I done researching, I came across to this article
about Cannabis and Mj

463 Posts
I have always been told NEVER give an overheated dog ice water of any kind. And as far as bathing them in cold water that is a no no as well. Its best to bring their temperature down gradually with room temperature water and fans inside an air conditioned house. It sounds like Valient was near death. I don't take my dogs outside for any kind of running around when the temp. is over 80 and the humidity is high you have to use good judgement with these dogs they will very often not stop running and playing because its hot so you have to make the call. In the summer here we are out as early as 530 am and get our walk in before the heat of the day. Boxers are very heat intolerant!
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