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Dehydration is a lack of water in the body, and can cause serious complications for pets and people alike.
Dehydration occurs when fluid levels drop to less than normal. This is due to either reduced water intake or increased fluid loss. Fluid loss can be due to overheating in hot weather or a bout of vomiting or diarrhea, especially in puppies.
Dehydration may indicate a serious underlying problem. If you suspect that your dog is dehydrated, take him to a veterinarian immediately.
You may be able to detect dehydration at home by gently lifting the skin on the back of your dog’s neck or between the shoulder blades—unless your dog is seriously overweight or very thin, it should immediately return to a normal position. If he is lacking in fluids, the lifted skin may not quickly return to normal. Often, however, the signs of dehydration are not obvious, and only a veterinarian can provide proper diagnosis and treatment.
Dogs most at risk for dehydration are those who suffer from various illnesses such as:
Or who are:
A veterinarian will administer intravenous or subcutaneous fluids, and run additional tests, if necessary, to determine the underlying cause of the condition.
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