infusion pump
Infusion pumps can be used to accurately deliver fluids and prevent overperfusion.

Clinical examination for dehydration is one method used for assessing whether or not an animal needs fluid therapy.

The skin tents at approximately 6% dehydration, and this is the sign most readily used by veterinary clinicians.

But in addition, with progressive dehydration:

  • the eyes may become sunken due to dehydration of the retrobulbar fat pad
  • heart rate increases
  • pulse quality decreases and there may be absent peripheral pulses
  • capillary refill time will increase
  • there are changes in mucous membrane colour
  • extremities may become cold
  • urine output is decreased
  • progressive obtundation is seen

The disadvantage of all of these signs are that they are very subjective.

Next week, we shall look at objective assessment of dehydration.

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