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My Cat is Dehydrated. What Are Causes and Treatments?



(July 19, 2010)

Cat dehydration can be fairly life threatening and mirror dehydration symptoms in humans. Since cats are so small, they can get dehydrated much faster than humans and their bodies are on an average made up of sixty percent water. Even a five percent loss can be extremely dangerous. A loss of water implies a loss of potassium, sodium and chloride which are necessary electrolytes for its metabolism and survival.

Feline dehydration symptoms include a thick viscous like saliva when you touch its gums and not the usual liquid saliva, skin that is loose and has lost its elasticity, general inactivity, tiredness and lethargy, an unusual heartbeat and sunken eyes or eyeballs. The last two symptoms are quite deadly and will require immediate medical attention. The cat may also be constipated and this is usually a giveaway of the lack of fluids in its diet. This is because the body removes water from the stool for its other needs. If it is sleeping more than usual and its reflexes are not as usual, it could be dehydrated too. Dehydration in cats is caused by a variety of factors and these are fever and sickness that causes a lot of vomiting, kidney disease or failure, diarrhea due to something it ate, diabetes, shock due to trauma which reduces blood flow through the body, unusually increased urination and most commonly not drinking enough water.

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Cats generally do not have a great thirst sensation. And if fed on dry cat food, their requisite water levels may not be met. It is also difficult to get them to drink water separately. One way out of this is to give them canned food instead as it contains some amount of water and is identical to the way felines in the wild get water as they get it mostly from their prey. Ice chunks can be offered to the cat and water offered in small quantities throughout the day as it may not be able to take a lot of water at one go. If it refuses to touch plain, fresh water, add a little chicken broth or two spoons of fish broth from canned fish to improve the flavour. Electrolyte solutions can also be offered to replenish the lost amount due to dehydration. If the dehydration has become serious, it may have to be taken to the vet who will put it on an intravenous drip to replenish the lost water and electrolytes.

Submitted by N M on July 19, 2010 at 04:14

 

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