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Evaluation of an oral electrolyte solution for treatment of mild to moderate dehydration in dogs with hemorrhagic diarrhea

Erica L. ReinekeDepartment of Clinical Studies–Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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Karie WaltonDepartment of Clinical Studies–Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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Cynthia M. OttoDepartment of Clinical Studies–Philadelphia, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

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 DVM, PhD, DACVECC

Abstract

Objective—To determine the safety and efficacy of an electrolyte solution for oral administration (OES) for the correction of mild to moderate dehydration associated with hemorrhagic diarrhea in dogs.

Design—Nonrandomized, noncontrolled clinical trial.

Animals—20 dogs that had hemorrhagic diarrhea with < 3 episodes of vomiting.

Procedures—All dogs underwent testing for parvovirus infection, were given maropitant citrate to control emesis, and were offered an OES. Intravenous crystalloid fluid administration was performed when dogs refused the OES or had vomiting, a 5% increase in PCV, 5% decrease in body weight, serum creatinine or BUN concentration higher than at admission, or clinically important alterations in blood electrolyte or serum glucose concentrations.

Results—13 (65%) dogs voluntarily consumed the OES; 7 (35%) dogs refused the OES and received a balanced electrolyte solution IV instead. All 13 dogs in the OES group consumed the solution ≤ 5 hours after hospital admission. Eight and 16 hours after admission, PCV and serum total protein and BUN concentrations were significantly lower than at hospital admission in the OES group, whereas no significant changes were identified in venous blood pH, base excess, and concentrations of sodium, potassium, chloride, ionized calcium, ionized magnesium, and lactate. The cost of treatment was significantly less for the OES group than for the IV treated group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Rehydration therapy with an OES was effective and safe in dogs with mild to moderate dehydration associated with hemorrhagic diarrhea. Potential benefits of this treatment approach for gastroenteritis in dogs, compared with traditional IV fluid administration, include lower owner-related veterinary costs and decreased staff time associated with treatment. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2013;243:851–857)

Abstract

Objective—To determine the safety and efficacy of an electrolyte solution for oral administration (OES) for the correction of mild to moderate dehydration associated with hemorrhagic diarrhea in dogs.

Design—Nonrandomized, noncontrolled clinical trial.

Animals—20 dogs that had hemorrhagic diarrhea with < 3 episodes of vomiting.

Procedures—All dogs underwent testing for parvovirus infection, were given maropitant citrate to control emesis, and were offered an OES. Intravenous crystalloid fluid administration was performed when dogs refused the OES or had vomiting, a 5% increase in PCV, 5% decrease in body weight, serum creatinine or BUN concentration higher than at admission, or clinically important alterations in blood electrolyte or serum glucose concentrations.

Results—13 (65%) dogs voluntarily consumed the OES; 7 (35%) dogs refused the OES and received a balanced electrolyte solution IV instead. All 13 dogs in the OES group consumed the solution ≤ 5 hours after hospital admission. Eight and 16 hours after admission, PCV and serum total protein and BUN concentrations were significantly lower than at hospital admission in the OES group, whereas no significant changes were identified in venous blood pH, base excess, and concentrations of sodium, potassium, chloride, ionized calcium, ionized magnesium, and lactate. The cost of treatment was significantly less for the OES group than for the IV treated group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Rehydration therapy with an OES was effective and safe in dogs with mild to moderate dehydration associated with hemorrhagic diarrhea. Potential benefits of this treatment approach for gastroenteritis in dogs, compared with traditional IV fluid administration, include lower owner-related veterinary costs and decreased staff time associated with treatment. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2013;243:851–857)

Contributor Notes

Supported by an unrestricted gift from Advanced Nutritional Support.

Presented as a poster at the International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society Meeting, San Antonio, Tex, September 2012.

The authors thank Dr. Kenneth Drobatz for assistance with the statistical analysis.

Address correspondence to Dr. Reineke (reineke@vet.upenn.edu).