Electrolytes are substances that dissociate into ions when dissolved in water and are important for maintaining the balance of fluids in the body. They are essential for many physiological processes, including maintaining the proper function of muscles and nerves, regulating pH, and maintaining the proper balance of water and electrolytes in the body.
Diarrhea can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances in dogs and cats because it increases the amount of fluids and electrolytes that are lost from the body. When diarrhea is severe or persistent, it can lead to the loss of large amounts of fluids and electrolytes, which can interfere with the body’s ability to function properly. Diarrhea can lead to electrolyte imbalances because it can cause the body to lose large amounts of electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and chloride, which are important for maintaining the proper balance of fluids in the body. When the levels of these electrolytes become too low, it can lead to a variety of symptoms, including muscle weakness, fatigue, and abnormal heart rhythms.
Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluids than it takes in. When the body is dehydrated, it means that it does not have enough fluid to function properly. Dehydration can lead to a decrease in blood volume, which can affect the functioning of the organs and tissues. In severe cases, dehydration can be life-threatening.
Supplementing with electrolytes helps to restore the proper balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body, which can help to treat diarrhea and prevent further complications. There are several different electrolyte solutions that can be used to treat diarrhea in dogs and cats. These solutions can be given orally or intravenously, depending on the severity of the diarrhea and the level of dehydration.
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Candellone, A., Cerquetella, M., Girolami, F., Badino, P., & Odore, R. (2020). Acute diarrhea in dogs: current management and potential role of dietary polyphenols supplementation. Antioxidants, 9(8), 725.