Fluid Administration in Exotic Companion Mammals

Key Points

  • The principles of fluid therapy are the same in exotic companion mammals as in other species.
  • Warm fluids to prevent hypothermia.
  • Isotonic crystalloid solutions (10-15 ml/kg IV or IO) followed by the synthetic colloid, hetastarch (5 ml/kg IV or IO over 5-10 minutes) has frequently been recommended for fluid rescuscitation.
  • Maintenance fluids are estimated at 75-100 ml/kg/day for small mammals.
  • Subcutaneous fluids are frequently administered for mild to moderate dehydration.
  • Intravenous or intraosseous catheter placement often requires sedation or general anesthesia, so the risks must be weighed against the benefits.
  • Intravenous catheters require 24-hour monitoring since disconnection can lead to fatal hemorrhage. Intravenous catheters may also be more difficult to place and maintain when compared to intraosseous catheters.
  • Monitor patients carefully for evidence of overhydration.

The principles of fluid therapy are basically the same in exotic companion mammals as in other species. The biggest difference is that changes can occur very rapidly in these tiny patients. For instance, fluids should almost always be warmed or your patient will cool down quickly. Intraosseous or intravenous fluids can be heated with . . .

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