Fluid Administration in Reptiles

Key Points

  • Administer pre-warmed fluids.
  • Maintenance requirements are estimated at 10-30 ml/kg/day in reptiles.
  • Plasma osmolarity may be helpful in the selection of fluids that will be isotonic for an individual patient.
  • Fluids may be administered subcutaneously or per os for mild to moderate dehydration.
  • Fluids can be administered intracoelomically, intravenously, or intraosseously for moderate to severe dehydration.

The basic principles of fluid therapy are the same in the reptile as seen in birds and mammals, however reptile anatomy and physiology make some features of this crucial supportive care procedure unique. This article reviews fluid resuscitation with the use of crystalloid fluids and colloids, indications for replacement fluids including signs of dehydration and osmolarity values reported in reptiles. Routes of fluid administration in reptiles are described include subcutaneous, oral, soaking, intracoelomic, intraosseous, and intravenous via the cephalic vein, jugular vein, and in rare instances intracardiac catheter placement. Patient monitoring, including blood pressure measurement and signs of overhydration, are . . .

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