Since animals cannot talk it can be hard to tell when they are dehydrated and that’s why it is crucial for farmers and livestock handlers to be able to tell the signs though it differs depending on the livestock. To ensure that animals are properly hydrated to stay healthy particularly during the dry seasons, recognizing the signs is the first step towards getting the animal the needed help.
Recognize the Signs of Dehydration in…
- Goats: Low body temperature, listless behavior, lethargy, sunken eyes, sticky mouth, dry membranes, weakness
- Cattle: Dry membranes, loss of skin elasticity, depression, appetite loss, less urine, strong-smelling urine
- Pigs: Constipation, skin irritation, ear twitching, appetite loss, listless wandering, disorientation, circling, convulsions
- Sheep: Dry mouth, sunken eyes, dry eyes, loss of skin elasticity, thin appearance, low body temperature, constipation
Other signs to look out for are: - Lethargy (Lack of energy), irritability, listlessness, loss of appetite, decrease in the production of urine, the urine becomes darker and stronger smelling. The animal's eyes may appear sunken in and lusterless (dull or lack of pigmentation).
Things you can do to prevent dehydration: While not all animals will show every sign of dehydration even when their fluid levels are dropping, it is important to take steps to correct dehydration as soon as it is noticed.
- Provide shelter out of the sun and heat.
- Provide fresh water regularly at a temperature that is relative to the environment.
- Provide electrolytes as needed.
- Do not force them to drink if the dehydration is severe.
- Subcutaneous fluids or intravenous fluids may be necessary for recovery, and it is critical to get the animal to a veterinarian right away.
- One of the most important things you can do is monitor your animal’s water intake daily
Note: - It is important to note that in cases of severe diagnosis of dehydration in the animal, a veterinary doctor should be on the ground to take emergency steps to help the animal recover. By recognizing the signs of dehydration early, it is possible to save an animal's life when it begins to be dehydrated.