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Sodium Deficiency in Dogs

4 min read



Primary treatment will depend on the severity of the hyponatremia, and the associated neurological symptoms. The severity of any underlying disorders will guide treatment priorities as well. Treatment generally consists of addressing the underlying cause, and increasing the serum sodium concentration if necessary.


Overly rapid normalization of the hyponatremia can have potentially severe neurological results, and may be more detrimental than the hyponatremia itself. Therefore, an isotonic saline is the fluid of choice in the large majority of cases. More aggressive correction of the serum sodium concentration with hypertonic saline is rarely necessary. Hypervolemic patients (patients with too much fluid in the blood) are typically managed with diuretics (fluid reducers) and salt restriction.


Conversely, hypovolemic patients (patients with too little fluid in the blood) are managed by replacing the volume deficit with isotonic saline. Other therapeutic interventions are dictated by the underlying cause of the hyponatremia.


Living and Management


Initially, your veterinarian will need to observe your dog's response to treatment, repeating serum sodium determinations in order to avoid overly rapid correction of the serum sodium concentrations, and to assure an appropriate response to sodium and other indicated therapies. In addition, your doctor will want to monitor your dog's hydration status and other serum electrolyte concentrations, as indicated by your dog's clinical condition and underlying disorder.



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