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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23817
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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Customer: My name is ***** ***** and the issue is the same

Customer Question

Customer: My name is ***** ***** and the issue is the same as the one discussed on this post - pedialyte in a cat with kidney failure. My cat has advanced CRF and we think she is a bit dehydrated. We plan to start subcutaneous fluids soon, but in the meantime, i have been considering pedialyte. However, I am just a bit concerned since at her last bloodwork her potassium was slightly high. Is it safe to give pedialyte to a cat with elevated potassium? thanks
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: She is in IRIS stage IV and has an esophagostomy feeding tube in place. We usually give her water through that but I just wonder if electolytes might address the dehydration more powerfully. This has always been a confusing issue for me because I always read about subqs in these cats, so I feel like i can never be sure whether what we are doing (hydration-wise) is enough.
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Customer: yes. thanks.
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Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
The amount of potassium in Pedialyte is 20 meq/liter. The amount in lactated ringers is only 4 meq/L and so if my patient is hypokalemic (decreased potassium level) I'll add another 2 meq/L of potassium to the lactated ringers. That's still a far cry from 20 meq/L and so if she's retaining potassium as evidenced by elevated potassium, I can't recommend your dosing her with Pedialyte. It's likely to be safe if only because it's difficult to intoxicate a patient orally but it wouldn't be appropriate. I would consider subcutaneous normal saline but that would be unpalatable given orally.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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