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Fluid Needs in Dehydrated Horses

Fluid Needs in Dehydrated Horses

Determining Factor

Formula Used

Amount for a 500-kg Horse

Fluid deficit

% dehydration × body weight (kg)

4%–10% × 500 = 20–50 L


50 mL/kg/24 h

50 × 500 = 25 L/24 h

Fluid losses

Estimate reflux or diarrhea volume

Rate of administration

50% in 1–2 h; 50% throughout rest of day

20–35 L in first 1–2 h; remainder distributed throughout next 23 h

Adapted, with permission, from Zimmel DN, Management of pain and dehydration in horses with colic. In Current Therapy in Equine Medicine, 5, 2003, Robinson, NE, (ed), Elsevier.