1. Principles and patient assessment
THE administration of fluid therapy is commonly used in veterinary medicine to combat dehydration, hypovolaemia and hypoperfusion, to maintain intravascular volume and osmotic pressure, and to correct electrolyte imbalances. An understanding of the physiology of body fluids is important to ensure that the most appropriate fluid is chosen for a given situation. This article, the first in a series of three, describes the principles of fluid therapy and highlights the key aspects of patient assessment. Articles in the February and March issues of In Practice will discuss the individual properties of crystalloid and colloid solutions, respectively.
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