In this VETgirl online veterinary continuing education blog, Dr. Garret Pachtinger, DACVECC review’s the DO’s and DONT’s of dextrose.

While dextrose can be a life-saving therapy, it also can cause disease and illness if not administered appropriately.

What are some VETgirl dextrose DONT’S?

1) VETgirl does not recommend administering SQ fluids with dextrose as this type of fluid provides a good medium for bacteria to grow which can result in cellulitis or abscess formation.

2) VETgirl also does not recommend giving dextrose in solution as a CRI greater than 5% via a peripheral vein, as the increased osmolarity can cause phlebitis.

What are the VETgirl dextrose DO’s?

1) Easy VETgirl dextrose shortcut for CRI solutions:

– To make a 2.5% solution add 50mL of 50% dextrose (or 25g dextrose) to a 1L bag of fluids.
– To make a 5.0% solution add 100mL of 50% dextrose (or 50g dextrose) to a 1L bag of fluids.

2) For live-saving bolus therapy in a hypoglycemic crisis, supplementation should be implemented quickly! Use this shortcut for those crisis situations: 0.5–1.5 mL/kg of 50% dextrose, diluted 1:4. This can be followed by dextrose in solution as noted above. Most importantly, recognize when your patient may be hypoglycemic first (e.g., xylitol toxicosis, neonate that is doing poorly, lethargic patient, seizuring patient, etc.).