In this VETgirl online veterinary CE blog, we are demonstrating an assessment of dehydration based on skin turgor. Assessment of skin turgor is one of several ways we assess hydration, more specifically, the hydration of the interstitial skin compartment. When assessing skin turgor, a common location is the lateral thorax or between the shoulder blades as seen in the video here (Don’t worry – this video is looping several times – we aren’t actually pinching the cat this many times!). When the patient is < 5% dehydrated, the skin turgor will appear normal – with a return to the normal position immediately after being tented. When the patient is more than 5% dehydrated, the skin will not return to its normal position as rapidly. It is important to note that one single test should not be used alone as an assessment of hydration, as there are other conditions that may affect skin turgor including age, skin disease, and certain endocrine diseases. Don’t believe us? Check out your own older cat or dog right now!

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