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close this bookEthnoveterinary Medicine in Asia - Ruminants (IIRR, 1994, 143 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentCollaborating organizations
View the documentParticipants and workshop staff
View the documentHow to use this manual
View the documentLack of appetite
View the documentFever
View the documentCoughs and colds
View the documentDiarrhea
View the documentDehydration
View the documentBloat
View the documentConstipation
View the documentPoisoning
View the documentInternal parasites: Stomach and gut worms
View the documentLiverflukes
View the documentTick infestation
View the documentScabies (mange)
View the documentLice
View the documentFungus infections of the skin
View the documentInfectious diseases
View the documentFoot rot
View the documentEye diseases
View the documentWounds
View the documentBleeding
View the documentSnake bite
View the documentSprains
View the documentDifficulty in urinating
View the documentHousing
View the documentFeeding
View the documentMineral deficiency
View the documentBreeding
View the documentPregnancy and birthing
View the documentCare of mother animals after birthing
View the documentCare of newborn
View the documentUdder infection
View the documentDecreased milk flow


When an animal loses more water than it is able to take in, its body will become dehydrated.



· Eyes are sunken.
· The skin is dry, wrinkles and is hard to stretch.
· The animal is very thirsty and very weak.
· The feces are dry.
· The animal suffers from constipation: there are less feces than usual.
· It urinates less than usual. The urine has a dark color.

An easy test for dehydration: Raise the skin on the neck between your finger and thumb. If the skin returns to the normal position only slowly, the animal is dehydrated.

Test for dehydration


· Diarrhea.
· Heat stress.
· Insufficient drinking water.
· Diseases that last a long time.
· Bleeding due to large injuries.
· Diseases in the urinary tract.
· Severe burns from fire or chemicals.
· Inability to drink water: something blocks the passage of food.


· Always give the animal enough drinking water.
· Grazing areas should be near to a source of water.
· Ensure that the immediate surrounding of the animal is clean.
· Avoid keeping the animal in the sun for a very long time.
· Avoid any cause of diarrhea. See Diarrhea, page 13.


Before using any treatment, find out what causes the dehydration. See Diarrhea.

The dosages below are for adult cattle and buffaloes. Use one-third or half of this amount for calves, sheep or goats.

To replace the lost liquid in the body, use any of the following remedies:

· Drench the adult with 2-3 liters of young coconut water 23 times a day until symptoms have disappeared. Varieties of coconut with yellow nuts are preferable. (India, Sri Lanka, Philippines. 1, 2, 3, 4)

· Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with 1 liter of the water left after washing rice (or the water left after cooking rice). Drench 1-3 liters of such a mixture 2-3 times a day until the symptoms disappear. (Indonesia. 1, 2)

· Take 1 handful of any kind of tea leaves and pour 2 liters of boiling water on them. Add a handful of sugar or brown sugar. Let it cool and drench all this mixture 2-3 times a day for 3 days. (India. 1, 2, 3)

· Take 1 handful of each of the following parts of Aegle marmelos: young fruit, leaves, flowers, root, stem and bark. Chop and put in 2 liters of water. Boil for ½ hour. Drench adult cattle and buffaloes with 1-2 liters twice a day for 2 days. Drench calves, sheep and goats with ½ liter of mixture twice a day for 2 days. (Sri Lanka. 1, 2,3, 4)

· Pound 10 fresh Mitragyna speciosa leaves and mix with 1 liter of water. Drench with the liquid 2-3 times a day until the symptoms disappear. (Thailand. 1, 2, 4)

· 1 kg Careya sphaerica bark.
1 kg Xylia kerii bark.
1 kg Sesbania grandiflora bark.
Boil the 3 types of bark together in 3 liters water. Drench the adult buffalo or cattle with 2-3 liters of the liquid 2-3 times a day for 4 days. (Thailand. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

· Dissolve 2 teaspoons of salt, I/: teaspoon of baking soda (if available) and 4 teaspoons of sugar in 1 liter of water. Drench adult cattle and buffaloes with 2-3 liters of the solution 2-3 times a day. Drench calves, goats and sheep with ½-1 liter 2-3 times a day. Continue treatment until the symptoms disappear. (Thailand. 1, 2, 3)