How sole salt solution saved a dog’s life
By Sari Huhtala
Did you know, just like humans, dogs can get water intoxication? And while it may seem far-fetched, particularly if your best friend is a Labrador retriever who has spent countless summers fetching sticks in and out of a river, it may not be so implausible. This I concluded a few summers ago when a friend called me up for advice, concerned something was terribly wrong with his golden lab.
When I arrived at his camp the dog was lethargic, barely responsive and unable to lift his head. He had a rapid heart and respiration rate, panting uncontrollably, and he was urinating uncontrollably. My friend had spent over an hour at the beach that morning, tossing a stick out into the river for the dog to fetch, just as he had done for years with the dog.
My intuition told me the dog was suffering from water intoxication. There was one thing I knew about this condition – ingesting more water than the body can process depletes sodium levels, and throws electrolytes off balance – severely enough that death or brain damage can result as the body begins pulling salt out of the organs to balance itself.
Water intoxication signs also include vomiting, stumbling or staggering, glazed eyes, difficulty breathing and increased salivation. In severe cases, where the brain swells and cells begin to die off the dog may have seizures, lose consciousness and coma or death may result, holistic veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker explains.
It was a Sunday afternoon, and we were far from any veterinarian clinics, otherwise that would have been his first line of defence. One of my go-to health hacks and first-aid kit must-haves is sole solution (a solution made with water saturated with natural Himalayan salt). Sole is an absolute must for first-aid. It’s great for restoring electrolytes, not to mention cleaning cuts.
I ran to grab my jar of sole, as well as a vitamin C – magnesium powder packet I keep on hand. I gave the dog one teaspoon of sole solution, directly into his mouth, and some of the vitamin C powder mixed in a teaspoon of water. We waited.
Within about 30 minutes the dog started lifting his head slightly, and the heavy panting subsided. The heart rate began to normalize. About two hours later the dog was able to stand up briefly, still slightly staggering, then later that evening his dog walked around. The next day my friend brought the dog to the vet. The dog didn’t suffer organ/brain damage, and the vet had said without the sole solution intervention the dog likely would have died.
I was recently recounting this story to a very holistic-minded friend, and explained to her that I completely acted on, and trusted, my intuition in this instance, and didn’t Google search to confirm my intuition’s guidance. Had I Google searched the safety of giving salt to dogs I would have come across information that warns too much salt can cause brain damage to a dog, and maybe not have proceeded. She said she, being a very logical thinking individual, would have Google searched it, and then she said, with a pause, “If it were my dog, I would have rushed her to the vet, even if the vet was far away, and it’s very possible my dog would have died as a consequence.”
Note: Large amounts of water with high sodium content can also cause salt poisoning in dogs.