Major Uses

Lactated ringers solution is an electrolyte solution that is commonly used to help dogs and cats maintain hydration or rehydrate. It is also commonly used in the treatment of decreased intake of fluids and to replace fluids lost due to kidney disease or illness. It has also been used for the correction of electrolyte depletion, metabolic acidosis, and dehydration in horses, swine, sheep, and cattle.

Common Precautions

Lactated ringers solution should not be administered to animals with kidney or heart disease, or to those with an obstruction of the urinary tract, as over-hydration may occur. Caution should be exercised when administering to animals with congestive heart failure, severe renal insufficiency, or hyperkalemia.

Most adverse effects associated with lactated ringers solution have to do with the way it is administered. These side effects can include elevated body temperature or infection at the injection site, swelling of a vein at the injection site, and blood clot.

Lactated ringers solution should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. A veterinarian should be contacted immediately if an overdose is suspected, the symptoms of which include weakness, constipation, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, coughing, and wheezing.


Lactated ringers solution should be kept at a temperature between 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit and stored in a light resistant, childproof container. It should be protected from freezing and stored in a location where it cannot be reached by children or pets.


Lactated ringers solution is usually administered as an injection intravenously or subcutaneously. When administering, a new, sterile needle should be used for each injection. Should a dose be forgotten, it should be administered as soon as possible unless the next scheduled dose is close, in which case the regular schedule should be resumed. Two doses should not be administered at the same time.

Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.

This information is for general reference only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition of your pet. It's intended as a general reference, this information may not include all possible uses, precautions, directions, reactions (including allergic), drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your local veterinarian and have your pet examined for any advice concerning the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, including which products and doses are most appropriate. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. VetDepot is not a pharmacy. All prescription products are dispensed by our Pharmacy Partner. Article last updated 2/2014.