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KRIS-teh-loid - Pronunciation guide

Brand Names

  • Lactated Ringer's Solution
  • Normosol-R
  • Normal Saline Solution
  • Sterile Saline Solution


Rx symbolCrystalloids are aqueous (water-based) solutions of mineral and other water soluble salts. They are used in intravenous fluid replacement to replace lost water and electrolytes due to dehydration, to support blood pressure, and, in some cases, to replace blood volume in circumstances of shock or blood loss.


Crystalloids are used to replace lost water and electrolytes due to dehydration, to support blood pressure, and, in some cases, to replace blood volume in circumstances of shock or blood loss following surgery or injury.

Dosage and Administration

Prescription medicationCrystalloids
Method Dosage Concentration Period Duration
IV or SQ Based on body-weight and degree of fluid replacement needed Dependent on specific crystalloid used Treatment As needed


  • Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.
  • Extra-label use of drugs in treating animals is allowable only by licensed veterinarians within the context of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship, and does not include drug use in treating animals by the layman (except under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian).
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your equine appears to feel better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.
  • Calculator is for educational purposes only. Follow your veterinarian's instructions regarding use of this, or any, medication.

Side Effects

Leakage of crystalloids around the vein (i.e. from a poorly-placed or dislodged IV catheter) may cause irritation. Inflammation and/or infection of the vein are known risks of IV catheter placement. Inappropriate crystalloid selection may cause electrolyte imbalances.


Intravenous or subcutaneous administration of crystalloid solutions must be done with strict attention to proper sterile technique.

Dosage should be calculated and monitored by a licensed veterinarian.


Certain drugs (i.e. flunixin meglumine) will form precipitates when mixed with particular crystalloids such as Lactated Ringer's solution. Addition of medications to IV crystalloid fluid solutions should not be performed except under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian..


Excessive IV fluid therapy can cause symptoms of volume overload, including pleural effusion (build-up of fluid in the chest cavity). Smaller animals are particularly vulnerable. Dosing should be calculated and monitored by a veterinarian


Lactated Ringer's IV SolutionLactated Ringer's IV Solution

Lactated Ringer's Injectable SolutionLactated Ringer's Injectable Solution


About the Author

EquiMed Staff

EquiMed staff writers team up to provide articles that require periodic updates based on evolving methods of equine healthcare. Compendia articles, core healthcare topics and more are written and updated as a group effort. Our review process includes an important veterinarian review, helping to assure the content is consistent with the latest understanding from a medical professional.