Polydipsia in Dogs
Dec 11, 2017 // By:admin // No Comment
Polydipsia in dogs itself is not a life threatening or even a serious situation, but it can very easily be the signal that there is something wrong with your dog. The underlying causes could range from liver and kidney problems, to infections and high blood calcium. If it is not extremely hot and your dog starts to drink an excessive amount of water, they very likely have polydipsia.
Polydipsia in dogs is a situation where your pet starts to drink an excessive amount of water and as a result will also develop polyuria, which is the excretion of large amounts of urine. As owners, you may not think that this is a serious condition; but if it continues and your pet starts to look for alternative drinking sources such as a dripping faucet or the toilet, something is not right.
Think of it this way; if your dog suddenly started eating much more than normal, it would alarm you. Water is no different.
Water is the most important of all the nutrients for your dog, as they can loose all of their fat and over half of their protein and still survive. However, if they loose more than 10 percent of their body water it can threaten their health and cause several illnesses. But drinking to much water will tell you that something is starting to happen to them that can be just as serious.
How much is too much?
Determining how much water you dog actually needs is not real difficult. If you think that your dog is suddenly drinking a lot more water than they usually do, do not assume it is just because they are very hot. That may be the case and would be an isolated incident with no issues, but if it persists, it’s an issue.
To monitor this make sure that you dog has only one supply or source of clean drinking water. Measure how much you give them each day. If you have two dogs, make them drink out of several bowels and watch them closely. Continue this for a couple of days and record the actual amount consumed. If you think they are suddenly starting to drink more, get them to your veterinarian as soon as you can.
The general rule for dogs is that they should consume 2.5 times the amount of water compared to the amount of food that they eat daily. If your dog eats 1 pound of dry dog food, they should drink 2.5 pounds of water; if it is 2 pounds of food, it would be 5 pounds of water. If it is a small dog and it is only 6 ounces of food, it would be 15 ounces of water. There are 8 pounds of water in a gallon to give you an idea of that measurement.
Potential Underlying Causes:
There is an extensive list of potential illnesses that your dog may be developing that is causing Polydipsia and none of them are good. However, the most common causes are Kidney failure, Hyperadrenocorticism, and Diabetes mellitus.
Chronic renal failure, or CRF, is a very serious disease usually seen in older dogs, although it attacks dogs of any age, breed, or sex. The average age of development is about seven years. It is a progressive and irreversible condition and by far and away the first and most obvious sign is a dog starting to drink a lot of water as the body is trying to flush out waste products that have accumulated.
The next frequent cause of Polydipsia in dogs is Diabetes Mellitus. When your dog eats starches and carbohydrates they are broken down into sugar glucose. It is than absorbed through the wall of their digestive tract, and passes into their bloodstream. The insulin in your pet allows the glucose to leave the bloodstream and enter into body tissues, where it is than utilized as energy.
If the glucose levels are high, it is forced into the liver and muscles as glycogen. Diabetes mellitus, or sugar diabetes, is the result as the pancreas in your dog is not producing enough insulin. Your dog will start to lose energy and become very weak. The first signs will be an increased thirst as the body is searching for nutrients.
The next cause is Hyperadrenocorticism also known as Cushing disease. This disease attacks middle aged and older dogs. It is a condition that results from the chronic over production of a hormone called gluco-corticold in their body. Normally, the pituitary gland produces a hormone called ACTH which stimulates the adrenal gland to produce these hormones.
If something goes wrong with either the pituitary or the adrenal glands and too much of this hormone is produced, the result is Cushing disease. It is a very complicated disease to treat diagnosis and to treat. Again, the first symptoms will be your dog drinking too much water and this will be very obvious; this disease will cause your dog to drink up to ten times their normal amount.
Treatment for Polydipsia in dogs will be to identify exactly what the underlying cause of your dog suddenly drinking so much. The most common treatment for kidney failure will be to rehydrate your dog first so they can start to eat again.
After this is completed, the diet is changed to a very high quality food that is very low in protein content. This helps to limit the demands on the kidneys while they recover. More frequent feeding and lower portions will also be applied, as well as medications to control nausea.
Treatment for diabetes is more than just controlling the diet and usually involves daily insulin shots. It requires a tremendous amount of dedication by owners but if followed properly, it can be extremely rewarding for both you and your dog.
The treatment for Cushing disease is much more challenging as it is so complicated. The drug Lysodren is most often used and is somewhat like chemotherapy. It works by destroying the cells of the adrenal glands that produce too many hormones.
Polydipsia in dogs itself is not dangerous, but the reasons for it can be. Your dog is suddenly starting to drink a lot more water and it is caused by something very challenging. If you are careful and catch it early, your dog has a much better chance of surviving.
I am an avid lover of pets and my wife and I have had several pets throughout our years. We are especially fond of dogs, and we have a 12 year old Dalmatian (our 3rd) and a “mutt” that we rescued when someone threw him away to die in a vacant field.