In the summer heat or in a room that is too warm, the dog can dramatically increase the amount of liquid consumed to quench its thirst. Naturally, she will start asking to go outside more often to urinate. This is not surprising or dangerous.
It is also normal for thirst to appear after eating a specific salty food, for example, if the dog has eaten a piece of salted fish or smoked sausage, as well as after increased physical activity. Thirst also increases after castration, as well as during breast-feeding, especially for a large number of puppies.
It is quite another matter if the animal suddenly began to drink too much water for no apparent reason. This may be one of the first signs of a developing disease, which is important not to miss. In this case, it will be much easier and faster to treat the dog, and cheaper too.
Causes of the disease
There may be several pathological reasons for increased thirst:
- Treatment with diuretics, anticonvulsants, and corticosteroids. In this case, increased water consumption is normal, and it is not necessary to limit the animal in the liquid.
- An inflammatory process in the body that is accompanied by an increase in body temperature.
- Disorders of the kidneys and urinary system. In this case, the animal often urinates and drinks a lot of water in an attempt to restore the balance of electrolytes. Urolithiasis is especially dangerous, because it can lead to the overlap of the ureter or urethra with concretion, which will lead to the development of a severe pain attack. Stopping the release of urine causes uremia and poisoning of the body with decay products. Treatment of urolithiasis in dogs with folk remedies is unacceptable, at the first suspicion you need to immediately contact the veterinarian, without wasting time.
- Type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This is a very dangerous disease, which is often accompanied by increased thirst.
- Pyometra — purulent inflammation of the internal cavity of the uterus.
- Piroplasmosis caused by protozoa is also accompanied by increased thirst.
- Polydipsia of psychogenic origin provokes an increase in water consumption.
- Some types of spinal injuries, such as pinching of nerve endings, in some cases provoke an increase in thirst.
Not in all cases, you can easily determine the reason why the dog began to drink much more liquid. Therefore, if there are no natural reasons for heavy drinking of water, this condition should alarm the owner of the animal and become a reason for a visit to a veterinary clinic.
Which breeds are more susceptible
Representatives of any breed can show signs of pathological thirst. More water is drunk by “naked” dogs or those with a very short, “plush” coat, as they are more susceptible to environmental influences. They are also more susceptible to colds due to hypothermia, so they are more likely to suffer from fever and kidney problems.
Animals with short legs and a long spine are more likely to have pinched nerve roots, which can also cause thirst. These are mainly dachshunds, Basset hounds, English and French bulldogs and other breeds.
The main symptoms
An experienced owner will immediately notice if the animal has started drinking much more than usual. Additionally, the following signs of trouble may be noted:
- Lack of appetite or complete refusal of food.
- Lethargy, weakness, apathy.
- The dog stops playing, hides under furniture, and does not respond to the owners.
- Her nose is dry, her ears are hot, and her eyes may become inflamed.
- When trying to urinate, the dog whines, and blood and/or sand, mucus, and pus are visible in the urine.
- The animal lost a lot of weight or, on the contrary, gained too much weight without increasing or decreasing the standard food allowance.
If there are signs of the disease, you need to check whether the dog’s food is too salty, and exclude overheating of the animal. If this is all right, the dog needs to be urgently taken to the clinic.
Diagnostics in a veterinary clinic
The veterinarian will examine the dog and send it for blood and urine tests, ultrasound, if necessary or if there is a suspicion of spinal damage — for radiography. In complex cases, you may need to undergo a CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging to clarify the problem and its localization.
Treatment method and prognosis
The method of treatment depends entirely on what disease caused the development of the disease. If these are kidney problems, they can be treated with medication, and if there is an obstruction of the urinary tract due to concretions, it may be necessary to bugirovanie, ultrasound breaking of stones or surgery.
If the nerve endings are pinched, treatment can also be conservative or operative. In any case, surgery is an extreme solution, as, for example, with a running pyometre, when it is not possible to save the inflamed uterus and it is necessary to remove it.
The treatment method and medications used are selected by the attending veterinarian depending on the type and complexity of the disease. If the cause of thirst was diabetes, in addition to treatment, the owners of the dog will have to completely reconsider its menu and their attitude to feeding the animal.
First of all, you will have to abandon the practice of feeding it from your table with products that are not suitable for dogs — sweets, pastries, fatty meat, smoked meat and pickles.
What to do at home
A sick animal should be provided with a calm, quiet and warm place, protected from drafts, out of the reach of small children and other Pets. You need to give the dog plenty of water or as the veterinarian says. If she pees under herself, you’ll have to use diapers.
Medications are given strictly according to the doctor’s prescription, without trying to treat the dog yourself. It is especially dangerous to give a dog medicines intended for people.
The water given to the animal must be clean and boiled. It should be changed regularly, and the dishes should be thoroughly washed.
The diet should be checked and excluded from it products that can provoke and stimulate thirst. If excessive water consumption is caused by the dog’s conversion to dry food only, it is necessary to provide it with constantly fresh drinking water in large quantities.
You can feed the animal as usual, if it is not sick, and the cause of thirst was not the food itself. If you have a disease, you need to make sure that it is easy for the dog to eat food, if necessary, chop it more or even pass it through a meat grinder.
The most important thing that a dog needs during an illness is the attention and love of its owners, so give it more time. This will help you recover faster.
Depending on which disease triggered the thirst attack, complications can be dangerous and even fatal. Especially dangerous are concretions (stones) in the kidneys and pinching the nerves of the spine, as well as the pyometer.
Stones threaten to block the ureter or urethra, which can lead to an attack of severe pain and the development of very serious complications, including kidney failure or damage to the ureter by sharp edges of the concretion. This can be fatal.
Pinched nerves and dislocated intervertebral discs can lead to complete or partial paralysis and disability of the animal. He will need special conditions or the dog will not survive such a complication.
With pyometra in the dog’s body, there is a powerful source of inflammation. Pus can get into other organs, leading to their infection and the development of the inflammatory process. The most negative diagnosis is sepsis, or General blood poisoning. When running, you may not have time to save your pet.
Prevention measures and diet
In order to avoid negative processes in the dog’s body, you need to carefully monitor its health, nutrition and behavior. It is strictly forbidden to give the dog food from your table, especially smoked, salty, spicy. You can not teach an animal to eat unnatural food — sweets, buns, food with spices.
If the dog is fed natural products, its food should not be salted.
The dog must have clean water to drink at all times. When calculating the normal volume of liquid consumed, you need to take into account not only water, but also soups, milk, and other beverages that the dog drinks.
Overfeeding an animal, even out of great love for it, means slowly killing your pet. This is a sure step towards diabetes, which is not treatable, requires constant medication and significantly reduces the life expectancy of the pet and its quality.
Attentive attitude to your dog can save its health, and even life.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and I’m a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.