Is it the food that's making her sick?

Get a copy of this shocking free report. 

We respect your email privacy

Is Your Dog Drinking Too Much Water?

Ed King from Charleston, SC asked:

My dog (mixed breed), I think part Greyhound, recently started drinking water excessively. Her normal 2 Qts. a day now exceed 5 Qts. No changes were made diet or exercise.  She’s 8.
Possible causes? cures?

Hi Ed, thank you for your question.

This is such a common problem that I hope I can help your furry friend as well as many others out there.

Increased drinking is a common symptom in middle age and older dogs and can have a number of different causes that are not always easy to identify.

With such a dramatic increase in water intake in your fur baby, this is most likely a medical problem that should be identified as soon as possible.

The three most common causes of increased drinking in middle aged and older dogs are diabetes mellitus, kidney disease and Cushing’s disease.

Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes is typically caused by a low production of insulin or the body not responding to insulin anymore.  This can be easily tested for by looking for glucose (sugar) in the urine or a high blood sugar.  When the blood sugar goes over 200, glucose appears in the urine.  You can test for glucose in the urine at home using these test strips: click here.  The great thing about these strips is that you can use them to test for diabetes but also get an idea if there is possible infection in the urine by checking for trace amounts of blood and protein.  You can also get the less expensive strips that just check for glucose  here.

Diabetes in dogs is treated by giving insulin injections twice daily with your veterinarian’s supervision because getting the right insulin dose can be difficult.  If she has diabetes, it is important to begin treatment right away, while she is still eating well and not acting sick.  Once they become sick with ketoacidosis, intensive treatment in a veterinary hospital for 3-5 days is required and some dogs don’t survive this phase of the disease.  Diet change alone is not effective in controlling diabetes in dogs but a high fiber diet can help improve regulation.

Kidney disease

Kidney disease is a broad term that includes infection or more serious kidney damage.  Blood tests and urinalysis should be done to determine if there is just a simple infection in the kidneys, causing a change in the water regulation system in the body or more serious deterioration of kidney function.  If either of these problems exist, treatment would include antibiotics and potentially some other medication.  A prescription diet with restricted, high quality protein and restricted phosphorous should be fed.  Most diets have too much phosphorous for a dog with compromised kidneys and the prescription diet food K/d has been shown to double the survival time of a dog with kidney disease when compared against a senior diet.

Cushing’s disease

Cushing’s disease is a hormonal problem where the adrenal glands make too much cortisol.  This hormone then affects the water regulation system in the body, causing them to produce more urine.  This then causes dogs to drink a lot more water.  It is usually caused by a small tumor in the pituitary gland (most common) or adrenal gland (less common). This condition can go on to increase the risk of other problems such as diabetes, hair loss, infection as well as other issues.

Cushing’s disease tends to be a more chronic, slowly developing problem with less urgency than diabetes or kidney disease.  It is detected by advanced blood testing and ultrasound once the other causes of increased drinking are eliminated.  Treatment involves several different possible medications and frequent monitoring of cortisol blood levels to decrease the risk of side effects and improve control of symptoms.

I know this is a lot of information to digest for such a seemingly simple problem.  These are the three most common causes of increased drinking but there are at least 12 other causes as well.

My recommendation is to start with a urinalysis and a basic CBC and Chemistry profile with your veterinarian and go from there.  If you want to start simple at home, try the test strips from Amazon.  They are inexpensive and can help you see if there is glucose, blood or protein in the urine.  At least then you will have an idea of what you may be facing before you take her to your vet.

If she has an infection, this may be easily treated with antibiotics.  If it is one of the more complicated problems mentioned, you will need your veterinarian to sort it out with you and determine the best treatment for your girl.

Good luck and I wish you well!

Sincerely,

Dr. Chris Smith
America’s Favorite Dog Vet

14 Responses to Is Your Dog Drinking Too Much Water?
  1. Pat
    March 25, 2014 | 3:14 pm

    My almost 10 year old Belgian Shep suddenly started drinking too much water one day in October 2013. Tests showed hypercalcemia. This secondary condition is caused by the body producing too much calcium as a response to several possible primary causes. It was never fully established, but by process of elimination for other possibilities, cancer was the only possible cause left. The dangerously high calcium levels were actually more lethal than the cancer. The higher calcium began to destroy his back legs within 3-4 weeks, causing terrible suffering. Then one day he stopped eating and drinking and I thought it was over. But the new vet suggested steroids as a last resort, “may as well give it one more day, it may be worth a try”….Within one hour my boy was able to stand up again and eat and drink again. And eat. and eat…he was so happy again! He tolerated prednisone and tramadol really well for 20 more weeks, enjoying an excellent quality of life, though I knew our time was now limited. Sadly, almost as predicted, the steroids stopped working and finally his back legs completely quit in one afternoon. The only thing left was to end his suffering humanely. He only passed 2 weeks ago, March 12. Looking back to when this all began, I *intuitively knew* the sudden dramatic increase in drinking water was a serious sign. He was a fantastic dog who we loved and still love, and we miss him terribly. Everyone called him Ghandi because he was so peaceful and gentle, always took the high road whenever any dog would challenge him.

    My big question is why are our beloved dogs getting so much cancer now and what can we do about it?

  2. Karen C
    March 25, 2014 | 8:34 am

    My dog Apollo started drinking a lot of water and also quit eating suddenly. Took him to two different veterinarians and found out he was in end stage renal failure. This caught us off guard because he had been in our regular veterinarians office two months before for allergy illness and the blood test was ok on his kidneys. Long and short of it, they gave him daily injections of fluid and he finally was hospitalized so they could give him ivs 24/7. His keratin levels kept climbing and finally veterinarian said he would not recover as his kidneys were not making red blood cells now. Lost my best friend Apollo on February 22, 2014 as we couldn’t stand to see him suffer like he was suffering. I still miss him so much and can’t believe he is gone! I hope your story has a better outcome than mine did but when Apollo started drinking a lot of water, it was too late for veterinarians to really save him.

  3. […] By Dr. Chris Smith […]

  4. French Bulldog Times
    March 24, 2014 | 3:10 pm

    […] Diabetes is typically caused by a low production of insulin or the body not responding to insulin anymore. This can be easily tested for by looking for glucose (sugar) in the urine or a high blood sugar. When the blood sugar goes over 200, glucose appears in the urine. You can test for glucose in the …read more […]

  5. popular carpet cleaning
    January 19, 2014 | 7:32 pm

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something that I think I would never
    understand. It seems too complex and extremely
    broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get
    the hang of it!

  6. Lisa R.
    October 5, 2013 | 1:16 am

    My Dog too started drinking an excess of water….It totally freaked me out. She was drinking much more often & MORE than I’d ever seen her drink in 11+ yrs. Sadly, once we the doc looked at us (with that “look”) we knew it was serious. She ended up having Lymphoma. (It’s been only 3wks today that she passed)PLEASE take you sweet poochie to the Vet As Soooon As Possible! Good Luck 7 will be hoping that’s it’s nothing serious for your greyhound baby.

    • Lisa R.
      October 5, 2013 | 1:18 am

      Had to make the correction: “Good Luck & (not 7) will be hoping for you both it’s nothing serious”!!

  7. becky
    October 4, 2013 | 8:53 pm

    my dog drank alot of water. she is a small breed dog. i brought it to the vets attention. she drew blood, checking her various problems. i was told it was normal for her to drank that much. she eats dry dog food. i don’t agree with the vet, my dog still drinks alot of water. i fill her water bowl several times a day.

    • Gloria Stewart
      March 24, 2014 | 7:18 pm

      We had a friend who had a poodle 2yo ,he was drinking lots if water I knew something was wrong ,she would not believe me ,after few month when she took him to vet ,he told her after all the tests they done he had stage 5 lymphoma and. He died 3 month later he was so sick .I think u should not let her drink that much take the bowl up give it to her 3 times a day .

  8. Nancy
    October 4, 2013 | 4:19 pm

    Another possibility that is often overlooked: Leptospirosis. The age of this dog not be relevant.

    • Lisa R.
      October 5, 2013 | 1:19 am

      Caught soon enough & it can be cured…our vet also checked for that too!!

  9. sarah
    October 4, 2013 | 10:59 am

    Could be to much protein in her food, and its burning up her kidneys!!

  10. replica watches usa
    June 14, 2013 | 3:34 am

    Panerai, Radiomir Atramentous Stamp PAM 183 memory of historic types of Panerai, the Swarthy seal is really a wakefulness with enchanting chasteness, swiss language watches replica legible and smartly designed. Revise gangs. Only for the story Within the 1940′s, some Of italy partners had the pursuit to woo youthful British ladies on mediterranean intermission. Furrowing furtively the lanes of Alexandria or La Valette, driving a 2-courtyard scooter, the Roman used Rolex watch using the cast of a cushion which continues to be modified by Panerai. The Florentine hard underlined the markers having a specific luminescent paste known as the Radiomir. Necessary to time-bit their performances within the of the nature of smoke backrooms, the Panerai watches have joined relation because of these transalpine heroes. A least quantity of, this is exactly what Luigi explained when he entrusted me together with his Radiomir Inky seal 183, to which i’ve to display geneva for any couple of days

  11. darryl sorber
    January 5, 2013 | 6:54 am

    what if my dog will not eat K/D food

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

×

Join the Dogington Post Mailing List. Get up-to-the-minute recall alerts plus tips, tricks and special deals! Click here.