What are The Causes of Excessive Thirst in Dogs: How To Diagnose

July 21, 2011 | Dog Health | Leave a Comment |

Excessive thirst in dogs could be a sign of an underlying serious medical condition. Although there may be instances where excessive thirst is to be expected such as medication side effects, hot weather and physical activities, dogs exhibiting signs of excessive thirst without any valid reason should be brought to the vet.

Excessive Thirst in Dogs

  • A dog of normal weight takes approximately 25 to 40 ml of water or fluids per pound of weight.
    This roughly translates to 4 cups of fluids for dog that weighs 20 pounds.
  • Early signs of excessive thirst in dogs include increased urinary frequency and the canine’s tendency to drink from the toilet bowl, sink or a dripping faucet.
  • Check the dog’s diet. Food rich in sodium can make dog thirsty. To check for excessive thirst within a 24-hour period, provide water and fluids in one bowl only and monitor input and output.
  • Dehydration and some medications, especially steroids, can also increase the dog’s thirst.
  • Check your dog’s temperature. This can be done by feeling the dog’s ear and groin. Infection and bacteria may also be the cause of the dog’s elevated temperature, thus, the increase in thirst.
  • An appointment with the veterinarian may be necessary when irregularities are noticed with the canine’s water intake within the 24-hour period.
  • Treatment usually depends on the underlying condition and can range from medications to surgery.

 Excessive Thirst in Dogs Causes

  • Excessive thirst in dogs is not just limited to a specific disease. It could be a sign of one, two or more of the following conditions:
  • endocrine disorders such as diabetes mellitus, over-activity or under-activity of the adrenal and thyroid glands
  • kidney disorders such as renal glucosuria and pyelonephritis
  • liver diseases
  • infection of the uterus
  • electrolyte abnormalities
  • behavioral problems such as psychogenic polydipsia
  • The most common causes of excessive thirst in canines include chronic kidney failure, diabetes mellitus and hyperadrenocorticism, also known as Cushing’s Syndrome.
  • It could also be a result of medications currently taken or simply, deprivation.

Excessive Thirst in Dogs Diagnosis

  • Apart from a thorough physical examination and medical history, certain laboratory exams may be made to be able to conclude a definite diagnosis

Diagnostic Tests Include

  • CBC or a Complete Blood Count
  • Urinalysis, including culture and sensitivity
  • Serum chemistry tests such as measuring electrolyte levels
  • Abdominal X-rays and ultrasound imaging
  • 24-hour creatinine clearance to check the ability of the kidney’s filtering function
  • Contrast studies to evaluate for infection
  • Water deprivation testing

Anti-diuretic hormone response test

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