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1/18/13

Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Drinking

Dogs cannot tell us when something is bothering them, and I doubt that they would even if they could. Dogs are just not the type to go around complaining about things.

That's why it's important that we watch for signs and symptoms of disease. Generally, anychange in your dog's body, behavior, actions or routine is telling you something. Some of the signs can be quite subtle and easily overlooked or dismissed. Paying attention to early symptoms can save your dog a lot of suffering and give him the best chance for a successful recovery.

Today we'll take a look at excessive thirst/drinking.


I was talking to a friend about post-op issues her dog was having after an extracapsular repair of her ACL. During our discussion she mentioned that in the snow they noticed that her dog's urine was clear, with no color to it at all, and she asked whether it was something to worry about.

I asked if her dog was drinking a lot. It turned out that her dog had been unusually thirsty and drinking large amounts of water since her surgery three months ago!

Excessive drinking is a symptom that should be taken seriously.

What constitutes excessive drinking?
Any change in your dog's drinking or eating habits should be noted. Drinking more than usual without an obvious explanation—such as hot weather or exercise—should not be dismissed. Do you have to fill the water bowl more often lately? Does your dog urinate more frequently? Talk to your veterinarian.

Take it seriously. Depending on other symptoms, excessive drinking can be a sign of a number of conditions, including
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • Addison's disease
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • A potentially life-threatening uterine infection and other serious conditions

When in doubt, err on the side of caution. 


Early diagnosis can mean the difference between treatment success or failure.
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