Water Intoxication: What occurs when your canine drinks an excessive amount of water


All of us have heard the significance of conserving ourselves and our pets nicely hydrated, however do you know that they’ll drink an excessive amount of water? That’s proper, there’s a situation known as water intoxication, and it may be fairly harmful.

So, what precisely is water intoxication in canine and the way does it even occur? On this article, we’ll clarify this curious situation and how one can stop it in your water-loving canine.

What Is Water Intoxication In Canine?

Water intoxication goes by a number of names equivalent to hyponatremia (lack of sodium within the physique), water poisoning or hyperhydration.

The best way {that a} canine develops water intoxication is by ingesting a big amount of water that then results in the physique dropping important sodium, creating an imbalance. This sodium loss causes cells to swell with fluid. When this occurs, elements of the physique which might be encased in bone, such because the mind, may also swell and trigger stress within the skull. This added stress could cause probably deadly points with the central nervous system.

The onset of this situation is fast and as a result of severity and potential for loss of life, it is crucial that any suspicion must be adopted up together with your veterinarian instantly.

Eating ice is a strong reason for dogs to start on the route to water intoxication
Consuming ice is a powerful cause for canine to begin on the path to water intoxication

How Do Canine Develop Water Intoxication?

Most often, particularly in us people, water intoxication comes from ingesting an excessive amount of fluid after vigorous train or some kind of water ingesting competitors.

Comparitively, in canine, the incidence occurs primarily with canines who’re:

  • Energetic swimmers,
  • Divers
  • Water-retrievers
  • Allowed playtime with the hose or sprinkler
  • Allowed to eat ice

Did You Know?
A small or toy breed of canine might be faster to develop water intoxication than a medium-sized or bigger breed of canine merely due to the scale and weight distinction.

The explanation that water intoxication is seen extra in our canine companions is that they don’t sweat, subsequently their our bodies must work more durable to eradicate extra fluid.

What Are The Signs Of Water Intoxication In Canine?

In case your pet has been taking part in within the water and you start to note any of the next signs then contact your veterinarian instantly.

  • Bloating
  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Vomiting
  • Dilated pupils
  • Glazed eyes
  • Problem strolling/staggering
  • Out and in of consciousness

In additional extreme instances the place the extreme fluid has induced swelling of the mind, neurological signs equivalent to the next will be seen as nicely.

  • Problem respiration
  • Seizures
  • Coma
Playing with sprinklers or hoses for long periods of time can cause water intoxication
Taking part in with sprinklers or hoses for lengthy durations of time could cause water intoxication

Which Canine Are At A Higher Danger Of Water Intoxication?

The excellent news is that there aren’t any explicit breeds which might be extra vulnerable to water intoxication than others.

Nonetheless, canine that aren’t skilled swimmers or are being conditioned for water-retrieving or rescue workouts will be put in conditions the place they are going to be in danger for ingesting an extreme quantity of water.

Some canine, such because the terrier breeds, can have a excessive power drive and spectacular ache tolerance which might result in them pushing by way of signs of discomfort, providing you with much less response time when the extra extreme points, equivalent to problem strolling and respiration, lastly are observed.

Then, it’s good to know that canine who’ve a decrease focus of physique fats are additionally faster to develop water intoxication as a result of there may be much less tissue to soak up the extreme fluid consumption.

Different canine which might be bred for actions within the water, like Labradors, Newfoundlands and the Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, are much less more likely to develop water intoxication.

Whereas we’re not 100% sure of the rationale behind this, we will solely assume it is because of their inherent swimming skills and genetic conditioning over time of coaching and breeding.

dog swimming in dock diving and retrieving dummy at risk of water intoxication
Dock diving is a good canine sport for canine who love water, the concept is that they study to leap from a dock right into a pool of water and retrieve a dummy suspended above the water! This will undoubtedly expose your canine to water intoxication.

How Do You Deal with Water Intoxication In Canine?

Treating water intoxication will be profitable if the pet is introduced in whereas nonetheless having the delicate to average signs. The very first thing to do is to appropriate the sodium imbalance inside the physique, and the easiest way to perform that is by way of the administration of intravenous electrolytes. This have to be finished with care, as overcorrection the sodium loss can result in different neurological problems.

Generally veterinarians will select to manage medicine, equivalent to Mannitol, to assist relieve the stress on the mind and even diuretics, equivalent to Lasix, to encourage the removing of inside extra fluid.

As a result of the topic of water intoxication is just not generally mentioned or discovered about in lots of veterinary applications, this situation will be simply misdiagnosed as trauma, overexertion and even hypothermia.

Water retrieving golden retriever going after some ducks in the pond
Water retrieving golden retriever going after some geese within the pond – this, while golden retrievers are usually much less liable to water intoxication, it’s a good suggestion to keep watch over their water consumption.

How Can You Forestall Water Intoxication In Your Canine?

As at all times, prevention and training is vital!

Now that the signs and the methods with which water intoxication can occur, you’re already forward of the pack. Whether or not your canine has a pool or a sprinkler, listed below are a number of of the preventative strategies and issues to be careful for when your loved one companion is having some summer season enjoyable within the water.

1 – What’s your canine’s swimming type?

Does your canine splash quite a bit or preserve their mouth open barely when swimming? Do they prefer to gobble the water when it comes out of the hose or sprinkler?

In that case, then your canine is a kind of which might be at a better threat of water intoxication and they need to be faraway from their splashing and play time for frequent relaxation breaks.

2 – Restrict their time within the water.

This touches on the very last thing that was talked about from #1. Frequent relaxation breaks are extraordinarily necessary, particularly in case your canine is swimming or diving into the water to retrieve toys.

To assist fight the difficulty of them swallowing an excessive amount of water whereas dock diving or fetching a toy, yow will discover them a flat toy for his or her water excursions as they’re much less more likely to trigger your canine to swallow extreme quantities of water.

diving from a dock into the ocean can risk water intoxication or even salt poisoning for this golden retriever
diving from a dock into the ocean can threat water intoxication and even salt poisoning for this golden retriever

3 – At all times supervise your canine whereas taking part in with or within the water.

Take into consideration your canine like a small baby – you wouldn’t go away them unsupervised with water as harmful and life-threatening issues can occur. Even when they aren’t vulnerable to drowning in a pool or different physique of water, canine with sprinklers and backyard hoses could not know when to cease ingesting.

4 – If that your canine has a ingesting downside.

Effectively, I’m not speaking about that sort of ingesting downside. However some doggos simply actually like water and can go to city on ingesting it if they’re left to their very own units. Canine like this could, basically, not be left with limitless entry to water, regardless of the scenario.

A very good factor right here is the Whistle Swap – as a result of it truly reveals you your canine ingesting price. Which is actually fascinating and it’s one thing that would warn you to underlying medical points, and/or in the event that they’re simply ingesting an excessive amount of in case you’re involved!

Actually, the medical monitoring that the whistle change gives is so fascinating!!

IMG 886A0DCD2E7D 1
A screenshot from Shelby’s Whistl change – you’ll be able to see that she’s drank extra in the present day than she did yesterday, I do know that it’s because Shelby was ‘digging’ and that concerned consuming filth in the present day, so she acquired fairly thirsty because of this, so at all times give it some thought virtually.

5 – Have water accessible.

Yeah, I do know, that appears foolish, proper? Effectively, belief me, it’s going to assist. As soon as a canine turns into extraordinarily thirsty, they’re extra more likely to gorge and ingest an extreme quantity at one time, both leading to water intoxication or (greatest case state of affairs) they puke instantly.

If a canine has a small, drinkable water provide in a canine bowl, they’re extra more likely to drink that as they turn out to be a bit thirsty right here and there, as a substitute of over-ingesting a lot later.

6 – Know your canine’s well being.

Generally canine can really feel very thirsty attributable to sure medical circumstances. As an example, endocrine problems like Cushing’s illness, and circumstances like diabetes and kidney failure could cause polydipsia. Which is actually only a fancy physician time period for elevated ingesting.

In case you suspect that your canine is searching for out water to drink for a possible cause apart from being thirsty, then it might be clever to name your veterinarian for an appointment and a few blood work.

drinking running water is great for cooling your dog down, but water intoxication is a thing you should look out for
ingesting working water is nice for cooling your canine down, however water intoxication is a factor it’s best to look out for

7 – Restrict your canine’s Ice consumption

Ice is water, and sure! It has cooling properties, however because it thaws it may be simply as problematic. Attempt to not deal with ice cubes as treats, and usually you’ll be fairly okay. As at all times, that is over ingestion. one or two right here or there might be fantastic.

What About Recent Water Vs Salt Water?

That is significantly necessary for house owners that frequent salt water seashores with their canine. When canine are swimming within the ocean, they’re vulnerable to ingesting the tremendous salty water, which in extreme quantities can result in sodium poisoning, or hypernatremia (an excessive amount of sodium within the physique).

The signs of salt poisoning or hypernatremia in canine are:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Matches and muscle tremors
  • Confusion/disorientation
  • Uncontrolled bowel actions or diarrhea
  • Extreme thirst
  • Extreme urination

Like hyponatremia, aka water intoxication, the ingestion of an excessive amount of salt water could cause an equally harmful and detrimental impact in your canine’s physique and central nervous system, even leading to loss of life.

In case you suspect that your canine has ingested an excessive amount of salt water, then contact your veterinarian instantly about getting them seen. Any of the above signs warrant an instantaneous veterinary go to!

As at all times: Name Your Vet!

In case you don’t know what’s occurring? And also you’re undecided what the difficulty is? Name your vet!

Discover different options to maintain your canine cool

Water intoxication is one thing that many homeowners had no thought may even occur. This situation is usually a actually sneaky and life-threatening emergency, so staying well-informed and educated is the primary a part of stopping this from taking place to you and your loved one canine companion.

In case you are involved that your canine has ingested an excessive amount of water whereas having a enjoyable play session exterior within the yard, on the pool and even on the seaside, then please contact your veterinarian instantly as water intoxication is probably deadly if left untreated.

Creator, Ali Smith

Ali Smith is the Constructive Pet Knowledgeable, canine coach and is the founding father of Rebarkable. She is obsessed with serving to pet dad and mom get issues proper, proper from the beginning. To assist create a pet able to being a assured and adaptable member of the family and preserve puppies out of shelters.

Ali has received a number of awards for her canine coaching, and has had her weblog (this weblog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ greatest pet weblog!



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