Ask Dr. Anna: Pay attention to the amount of water your pet drinks
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It’s important to pay attention to the amount of water your pet drinks on a daily basis. How frequently do you fill the bowl or how far has the water level dropped in one day. Noticing the water level change or filling the water bowl more frequently is a sign that your pet may be drinking more than normal.
Normal water intake: Dogs require 1 ounce/ pound of body weight each day. Cats require a less water than dogs, typically 0.5 ounce/ pound of body weight each day.
Excessive water intake: Anything over 1.5 ounces / pound of body weight.
So, the first thing that needs to be done is to determine if your pet is drinking an excessive amount of water. To do this you will need to separate your pet from all other pets in the family for a 24 hour period. Measure how much water you put into the bowl at the beginning of this experiment and write down any time you add water to the bowl. At the end of the 24 hours subtract how much is in the bowl and calculate how much your pet has drunk.
Naturally, excessive drinking is followed by excessive urination. Which means your pet may be asking to go out more than normal or having accidents in the house. Once you have determined that your pet is excessively drinking and urinating, it is very important to take your pet to your local veterinarian because most causes of excessive drinking and urinating are caused by medical conditions. It is rare for these symptoms to be caused from a behavior problem.
There are many medical conditions that can cause signs of excessive drinking and urinating. The most common medical conditions that I see that can cause these signs is diabetes mellitus and kidney disease. However, there are many other medical problems that can cause excessive drinking and urinating. Other conditions that may cause these symptoms includes infected uterus, over active thyroid gland, some medication (especially steroids), liver disease, and diabetes insipidus (which is rare). Behavioral cases of excessive drinking and urinating are more commonly seen in puppies.
The only way to diagnose these diseases is by doing blood work and checking your pet’s urine. The sooner the problem is detected the better chance you have of treating or slowing down the progression of the disease.
Please e-mail me with your questions at ACoffin@aol.com and put “Ask Dr. Anna” in the subject line or mail your questions to 123 West Harrison Guthrie, OK 73044.
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“The reason dogs have so many friends is because they wag their tails and not their tongues.” author unknown