Water is the foundation of all foundations. Life without it is impossible. But because animals and people every day need a certain amount of fluid. Of course, the spectacle of a water-licking dog will not surprise anyone, but what if your pet has turned into a real "water chowder"? It is possible that he has polydipsia. In dogs (as well as in other animals), this phenomenon speaks of some very serious health problems, albeit not in all cases.
By the way, what kind of word is this? This term refers to cases when dogs drink a lot and excessively. What is the normal average daily volume of water for dogs? Almost all authors agree that it is about 20-70 ml / kg per day. If this value increases to more than 100 ml / kg, then we can talk about polydipsia. So the symptoms of this pathology are simple: the dog constantly spins around a bowl of water, drinks a lot and eagerly. Of course, she writes a lot.
The need for water is regulated by the pituitary gland using the hormone ADH (antidiuretic hormone). It is this substance that “makes” the kidneys secrete concentrated urine. When the water balance in the body is disturbed, the center of thirst in the brain is stimulated, after which the dog begins to drink. So, polydipsia can occur in the case of:
- The "concentration" mechanism in the kidneys does not work.
- Organs do not respond to ADH.
- Because the antidiuretic hormone generally ceased to be synthesized.
- The need for it has increased significantly, since the kidneys respond poorly to its standard amount (primary polydipsia).
Such phenomena can be caused by any injuries of the kidneys, high levels of calcium in the blood, liver failure, any kidney infection, and diabetes. Polydipsia is also observed with a pyometer (infection of the uterus), overactive adrenal glands, with thyroid damage, as well as poisoning with some poisons. In addition, there is also psychogenic polydipsia: the exact cause of this “glitch” has not been revealed in dogs (nevertheless, it will be difficult for the dog to find out something), but some scientists suggest that this may be in extreme stress.
As an option - the development of cerebral encephalopathy in dangerous diseases and sepsis: what is happening in this case with the psyche and brain regions is difficult to say. However, polydipsia in this case is a trifle, since it is difficult not to notice discomforts with the behavior of the animal. Very often, such "oddities" are found in animals with skull injuries, as well as in brain tumors. Some animals are born with a genetic defect: their body simply does not produce the antidiuretic hormone in the right amount. In general, the causes of primary polydipsia in dogs have not yet been precisely determined, although we have already talked about the main predisposing and contributing factors.
Diagnosis and therapy
Firstly, under the conditions of the clinic, all necessary tests will be taken that will help to identify the hypothetical cause of what is happening with the animal. It is important to immediately pay attention to the condition of the adrenal glands and the thyroid gland, as well as the presence of malignant tumors that could give metastases directly to the brain.
If all other diagnostic possibilities are exhausted, the dog is theoretically healthy, but still competes in the volumes of water drunk with elephants, its biological secrets are examined for antidiuretic hormone. The introduction of synthetic ADH can be used: if there is no answer, then the problem is probably in the kidneys. In other cases, it is still worth looking for some hidden infection, there is a chance of a genetic defect or tumor in the brain (it is more difficult to detect a benign one).
The treatment of polydipsia is non-specific, as it seeks its root cause. So, if the problem is with the kidneys (nephrosis), and the disease is no longer treatable, you will have to introduce synthetic antidiuretic hormone, maintain the water-salt balance, keeping the dog’s quality of life at an acceptable level for as long as possible. What is the forecast? It all depends on the diagnosis: depending on the disease, it can vary from favorable to unfavorable. In many cases, polydipsia is an early sign of a disease, so it’s in your best interest not to lose sight of this, and immediately take your dog to the vet.