PetMeds®: Is Your Dog or Cat Always Thirsty?

 
Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog
thirsty-dog One of the most common presentations of a developing illness in both dogs and cats is when animal guardians notice a chronic increased thirst or urination in their pet.  And while thirst can certainly be a function of the type of diet a pet is eating, animal guardians should definitely bring their pets in for a physical exam and workup when they start having to fill their water bowls more frequently on a chronic basis.

Most veterinarians will run a baseline of tests to include a CBC/blood chemistry/thyroid profile, as well as a urine analysis and possibly a urine culture.  If an answer is not readily apparent from this initial baseline of tests, then other testing such as X-Rays or Ultrasound may be needed.  Often the increased thirst and urination can be accompanied by weight loss with the occasional exception of a hormonal disease of the adrenal glands called Cushing’s disease, where a pet will often develop a distended abdomen and weight gain. Besides this adrenal gland problem (most commonly seen in dogs) other metabolic conditions of the kidneys, liver, pancreas, and thyroid glands can all be potential causes of the excessive thirst and urination.  In senior patients, we always have to keep in mind the possibility for various cancerous processes as well.

For my feline clients, I often warn them that when a cat is asking for water out of the spicket and/or seen at the water dish frequently, they should consider a full veterinary evaluation, and also switch to a species appropriate wet food or meat diet. This is because many cat owners may be under the assumption that dry food diets are better for them. In addition, both diabetes and hyperthyroidism are very common endocrine or hormonal disorders seen in aging cats.

Once your veterinarian arrives at a diagnosis of the problem, appropriate long term medical treatment, dietary therapy, and nutritional supplements can often be helpful in managing the problem.  For diabetic dogs and cats, the newer Vetsulin Insulin is often a first choice or perhaps PZI Vet Insulin for our feline friends. If liver disease is suspected or confirmed, in some cases it may accompany disorders of the pancreas like diabetes or pancreatitis. There is a wonderful endocrine package deal carried by 1800PetMeds that includes a variety of broad spectrum supplements that may help in the long term management of many of these disorders. The endocrine package includes antioxidant Proanthozone, an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement known as Super Pure Omega 3, and Naturvet Enzymes and Probiotic, all packaged together at a very reasonable price.

Read Related Posts on PetMeds Blog:

  1. Excessive Thirst in Pets
  2. PetMeds®: Cushing’s Disease: Symptoms and Treatment
  3. What is Canine Cushing’s Disease?
  4. Cushing’s Disease: Symptoms and Pet meds for Treatment
  5. PetMeds® Over Diagnosing Cushing’s Disease

6 Comments

  1. John Broody
    Posted August 31, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I have found the the same chemicals used by beverage co’s, to make your throat dry, are also bieng put in cat food. The cat food co’s also produce kitty litter. So a cat that drinks more, urinates more! And you have to buy more litter. The litter recently, has gotten so absorbant, it’s hard to afford to keep buying it. But the co’s are selling it like hotcakes! I had to buy a cheaper brand. If you do not believe this, Check the two chemicals in spring water,”Used for flavering” You will find the same in cat food. Buy food that does not have these chemicals.

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  2. Janice
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Our town has increased the amount of chlorine in our drinking water, and now my dog is drinking an enormous amount of water. Could the chlorine be causing this change of drinking habits? Also, I just had her checked for diabetes, and the test was normal. Thanks,Janice

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    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I doubt due to chlorine. Make sure other labwork done to rule out kidney and liver issues. Diabetes insipideus is another differential which is a different disease than elevated sugar. See your vet again.

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  3. Madonna Young-Magee
    Posted November 25, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    My 11 year old dog recently began to drink a lot of water…he drink now, habitualy just before I take him out to pee and after we return..we live in an apartment. He has been unable to hole his pee now…peeing in the elevator “by mistake”..he just can;t help it..it just happens and he is surprised, too. Is this new incontinence..even peeing in his own bed..a typical sign of age like in us humans? He is part Pyrenees and, we think, part Golden retriever. He came to our doo 8 years ago so we do not know his history. Any advice or knowledge anyone out there has on this new experience for us would be highly appreciated. He rarely goes to the vet…he has been very healthy and we don;t have the money to visit the vet very often. I guess a vet visit is ib store now…but any other info on this would either ease our minds or give me food for thought and get me to the vet on time. Thank you.

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    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    A vet exam is recommended to make sure no diabetes, liver or kidney issues. IF none of these and/or no infections, then old age incontinence is possible and prescription meds like proin may help.

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    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Vet exam is recommended for urine analysis for infection and blood work to rule out metabolic problems. If all normal, then meds for urine incontinence like proin may help.

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  4. Posted March 11, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    My mom’s cat is almost 21 years old, part Siamese. She drinks water excessively. The vet said at her age no need to bring her to the office. Your thoughts please.

    Thank you.

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    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Answered previously.

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    dana Reply:

    have a older cat with sensitive stomach she can’t eat dry food or vomits now is having problem with wet food any supplement i can give mix in food to help him digest food better

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    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Try probiotic like fast balance and enzyme like naturevet enzyme from 1800petmeds.

  5. Posted March 11, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    My mom’s cat is almost 21 years old, part Siamese. She drinks water excessively and her vet says not to bring her back because of her age. Your thoughts.

    Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    I would have an exam and blood work/urine analysis to make sure no treatable illness like diabetes, thyroid disease, etc. Even in a cat this age.

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  6. tpj
    Posted November 3, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Hi. My 7 yr old spayed black lab was drinking masses and masses and generally looking unhappy. She had been on dried dog food most of the time. My gut instinct told me to change her diet drastically. I put her on a raw meat and bone diet (with only healthy scraps added, like fruit, veg etc.) I saw a drastic change in her within 24 hours. She was looking happier and drinking less (like normal amount) and is generally a much happier dog.

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    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    THanks for sharing. As a holistic oriented veterinarian, I have found raw meat home diets quite effective in helping many dogs.

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