Water Intoxication in Dogs; symtoms and treatment

Water Intoxication in Dog

Water Intoxication in Dogs

One very rare condition that can affect any dog is water intoxication.  There is very little know about this condition since it is caused by water, a rather harmless substance.  Who would think that drinking the precious liquid could actually bring harm to your pet?

It is funny but we humans many times believe that our dogs are able to limit themselves to what they need only.  Some breeds of dogs can actually do this but not all of them.  Some dogs will eat all the excess food they are given, which then leads to obesity.  Pretty much the same way, if you give your pet excess amount of water, he will drink the whole thing even if his body has already had enough.

What is water intoxication?

Water intoxication happens when the dog has consumed more water than the body is able to handle.  When this happens, the sodium ions outside the cell are diluted (hyponatremia).  In order to response to this unbalance, the cell will absorb more extracellular fluid.  This results in a swelling of the organs.  Some of these swelling organs, like the liver, can make space when swollen.  But the brain, for instance, is locked inside a relentless skull.

So basically, the water dissolves the sodium in the body.  This element is important for maintaining blood pressure, nerve and muscle activity.

The symptoms

The symptoms of water intoxication happen really fast.  Whenever you see any of them, you must run to the veterinarian immediately.  Once your pet has started to manifest them, he could fall into a coma within less than six hours and die.

  • Bloating
  • vomiting
  • lethargy
  • Coordination loss
  • Excessive salivation
  • Restlessness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Glazed eyes
  • Pale gums

What should you do?

Take your dog to the closest veterinarian to get treated at the sign of the first abnormality you see.  Now, there are some things you should do to prevent water intoxication on your pet.

  • Reduce the time your dog spends in the swimming pool.  He is probably drinking all the water that comes into his mouth.
  • Make sure your dog does not play with water sprinkles or a running hose.
  • Always provide a sufficient amount of water on your pet´s bowl.

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