6-Year-Old Miniature Pinscher X Dachshund Obsesses About Water
Drinking Too Much Water Lands Dog in the Intensive Care Unit
Elmo’s Drinking was a Bigger Problem Than his Family Knew
Elmo drank too much water. If you set a bucket of water in front of him, he’d drink right to the bottom. While this may sound amusing for a party trick, he ended up in the doggy intensive care before his veterinarian diagnosed the problem.
Elmo became weak, trembling, staggering, retching and vomiting. He needed intravenous fluids and medications to become well again. How did this happen?
Before his family even knew he had a problem, Elmo drank so much water he washed his electrolytes out of his system. Once the electrolytes go out of balance, death closes in.
A Definitive Diagnosis Was Needed to Help Elmo
The intravenous fluids replace the missing electrolytes, but a massive investigation launched to find out why Elmo couldn’t stop drinking water.
The symptom of drinking too much water is called polydipsia (polly Dip see ah). (Also spelled polydypsia.)
Differentials (Possible Diseases) That Can Cause Polydipsia
Reasons could include kidney, liver, adrenal disease, infections, poisons, cancer, and diabetes mellitus. Elmo was negative for everything.
Insipidus Diabetes Confirmed Culprit
When everything science knows how to check comes up negative, the diagnosis for polydipsia could be diabetes insipidus. The brain tells the body it’s thirsty through an unregulated diuretic hormone system.
Inhibition of the body’s anti-diuretic hormone results in excessive urination after alcohol consumption. The alcohol turns off the hormone that stops you from urinating too much, and you urinate like crazy. This leads to dehydration. If you couple this dehydration with excessive sweating and exertion from dancing while drinking a lot of alcohol, you can just imagine the strain on your heart. Your heart needs liquid to push the oxygen around your body in the bloodstream.
Doc Truli couldn’t drink alcohol and go out dancing through all of medical school because this anti-diuretic hormone class lecture precipitated mental flashes of a stressed-out, pissed heart.
Have a nice day now that you read that! 🙂
Diabetes insipidus is a diagnosis of exclusion. When you’ve checked for everything, this is left by default. Maybe someday, medicine will understand the exact metabolic defect better and be able to directly test for diabetes insipidus.
Just the Knowledge of the Diagnosis Lets Elmo’s Family Keep the Little Dog Healthy
There’s no cure for diabetes insipidus. The good news is, once you know about the problem, you can limit your dog’s water intake under your veterinarian’s instructions. If you can’t keep water away from your dog, there are medications that suppress the urge to drink too much water.
Elmo drinks his allotted water each day. He gets his bloodwork checked every six months and it’s always normal. His family manages his water and he does not need medication.
Now, look at Elmo’s ears when he hears a water faucet turned on!