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What Is Water Intoxication in Dogs?

dog drinking from a bowl

Learn about water intoxication in dogs and how to prevent it!

Water intoxication is the rapid intake of water that produces a poisonous level of H2O in the body’s cells, putting a life in danger. It can happen to people and canines alike. Even though it is not common, it is worth noting so that you can spot it should it happen. Below, we’ll discuss water intoxication in dogs. If you suspect your dog is suffering from water intoxication, call your local vet at once!

How Does Water Intoxication in Dogs Happen?

Some dogs might drink too much water at once if they have engaged in rigorous physical activities or if they love to drink. They might snap at water sprinklers, swallow water in lakes, and be happy to drink wherever they can. These dogs might not be as aware of how much water they are consuming.

On a scientific level, overhydration can lead to kidney problems. The kidneys regulate water and sodium levels, and if a dog drinks too much fresh water, its sodium levels can drop too much. If the kidneys do not have time to process the water intake, the other cells of the body, including brain cells, will absorb the water molecules and risk death.

Signs of Water Intoxication in Dogs

Lethargy is the top sign of water intoxication in dogs. One might see various levels of severity, but you can generally see the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of coordination
  • Glazed eyes
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Seizures
  • Coma

You might also see the dog relieving itself of practically clear urine. If you see any level of water intoxication in your pet, call your vet. 

Treating Water Intoxication in Dogs

Your vet can help you monitor the situation and administer the necessary fluids, electrolytes, or medications that your pet might need. If the matter is very serious and your pet has dropped into a coma, it may need to be on a ventilator for several days. No matter how mild or severe the symptoms are, it is best to call your vet as a first step.

What about Seawater Intoxication?

Seawater intoxication is also possible. If your dog ingests seawater or even brackish water too quickly, it could result in lethargy as well. However, giving your pet fluids can help it recover gradually. It is also worth checking in with your vet.

Preventing Water Intoxication in Dogs

Monitoring and controlling your pet’s drinking habits are the keys to prevention. If you have a happy drinker on your hands, it may be wise to steer clear of lakes and other watery areas as much as possible.

If your dog eats too fast, read here. If it is safe enough for your dog to enjoy water activities, read this for fun times ahead.

Trust the Care of Your Pet to the Professionals at Everhart Veterinary Medicine!

At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With three Maryland locations in Baltimore, Pasadena, and Cross Keys, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131, 410-793-7670, or 443-470-6790! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2024 at 11:50 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.