One of the most common complaints that owners bring their older pets into the clinic for is a change in their water intake. It usually comes on gradually, but they finally realize their pet is drinking more water and as a result peeing more often. Sometimes, owners don’t necessarily notice the increased water intake but will bring them in because they pick up on the fact that they are asking to go outside more or are having accidents in the house which never used to happen. In the veterinary world, we call this problem polyuria (increased urination) and polydipsia (increased thirst), or being PU/PD.
A Multitude of Causes
What exactly causes a pet to be PU/PD? The list is quite extensive but to name a few:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Cushing’s disease
- Urinary Tract Infection
- Kidney disease
- Liver Disease
- Addison’s disease
Any of these conditions are possible when you bring your pet in for drinking more water. The bigger question is how do we sort it out?
Bloodwork is a Necessity
The easiest starting point to diagnose your pet’s condition is to run routine lab work including a CBC, Chemistry, and a Urinalysis. Sometimes we get an answer right away – such as in the case of diabetes mellitus or kidney disease. Other times, the bloodwork will give us clues as to what is going on, but additional tests are needed. Cushing’s disease is a great example of this scenario. This condition requires a specialized test to confirm but we can get indicators, such as elevations in liver enzymes or cholesterol, that can start to clue us in to the underlying problem. Bottom line is that generally all veterinarians will start with baseline diagnostics to try and figure out what specific condition is affecting your pet. If they cannot figure it out right away additional tests or an ultrasound may be needed to get the answer.
Will it Ever Get Better?
Most of the time the first question that owners ask me is if something can be done to help their pet. The clinical signs of being PU/PD is often what is most frustrating to owners because that is what they see. No one is happy about having to clean up accidents on their favorite rug or waking up in the middle of the night to let their pet out. In general, the answer is yes. Once we figure out exactly what the problem is we can usually do something to help. For example, in the case of diabetes we can prescribe insulin, or there are pills that can be taken daily to help with Cushing’s disease. Most of these conditions do tend to be lifelong but often are manageable. The key is understanding the problem and what can be done to help.
If you notice that your pet is drinking more water than normal or peeing more frequently make an appointment with our staff to get it figured out. We are happy to walk you through the process and help manage any condition that may be diagnosed! Make an appointment today!
Weight isn’t just a number
No one really wants to talk about it—weight that is. It is one of the first things I evaluate as a veterinarian. For every appointment at Borgfeld Animal Hospital we put your dog or cat on the scale and get their updated weight. As part of their physical exam, we determine a body condition score. These values help to determine if you pet is healthy or if there could be an underlying problem. The sad truth is that most pets that we see are technically considered overweight to obese. It has become so commonplace to see overweight pets that what a veterinarian considers normal or lean most owners consider too thin. And the vice versa applies. What an owner considers normal, we as veterinarians would deem as overweight.Continue…
Uh-Oh! What just happened?
Most people have been there. You get a new puppy or kitten. For the most part they are good. They run, and play, and bring love and entertainment to your family. Then it happens. You see them chewing on a rock, or toy, or a sock. As you walk over to get it out of their mouth, they look you dead in the eyes and swallow it whole and run off like nothing ever happened.
Then the waiting game begins. Will the object pass? Is it going to become a costly problem that requires intervention from your veterinarian? The truth is many times dogs and cats can pass these objects without much of a problem. Sometimes, you have no idea that they have eaten something until you see it in the litterbox or when you take them outside to go to the bathroom. Other times though, that poor decision of eating the head from a Barbie doll does create a medical emergency that has to be fixed.Continue…