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Shih Tzu Puppy drinks too much

February 17th, 2008, 08:47 PM
Hi all -

My shih tzu puppy is 8 months old. He has always seemed to drink way too much water, and after being housebroken, suddenly started peeing in the house and urinating about 3-4 times an hour. Some days he seems to have more control than others. He has had a history of either mild colitis or a bacterial infection (a six week course of Tylan powder seems to have cleared the problem up). Other than this he appears normal an healthy.

The vet has run a ton of tests. His acid-bile test was slightly elevated. We have ruled out Cushings, Addisons, Diabites of any kind, thyroid problems, and kidney problems. His x-rays are clean. Next week he goes in for an ultrasound. They mentioned a possible liver shunt, but he is very healthy looking at 13 pounds. His appetite is excellent.

I am worried that they will find something wrong. I am also worried they will find nothing wrong. Has anyone dealt with this? My vet is very competant and very concerned, yet we may not be able to come to a diagnosis.

I heard from his breeder that even if a kidney test comes back normal, no one can tell without a kidney biopsy. Is this true?


February 17th, 2008, 09:05 PM
I personally have never delt with anything like this, although we have 10 Shih Tzu's in the immediate family. With all the tests coming back that nothing is wrong, maybe it's an enviromental thing.

What type of schedual to you have him on? Does he have access to water all day? Does he have a particular time of day when he drinks? Have you measured how much he's drinking in a day? Does he get water from a bowl or from a water bottle?

The peeing several times in an hour, could be weather related. I know my sisters new Shih Tzu is having trouble house breaking due to the weather. They take her out, but it's cold and the dog doesn't like the snow, so she does a really little pee outside (because she knows shw wont go in until she does), then for the next hour or so she keeps doing little pees in the house, told no run outside, comes in a while later does a little pee etc. You get the point. She didn't have this problem until the cold weather came. Just a thought to ponder.

Oh.....Is he neutered? If he's not it could be marking and that's a pain the the butt to stop until their fixed.

I certianly hope tha there is nothing truly wrong with you dog and that all the test come back that you have a happy healthy pup. With so many of the tests already coming back with nothing wrong I really would look into enviromental or nonhealth related causes. You may also consider contacting the breeder of the pup. They may have delt with a similar issue and have some advice. If it is medical, there should be a guarentee on your dog, which depending on what you chose to do, can help with the vet costs. I'm sure they would like to know if your dog does have health concerns because it will affect their future breedings. Also it may be something in the lines and they may be able to direct you a little better as to what tests would help with a diagnosis.

I wish you all the best with you pup. Keep us posted about what happens.

February 17th, 2008, 09:22 PM
Currently he has access to water in a bowl all day, except for about four hours when he is crated while I go to classes. He seems to drink a lot all day. I have only measured one day so far, and he drank about 4 cups of water. On that day he seemed to drink less than ussual. My other shih-tzu drinks only about one cup a day and he is larger at 16 pounds.

I don't think the weather has any effect on him, since he loves being outside even when it is snowing, raining, etc. I should clarify that although he was having accidents in the house suddenly, he will also ask to go out several times an hour and will urinate a significant amount each time, always in the same general spot. He was neutered at 6 months, and never picked up marking or lifting his leg.

I have talked to the breeder, and she suggested that if nothing else is wrong, his premium dog food may be too rich for him and could be causing an imbalance in his system. She is very anxious to hear the results as well, as she wants to make sure there is nothing wrong that could be present in future pups.

February 22nd, 2008, 01:30 PM
I am not familiar with your breed of dog, but have dealt with excessive drinking in one of my Scotties. My little girl is a rescue we got when she was 4. Her story is sad--she was a loved pet who's owner died. She was kenneled for nearly 6 months while the owner was sick and then while the estate was settled. When we brought her home she was drinking excessive amounts and having lots of accidents. We had the tests you mentioned and the results were all negative. She was diagnosed with psychogenic polydipsia--in other words she is a pathological drinker. When stressed, she will gorge on water.

She was drinking 12-14 cups of water a day which is excessive for a 30 pound dog. We were told that she basically had flushed all the salts from her body and was not able to regulate her desire for water. She was thirsty, so she drank more and more which flushed her salts even further. Her urine looked like water. We were told to gradually limit her water intake to 5 cups a day (but it took several weeks to do this). We only did this under the advice of our vet and only after ruling out other health issues. Once we got her salt levels balanced, we haven't had any long term issues, although she will drink more when traveling for a day or so.

I don't know if this is your dog's issue, but it is something to consider, especially if your dog's urine is very dilute. Good luck with your pup.