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buffytwin April 28th, 2006 08:17 AM

Dog obsessed with drinking water - Answered by Dr. Van Lienden
I have a 10 month old Boxer who is absolutely obsessed with water, is this normal? Or do you think something is wrong? He drinks it as if he's been in a dessert for a week without any! If you gave him a bucket full of it he would drink and drink until its gone. We don't let him drink a lot at a time b/c of Bloat, so we're constantly stopping him. But even when we bath him he freaks b/c he's just trying to drink the water coming out of the shower head, seems a bit over the top. If he see's a puddle he'll lick it bone dry if you let him. He tries to drink the water in our backyard where our fence posts are! He's so obsessed with it, we take it away from him after a certain time at night just so he's not peeing all day the next day and he constantly walks around where it would be looking for it... He is crated all day while we're at work, and we have a friend the checks on him in the middle of the day. We don't put water in his crate b/c we've tried everything and no matter what he tips it over and just makes a mess, so we gave up on that, we literally tried everything, plus he pee's in his crate too, probably b/c all the water he drinks. The lady that checks on him gives him a very small amount, again b/c we don't want him peeing in the afternoon, which he does anyway. Does any of this sound normal to anyone, or think something may be wrong with him? Other then this he's completely fine, seems very healthy, very active and just a wonderful dog, but I'm wondering if we should take him to the vet or if some dogs just love water that much? Thanks!

Lucky Rescue April 28th, 2006 08:51 AM

Insatiable thirst is NOT normal, is a symptom of some underlying problem and can have a number of causes - diabetes insipidus, Cushing's disease (pituitary tumours) etc.

You need to have this thoroughly checked out asap.

jawert1 April 28th, 2006 10:19 AM

My pointer is the same - it's not normal, you need to take your pup in for an ACTH test, as well as the usual battery of hormone testing (pituitary, diabetes, etc). Good luck

Beaglemom April 28th, 2006 11:56 AM

I'm going to agree with the others. Your pup needs to see a vet asap. There could be so many different things causing his thirst. The one that really jumps out at me is Diabetes. Cushings also has thirst as a symptom, but I would rule out diabetes first as cushingoid dogs are normally middle aged to senior. Your vet would run a couple of tests, normally a complete blood test and a urinalysis and would take it from there depending on the results.

rainbow April 28th, 2006 12:09 PM

I agree with everyone as this is definitely not normal. Please take your dog to the vet ASAP and let us know the results.:pawprint:

buffytwin May 2nd, 2006 07:24 AM

Thanks for the advice guys, I did exactly what you said and took him to the vet asap! We're just waiting for the test results, they said they'll have them today and will call me, so I'll let you know what happens. They ran a couple tests to see if there is anything wrong, they said this test will show if there is anything wrong anywhere! So I will let you know the outcome! Thanks again for the replies!

buffytwin May 4th, 2006 11:19 AM

We got the results from his blood work yesterday and it all came back fine, so that is great news! They are still running the urine tests, they do half in the vet and send half to a lab, the half they ran tests on in the vet he said looks like he may have crystals in his urine. He's going to call me today with the lab results and let me know:) We went out lastnight and bought him a huge XPen to run around in rather then keeping him in his crate while we're at work, so now he can run around and play and has lots of space:) And this way he's still safe and not destroying our house, lol

buffytwin May 4th, 2006 01:15 PM

We just heard back from the vet and said everything came back fine. He said there is a tiny tiny amount of crystal in his urine but nothing to be concerned about. He said a dog should drink approx. 1 litre of water a day. B/c he doesn't have water in the day while we're at work maybe it just seems like he drinks a lot. Either way now that we have the pen for him he'll have a nice bowl of water there all the time for him to drink! Im just very happy he's fine and nothing is wrong, always better to be safe then sorry!

Lucky Rescue May 4th, 2006 01:52 PM

To find out how much your dog is really drinking, do what I did: Measure out the water into a measuring cup, then at the end of 12 hours see how much is left. If you aren't going to home, use a gallon bucket and fill it.

When I did this, I found out my dog was drinking 12 cups of water in that time period. WAY too much but I wouldn't have known had I not measured it.

She also did obsessive things like your dog, such as trying to lick rainwater from the leaves outside.

buffytwin May 5th, 2006 02:31 PM

And was there anything wrong with your dog? We did measure it the day before we took him to the vet, he told us to, and he drank just under 8 cups in total and that was on a Sunday so we were home all day to measure and watch. So really it wasn't as much as we thought. But a good idea to do while we're not home just to see. I'm thinking now that he has water all the time he'll spread it out more and not drink as much all at once. I think that might have been the problem. We'll soon tell. But good to know that he has a clean bill of health, what a releif!

petdr May 9th, 2006 05:46 AM

There are a number of reasons for this presentation. A urinalysis and complete blood profile will help begin to answer the cause.

My rule-outs would be: diabetes insipidus,diabetes mellitus, psycogenic thirst that has led to medullary wash-out, liver shunt, renal dysplasia, polycystic kidney disease, nephroblastoma, infectious nephritis and the list goes on.

Do not be surprised if your veterinarian orders abdominal x-ray films, abdominal ultrasound, urine culture and various hormonal assays to further refine the diagnostic work-up.

Sorry that is not an easy fix, and the reason is that many serious problems can present just like this, but the astute owner and veterinarian will avoid quessing, thereby guaranteeing the best outcome possible.

Dr. Van Lienden

Dr. Raymond Van Lienden DVM
The Animal Clinic of Clifton
12702 Chapel Road, Clifton
Virginia, U.S.A. 20124

oreokitty July 31st, 2006 05:07 PM

Thirsty dog...
It isn't normal and I would get it checked out ASAP! Kohl our three year old Doberman has been obsessed with water since day one and now three years old and he has been diognossed with kidney failure. Please, please take your dog in to see your vet and DEMAND that they look for kidney failure. They might not want to because your puppy is so young but learn from my mistake and demand it.

OntarioGreys August 1st, 2006 04:46 AM

There are the odd dogs that do binge drink that have nothing medically wrong with them.

[QUOTE] He is crated all day while we're at work, and we have a friend the checks on him in the middle of the day. We don't put water in his crate b/c we've tried everything and no matter what he tips it over and just makes a mess, so we gave up on that, we literally tried everything, plus he pee's in his crate too, [/QUOTE]

It could be part of the reason he is binge drinking, as he wants to tank up knowing it is not always available to him and can be contributing to the cyrstal you are seeing, I never withhold water from my dogs unless absolutely necessary for surgery There are a couple ways to handle water in a crate, you can buy buckets that clip in the crate or you can use a water bottle like those used for rabbits. once he realizes that water is always available for him he may actually start slowing down. Normally if there are crystals in the urine there is usually bacteria as well(UTI) which can cause increased water consumption, sometimes it does always show up as a high count on the urine test, I had a foster that was like that she was on an antibiotic(cephalexin) for spay surgery that had opened up, but she was peeing more than normal, her urine test did not register hjigh for bacteria, but the fact she was peeing every couple of hours did indicate that she had a UTI so the vet prescribed a different antibiotic(baytril) which is a bit stronger, within 3 days , there was a major improvement.

With crystals in the urine increased water consumption is needed to help flush the the crystals out if they remain inside the can bind together and become bladder or kidney stones.

Kristin7 August 1st, 2006 06:51 AM

I had a dog a few years ago who I thought drank a lot, and told my vet that, who said that is normal for a dog. Well, it's really not. Finally they checked her out more thoroughly when she started peeing her bed at night. Turns out she had chronic kidney disease. They tested her blood as well as gave an abdominal ultrasound to diagnose. Poor girl was only with me for a couple years, but I made sure she had fun in her short life.

oreokitty August 1st, 2006 09:46 AM

Kristin7 what did your dog pass away from? Kohl is the same way he LOVES water and we were told the same thing that it was normal. It ISN'T!

Prin August 1st, 2006 11:40 AM

I think it was kidney failure.:sad:

Kristin7 August 1st, 2006 12:24 PM

It's kind of a long story. The vet's weren't sure, but she was diagnosed with pancreatitis, which effectively destroyed the rest of her poorly functioning kidneys. She had just started taking medication (I forget the name) for incontinence, as she had been peeing more often in her bed at night, and a side effect was high blood pressure. The day after she started taking it, I had to bring her to the ER, and she never came back. She did rally a bit, but her kidneys weren't functioning well, plus, her blood pressure never came down and she was vomiting a lot, and when she went back downhill, I had to let her go. :sad: While she was there, they checked her blood and kidneys and said she probably wouldn't have lived another year (she was almost 3 when she died). It sounds like you were given the same line I was, oreokitty. To anyone w/ a dog who drinks a lot, oreokitty is right, insist on blood tests, etc, to make sure the dog doesn't have kidney disease!! Even puppies can have this. I was told my dog was probably born with the condition, because they were so deteriorated in such a young dog. Your dog needs special food and care and can lead a fairly normal, although shortened life. I have a lot of guilt from that, because i didn't insist on the tests earlier, and agreed to have her take the medication that seemed to have triggered her fast decline. Plus, when she was a pup, she also took medication for mange which probably didn't help her kidneys either.

Prin August 1st, 2006 12:27 PM

Aww, I'm so sorry.:sad: :grouphug:

Kristin7 August 1st, 2006 12:33 PM

oh, my dog's symptoms, besides drinking a lot, were not obvious and she appeared the picture of health to those who did not know her condition. Over time she did develop ulcers (watch for blood in the stool) and I had to give her daily antacids, she was somewhat underweight as she did not eat much, she had a sensitive stomach, but otherwise, seemed very normal and active. The vet only took notice after my dog started peeing in her sleep, and when i brought in a urine sample for testing, the vet noticed right away something was wrong, as her urine was not very yellow and almost like water. Your dog's urine should be yellow, not very pale or very dark, or something is wrong. I'm very sorry to hear about your dog's kidney failure, oreokitty.

oreokitty August 1st, 2006 05:40 PM


It sounds exactly like what Kohl has. I didn't know I just thought that Kohl had training problem with peeing all over the house. The thing is that we brought Kohl for testing only three months ago and found nothing. Why would it go from good to so bad so quick? They think he was born with this also. Nothing we did (thank goodness but still second guessing myself) Kohl is only three. I pray that the vet is wrong because Kohl is like my son. Sorry can't finish this post because I am at work and I can't cry at work...

Sorry for hijacking this post..

But I would seriously have your dog checked for Kidney disease because it happens in puppies too. Even if it isn't in your dogs lines (like mine) it can still be there.

Kristin7 August 2nd, 2006 08:45 AM


I totally understand how you feel! I was and am still heartbroken over this. I'm sure it is nothing you did! It is strange that his tests were fine three months ago. Did your vet have an explanation for that? My dog was tested at a year and a half the first time and did have abnormal kidney values then (BUN, creatinine). I'm not sure if testing for those values is routine or have to be requested. What were the tests? Could one of these sets of test have been wrong? Maybe try a different vet and see what they say. If there is a good vet school near you, you could also have them take a look. I hope the diagnosis was wrong :fingerscr

Mahealani770 August 2nd, 2006 01:55 PM

Well, Buffytwin hasn't been on here since May, so I wonder how her dog is doing?

Tiggerclr October 29th, 2006 12:53 PM

Drinkng too much water
hello! I found this forum looking for help for my Great Dane, who has begun drinking about 3 gallons of water a day and stopped eating. He was also vomiting quite a bit and needed to go every 3 hours. Baron is 7 1/2 years old and used to be able to wait long periods of time between walkings, so it's been quite an adjustment!

He has been to the vet and all the ultrasounds, bloodwork, urine culture, lymph node aspiration, have all come out basically normal. The only two things that were odd were that one of his liver values was elevated and his potassium was quite low.

My next step is to a diagnostician to see if they need to do a water-deprivation test. What does this mean?

deltadawgs January 7th, 2007 05:53 PM

Our dog loves water, too!
Our new puppy, Fielder, is only six months old. He's been a big water drinker since day one, but it's intensified lately to the point where he will drink out of our backyard pond until we stop him. He's also peeing all over the house (walking and peeing). We've taken him to the vet who said something about hypogenic dyspepsia and not to worry. After reading these posts, though, I'm very worried!


boomdia January 21st, 2007 09:06 PM

Tiggerclr,,,,, just to mention this,,,, two years ago my dog, collie/golden retriever cross, quit eating one day. after a few days, we knew it wasn't just being silly, so at the vets we started the tests,,,,, needless to say i had to soften food, and make her eat some. she lost 9 lbs in 3 weeks, with really no results from tests. friends had some similar problem and found out their dog had Addisons disease,,,,, controlled with meds. i asked to have this test done,,,,,$180.00 for test. but they admitted her in morning, took a blood test,,,, injected her with a serum to activate gland that produces hormores associated with brain activity telling them they are hungry... then another blood test,,,, then home at noon . she came in the house,,, straight to her food container and scratched for food. i fed her,,, same at suppertime,,, she ate and before bed she wanted more.... next day breakfast was good then the injection started to wear off and back to not wanting to eat again... SO vet gave me meds for Addisons which after about 4 weeks i weened her off them like vet said to ,,,, been fine ever since. Now she seems to be drinking water a lot,,,, after 3 weeks of this, back to vet last Sat. jan 13/07 at which time she said Taylor looks in great health,,, little overweight but no signs of a problem... but she too blood for testing and monday i am to collect urine and stool samples for testing also. Vet did say her eyes were very very slightly cloudy, but not overly, or like a catarac problem. I will collect the urine from her first pee in morning as that will not be diluted with all the water she drinks,,,, so outside at about 5:30 am with my rubbermaid containers. will update. and thanks so much for letting me join this forum,,, i found it very interesting, and lots of caring people of pets too.[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]

boomdia January 31st, 2007 09:02 AM

Update for Taylor drinking too much water.... after blood tests, urine tests,,,and ACTH test they did find that her thyroid was just a little low but her urine is not concentrated. The Vet has not asked for a 'water consumption ' activity for 3 - 5 days. Then she will instruct me on a ' water deprivation activity' but have to be very careful with that one so no dehydration occurs.
The Vet also suggested that with these results maybe an internist for dogs be called in to help diagnose also. She said Taylor, who is 9, part collie part golden retriever, may have Diabetes Insipidus.
will update on this....
has anyone been through this?

Hagbard Celine January 31st, 2007 10:20 AM

My boxer pup drinks excessively too
Hi all, this is my first post. My boxer pup, Izzy, is approximately four months old and has recently begun drinking excessively. Today is Wednesday and I took her to the vet to get her third wave of vaccinations on Saturday. Following the vaccinations she has had unquenchable thirst. When water is put in front of her she drinks and drinks until it is gone and then she begs for more. I have the same problems at buffytwin with her tummy becoming bloated due to the amount of water in it and then she pees every 10 minutes. I'm going insane and not getting anything done outside of watching her like a hawk all the time. I've called and spoken with a four-year vet student at the University of Auburn who said it didn't sound like an emergency and everyone I've spoken to tells me to "give her the water if she's asking for it." I do of course, but the amount she's drinking is not normal. To my untrained eye it seems like her body is not absorbing any of the water and it's just going right through her. Is there a dietary or electrolyte fix for this? I figured she was just acting weird from getting her vaccines, but vaccine grogginess usually only lasts for a day or two at most. She's been doing this for four days now! Help!

OntarioGreys January 31st, 2007 10:57 AM

Make an appointment with the vet and take along a urine sample, could be something minor like a UTI could be something a lot more serious

Hagbard Celine February 5th, 2007 11:25 AM

I took her to the vet
The vet said that a measure of her intestine felt swollen and/or firmer than usual. He also said she has a mild case of puppy vaginitis. He gave me pills to regulate her intestinal contractions as well as some antibiotic pills to stave-off infections. He told me not to feed her for 24 hours and to regulate her water intake to a normal amount by metering it out throughout the day. The vet visit was Saturday morning. It's now Monday but I haven't seen a change. I called the vet this morning and he said to call him back this afternoon if there was still no change. I'm going to mention the possibility of diabetes millitus to him. She's exhibiting a lot of the symptoms associated with that disease (weight loss, extreme thirst/urination, loss of energy) however, she also seems to have lost her appetite, which is not necessarily associated with canine diabetes. I'm at a loss. She's starting to get very skinny but she doesn't act like she's in any pain. She keeps urinating in her crate even when the door is open and she is able to walk out of it to pee. I'm worried that she has a serious problem and I cannot afford to pay high vet bills. I'm just a kid right out of college!

Echo February 5th, 2007 10:50 PM

I have a 2 1/2 year old boxer and I have been dealing with this same issue for a few weeks. She just recently started drinking double the water she usually drinks. I have taken her to the vet and they have done both urine and blood tests, which all came back good. Along with the excess drinking, she has started peeing in her crate when I leave. I have no idea what to do. :confused:

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