Alpine Observer - North East Regional Extra

My pet drinks a lot

- With Freya Williams BSc DVM, Wangaratta Veterinary Clinic

MOST healthy animals are consistent in the amount of water they drink throughout the day.

There can be some variation to the normal on hot days or when there has been more exercise.

Drinking excessivel­y is often the first sign of underlying disease that many owners will notice.

Polydypsia (or drinking too much) is usually accompanie­d by an increase in urination and is a clinical sign of many different conditions.

If you think your pet is drinking a lot, the first question you should ask is how much does it drink?

This can be calculated by measuring how much water you give your pet at the start of the 24 hour period and how much is left at the end.

It is important that in calculatin­g this, there is access to only one water source or if there are multiple water sources these are incorporat­ed into the total calculatio­n.

The difference tells us how much they drunk that day.

Drinking too much is classified as abnormal when the animal drinks more than 100ml per kg in the 24 hours, eg; 10kg dog drinking more than 1L in a day.

There are several diseases that will lead to an increase in water consumptio­n, examples include diabetes mellitus and insipidus, Cushings disease, renal failure and pyometra (infection in the uterus).

Behavioura­l issues may also lead to excessive drinking (psychogeni­c polydypsia).

If you have any concerns about your pets drinking habits, then contact your local veterinari­an to discuss your diagnostic options.

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