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  • Writer's pictureScarlett Bowman

Dog Tip: Water Intoxication: Best to Drink in Moderation

Water. Earth's main source of energy, important for ecosystems, Life, and our health. We need it to survive, and so do our pets. But like everything in life, too much of something can end up being harmful, and just like too much water intake can hurt our bodies, it can also hurt your dog's too.

Learning about what water intoxication is can be an essential in knowing and paying close attention to how much water your dog takes in. The thing about water intoxication is most dogs can get it fairly easily. Like playing in a river or a lake, mouth wide, lapping at the waves. Or just by simply drinking one too many droplets from lawn sprinkler. Drinking too much causes electrolyte levels to drop significantly, thinning blood plasma and an lead to swelling of the brain and other organs.

It's important to review the signs so that you know what to look for and can get your pup to vet as soon as possible.

Causes of Water Intoxication in Dogs

When your dog intakes excessive water within a short period of time, especially when they haven't urinated or thrown up, their balance of electrolyte is disrupted causing a disturbance in brain function. Water intoxication can lead to brain damage, heart failure, and even death. Though it's fortunate that water poisoning isn't common, it's still important to be aware of the risk. The most frequent cases involve dogs that swim, ingesting too much water and dogs that drink one too many fluids after playing or exercising.

Symptoms of Water Intoxication

Symptoms of water intoxication include lack of coordination, lethargy, nausea, bloating, vomiting, along with dilated pupils, glazed eyes, light gum color, and excessive salivation.

The advanced symptoms include difficulty breathing, to collapsing, to loss of consciousness, and even seizures. If you dog shows any of these symptoms after a day of play in water, or drinking in overabundance, get them to a vet a quickly as possible for further diagnosis.

Treatment of Water Intoxication

Because something like this can progress at a fast rate, time plays a critical role. It can not be stated enough the importance and urgency in getting your dog to the vet when these symptoms arise. Blood work will be done to see what can be done to see if low levels of electrolytes are present. Treatment for water intoxication come in the form of fluids to place electrolytes back in the system and sometimes a diuretic. As the weather gets warmer, dog owners should practice water safety to keep their pups safe. Stay Hydrated, watch what and how much they drink.

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