Excessive drinking and urination can be signs of diabetes, kidney failure, and more. I recently read a question in one of the forums from an owner whose dog has been having “dribbling” along with excessive thirst. While these could be indicative of a few things, they are almost always present in diabetes and kidney failure. So today, I’ll be talking about excessive drinking and urination as they relate to these disorders.
Excessive Drinking and Urination as a Part of Diabetes
To begin with, let’s take a look at what diabetes is. Diabetes is a condition in which your dog’s body produces no insulin or not enough insulin. Insulin is the substance that allows the body’s cells to absorb sugars for energy, so little or no insulin results in high blood sugar levels and low energy. Because of this lack of insulin and the ability to use sugars effectively, carbs should be monitored and limited to prevent even higher blood sugar levels.
High blood sugar is where excessive drinking and urination come into play. Because a lack of insulin means high blood sugar, your dog’s body attempts to mitigate the problem by flushing the excess sugar out of the body. To do that, your dog’s body tells him to drink more water, which results in more urination, which can help reduce the amount of sugar in his blood. This is only a stop-gap however and doesn’t solve the problem.
As blood sugar levels rise higher and higher, the intensity of your dog’s excessive drinking and urination also rises. The more sugar that accumulates in your dog’s blood, the more water your dog’s body signals him to drink so that he can urinate more to remove more sugar from his body.
Although excessive drinking and urination can be secondary to more than one issue and not diabetes, it’s been my experience that these two symptoms are a big red flag for the possibility of diabetes. If your dog is exhibiting these symptoms, you should contact your vet immediately.
Excessive Drinking and Urination in Other Disorders
There’s a laundry list of health conditions besides diabetes that excessive drinking or excessive urination can be secondary two. And since there’s no law against more than one thing being wrong with your dog, let’s take a look at two other main offenders.
Excessive drinking and urination are symptoms of kidney failure, as well. As your dog’s kidneys lose and more of their function, your dog’s brain will signal him to drink more and more. This is because, without proper kidney function, toxins can build up in your dogs blood. To combat this, your dog’s body will signal him to drink more, and thus urinate more. This is the body’s way of flushing more toxins out of the blood stream even without proper kidney function.
Kidney disease is vicious in dogs. While cats can live for many years with kidney failure, even without treatment, dogs need immediate treatment, or they will die. It’s another big reason to head to the vet immediately if your dog is exhibiting excessive drinking and urination. This is especially true in an older dog.
Talk to Your Vet
While excessive drinking and urination can be symptoms of diabetes and kidney failure – which are terrible on their own – they can also be symptoms of other conditions, as well. If your dog is exhibiting excessive drinking and urination, it is imperative that you take him into your vet immediately.