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Dr. K
Dr. K, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 7544
Experience:  13 years experience as Veterinarian
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My dog is drinking a lot of water much more than usual and ...

Customer Question

My dog is drinking a lot of water much more than usual and peeing so much more. she was at the vet last week and got a lyme disease shot, and i did recently change her food. tonight she keeps on stretching her legs and neck, she never does that i am getting worried. please tell me what it could be.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. K replied 8 years ago.
How long has your dog had this excessive drinking and urination?
Has she had the lyme disease vaccination before?
Has she been having any vomiting or diarrhea?
Has she lost any weight?

Dr. K
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Dr. K's Post: Hi Dr K,

I noticed it about 4 to 5 days ago she started drinking more right after we were at the vets and she got her shot. she has had the lyme shot before, and she was ok. no she is not vomiting and she hasen't had diarrhea. but she just went pee in the house and she never ever does that she seems a little out of it. and constant stretching i am starting to really get worried. and she has not lost any weight.
Expert:  Dr. K replied 8 years ago.
Drinking and urinating excessively can be a symptom of a number of different ailments, but the most common are diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, Cushing's disease, Addison's disease and hypercalcemia (usually secondary to cancer). Other, more rare causes, include diabetes insipidus and psychogenic polyuria and polydipisia. Since your dog has had this vaccination with no problems in the past, I think that it is probably just a coincidence that the shot was given and then these signs started. The only connection that I can make, is that perhaps there was an immune reaction that caused something called Lyme immune complexes to be deposited in the kidneys, causing some acute kidney failure.
The first step is to take you dog into the veterinarian for a physical examination. If you think that your dog is in immediate distress (seems disoriented, difficulty walking, etc...) then you can have this done at an emergency clinic this evening...otherwise, you can wait until the morning. Some blood and urine tests should be done to evaluate for kidney disease, diabetes and signs of the other problems. To diagnose Cushing's or Addison's further, more specific, blood tests would need to be done. Cancer is usually diagnosed with abdominal ultrasound and chest X-rays.
If all of these tests yield no findings, then the dog should be evaluated for diabetes insipidus. This is a disease that is caused by a decrease in the synthesis or secretion of ADH (anti-diuretic hormone). This can happen secondary to a brain tumor, or it can be idiopathic (of unknown cause). There is also nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, in which the kidneys do not respond to ADH. The central diabetes insipidus can be tested for with a trial therapy with ADH. This is a treatable disease.
Psychogenic polyuria and polydipsia is exactly what it sounds like-the dog just drinks excessive amounts of water because it likes to, and therefore urinates excessively. This is not really a disease, but just an annoyance to the owner.

I am attaching a client information handout that I use in my practice concerning this problem. I hope that you find it useful.

Click Here

I hope that this information is of help to you. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Dr. K
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Dr K

My dog had be put down the next day when I brought her in after a blood test they found her white count was high which proved some kind of infection, they checked her urine which they found some blood in. But they still didn't know what was going on with her. They did an exray of her stomach which did not show anything. Then they took a xray of her chest and found small tumors which they said were cancer. They told me they could not find where the cancer mass was originated. Sasha was in pain not moving and panting she could no longer get up? her blood presure was low and she was out of it . I am left with all these questions, very unsetteling I don't know if I did the right thing could more have been done? they told me she was not suffering from cancer but they were not sure what was happening to her. Eventually she would have had trouble with the tumors in her lungs but that was not what was making her the way she was that night. Please help me any advice will be so appreciated I need some kind of peace that they did enough for her. they told me I needed to put her down but did I? any information will be so helpful and I will gladly accept your answer so you can get paid. please help me.
Expert:  Dr. K replied 8 years ago.
I feel so sad for you that you had to lose your friend. It is really upsetting when an animal is in so much discomfort, and it is hard to say goodbye. I do feel that you did the right thing. Although I cannot give you an exact answer as to what was wrong with her as I do not have her bloodwork or X-rays to look at, I can tell you what I think was going on based on some of the information that you are telling me.
It sounds like your dog's initial drinking and urinating excessively was due to cancer. The cancer can cause an animal to have high levels of blood calcium, which does make them drink and urinate more. The masses that your doctor saw in your dog's lungs were evidence of metastasis of cancer from another site. Often, an abdominal ultrasound is needed to locate the primary tumor. Regardless of where it was coming from, if there were already multiple masses in your dog's lungs, it would have been untreatable at this point.
I do not know why they would have said that the cancer was not causing her the distress that she was in, because I would say that it almost certainly was. Dogs with cancer can often have pain, nausea, inappetance, fluid in their chests etc...that can make them have difficulty breathing, generalized weakness and pain. In cases like these, humane euthanasia is always the right answer.
I hope that this information helps you to make peace with your decision. I wish you better days ahead.

Dr. K
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Dr K,

Thank you for your response, it gave me some peace. I feel all this guilt I should have brought her in during the night but I waited till morning, how could I do that I feel horrible for that I will never forgive myself. I new she wasn't right and I don't know why I waited I know they couldn't have saved her but she was uncomfortable during the night that guilt I will live with forever. This is truly the worst thing I have ever been through.
Thank you so much for comforting me.
Expert:  Dr. K replied 8 years ago.
You are very welcome.
Try not to make yourself feel too guilty. You did not know just how bad off she was. It is really not good to beat yourself up about this as there is nothing that you could have really done to save her...and you cannot go back and do anything differently now.
If you think it will help...there is a link at the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine website for a pet loss support hotline. I do not have URL for this (I'm sorry), but I know that the hotline exists. I believe that it is a free service and there are counselors there available to talk to you about your feelings concerning the loss of your pet. Many people find this very helpful.
I really wish you the best of luck in the future. Feel better soon.

Dr. K

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