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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My dog drank about a quart of very salty water. what do I

Customer Question

my dog drank about a quart of very salty water. what do I do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 2 years ago.

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you. I apologize no expert has jumped in to answer until now.

This is tough to give you a straight forward answer of if this is an emergency or not. This could potentially be an emergency situation where I need to recommend rush your dog to the closest emergency clinic. Ingestion of too much salt can lead to life-threatening electrolyte derrangements, potentially brain swelling and seizures. So, if your dog is acting "off" in any way, then I must recommend proceed to have him evaluated on emergency. Usually some lab work to test electrolytes can let us know what kind of situation he is in.

Now, if he only drank a bit out of a salty pool, for example, then this may or may not be a problem. Some dogs drink regularly from a salt pool and do fine, although owners notice increased water intake and increased urinations. It is not necessarily healthy, but not life-threatening.

Symptoms of acute salt toxicity are related to brain problems (swelling) and could include lethargy (usually marked) to seizures. If seen, then get him seen on emergency. The treatment for this must be done by hospitalizing and slowly normalizing the salt in the body. If done too abruptly, then this can lead to death. Very tough to treat. There is no easy at-home remedy I can offer other than offering plain water but not allowing him to gulp this.

I am at a point I need to know what questions you have. We can continue our dialogue in this setting.

I hope that the information I provided has been helpful.

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