Thirst – Excessive In Pets

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Dogs with excessive thirst have a condition called polydipsia. In a healthy dog, the pituitary gland and kidney work together to control thirst. Located behind the nose, this gland releases a hormone called anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). It tells the kidneys to hold water in the body and concentrate urine, which then lets the body know it needs more water and results in the feeling of thirst. These messages work in equilibrium, but issues with the kidney or pituitary gland can cause polydipsia. Additional causes include other medical conditions, such as overactive thyroid, pyometra, liver failure, diabetes, overactive adrenal glands, toxins within the system, injury to the brain, or inflammation of the brain.

In order to diagnose the underlying causes contributing to polydipsia, a veterinarian will analyze the urine and blood for the ADH hormone, check for infections, and look for clues of alternative organ damage. If the urine and blood exams prove inefficient, diagnostic images will be taken of the brain, kidneys, liver, thyroid, and secondary organs to pinpoint the issue. Treatment will aim to cure the underlying medical condition. In most cases that are caught early on, the dog will have a positive prognosis, but this also depends on the cause.