Is your pet thirstier than usual? Are you filling up their water bowl more often? Is it just that the weather is warming up or is it perhaps something more sinister?
As we move into the warmer months of the year it is natural for your pet to need a little more water, however when I say a little more I mean a little. You should not be needing to fill up your pets bowl often enough to notice that they are consuming more than usual, you shouldn't be finding them drinking from the tap, shower or toilet when they don't normally.
An increase in thirst can be one of the first signs of renal (kidney) disease.
The kidneys contain thousands of little factories called nephrons and their job is to work out how much water should be conserved in the body. Once damaged or destroyed, nephrons do not function properly and can't regenerate. As a result, the body doesn't conserve enough water so your pet will urinate more and will drink more water to stay hydrated.
Toxins, drugs, diseases or even just old age can harm the nephrons, and your pet may not show any signs until 75% of these nephrons are damaged.
Other than increased thirst and increased urination three common signs to watch out for are:
- weight loss
Measuring your pet's water intake over 24 hours and bringing us a morning urine sample are two things you can do to get the investigation process started. A blood test, urine testing and a measure of your pet's blood pressure may then be necessary. If we detect the kidneys are not working properly, the earlier we initiate treatment with diet modification and/ or medication the better the potential outcome for you and your pet will be.
If you are worried about your pet's drinking or urination habits you should phone us for advice.