What is Hyponatremia (water intoxication) in dogs?
When dogs suffer from lower sodium levels in their blood, they are affected by water intoxicity, often known as Hyponatremia. This condition generally affects dogs when they spend too much time in water activities and sessions.
Hyponatremia is described as a possible condition when a dog is suffering from sodium deficiency in their blood. Like humans, canines also need some sodium serums in their bloodstream to control water levels in the body cells.
Hyponatremia is also known as Water Intoxication In Dogs.
Dogs can experience sodium shortage because of many factors like drinking too much water, medical conditions, or medicinal intakes. Let’s study more about Hyponatremia in dogs and its symptoms, causes, treatment in detail.
What Is Hyponatremia In Dogs?
Hyponatremia is defined as serum [Na+] < 140 mmol/L in dogs.
In simple words, Hyponatremia means lower blood sodium levels or water toxicity. This usually occurs when the body takes more water compared to the actual requirement.
This excessive water dilutes the extracellular fluids, causing the sodium levels to drop. The cells then begin taking on more water to maintain the balance between inner and outer cells. And as a result, cells begin to swell.
This disease can lead to uncomfort in your dogs and they can show lower energy levels, which is not good for their mental health.
Here is an infographic to learn everything about Hyponatremia disease in dogs:
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Symptoms Of Hyponatremia
If the levels of sodium drop gradually, then your dog might not show any signs of Hyponatremia as the body has enough time to adjust accordingly.
However, if the levels of sodium drop rapidly in your dog, then there can be signs of worry.
10 Common symptoms of Hyponatremia
- Loss of Coordination
- Excessive Salivation
If you see most of these signs in your dog for a longer period, then it’s recommended to visit your vet immediately for the treatment and examination process.
Causes Of Hyponatremia
The main cause of this condition in dogs is because of the excessive intake of water fluids.
There are other causes as well which can lead to sodium deficiency in dogs.
- Medications: If your dog is on any medications, it can lead to sodium shortage. The body needs more water to get over the dizziness and dilution of medicines. It can also lead to more pee and sweating, which can drop sodium levels.
- Health Problems: Hyponatremia usually results from the presence of another disease. This can be cough, fever, or any heart disease.
- Higher Water Intake: This can dilute sodium levels in your canine’s body. When they drink too much water after constant running, swimming, or training, the extra sweating leads to drops in sodium levels.
There are many stories of dog owners who complained about dog shakiness after having water sessions and getting seriously ill.
Diagnosis Of Hyponatremia
Since the symptoms of this fatal condition can vary from breed to breed, your vet is the right person to diagnose your dog.
They will ask about your pet’s medical history and do the physical examination accordingly. The tests can include a complete blood checkup, a urinalysis, and an electrolyte test.
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Treatment Of Hyponatremia
As many factors can lead to Hyponatremia in dogs, the treatment depends on the symptoms and causes.
What you can do is to see if your dog is suffering from any of the symptoms listed above and showing any signs of weakness/lethargy.
Vets can advise you on the treatment factors, if required, after the physical examination of your dog.
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Prevention Of Hyponatremia
The best way to prevent this condition in your dogs is to take extra care of them, especially when they are playing with water.
Swimming continuously for hours or being exposed to a lot of water is the main culprit and needs to be cut down a little if you want to protect your pet from this deadly disease.
If you suspect water toxicity in your dog, then contact your vet immediately!
If you see your dog is suffering from Hyponatremia, then relax; this can be treated. As a pet parent, you should be aware of your pet’s activities and minimize your dog’s water exposure.
Most breeds are strong enough to recover from this condition without going to any treatment or vet checkup, which is a good sign. In any serious scenario, vets are always available to help and monitor your canine’s health.
On a lighter note, We always advise dog owners to spend more time with their pets to observe their daily behavior, activities and enjoy quality time with them. If you see a sudden change in their behavior or energy levels, it may be signs of some underlying disease they might be suffering from and need to be monitored as early as possible.
Again, you should not cut down their playtime a lot or resist them for doing something they love. Proper training and behavioral commands can help a lot in controlling their emotions.
Our intention with this post is not to stoke fears in dog owners that their beloved pet should not be allowed to play in water. Water activities are great for dogs as they keep them charge and fit. However, all dog owners should be aware about potential risks associated with excessive dog activities in water areas.
Disclaimer: This post is completely informational and educational in nature. Its purpose is to enrich one’s knowledge related to dog health issues and diseases. However, in case of any serious emergency or complications, immediately contact a professional, veterinarian, or expert.
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