I try to learn something new every day and today I learned about Water Intoxication. I've had dogs for over 40 years and I never heard of this before but thanks to Dr. Becker, I have now!

This Little-Known Medical Emergency Could Kill Your Pup

By Dr. Becker

If you’re like most dog guardians, you’re more concerned with making sure your canine pal is well-hydrated than whether he might be “over hydrated.” But it’s actually possible for your pet to ingest too much water, and each year a small percentage of water-loving dogs get dangerously drunk on their favorite beverage.

Water intoxication can result in a potentially fatal condition called hyponatremia, which is an excessively low blood sodium level. Dogs that play in the water for long periods of time are at highest risk, as are dogs that ingest water from a lawn sprinkler or hose.

Hyponatremia

Hyponatremia is a condition in which more water enters the body than the body can process. The excessive amount of water dilutes bodily fluids, throwing off the electrolyte balance. It reduces sodium levels in fluid outside of cells (extracellular fluid). Sodium is necessary to maintain blood pressure and the function of muscles and nerves.

As the sodium level in extracellular fluid drops, the cells fill with water as the dog’s body tries to balance sodium levels inside cells with falling levels outside cells. The water-filled cells, which include brain cells, start to expand. The central nervous system can also be impacted.

Symptoms of Water Intoxication

Signs of water intoxication include the following:

Signs of water intoxication

If the condition is severe, there may also be difficulty breathing, collapse, loss of consciousness, seizures, coma, and death.

Is Your Dog At Risk?

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In the grand scheme of things this is a relatively rare occurrence but due to the severity of the consequences, it's something dog owners should make note of. 

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