I have noticed one of my Boxers is really drinking a lot of water. She
also seems to be urinating more. I am concerned
about diabetes. Are there any other illnesses with
these traits? I am a nurse, but do not know much about disease in dogs.
There are three things you can say to a vet that are guaranteed to get his attention. The first is that your pet is having difficulty breathing. Pets with breathing difficulties are always a vet’s highest priority, and they always get seen before all of the other pets in the waiting room. It’s an emergency.
Another way to shock a veterinarian into action is to tell him that you have a male cat who is trying to urinate but can’t. This can be a sign of an incredibly serious and life-threatening syndrome called urinary obstruction. It is unique to male cats, and almost unheard of in dogs or female cats.
The final way that you can be assured to catch your vet’s ear is to tell him that your pet is drinking more water and producing more urine.
Fortunately, unlike animals suffering from the first two problems, a pet who is drinking and urinating more usually isn’t in the throes of a serious emergency. So don’t panic. But increased thirst and urination almost always mean that something is wrong.
Precipitous increases in thirst must, by necessity, be accompanied by precipitous increases in urination (and vice-versa). However, often people only notice that one side of the equation has changed. Regardless, if your pet is suddenly drinking more water, or producing more urine, or both, you should take her to the vet.
In people, diabetes is the most common cause of increased thirst and urination. Dogs and cats also suffer from diabetes, but there are a number of other issues, such as kidney disease, urinary infections, thyroid problems, endocrine (glandular) disorders, and certain tumors, that can cause the symptoms you describe.
The long and short of it is that you should take your dog to the vet. A panel of blood and urine tests will probably determine what is causing her to drink so much water.