Angel Dogs BBB Business Review

The Dangers of Water Intoxication in Dogs

I recently read an article in “The Whole Dog Journal” June 2014 issue and after reading information on how dangerous water intoxication is in dogs I had the strong need to pass this information off onto my readers and clients.
In this article it mentioned how dangerous it is for a dog to fetch a toy out of a pool or when thrown in a lake. It mentioned 2 dogs one a Papillion who would swim to stay in condition for agility the other a Border Collie playing in a lake.

The Papillion only played in the pool 20 minutes and 30 minutes later the owner found her motionless on the couch. She died 6 hours later and nothing that the vet did could save her life, scary stuff.

The Border Collie played in the lake 45 minutes and due to swallowing large amounts of water during this time died to water intoxication.

What happens is the body takes in more water than it can handle. When this happens, sodium levels outside the cells are depleted, a condition called hyponatremia. In an effort to rebalance itself, the body responds to the low blood sodium by increasing fluid intake inside the cells. Some organs, such as the liver, have room to accommodate the size of their swelling cells, but others – in particular the brain, which is encased in unyielding bone – cannot.

Signs of W.I. include lethargy, bloating, vomiting. loss of coordination, restlessness, increased salivation, pale gums, dilated pupils and glazed eyes. As the pressure in the brain increases and its cells begin to die off, the dog may have difficulty breathing, develop seizures, and lose consciousness.

If your dog shows any of these signs of W.I. after playing in the water immediately take them to their veterinarian. Your vet can check your dog’s sodium levels which can be a telltale sign of water intoxication, but they can also be misinterpreted. It’s not only how low the sodium falls, but it’s how quickly it falls.

Ways to prevent W.I. when your dog is fetching an object out of the pool or lake. Choose a flat object rather than round objects to retrieve (no balls), know your dog and how they interact in the water and how they swim in the water, Discourage diving for toys, biting the water out of the hose, and take frequent breaks so the dogs body can rid itself of extra fluids by urinating. Throw the toy about 5 times than have your dog take a 20 minute break. Be careful your dog is not tired they may take on more water.

About Eileen Tonick

Angel Dogs, provides dog training, puppy training, dog agility training, dog obedience training and therapy dog training throughout the Phoenix, Arizona Metro Area.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Dangers of Water Intoxication in Dogs

  1. Steph W says:

    Thanks for sharing this critical information. My lab spends hours upon hours in the water fetching her favorite ball & all along I thought it was the perfect exercise for her. Never did I think it could be fatal. WOW!! You are my dog guru, Eileen, and I thank you for guiding pack leaders like me so that now I can make these necessary adjustments to keep my little water loving dog happy and healthy.

  2. Catalina Abad says:

    If you’re dog has ANY one of the following symptoms:
    -nausea
    -vomiting
    -pale gums
    -drooling excessively
    -lethargy and lack of coordination
    TAKE YOUR DOG TO THE VET IMMEDIATELY.

    Time is critical in this situation, I unfortunately lost a 4 year old cockapoo to water intoxication this past weekend. She was biting at the water in lake michigan for an hour and an hour later she was already dead. There is no time for blood work at the vet, explain your situation and that your dog has water intoxication action needs to be taken immediately in order to avoid brain damage, heart failure, coma and death. Keep an eye on your pup and keep them safe this is a more critical situation than one would expect, take action immediately if you have doubt better to be on the safe side. Best wishes for all.

Leave a Reply to Catalina Abad Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>