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Any physical symptoms or behavioral changes in our dogs that may indicate disease should be understood in the context of their situation. Different pathologies and medical conditions can cause either a lack of appetite (anorexia) or increased water consumption (polydipsia) in dogs. When two clinical symptoms appear at the same time, it can better help our veterinarian to achieve and make an accurate diagnosis. In general, these symptoms occur in combination with other clinical manifestations, the combination of which may also help diagnose the dog’s problem.
At AnimalWised, we investigate why my dog does not eat but drinks a lot of water. We will look at the main pathological causes of this clinical picture in dogs and the possible treatment options available.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the most common kidney disease in dogs ,. In addition, it is the third most common cause of death in geriatric dogs. The disease is characterized by the onset of kidney damage that leads to progressive, permanent, and irreversible loss of renal function, also known as renal failure in dogs.
This renal dysfunction causes:
- Uremia: accumulation of a toxic substance in the blood which may lead to various clinical signs, including that the dog will not eat.
- Plojurie: as a compensatory mechanism, nephrons (functional units of the kidneys) that survive kidney damage increase their filtration, which leads to increased urine production. To prevent dehydration, the dog tries to compensate for the increased urine output by consuming a larger volume of water (ie drinking a lot).
Plus anorexia and polydipsiaCKD can present with a wide range of other clinical symptoms. These include:
- Weight loss
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Uremic stomatitis
- Hemorrhagic diathesis (predisposition to bleeding)
- Bone changes
Unfortunately, it exists no curative treatment chronic kidney disease in dogs. Treatment of the disease is based on symptom management and nephroprotective interventions. Vasodilators such as ACE inhibitors and a diet for dogs with kidney disease (low in protein, sodium and potassium, but rich in omega 3 fatty acids, soluble fiber and antioxidants) are commonly used.
Addison’s disease in dogs is an endocrine pathology characterized by a lack of hormones produced by the adrenal cortex. These hormones are mainly cortisol and aldosterone.
It is common in dogs with Addison’s disease, sometimes known as Addison’s syndrome loss of appetite which develops into complete anorexia. Although this means that the dog will stop eating at all, it will probably have increased water consumption (polydipsia). In addition, it is common to observe other symptoms, such as:
- Increased urine volume (polyuria)
- Weakness, depression and weight loss
- Vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain
- Tremors and seizures
Management of this disease requires lifelong treatment based on glucocorticoids (hydrocortisone or prednisone) a mineralocorticoids (fludrocortisone or deoxycorticosterone pivalate). It should be noted that although there is no specific therapy for Addison’s disease, the prognosis of these patients is excellent following the treatment described.
Many of these symptoms are concurrent with the different health conditions of dogs, which you can learn more about in our article on why a dog has both vomiting and diarrhea.
The first symptoms commonly observed in dogs with liver disease are non-specific symptoms. These include the dog eats less, but still drinks a lot. Others include depression, polyuria, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, etc.
After the first phase of non-specific symptoms, the following specific symptoms usually appear, indicating liver disease:
- Jaundice: yellowing of mucous membranes.
- Ascites: accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity.
- Neurological symptoms: due to hepatic encephalopathy (brain disorder due to liver damage).
- Bleeding: It is more likely to bleed and may bleed more.
- Urolity: stones and deposits in the urinary tract, which often appear as crystals in the dog’s urine.
The treatment of liver disease in dogs varies depending on the specific underlying pathology. It can be treated medically and / or surgically. In addition, hepatoprotectors and antioxidants such as ursodeoxycholic acid, vitamin E or silymarin are often administered.
Find out more with our guide to the most common liver diseases in dogs.
Hypercalcaemia in dogs indicates elevated levels of calcium in their blood. It can occur in association with a variety of pathologies, including:
- Tumors: the main cause of hypercalcaemia in dogs, the most typical being lymphosarcoma, anal sac adenocarcinoma and other carcinomas.
- Primary hyperparathyroidism: arises from direct involvement of the parathyroid glands.
- Renal hyperparathyroidism: occurs in dogs with chronic kidney disease.
- Nutritional hyperparathyroidism: due to diets very rich in meat (especially raw meat), which is high in phosphorus and poor in calcium and vitamin D3. It is becoming more common due to the raw diet and BARF diet for dogs.
- Poison: due to accidental ingestion of rodenticides or certain drugs.
In addition to anorexia and polydipsia, hypocalcaemia can cause symptoms such as:
- Weakness and lethargy
- Muscle tremor
Because there is no single and effective protocol for all causes of hypercalcemia, it is necessary to identify the root cause and determine specific therapywhenever possible. If no specific treatment is available, supportive care, including fluid therapy, corticosteroids, diuretics, and bisphosphonates, should be initiated to increase urinary calcium excretion and prevent bone reabsorption in the bones.
Hypercalcaemia can also lead to hardened plaques appearing on the skin. Our article on calcinosis cutis in dogs explains more.
Hypokalaemia is a reduction of potassium levels in the blood. In dogs, it usually occurs due to:
- Renal loss of potassium: in chronic kidney disease, tubular acidosis, etc.
- Gastrointestinal loss: as a consequence of vomiting and / or severe diarrhea, as the gastrointestinal content is rich in potassium.
Dogs with hypokalaemia often have a loss of appetite and increased water consumption. In addition, it is common to observe:
- Generalized muscle weakness
- Lethargy and confusion
Treatment of hypokalaemia should focus on:
- Administration of an underlying disease that causes low potassium levels.
- Calcium supplementation either orally or parenterally through fluid therapy.
Another problem that this may mean bitches do not eatbut still drinks a lot of water is a pyometer. This is the most common uterine pathology in bitches that have reached sexual maturity. In particular, pyometra in dogs is a purulent infection of the uterus that occurs when progesterone levels are high, which occurs in the weeks following their thermal cycle.
In addition to the symptoms already mentioned, dogs with pyometra usually show:
- Bloody and purulent discharge from the vagina
- Lethargy and depression
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Abdominal dilatation
There are two different types of pyometra in dogs, OPEN and CLOSED. Vaginal discharge in dogs can be seen when the cervix remains open, but not when it is closed. This is especially dangerous due to the internal accumulation of shock.
In severe cases or in the absence of veterinary treatment, serious complications such as septicemia, toxaemia, peritonitis and renal failure may occur. These can have fatal consequences. Once the infection is diagnosed, it is necessary to determine the treatment, which will be medical or surgical, depending on the severity of the process.
We must notice any abnormal changes in the health or behavior of our dog. In pyometra, one of the first symptoms may be that the dog is constantly licking their private area.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe veterinary treatment or make a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet if he suffers from any condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles like My dog does not eat, but drinks waterwe recommend visiting our category Other health problems.