Almost every summer, an agility friend will post on Facebook about their dog being hospitalized due to Water Intoxication. I’m the first to admit, I had never heard of Water Intoxication until I became immersed in the dog sport world. What is it? How do dogs get it?
Water Intoxication is a serious, potentially fatal, condition in which dogs ingest too much water. This could happen from drinking a lot, playing in a lake or other body of water, playing with the hose, or any number of other things that my dogs (and I’m sure many others) do every summer. How scary!
The condition is created by too much ingested water causing the dog’s electrolyte levels to drop, thinning blood plasma, and leading to swelling of the brain and other organs. THAT is why water intoxication is so dangerous!
You can prevent Water Intoxication by making sure your dog takes breaks when playing with water (such as swimming, biting at the hose water, and so on). You can also offer them drinks that restore electrolytes without adding sugars such as Pedialyte Oral Electrolyte Solution.
Water Intoxication progresses quickly, so be sure to know the symptoms, and get your dog to a veterinarian right away if they are showing any of the following signs:
- Lack of coordination
- Dilated pupils
- Glazed eyes
- Light gum color
- Excessive salivation
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
Stay cool this summer, but stay safe! Share this post with your friends to warn them about the dangers of Water Intoxication.
Do you know any dogs who have been hospitalized from Water Intoxication?