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?
Daisy The French Bulldog
Very interesting and important post – thank you for sharing this vital information! Living in South Florida, our summers get HOT. I like to wear my Kool Collar, but heat safety goes beyond just cooling down. Thanks to your post, now I know what to look for and how to make sure our pack is staying safe in the heat.
Very interesting! I had never heard of water intoxication before. With as much as you hear about the need to drink more water, who knew you could drink too much? Hopefully this is something that dog owners are able to catch and remedy very quickly. It sounds like a scary situation.
Interesting!!! Thanks for this!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
Really interesting; never heard of this either! Since we recently moved to South Florida, one of our dogs, Sophie, is in the pool everyday. But, we do bring her out for breaks. Otherwise, she’d stay in there for hours, I think. So, this is great to know. Thanks so much for posting!
I heard about this a lot last summer. It’s scary that water can potentially be dangerous for our dogs. Love that first picture 🙂
People who run marathons get that also. I’ll never get it cos I don’t drink water ever.
I was not aware of the dangers of water intoxication for dogs. Very informative post!
It's Dog or Nothing
This is something I always have to be wary of with Mauja on hot days. She can get a little water crazy.
I remember hearing about this last summer and being so surprised. We are usually looking for ways to make my dogs drink, but it’s really good to know this info. since we spend a lot of time with friends and their dogs in the summer.
Water intoxication is kind of terrifying- I’ve always been concerned with Karma on hot days because she loves the water so much and equally loves running and playing. It’s truly an internal struggle to determine when to stop everything all together. I always keep gatorade with me in case of an emergency, but I’ll have to buy some of the electrolyte solution you mentioned for a sugar-less solution.
Scott at TailSmart.com
Thanks for sharing this information! I am sure a lot of people are unaware of the dangers of water intoxication.
Kama ♥'s Agility
It is definitely a lesser known problem, but such a significant threat in the warmer months.