Posts Tagged ‘Diabetes mellitus’

What’s Up With The Water Bowl?

September 10, 2010

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Kacie Ulhorn.  I am originally from Macon, Missouri. I received a Bachelor of Science from Missouri State University and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Missouri-College of Veterinary Medicine. I currently live in Berger with my husband, Tim, and our two labs, Petey and Maggie. I hope to use this blog as a forum to discuss health issues concerning your pets, life as a veterinarian and occasionally a little veterinary medicine humor.

Do you know how much your pet drinks? Do you know how much they should drink? Is it a big deal if the amount they are drinking suddenly changes?

Dogs and cats normally drink between 9-31mL/lb/day. There is of course, normal variation between individuals. This means, you should know an estimate (Ex: Maggie drinks 3 bowls/day, her bowl holds 2 cups = Maggie drinks about 6 cups each day) of how much your pet drinks on a daily basis. If that quantity changes either slowly over time or abruptly, a visit to your veterinarian is necessary.

As a general rule if your pet is consuming more than 45 mL/lb/day, they should be examined by a veterinarian.  **For calculation purposes, 1 cup = 236 mL**  

**MATH HELP: Number of cups of water your pet drinks daily x 236= Number of milliliters your pet drinks daily. Divide that number by your pet’s weight in pounds. That equals mL/lb/day. Compare that number to the guide numbers above. **

While your pet’s water bowl may seem like nothing more than a daily chore to you, a change in water consumption is often the first sign there may be a problem.  

Decrease In Water Consumption:
Dogs and cats will often stop drinking when they are ill or feel nauseous. Some pets are finicky about the quality of their water-always ensure the water bowl is clean and the water is fresh and clean.

Increase in Water Consumption:
An increase in water consumption is a vague symptom of many disease processes within the body. Many of these diseases have to do with changes in the endocrine system.

The endocrine system is comprised of several different glands that release various hormones/chemicals into the body. These hormones are responsible for regulating nearly every process in the body.

Diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and Cushings disease are examples of endocrine diseases that could cause and increase in water consumption.  Urinary tract infections and kidney disease are two other possible causes for an increase in water consumption.

The good news is nearly all of these diseases are manageable with medication-especially when diagnosed early. 

It is important to know how much your pet drinks, take note when that volume changes, and communicate with your veterinarian if you notice changes in water consumption.

I look forward to communicating with all of you through this forum. If you have suggestions about topics you would like to see written about in the future, please leave them in the comments section.