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Avatar universal

Dog isn't drinking

I was just told that my dog is having kidney issues. Doc prescribed her Hill's K/D, prednisone, vitamin B6 and a vitamin called proage.  We will go in 2 weeks to have her blood tested to see how her numbers are.  He didnt think it was necessary to test now and he was certain what the issue is.
My question is that she always drank about a liter a day, which I didnt think was over the top, although I did think it was slightly more than normal.  Then she went to barely eating and not even drinking 1/10 of a liter (100 mL) a day, which is why I brought her to see a vet.
Is it normal with kidney troubles for a dog to stop drinking?  Ayone have experience with this?  does is sound like we are in too deep at this stage? Thanks.
20 Responses
462827 tn?1333172552
Is ANYONE bothered by this one or is it just me?

Do you trust this Vet?

First, there is No way your Vet could just guess at Kidney Disease without bloodwork or a urine sample (Renal Disease test) or a culture of urine looking for bacterial infection, sand or gravel (Indicating stones).

I think 2 cups of water a day is over the top too, now that we know her size...How old is she?  However, if shes a total kibble fed dog, then maybe it's normal for her.....My dogs don't drink anywhere near that, but again, I don't feed dry food...

INCREASED water consumption IS a classic sign of Renal Disease, but it's also a classic sign of Diabetes or Cushings. So again, that would be impossible to tell without a complete blood panel!!!

I understand the KD Diet though it doesn't make sense to have sold you dry food for a possible kidney problem dog! Wet or canned would make more sense as you are trying to flush toxins from their system, period...I understand the Vitamin (actually an all around Antioxidant) , but I don't understand the steroids!

Since you took her to see the Vet originally because she wasn't eating and drinking less indicates to me that something else is going on. Did she have fever when she was examined?

What were you feeding this girl before the KD? Just curious.....How long has she eaten it? Including snacks & treats? She's eating the KD diet fine, isn't she? So she WILL eat??????

The shaking a month ago probably was her Anal Sacs being expressed when she was groomed....That's fairly normal in some dogs for a few days after they're groomed.....Since she survived Anal Cancer, her glands may just be extra sensitive!

Thank you for adopting this girl!!!!! These are just my thoughts on the situation...Let us know how she's doing and anything else you can think of....Karla

Avatar universal
612551 tn?1450025775
I don't have an  answer to your question, but I reply to let you know your post is being read.

I haven't ever measured how much water our small, 20 pound Westie, drinks but I'd guess it is close to a liter.  He has no problem drinking his water dish dry several times a day.. it is about 8 to 10 oz (what's that? about 500 ml?).

One thing is sure the dog has to drink water, you didn't say what the breed is, but by my experience 100 ml is not enough.  

Check with the vet is the only suggestion I have.
441382 tn?1452814169
If she is not eating or drinking then she is in serious trouble and needs help now.  You MUST get fluids in her if she is to survive!  She should probably be hospitalized for a few days and placed on an IV but if you can't do that, have the vet show you how to administer sub-Q fluids, meaning you put the needle under her skin and give her a couple hundred CC of IV fluids that way every day.  You have got to keep fluids in her to keep those kidneys working.  You might try making her some chicken or beef broth and seeing if she will drink that, but if she has gone all day without drinking then she is already pretty dehydrated and it may not be enough to just have her start drinking on her own right now.  She probably needs the IV or, at the very least, sub-Q fluids to bring her back up and THEN you can try to get her to drink on her own.

The reason she isn't eating is that she may feel really bad because of the toxins building up in her system because of the renal failure.  In truth, at this stage of the game I would take her to an emergency vet tonight to get those fluids started because since she has already been diagnosed with kidney issues, it IS a matter of life and death.  

Please keep us up to date on what happens.

Avatar universal
According to her veterinarian here (I am in Italy at the moment, from the USA), he was convinced it is her kidneys and has me giving her HILLS K/D which I add 300 ml of warm water.  The food absorbs the water and she eats it all.  i do the same in the evening, plus she gladly eats carrot pieces throughout the day.

(500 ml is just over 2 cups so she has been drinking now at least 2 1/2 cups/day)

We will go for a blood test on the 16th.  Sould I insist we do it sooner?  the doctor said it isnt necessary as he knows what it will say.

Also, my original question about not drinking was posed because on ever search on google, I never read anything about kidneys and a dog not drinking..... Until i looked further on this site.  I had no idea they were related, as I always thought it was excess water that was tied to kidney failure.  :(

From reading more, I am now wondering if her trembling a month ago is connected to this, as well.  I had brought her in for a hair cut and I just thought she was cold, as well as upset because I had been out of town with my daughter for a couple of weeks and she was home with my husband, so I thought she was excited that i was back. And sure enough, my husband put her on a diet (25% less food/day) and that is why I thought she was skinnier.

Now I feel like I am to blame for all of this.  This dog of mine has been thru so much. I rescued her 4 + years ago.  She had anal sac cancer, cherry eyes, glaucoma, catarats, blind in one eye, gave birth numerous times, was spayed when taken into rescue, massive skin problems, underwent a dental, and came out squeaky clean and full of love and happiness.  And now this. Poor Joy.  

Avatar universal
She is a cocker spaniel.
Avatar universal
She is maybe 10-11-12. We dont know how old she is, this is just based on what she looked like, condition of her teeth, behavior/energy when the rescue group took her in.
She is only taking in a lot of water now because I have been mixing hot water with her new food and her old food (Exclusion hypo allergenic rabbit and potato which she ate very happily until recently).  She stopped drinking about a week ago and with this new method, she is having water.  She is not eating plain dry food.... she is getting an intake of water.  That is a good thing.
She is/was 36 lbs, not really considered overweight for her size (maybe by 2 lbs) and when you look at the charts, 2 cups of water is not a lot!!

Also, no fever when examined.  I actually think this vet's plan of action makes some sense and I do trust him.  I hope I am not wrong...
974371 tn?1424656729
Well, I had some of the same questions as Karla.  Did this Vet happen
to give you anything for nausea?  I agree that I would seek a second opinion.
How could you possibly blame yourself?  You are to be commended for rescuing this poor dog and taking such care of her!  Not many that would have taken that on.  
I am sure most of us have questioned ourselves at one time or another when our animals get sick, been there/done that but you can only do the best you can do.
Hope things work out and do keep us posted.
Avatar universal
Nothing for nausea.  She was eating fine until recently when I noticed she would only eat hallf of her usual 2 cups.
No vomiting other than the usual slime/water vomit that she does now and then to get uo a piece of food that got stuck somewhere.
She did have about 4 or 5 urine accidents in the house, starting from dec 15, but one since end of february.
She also had bad diahrea in the house on feb 27, feb 28. We gave her tylan powder and probiotics and it went away.  

Thanks for the feedback, thoughts and suggestions.
Avatar universal
*none since the end of february
Avatar universal
So Joy has been on this new diet/vitamins/meds for almost a week now.
Today was the first day that she peed a good pee (3x) and it wasnt concentrated.  It was lighter in color and plentiful.  Prior, it was a dark yellow and not much.  She is getting her water from when I mix warm water with her food and it creates a thick soup which she drinks up to get to the food.  Sometimes she will take a few licks from her water bowl, but it doesnt look like the level has even gone down since i filled it...  She is still mopey/lazy tho perked up when i was cooking,then eating meatballs....  
675347 tn?1365464245
If kidney disease is suspected, then nothing can be decided until her full blood-work is taken.
You are looking for:

Elevated Creatinine and B.U.N. cause over-drinking, and production of a lot of urine which has little concentration (low specific gravity) This of course, leads to bed-wetting and accidents in the house, even with a well house-trained dog.
Creatinine and B.U.N. can be elevated even in the early stages of kidney failure. Sometimes, at this stage, Phosphorus is NOT elevated.
If Phosphorus is elevated that can cause nausea, and loss of appetite.
Depending on those levels, she needs her disease to be "staged". That is, in the vet's opinion, is it early-stage kidney failure -or late stage?

If early-stage, there is a lot can be done. While it's true that usually by diagnosis, about only 25% of kidney function remains, a dog can live quite happily on that remaining 25% so long as the disease is controlled very well.

If Phosphorus is elevated, and is giving rise to nausea symptoms, then the vet should prescribe either Calcium Carbonate or Aluminum Hydroxide (or if he suggests Calcium Carbonate, you could find an equally effective and much cheaper option by adding a Tums tablet to her food, or powdered eggshell) But you would need to know her blood results first.
The reason Calcium Carbonate or Aluminum Hydroxide are used is because they bind to Phosphorus, thus lowering the level of it in the bloodstream.

An ACE inhibitor is sometimes prescribed (such as Benazecare) This increases blood flow to the kidneys.

In September 2011 my dog was diagnosed with early stage KF. Apart from drinking more and peeing more, she was her usual happy energetic self with no other symptoms. The vet did a full blood panel, and started immediate treatment -not only with diet, but with an ACE inhibitor. My dog had monthly blood tests, ad each time her raised Creatinine and BUN was lower than before. Her last blood test in March 2012 showed NO elevation whatsoever, and her bloodwork was completely back to normal.
In the vet's opinion, we caught it early, and she responded well to treatment.

You need to discuss all these things with the vet. And get the blood-work done.

I wish you, and her, well.

441382 tn?1452814169
At this point I would most certainly find another vet.  I realize it's probably not as easy for you to do this since you are out of the country, but I think you need to seek one out who is willing to do the testing that is necessary to get a true diagnosis and not one who THINKS that he's sure what the problem is and presumably used his X-ray vision to discover it.  The more I read what was going on with your poor dog the madder I got!  Without knowing her exact kidney values there is no way to say for sure that kidney disease is her problem because increased water intake is a symptom of several different problems, as are some of the other symptoms she is showing.  Run away from this vet as quickly as you can and find her one who is willing to do the necessary diagnostics.  Please keep us up to date on what is happening.

Avatar universal
I will take her today and request the blood test.

I just want to say again that she does not have excessive thirst at all.  In fact, just the opposite as she basically stopped drinking water. And was eating only half her normal food amount. Now she is almost forced to drink because I am turning her dry food into a soup so she has to drink it up to get to e food, therefore keeping her hydrated.

In any case, we are going to the vet today, no doubt, to have blood taken.  

Avatar universal
OK, blood has been taken!  Since we are in Italy, the results will be back either friday or monday.  Things move slowly here, plus it is already 6 pm (blood was at 4:30).  For now he told me to continue treating her as I have been.
Again today lots of pee, and she is drinking a very small amount from her water bowl, otherwise her real input of water in coming from her soupy food.
Poop was mushy today too.  Well, half solid and half mush.  Yesterday was the first day I didnt mix in her old food with the Hills K/D.  
Avatar universal
Since I have been learning about what Joy's blood levels should be, I decided to check out her papers that the rescue group gave me back in 2008...  
It says that her BUN/Creatine ration was 39, and that normal range was between 4 and 27.  Does this imply that she was showing signs of kidney trouble 4 1/2 years ago and they never said anything to me?

Another high result was globulin, which was at 4.1, urea nitrogen at 31 and GGTP at 14....
974371 tn?1424656729
Could be and surprised nobody mentioned it out or suggested follow up.  Did you take those results into your Vet when you got her?
Avatar universal
With that ration creatinine was 0.9 which I hear is normal.  
That blood test came after my vet discovered she had a tumor in her anal sac, right before her surgery.  No one ever said anything.  
These past few days, Joy seems to have a good appetitie for this food combo, still lethargic, but does play now and then with her toys, tho often is just chilling out on the couch.
The test results will be back today or monday, but still part of me is in denial. I keep trying to convince myself that she is acting funny because of my 10 month old baby. But then again, a dog wouldnt just stop drinking because she's sad and jealous....
Avatar universal
Well, the vet called last night at 6:40 i missed the call and called back ten minutes later.  No answer.  Now it is sunday and I am sure he wont call today.  I am assuming (hoping and praying) that is nothing serious, as if it was I'd expect him to try me again so that we can figure out an immediate plan of action.  If it is something serious and he waits until monday.....  
Avatar universal
Hello all.
I am reviving this post, hoping to get some more input, ideas, experiences, etc.

Joy has been doing OK.  Still on a KD diet. The blood test from april showed liver troubles and she was provided with a few meds to regulate and clean out her liver.  An ultrasound showed a clogging up of bile... Sludge....

She has been doing much better up until mid october when little bumps started popping up on her body, but mainly on her back....  Then crusty areas formed above her eyes, around her backside, lower tummy, around her muzzle as well as crusty patches forming on foot pads... ..  Pills and creams were administered and many of them cleared up above her eyes, but the others are still around. The feet seem to be worseining. now the little bumps pop up on her feet, between her toes, on her back.  She causes them to pus.  She scratches and bites them and they bleed, plus they emit a terrible smell.  

Doc saw her and recommended a pill called epato 1500 to help clear up the liver.  In a month we will test her blood to see where she is at.  I agree to wait the few weeks to test blood to see where her levels are at, as it is clear she is having more liver problems.

Besides being sluggish, she isnt drinking as much as normal so I have been mixing water into her food to make sure she is getting enough liquids.

Plus, she seems to tremble a lot when sleeping, during exhaling.....

Anyone have experience with this?  Suggestions, ideas as to where this disease is at?   It is so upsetting and I just need some idea of what to expect.

I cant figure out if she is in pain, sad, miserable, nauseated, happy, etc....
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