Oaklee a golden retriever swimming at sunset.

Water Toxicity in Dogs

This is something we haven't really heard much about until recently.

Is letting your dog play in the water dangerous?  Letting them play with the pressurized water from the hose?  Or dunking their heads under the water to get a toy?  How can this be?

As someone who owns a water loving, head dunking golden retriever this was something I had to know more about.  Was I really putting my dog at risk by letting him swim his heart out in those hot summer months.  Reality is yes.

Hyponatremia also known as Water Intoxication is rare but most of the time it is fatal.  I first heard about this by a facebook post a couple years ago from someone who lost their dog.  Having worked in a veterinary clinic for many years it's not something I heard much about.

How does your dog get water intoxication:

It's seen in dogs who love to play in the water causing them to ingest large quantities of water in short period of time.  By swimming, diving to catch a toy or even drinking pressurized water from the garden hose can cause them to take in too much water too quickly.  The excessive amounts of water will cause the body to lose sodium which will cause the body's cell to fill with water a swell and can lead to cells in the brain swelling which can be fatal.

Signs of water intoxication:
- loss of coordination
- bloating
- glazed eyes
- vomiting
- lethargy
- excessive salivation
- difficulty breathing
- seizures
- coma

What to do if you suspect your dog has water intoxication:
Water intoxication will process quickly so if your dog has been enjoying time in the water and you start to notice these signs please contact your veterinarian immediately so they can start treatment.  

How to prevent water intoxication:
Breaks - lots of breaks.  I know this can be hard as mentioned I have a water loving dog as well and trying to get him away from the water is like taking candy away from a baby.  However it's for his safety.  Especially give breaks on days when the water is rough and they may be ingesting more water.  When you get home if they drink their entire bowl of water make sure you give them time before you refill it.

Living at the beach has it's perks but let's make sure it's safe for everyone!

Until next time,

Oaklee with no background

🐾 Woofs & Wags
- Melissa & Oaklee 🐾

Cute golden retriever puppy sitting on a beach

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