Canine Diabetes Insipidus

Canine diabetes insipidus represents a health condition that involves a water imbalance. Once the signs of this disorder have been identified, it is necessary to perform diagnosis tests, so that any suspicion concerning other diseases is excluded. After that, the veterinarian will recommend a treatment according to the severity of the symptoms.

Varieties of Canine Diabetes Insipidus

There are 2 types of canine diabetes insipidus, namely:

  • Central diabetes insipidus
  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus

The first one develops when not enough ADH (antidiuretic hormone) is produced by the pituitary gland. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, on the other hand, appears when the kidneys do not react to the antidiuretic hormone. Despite sharing the same symptoms, the 2 types of canine diabetes insipidus are treated differently.

Causes of Diabetes Insipidus

Both central and nephrogenic diabetes insipidus can appear as a result of congenital defects. In addition, central diabetes insipidus can also appear when the pituitary gland is affected by a trauma or a tumor. In some cases, the causes of central diabetes insipidus are unknown. The second type is sometimes caused by metabolic disorders or drugs.

Canine Diabetes Insipidus Signs and Symptoms

Basically, there are 2 signs that indicate that your dog might suffer from this disease:

  • Polydipsia (excessive thirst)
  • Polyuria (excessive passage of urine)

As soon as these 2 symptoms are observed, you need to take your dog to a veterinarian, so a proper diagnosis is performed.

Diagnosis Tests

Diagnosis tests are necessary because there are numerous other health conditions that share symptoms with canine diabetes insipidus:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's disease)
  • Liver disease
  • Pyometra (uterine infection)
  • Renal failure

Once the veterinarian concludes that your dog does not suffer from one of these diseases, some images of the pituitary gland need to be taken to make sure that there is not tumor. Additional tests include water deprivation and DDAVP (Desmopressin Acetate—synthetic analogue of the pituitary hormone 8-arginine vasopressin) reactions.

Treatment Options for Diabetes Insipidus

As mentioned before, the treatment is different between the 2 types of diabetes insipidus. Desmopressin, or DDAVP, is used for treating central diabetes insipidus. This drug performs the same actions as the antidiuretic hormone. If this treatment option is chosen, the vet will recommend one of the available formulations:

  • Nasal spray pump
  • Injectable liquid for subcutaneously injections
  • Tablets

Dogs suffering from nephrogenic diabetes insipidus are given thiazide diuretics. More particularly, chrolothiazide is administered to dogs with this type of diabetes insipidus. Such medication is able to increase the concentration of urine in the kidneys. Another treatment option in this case is represented by chloropropamide, a drug that improves the potency of the antidiuretic hormone. However, this drug does not always prove to be effective. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the third treatment option for dogs suffering from nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.

Your dog will survive this health condition even if no treatment is followed. However, you have to make sure that he or she receives plenty of water. Consequently, you also need to take the dog outside more frequently to pass the urine. If the water intake is limited, the severity of the symptoms will increase and the dog will eventually enter a coma and die due to the excessive dehydration.