Symptoms of Diabetes Insipidus in Dogs

The symptoms of diabetes insipidus are similar to the symptoms of diabetes mellitus and should be reported to the vet. Diabetes insipidus, also known as the other diabetes, is a condition that involves the impaired production of anti diuretic hormones. There are 2 types of DI and both will display the same symptoms.

Diabetes Insipidus in Dogs

Diabetes insipidus is a life threatening condition that may affect dogs of any breed, age or gender. There are 2 types of diabetes insipidus:

  • Central diabetes insipidus, which is described as a deficiency of anti diuretic hormones in the body. The dog will be dehydrated and produce urine that is not concentrated
  • Nephrogenic diabetes is a condition that is due to a lack of response of the kidneys to the anti diuretic hormones. Even if the dog is producing a sufficient amount of hormones, these will not be recognized by the kidneys

Symptoms of Diabetes Insipidus

The symptoms of diabetes insipidus may be more subtle and at times, difficult to recognize. However, you should notice that your dog is dehydrated. Dehydration is seen in all dogs with diabetes insipidus that don’t get treatment. Both types of diabetes insipidus manifest through similar symptoms, which include:

  • Polyuria, which means that the dog will urinate more frequently. This is due to the fact that the dog’s body is unable to produce concentrated urine
  • Polydipsia or an increased thirst. You will notice that your dog drinks more than the usual half a liter of liquids per day. The thirst is due to the fact that the dog urinates more frequently and is dehydrated. Your dog will drink water wherever he finds it, after finishing the fluids from his water bowl. This may be dangerous, as the dog may drink from an infested pond and this will lead to a secondary infection
  • Imbalance of electrolytes, which is due to the fact that these are eliminated in the urine. The electrolytes are salts that exist in the cells and urine of the dog. This may cause various other symptoms
  • Weakening of muscles, a direct consequence of electrolyte imbalance
  • Lethargy
  • Drowsiness
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Irregular pulse
  • Pale and dry gums, which can point to dehydration
  • Lack of skin elasticity
  • Thickened saliva
  • Lack of coordination
  • Confusion
  • Exercise resistance
  • Seizures

Many of these symptoms may also be present in dogs with diabetes mellitus or other medical conditions, so a vet needs to establish the exact problem affecting your dog. A dog with diabetes insipidus will have low levels of anti diuretic hormone (ADH) and the water content in the urine will be higher.

Treatment Options for Diabetes Insipidus

The treatment for diabetes insipidus will include:

  • Diuretics
  • A diet that is poor in salt and phosphorus
  • Administering plenty of fluids

Diabetes insipidus is not a treatable condition, but can be managed and the dog can live a normal life.