Saturday, February 23, 2013

Update: Our 16 Year Old Dachshund is Drinking Water Obsessively

Sprite is drinking water excessively
Our Dachshund Sprite turned 16 years old on December 23, 2012. Over the last two months we've noticed he's drinking a lot of water. In fact, it's an obsession. He drinks and walks around for 5 minutes, then comes back and drinks again. He'll drink an entire bowl of water in a couple of hours (a large bowl that all the other dogs usually drink from, too- but he empties it alone). We asked our vet about him and she said there may be a urinary tract infection, or his kidneys may be failing. The vet said last year that it appeared his kidneys were failing.

  We noticed that now he can only hold his urine about 3-4 hours (or less). In fact, he wakes us up at 1 a.m. after going to bed at 10 p.m., so we can let him out. Then he goes out again at 4:45 a.m. His urine is mostly clear, of course.  I tried diapers and they won't fit. He's very good about going to the door and waking us up to go out. It's SO hard to watch this poor old guy struggle- just heartbreaking.
  UPDATE 9 am 2/23/13: Went to the vet with Sprite to get a blood test and give a urine sample to check for diabetes, kidney issues, etc.   - His kidneys were failing.

Here's what I found on-line and think is going on: Decrease in kidney function
As animals age, the risk of kidney disease increases. This may be due to changes in the kidney itself or result from the dysfunction of other organs such as the heart, which if not functioning properly, will decrease blood flow to the kidneys. Kidney function can be measured through chemistry tests on the blood and a urinalysis. These tests can identify a kidney problem well before there are any physical signs of disease. The most frequent sign of kidney disease first noted by an owner would be an increase in water consumption and urination, but this generally does not occur until about 70% of the kidney function is lost.  **I read that Kidney issues cite diarrhea and vomiting, and he's not experiencing those. He's also eating fine.
**CHECKED Cushings: He's not losing fur, which is a sign of Cushing's.  - The vet tech said that Cushing's will be tested after the other tests come back, and if they're negative.

 Here are some suggestions I got that I wanted to pass on to others:
  • Try researching Cushing's disease. Those are some of the symptoms.  Bloodwork would tell. If it is just his kidneys there isn't much you can do for him.
  • I'll have him checked for Cushing's disease. It's caused by a tumor in the adrenal or pituitary glands, though, and Sprite can't be operated on because of his severe heart murmur. The 4 medications I read about seem to have side effects, but I'll see what happens. Thanks, all. Here's a great source, btw:
  • 2015 UPDATE
  • A NEW OPTION Our other Dachshund now has exhibited incontinence. We give him a daily chewable from Nutri-vet called "Bladder Control" and over the last couple of months he's only had a couple of in-house accidents (we never leave the dogs at home longer than 5 hours).
  • ANOTHER OPTION - Petsmart or Petco both sell "Belly bands" which are strips of material that go around the waist of a dog and over their privates. When they urinate, it gets absorbed by the pad in the belly band.
  • Be sure it's not just a urinary infection- Urinary tract infections produce VERY strong smelling urine, and sometimes dark urine. It's extremely Painful for the dog and they need antibiotics to get rid of it (which takes about 5-7 days).  
    Bladder irritation/infection. We do not use antibiotics and use an all natural remedy I get on line.  Official Site for PetAlive UTI-Free™, a Natural UTI Remedy.
  • PEE PAD OPTION - One person said during kidney failure, I'd keep him confined to the kitchen with blankets and pee pads. He was also blind, so I had the same problem. It helps to get pee pads that are scented to attract puppies to the pad. That way, he'll at least be able to kind of find it, but he still might not aim exactly right. My vet had given me some kind of enzyme to put on his food that was supposed to help. It was a powder that was also available online. I'll see if I can hunt down the name, but you might want to ask your vet. It was basically when he stopped eating and seemed to have a lot of pain/weakness in his hind legs (so much so he could hardly stand and often fell in his own urine/poo) that I decided he no longer had any real quality of life. Hope this is helpful.
  • DIABETES - also leads to frequent urination and excessive thirst.  
  • Unconventional, but have you sought out anyone who can do animal Reiki?  - Yes! 

    (JULY 8, 2013:  We said goodbye to our beloved Sprite. His kidneys were failing, but we made the decision after he bled excessively out of his nose (and after an emergency vet hospital visit) we made him comfortable. His hearing, sight and strength in his back legs were almost gone. )
    Sprite provided us with several signs that he was still around after his passing. If you or someone you know has lost a dog or cat, you may find comfort in reading his story and stories of other pets who have communicated from the other side: Book: Pets and the Afterlife - by Rob Gutro -  To lose a pet means to lose a child. The love we share with our pets never dies, and the author proves our pets do communicate with us from the other side. Learn how dogs, cats, horses and some birds have the intelligence and ability to send signs to the living after they pass. Take comfort in knowing our pets are around us from time to time and recognize the signs they give. Learn how they wait for us when it’s our time, what a pet’s ashes can do, and the difference between ghosts and spirits. Learn how and why living pets can sense entities. Follow one of the author's dogs on a ghost investigation. Read how spirits of the author’s 2 dogs and dogs from three other mediums communicated with them from the other side. Read about spirit cats and how a ghostly dog rescued a girl. The author also volunteers for Dachshund and Weimaraner rescues and has several dogs.

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next