As our cats and dogs grow older we will notice changes in their behaviour: slowing up on long walks, sleeping more often and changes in drinking and eating patterns. Movement problems can be due to osteoarthritis. One problem to keep an eye out for is drinking excessively. It is common in aging cats and dogs and can be an early warning sign of serious disease.
Cats will drink varying amounts depending on wet or dry feed regimes, but if you notice your cat often at the water bowl and regularly in the litter tray it is worth a trip to the Vet. A urine sample is very helpful but hard to obtain at home. Your Vet can take blood and urine and will be looking for evidence of Kidney disease, Hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland) and Diabetes. These are three common cat ailments that can cause increased thirst and each are treated differently.
Dogs with a big thirst will urinate more often and may not make the night through. Like cats, they can suffer from Diabetes and Kidney disease, and there are other hormonal problems to consider. These include Hyperadrenocorticism, Addison’s disease, Hyperparathyroidism, liver disease, Pyometra (infected uterus in non desexed female dogs), electrolyte disturbances and more!
Recently our surgery diagnosed and treated ‘Bonnie’ the Bull Terrier, whose only complaint was her increased thirst. Blood tests were done and she was diagnosed with an uncommon disease, hyperparathyroidism. After a tricky surgery to remove the enlarged gland and manage her calcium levels she is back to normal. Left untreated her high calcium levels would have led to kidney failure. For another example of a hormonal disease see ‘Angie’ with Addison’s here.