10 Fun Outdoor Activities for Dog and Owner

Spending more time with pets helps to fight stress and depression. The same goes for the pets; spending time playing and cuddling with their owners is linked to dogs' stress-management. Indulging in outdoor activities with your dog not only strengthens your bond but also provides physical and mental stimulation.

Even more so, dogs need regular exercise to remain healthy. Indulging in outdoor activities with your dog helps to get the much-needed physical and mental stimulation. However, it would help if you were wary about taking elderly dogs for outdoor activities. The physical activities for dogs stricken with arthritis and hip dysplasia must be short.

To help you make memories with your pets, we have amassed 20 different outdoor activities to do with your dog.

10 Outdoor Activities for Dog and Owner

Here is the list of the ten most fun outdoor activities for dogs and dog owners.

Biking

Biking with your furry friend can be both adventurous and physically stimulating. An active dog can burn off seemingly endless energy by accompanying you on a bike ride. However, not every dog can catch up with your bike; some are made to sit in the basket and enjoy the ride.

It’s more complicated than you might think to ride a bike along with a dog on a leash, so it's better to get a little practice before you hit the trail. Start with biking with a leash on within a small distance.

Consider your dog’s physical fitness to determine how long it can keep up. Pups and older dogs should bike with a leash. It would be best if you only chose outdoor-active adult dogs.

Ensure to carry snacks and water along the ride and take regular breaks in between.

Hiking

Hiking involves a considerable amount of adventure, adrenaline, and risk. It takes more effort than what you may assume by just looking at someone’s Instagram photo with their dog on the Rockies.

Not every dog is adapted to walking long distances; hence you should start with a short walk and later increase it to multiple days.

Active hiking dogs can walk long distances regularly. They can hike 15 to 20 miles per day, whereas the dogs that aren’t used to long hikes can walk only 10 miles per day or lesser.

Walking through the prairie, going up in the Rockies, or trailing through the national park are few of the most sought hiking with dogs.

Here are few tips to get started: Start slow, increase the time gradually, take regular breaks, and assess your dog's health at each interval.

Jogging

Jogging is both fun and physically stimulating activity for all kinds of dogs. It would be best if you considered taking your dog for a regular jog around your neighborhood, on the beach, or in the park.

Nothing tires out a dog with lots of energy like a long run. Consider leashing your dog if it has tendencies to run off. Both your and dog can benefit from regular jogging as it promotes cardiovascular activity.

Ensure you have a dog whose type and temperament suit as a running partner. Elderly dogs would only like occasional walks instead of a jog.

Swimming

Dogs are natural swimmers, and they'd love to take a splash into the water whenever they feel warm. If you live in a warmer place, it's a great idea to take a dip in the pool or pond with your furry friend. Both of you can cool off and enjoy a great time together!

It's a low-impact sport, so you needn't worry about stressing your older dogs' joints. It also helps to work on many muscles simultaneously to be a productive activity for obese dogs.

The swimming pool is a perfect place for dogs to swim as the enclosed surface and lesser depth keeps them safe. Be careful about taking your dog for a wash in the river, ocean, or pond.

Fetch

Play fetch with your dog whenever you're in the backyard, porch, or the park. Dogs love to fetch items such as stick wood, ball, and Frisbee.

Fetch has a triple function; it gives your dog needed exercise, it helps strengthen the bond between you, and it gets him into the habit of returning to you.

You can also play a game of fetch with your dog in the swimming pool with items like Frisbee and balls. It'll motivate them to swim more and activate their muscles. Remember, dogs have to be athletic and agile most of all to engage in the game of fetch.

Off-leash Dog Park

Plan a doggie play-date with a friend at your local dog park! There should be numerous parks in your neighborhood, but you should try finding a park that is safe for dogs to play off-leash. Dogs love to roam around, play, and explore things, and a leash often comes in their way.

You can give them much-needed free time by taking them off-leash in the park. It shouldn't be a problem as long as the park is filled with well-socialized dogs and dog-savvy owners.

Ensure to train your dog before you can let it roam free! Monitor your dogs for inappropriate behaviors such as bullying/aggressive play, jumping on people, and excessive barking. You and your dog wouldn't want to become a nuisance to the others in the park.

Boat Ride

All dogs love water, so it’s a great idea to take them for a boat ride. If you want, you can let them make a splash in the water.

Even though they love water, you should be careful about allowing them to roam free. Even if you're careful, be prepared to protect and save your dog if they fall overboard. Get a pet life jacket in case your dog isn't water-friendly or too small. Don't forget to offer them fresh water and shade along the way. Dogs can quickly dehydrate in warm weather!

However, not every dog is boat-friendly. Take them for a short spin and let them acclimatize to the boat life before you embark on a long boat trip.

Hit the Beach

Many ocean and lake beaches are dog-friendly. You can use this opportunity to play fetch with them, jog, or run around. However, it would be best if you were careful about harmful things.

Anything that can harm you at the beach can also harm your dogs, such as sunburn, riptides, jellyfish, broken glass, sharp shells, and aggressive dogs.

If you haven't potty trained your dog, avoid taking them to beaches that strictly monitor for dog poops. Don't forget to bring plenty of fresh, cool water and snacks.

Remember that the sand can be scorching on sensitive paws, so provide a blanket or towel for your dog's comfort when he takes a break from romping in the surf.

Take agility class

Agility classes are great for dogs to start in sports. This is the outdoor sports where you guide and direct your dog through a pre-set course within a specific time limit. The courses typically have between 14-20 obstacles ranging from tunnels, weave poles, tire jumps, and seesaws.

If you want to have a great time with your dog while engaging it with something useful, taking agility classes together can be a great idea. Do remember, the dogs usually start competing in agility between the ages of 1 and 2.

It helps to foster concentration, flexibility, companionship, trust, and body awareness in dogs.

Explore nearby forest or trail

Consider exploring the nearby forest or trail with your dog. Camping is a great idea to spend time outdoors with your furry friend. You can indulge in exploring the trail, sightseeing, scavenging for geocaching hunt, swimming in the river, etc. You can take a car up to the destination and then start exploring the place on foot.

If your dog isn’t comfortable spending time inside the tent, you can come back to your car anytime you want.

 

No matter where you live, undertake these opportunities to spend more time with your pet. Take advantage of the warmer weather and indulge in more outdoor activities that your dog loves to do.

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. Get in touch with us to learn more ways to spend time outdoors with your pet.

Is Hair loss Common in Dogs?

It's routine for dogs to shed hair, sometimes a lot. Many dog breeds such as Belgian Sheepdog, Bouvier des Flandres, and Alaskan malamute shed more hair than other breeds, so don't be worried if your couch, carpet, and clothes have amassed a lot of dog hair in a short time.

While it's common for dogs to shed hair occasionally, it can be alarming if your furry pal is frequently scratching itself or when you notice bald patches on your dog's body. This does often mean that there's an underlying medical problem.

Stress, allergies, parasitic infection, and Cushing's disease are often the significant causes of hair loss in canine. Alopecia, which is also common in humans, is a disorder that causes random bald patches. There are many reasons for sudden hair loss in dogs, so it’s often difficult to pinpoint a single cause.

We understand pet owners' troubling experiences when their furry friends start losing hair. We recommend taking your dog to the vet for a proper diagnosis of sudden hair loss. You'd be cleared if your dog has a congenital hair loss issue or an acquired problem.

Top Reasons for Hair Loss in Dogs

A few of the most common reasons for canine hair loss are as follows;

Seasonal Shedding

Don't confuse seasonal shedding with allergies or medical problems. Sometimes dogs can start losing a lot of hair mass when the weather turns warm, or the individual hair follicles become old and damaged. Many dogs shed year-round, while others may shed in a particular season. Seasonal shedding is common during summer to help dogs' skin breathe easily.

Regular grooming ensures that your dog doesn't shed excessively because of hair follicle damage and hair mats. Moving your dog to a moderate climate can also reduce seasonal shedding.

Allergies

Dog allergy is one of the common causes of canine hair loss. Flea allergies, Atopy, and food allergies are common instigators of excessive hair loss. Although flea allergy and atopy don't necessarily cause shedding, excessive scratching, biting, and licking because of the allergy can cause sudden hair loss.

Hair loss from allergies is an acquired problem. Atopy allergy is acquired from environmental irritants like pollen, mold, and dust mites. Flea allergy is acquired from flea infestation when your dog plays in the backyard or with other infected animals. Many dogs are allergic to a particular food such as beef, dairy, wheat, corn, soy, etc. It's best to avoid feeding allergy-inducing food to your dog.

You can notice canine allergy when your dog is constantly scratching and biting its itches or when it shows signs of irritated, red areas on the skin.

The prescribed medications and dietary changes can quickly treat allergies in dogs.

Cushing's disease

Hyperadrenocorticism, better known as Cushing's disease, is a condition caused by the prolonged exposure of the body’s tissue to excessive hormone cortisol levels. The symptoms will include hair loss, darkening of the skin, and a pot-bellied abdomen's development.

It's more common in dogs six years or older. Dogs that have been overfed corticosteroid drugs can contract Cushing's disease.

Cushing disease's symptoms include:

  • Increased frequency of eating, drinking, and urinating
  • Potbellied or bloated like appearance
  • Less energy
  • Insomnia
  • Obesity

Your vet can better diagnose the disease by running different evaluations and recommend the best course of action for treatment.

Mange and other parasites

Mange is a skin disease common in dogs, birds, and reptiles. It's caused by microscopic parasitic mites that live on the surface of the skin and hair follicles. Mange infection is caused by mites, like scabies mites and red mange that can burrow into the skin. The mange can cause massive hair loss and itching.

In dogs, there are two significant forms of mange, each caused by different mites:

Sarcoptes scabies causes sarcoptic mange (also known as scabies). It's highly contagious and can easily pass from one dog to another. The symptoms include extreme itchiness, redness and rash, thick yellow crusts, and hair loss.

Demodectic Mange (also known as red mange or Demodex) is caused by a cigar-shaped mite called DemodexCanis. They're ever-present in the body but harmless. It may attack dogs with a weakened immune system.

Bacterial and Fungal Infections

Bacterial infection and fungal infection can cause severe skin itchiness, hair loss, redness, and odor. Observe hair loss patterns around ears, stomach, chest, and eyes to conclude bacterial or fungal infection in dogs.

Common types of pathogenic bacteria in dogs include:

  • Salmonella
  • Leptospirosis
  • Campylobacter
  • Helicobacter
  • Streptococcus
  • Clostridia
  • Bordetella
  • E Coli

Dogs infected with ringworm also shed hair. Unlike other infection, ringworm causes circular or irregular hair loss. When you notice itchy or scaly patches, it's time to take your dog to the veterinarian.

Alopecia is a hair loss syndrome that can be both temporary or permanent. It can be a result of skin infections such as ringworm in dogs.

After a complete examination, your veterinarian will advise the future course of treatment. Severe infections require antifungal shampoos, topical treatment, and drugs.

Underlying Medical Conditions

The underlying medical condition can cause massive hair fall in dogs. Pressure sores, trauma, abnormality in growth of the hair shaft, thyroid disorder, sex hormone imbalance, and skin cancer are a few of the common causes of hair loss in dogs.

The diagnosis to identify underlying medical conditions includes blood profile (blood testing), Biopsy (determine skin cancer or tumor), skin impression smears (bacterial identification), etc.

Your veterinarian will administer antibiotics, antifungals, steroids, immunosuppressive drugs or Anti-cytokine drugs, immunotherapy for the treatment depending on the medical condition.

Prevention of Hair Loss in Dogs

By adopting preventive measures, you can prevent hair loss and skin problems in dogs.

Reducing Shedding through Nutrition

Feed your dog a high-quality diet.

A healthy diet is a precursor to a healthy and thick coat in dogs. Be careful about using cheap can foods and home-prepared meals that usually lack nutrition. A high-quality diet contains all the essential nutrients, including Vitamin D, folic acid, and zinc, which helps keep the dog's immune system strong.

Add Olive Oil or Flaxseed oil to Dog's food.

One teaspoon (5 mL) per 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of body weight is an excellent place to start. These oils contain omega-3 fatty acids that help calm inflamed skin, decrease dandruff, and improve overall coat texture.

Give your dog occasional "human food."

Occasionally feed your dog human food such as fruits (apples and bananas), cucumbers, and cooked lean meat. However, be careful about feeding food items such as chocolate, avocado, grapes, milk products, and onion.

Reducing Shedding through Grooming

Regular grooming is as essential as a dog’s daily diet and exercise. Over time, the dog’s coat gets tangled to create mats which can be a painful experience. An unkempt coat causes frequent and constant itching and scratches. Constant licking can cause excessive shedding. Grooming will help remove excess and loose fur and redistribute your dog’s skin oils into its fur.

 

Use de-shedding tools before spring season when the dog’s coat begins to fall off. Consider bathing them with dog shampoo made for flea and tick control.

For more details and Information check this infographic. 

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort the best doggy daycare in Urbandale to learn more about dog shedding and preventive measures.

How to Spot Autism in Dogs?

Autism or canine autism refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by difficulties with social skills and repetitive behaviors, including aggression and withdrawn behavior.

People often associate autism with humans, and many believe that this condition does not affect dogs, but this isn't true. When you use the same autism spectrum disorder typically applied to human behavior, it becomes apparent that dogs can be diagnosed with autism.

Yes, dogs can be autistic, according to many types of research. The signs and suffering from autism may differ from one dog to another. Canine autism can affect their social skill and behavior. They can show episodes of sudden aggression, withdrawn behavior, and a lack of activity.

Canine Autism       

Autism spectrum disorder in dogs is an idiopathic condition, which means that the cause is unknown.  However, we know that it’s congenital and that dogs exhibiting dysfunctional behaviors are born with the condition.

Although the scientific community often attests that canines can't suffer from autism, many dog behaviorists and animal experts have pointed out that dogs have been diagnosed with autism-like symptoms.

The veterinarians first observed autism-like symptoms in dogs back in the 1960s. Since then, they have carried out different research types to learn more about autism-like symptoms in dogs.

The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) presented a study on tail-chasing behavior in Bull Terriers and a possible link to autism in 2015. It observed specific traits of 132 Bull Terriers, 55 of which chased their tails, and 77 (the non-tail-chasing control group).  It found out that tail-chasing was more prevalent in males Terriers, and it was associated with occasional aggression and explosive behaviors, including trance-like behaviors.

Although not definitive, these results suggested that tail-chasing could represent a form of autism in dogs.

Diagnosis of Autism in Dogs

Diagnosing the autism spectrum disorder in dogs is rather difficult because there are only tell-tale signs of autism that aren't backed by scientific evidence. The signs of autism shouldn't be confused with other medical issues such as canine anxiety or injury-pains. To determine if your dog is suffering from either autism or other illness, you should consider taking it to the vet for a thorough diagnosis.

Vets can perform several behavioral tests to assess how a dog responds to certain situations. Still, these tests are not always concrete since other disorders such as canine anxiety can produce autism-like symptoms. They will rely on tell-tale signs or cues to determine canine autism.

Here are five tell-tale signs of autism.

Display of Repetitive Behavior

Repeating certain patterns and behaviors is one of the tell-tale signs of autism in both humans and dogs. If your canine starts showing unusual repetitive behavior, it's best to ask your vet for a quick diagnosis. It isn't unusual for dogs to chase after their tail, fidget with the door lock, or stand in front of the door every day, and you shouldn't confuse every repetitive behavior with the symptoms of autism. The onset of autistic behaviors is often accompanied by other signs such as withdrawal or sudden aggression.

Display of Social Nervousness and Awkwardness

Dogs are sociable creatures, and they love spending time with humans and other animals. This is one of the reasons why they enjoy visiting the park. Most dogs will seek comfort and safety from their owners.

It's a telltale sign of autism when your dog isn't sociable. Injuries, traumatic history, accidents, and other major events could make many dogs stop interacting or start showing social nervousness, and these shouldn't be confused with autism's symptoms. It's best to observe your dog for any such unusual awkwardness. If your dog is showing similar signs even after a few weeks, it's best to take it to the vet for a diagnosis.

Display of lack of enthusiasm

It's unusual for dogs to display a lack of enthusiasm when you invite them to go out for a walk, take a break in the park, or play any games. While most of the time, the lack of energy and physical lethargy could make them display a lack of enthusiasm, but if this behavior persists for a long time, you should know that there's something wrong with it.

This is often accompanied by a lack of physical expression, including tail wagging, not making direct eye-contact, entering a trance-like state, staring in one direction for a long time, etc.

Display of OCD

Repetitive motions are also a characteristic of autistic behavior. They can include various actions such as circling a room over and over again or chronic tail-chasing or obsessive teeth grinding.  Other repetitive behaviors include lining up toys or other objects, placing food bowl in a certain direction, or obsessive chewing.

You'd know the signs of OCD by observing their unusual repetitive behavior. Like humans, dogs can fall victim to OCD because of canine autism.

Display of Emotionless

Dogs may show inappropriate reactions to unfamiliar stimuli such as yelping or barking at the slightest touch of your hand and barking to sudden sounds. Autistic dogs can become hypersensitive to any stimuli.

They often avoid new environments, situations, and social interactions because they may find it difficult to cope with new experiences.

 

To better diagnose the symptoms of autism, it's best to talk with your veterinarian, who will advise you to observe certain behaviors.

Newly adopted and rescued dogs may become antisocial or show signs of communication issues, lethargy, and reduced physical activity. To learn more about your new pet's behavior, you should talk with the previous owner or the rescue home for more information.

How to Treat Autism in dogs?

After a licensed veterinarian has ruled out other possibilities for your furry friends’ unusual social awkwardness and withdrawn behaviors, you should start seeking possible treatments.

There is no single treatment for autism; hence you should start prescribed medications and advised lifestyle changes.

Medication

Your veterinarian will prescribe medication like Fluoxetine (Prozac) to treat OCD and autism problems in humans.

Offer a Safe, Secured, and Stress-Free Place

Your dog may become anxious or nervous in crowds or around other animals. Dogs inhibiting the signs of autism may seek a safe and secure place to spend most of their time. As the certain sound and environment may trigger OCD and bark in autistic dogs, it’s best to provide them a completely stress-free place. Avoiding situations that can stress your dog and cause anxiety is important too.

Offer Regular Exercise and Well-Balanced Diet

Make sure your dog gets enough exercise every day along with a well-balanced diet. Regular exercises and healthy meals can help to reduce anxiety and stress in dogs while keeping them engaged.

Your veterinarian may also suggest you work with professional trainers or therapists who specialize in positive reinforcement. They can help provide therapies and training to curb autistic behaviors in dogs.

 

Dr. ValliParthasarathy DVM explains that,

Dogs who have anxiety disorders may exhibit symptoms that their owners interpret as autism and diagnose themselves. But in reality, anxiety, in general, can affect a dog’s ability to learn, problem-solve, retain and recall information.

She advises that it’s better to begin working with a positive reinforcement reward-based trainer to help treat your dog’s autistic conditions. It would be best if you also were gentle with your dog at all times.

Check this infographic out for more information in detail.

 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy pet hospital in Des Moines, to learn more about diagnosing and treating canine autism.

Can Pets Still Get Infected with COVID-19? The 2021 Updates

According to our previous article posted on March 10, 2020, we mentioned that pets are less likely to get infected with COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified no animals in the US were infected with the virus, and there is no evidence that dogs or other pets can spread COVID-19.

But there has been a recent development. According to CDC,

"It appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations, especially after close contact with a person with COVID-19."

 

The cases of household pets that were found to be infected by COVID-19 proved that a person could transmit the virus to animals. However, at this time, there is not much scientific evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus to humans.

According to CDC,

Several animals in zoological facilities have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, including large cats and great apes. Several lions and tigers in a New York zoo, a puma in South Africa, tigers in a Tennessee zoo, snow leopards at a Kentucky zoo, and gorillas at a California zoo tested positive SARS-CoV-2 after showing signs of illness. A cougar and tiger at a Texas facility that exhibits wild animals also tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. It is suspected that these animals became sick after being exposed to employees with COVID-19, despite the staff following COVID-19 precautions.

COVID-19 infection was seen in many different animals worldwide since the onset of the novel coronavirus disease in December 2019.

How to protect your pet from COVID-19 Infection?

To protect your pet from the SARS-CoV-2 infection, don't let your dog or cat interact with people or animals outside your household. For example:

  • Avoid taking your pet to parks or public areas where many people and dogs gather.
  • When walking your dog, make sure to put it on a leash and keep it at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people and animals.
  • Do not put a mask on pets. Masks could harm your pet.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible.

 

If you become sick with SARS-CoV-2 and have a pet,

  • You should immediately restrict contact with pets and other animals and isolate yourself from house members.
  • If possible, have another person in your household care for your pet.
  • Avoid petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing foods or bedding with your pet.
  • Wear a cloth face covering and gloves before caring for your pet.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling animals and their food, waste, and supplies.
  • Also, make sure you clean up after your pet.
  • If you need to take your pet to the vet, don't do it yourself. Either call your veterinarian home or ask your family member or friend to take it to the vet.

 

Strictly follow these preventive measures for SARS-CoV-2.

  1. Wash your hands

Wash your hands properly using soap and water to keep yourself and your pets from contracting COVID-19. Regularly rub your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub when going out or after coming.

  1. Maintain Distance

If you have any symptoms such as coughing or sneezing, maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and your dog.

  1. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth

Do not fidget your fingers with your eyes, nose, and mouth before or after petting your dog to ensure the safety of your family and pets.

  1. Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure to cover your mouth or nose when sneezing or coughing. Use disposable tissue and mask whenever around your pets.

  1. Seek medical care early

Stay home or indoors if you have a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, and call in advance.

  1. Stay informed

Stay informed about the latest developments about the COVID-19 pandemic, red zones, and possible vaccination drive in your community.

 

COVID-19 in Other Animals

The countries, namely; Hong Kong, Belgium, the U.S., Netherlands, France, Spain, Germany, Russia, Denmark, United Kingdom, Japan, South Africa, Italy, Sweden, Chile, Canada, Brazil, Greece, Argentina, and Lithuania, reported the cases of COVID-19 infection in different animals.

However, COVID-19 infections in Mink on farms have been reported in many countries, including numerous deaths related to the novel coronavirus. The infected workers likely introduced COVID-19 on a farm, and the infection spread from one animal to another.

After these incidents, mink farmworkers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 were provided with guidelines to avoid animal contact.

CDC is aware of reports of a new strain of COVID-19 virus in mink in Denmark that is also present in the local human population.

Based on Denmark reports, it appears that mink became infected after exposure to people infected with the virus and the virus then mutated and spread from mink back to humans.

This new strain, called “Cluster 5,” has not been seen before and comprises five mutations.

How has COVID-19 Pandemic prevented the consumption of Exotic Animals?

After the news of the first case of COVID-19 transmission came out from the wet market of Wuhan Province in China, experts opined that the zoological virus likely transmitted from eating an exotic animal’ (pangolin or bat) meat.

Following the Coronavirus outbreak throughout the Chinese province and later worldwide, the Chinese Government banned the sale and consumption of exotic and wild animals, including Pangolin.

According to NewsWeek.com,

In Shenzhen, China, a law was passed banning dog and cat meat, which will affect May 1, 2020. Known as the "Shenzhen Special Economic Region Regulation on a Comprehensive Ban on the Consumption of Wild Animals," the legislation was passed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. It also bans the consumption, breeding, and sale of wildlife for human consumption in the city—including snakes, lizards, and other wild animals.

Pangolin, mostly found in the wild, depends on ants, termites, and larvae. Unfortunately, the pangolin is one of the most trafficked animals in the world. Many smugglers catch and traffic pangolins from Asia and African nations to China and Vietnam's famous black market for their meat. Pangolin's meat is considered a delicacy and is used in traditional medicine.

 

Conclusion

Researchers carried out different studies to learn more about the virus's transmission behavior on different animals. It shows that cats, dogs, ferrets, fruit bats, and hamsters can become infected with the virus.

Dogs can get infected but might not spread the virus to other dogs as quickly as other animals like cats and ferrets can spread the virus to the same animal species.

Laboratory mice, pigs, chickens, and ducks do not seem to become infected or spread the infection based on a study's results.

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best doggy daycare in Urbandale. We offer full-day boarding and daycare services that pamper your pet and engage them with interactive games and sessions.

 

 

 

 

Water Diabetes in Dogs

 

There are two types of diabetes in dogs; Diabetes Insipidus (Water diabetes) and Diabetes Mellitus (Drinking diabetes). While Diabetes mellitus is more common in dogs, Diabetes Insipidus is a rare condition that affects their water metabolism by preventing the body from conserving water and releasing too much of it.

The condition is characterized by frequent or increased urination, dilute urine (Dull urine), incontinence, and increase the thirst for water. If you notice these signs in your dog, it’s best to take them to the veterinarian for the diagnosis immediately.

Symptoms of Water Diabetes in Dogs

Common clinical signs of diabetes seen in dogs are;

  • Increased urination (polyuria)
  • Increased drinking (polydipsia)
  • Decreased urination with dehydration
  • Poor hair coat
  • Weight loss
  • Failure to thrive
  • Incontinence issues

Sometimes, your dogs can have varying issues for urinary accidents at home. Some of these causes shouldn’t be confused with the symptoms of Water Diabetes, including Urinary tract infections, Urinary stones, and Incontinence, Urinary Tract Cancer, and Kidney disease.

The only way to know if your dog is suffering from water diabetes is a proper medical diagnosis.

Types of Water Diabetes

There are two significant DIs that affect dogs;

  • Neurogenic (Central diabetes insipidus)
  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus

Neurogenic (Central diabetes insipidus)

The lack of the hormone vasopressin causes Neurogenic DI, which regulates the body's water retention. The hypothalamus in the brain controls the production and regulation of vasopressin.

A dysfunction in vasopressin release can be caused by a head injury or a tumor in the brain. In some cases, it can also be due to failure in the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland.

Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus

A deficiency of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) or arginine vasopressin causes Nephrogenic DI. ADH functions to stimulate the capillary muscles and reduce urine flow, hence effectively conserving water for the body's various functions.

The cause of Nephrogenic Diabetes is found in the kidneys and their inability to respond appropriately to ADH. It can cause too much water from the body to escape into the urine.

According to WebMD.com,

This is typically an acquired condition due to amyloidosis of the kidney, cysts on the kidney, or an imbalance of electrolytes.

What causes Water Diabetes in Dogs?

The kidney functions as a crucial organ to continually filter the blood and to maintain the balance of the body's water by excreting or reabsorbing fluid as required. Efficient reabsorption requires an adequate level of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) or vasopressin. Diabetes Insipidus can start with the inadequate production of ADH by the pituitary gland. The condition where the kidney resists the hormone is called Nephrogenic DI.

Many causes can alter the production of ADH. The most probable causes are congenital disabilities, brain trauma, a tumor in the pituitary gland, and cancer. Some common reasons for renal insensitivity to ADH is;

Congenital, Secondary to drugs, and Secondary to endocrine and metabolic disorders (Hyperadrenocorticism, Hypocalcemia, Pyometra, Hypercalcemia, Pyelonephritis, and Chronic kidney failure) or secondary to certain diseases (severe infection, metabolic disorders, or advancing kidney disease).

Diagnosing Water Diabetes

It would be best if you took your dog to the veterinarian for a proper medical diagnosis of diabetes.

  • Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your dog, including blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, urinalysis, and an electrolyte panel.
  • They may ask you a series of questions, including the medical history of your dog to state its state of health.
  • A more profound diagnosis test includes testing Plasma ADH levels to differentiate between neurogenic or central diabetes insipidus and nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.
  • Other forms of diagnostics include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) to locate pituitary tumors or kidney disorders.
  • It follows a modified water deprivation test or an ADH supplementation trial to check for body water loss.

Treatment of Water Diabetes

Your dog will need to be hospitalized for a modified water deprivation test if it's diagnosed with any two of the Diabetes Insipidus. An ADH trial follows it if the cause is neurogenic DI which is generally treated with vasopressin injections.

Diabetes Insipidus is treated using a synthetic formulation of ADH called desmopressin (also known as DDAVP) applied either as eye drops or by injection under the skin. Nephrogenic DI is treated using oral hydrochlorothiazide and a low-salt diet. The treatment depends upon the definitive diagnosis.

To manage life with water diabetes, you should always provide enough water to your dog to avoid dehydration. Water deprivation can easily lead to stupor, coma, and death.

Check this infographic about symptoms of water diabetes in Dogs. 

 

 

Urban Pet Hospital & Resort is the best pet hospital in Des Moines. Meet our certified veterinarian in Urbandale to learn more about water diabetes in dogs and measures to prevent it. We offer 24/7 medical assistance along with mobile medical assistance in Urbandale.