Friday, August 15, 2008

Cody's Got A Drinking Problem

Ah sweet Cody, ever the challenge. For several years now he's been drinking way too much water. Of course we've had him tested, he doesn't have diabetes and his blood & urine tests come up normal every year except for the finding that his urine is way too dilute which is obviously a consequence of all the water drinking. I did some research on the internet and came up with a couple of possibilities-psychogenic drinking or diabetes insipidus which is not the same or as serious as regular diabetes. Psychogenic drinking is not uncommon in neurotic dogs and it's a sort of compulsive, anxiety based disorder. Cody could easily be the poster boy here. Diabetes insipidus is rare and the test involves several days of water deprivation, very difficult when you have a multiple dog household living in close quarters. Over the years the vet has told me not to worry too much about it. Diabetes insipidus isn't serious and the treatment involves squirting medicine up the nose on a daily basis. Uh, yeah, just what Cody needs. You should see what the vet goes through to give him his kennel cough vaccine (also a spray up the nose). I could not see going through that on a daily basis, especially since the disease is not exactly harmful, just a nuisance since I have to deal with his constant need to pee. I have to let him out every hour at agility trials and each time he pees for a ridiculous amount of time. But this seems preferable to daily nasal spray treatments. Psychogenic drinking can be 'cured' by limiting water which is both problematic due to all the dogs in my house and dangerous if does have diabetes insipidus in which case he really does need to drink excessive amounts of water. The vet knows Cody is a freak and suggests that psychogenic drinking is the most likely culprit.

So all these years I've been ignoring the issue since the test is too hard to administer on my own. But I'd like to know which one he has because if it is psychogenic I can do something about it. So when we left him to be boarded I asked the vet to do the water deprivation test so I could know for sure. Well, Mr. Psycho ended up drinking less water than would be normal and his urine test came up normal for the first time in 3-4 years. I've also noticed that lately he doesn't seem to be drinking as excessively. According to the vet this means he can't have diabetes insipidus. She claims that dogs don't drift in and out of this ailment and if they have it they drink excessively all the time. Guess that leaves the 'psycho' option. One the one hand this is good news because it means he can possibly get better without unrealistic medical treatment. On the other hand geez why can't I just have normal dogs?

Of course ever since we picked him up from the vet his drinking has been bordering on normal. Though last night after we came in from a walk he spent the evening pacing back and forth between the front door and a big dog bed pillow which he would hump for a few moments then return to the front door and on and on and on into obsessive compulsive land. Now Olympic (my ass!) women's beach volleyball was on t.v. and I'm sure he wasn't the only male in America last night wanting to hump a pillow (or something) but he continued on even after we switched the channel to an old Smith's concert circa 1984 which only made the humping seem more disturbing. Anyway, Cody's old age is going to be fun. Anyone know some good treatments for Dogzheimer's?


  1. Devon has some OCD so we tried him on Prozac (which is cheap and safe) and it really works well. He's the same dog but seems happier instead of just hyper.

  2. He's not quite extreme enough that I feel he needs drugs. I doubt a vet would prescribe it either, certainly not the vet I have now. I think we discussed it many years ago and agreed he didn't need it. He's 10 now and much improved over his younger days but he still has his moments and I'm supposing that as he gets older he's going to get weirder.

  3. Mr. Gomez (border collie mix) drinks water excessively and also has a bit of OCD. I never asked the vet if he could have a problem ... I just sort of assumed he drank so much because he's a freak! He's also a really sloppy drinker--there's usually a big puddle around the water dish after he's visited.

    Lucy, on the other hand, doesn't drink enough and her urine is usually concentrated whenever the vet checks it. One of the advantages of switching her to a raw diet is that it puts more fluids into her.

  4. I wondered if switching Cody off the raw diet may have had something to do with all the drinking (too much salt in the kibble maybe?) but I'm pretty sure the raw food stopped when Strummer came to live with us and that was after he started the freak drinking. I so wish the raw chicken didn't gross us out so much, I was so much happier with their raw diet then the kibble but with 3 it's such a hassle.

  5. Roxanne8:43 AM

    As mayor of my own freak-town, I can sympathize. I'm glad to hear he isn't sick, though.