Updated 07/07/2010 05:00 AM
Pet Pointers: Water intoxication
Pet parents of dogs who love water enjoy watching them play as much as they love to splash around. But some dogs also lap up a great deal of water as they play leading to potentially lethal water intoxication. Today we'll learn more about water intoxication in dogs in this edition of Pet pointers.
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When the weather heats up there is nothing more refreshing to people and many dogs than jumping in cool water. While you may not swallow water as you swim your dog probably will and this can be dangerous for them. Ingesting too much water can lead to water intoxication. Although it may seem unlikely to many dog lovers, Dr Samantha Berge says the effects of water intoxication can be deadly.
"If water enters the body more quickly than it can be removed, body fluids are diluted and a potentially dangerous shift in electrolyte balance occurs and can cause brain damage," veterinarian Dr Samantha Berge said.
The initial symptoms of water intoxication look much like alcohol intoxication in humans including loss of balance, vomiting to more severe symptoms like loss of consciousness and seizure becoming worse as water continues to be absorbed into the body.
To prevent Water Intoxication monitor and pace your dog as they play in the water. With very enthusiastic dogs you may have to switch activities for a while. Many dogs just won't stop until they are totally exhausted and ingesting far more water than is acceptable.
Although many dogs are great swimmers using a life jacket will help keep their heads above water and reduce the amount of water they might swallow.