Polyuria/Polydipsia - What's That?

posted: by: Tammy Chastain Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Have you noticed a change in the amount of water your pet is drinking?  Is he or she urinating more than normal?  Polyuria and polydipsia are a pair of signs that accompany a number of ailments that are of particular concern in older patients, but can happen at any age.  These two words are used to describe an increase in urination and drinking respectively.

Maybe you've noticed the need to clean your cat's litter box more frequently or your dog asking to go outside more often.  Are you finding yourself having to fill the water dish two or three times a day instead of once?  Is your cat hanging around the water faucet or bathtub while you are running water, when he didn't before?  It is extremely important to take note of changes like this with your pet.  If there is a significant increase in any of these behaviors, it is recommended you schedule an appointment for your pet to see his or her veterinarian.

The body's fluid regulation mechanisms are very complex.  There are a number of different organs, hormones, and physiologic pathways that are responsible for regulating how much fluid is retained and expelled from the body.  If any one of these vital components are not functioning correctly, polyuria and polydipsia can occur.  Some of the more common diseases and ailments to cause these signs are as follows:
 - Diabetes (mellitus or insipidus)
 - Kidney disease
 - Hormone disorders such as Cushing disease or Addison's disease
 - Liver disease
 - Cancer

Your veterinarian will likely suggest blood and urine samples be evaluated to sort through the number of causes for these signs.  Taking note of the amount of water your pet consumes and urine produced is an important part of monitoring your pet's health.  Please do not hesitate to call us, if you have concerns regarding any of these behaviors in your pet.