Yesterday we looked at how a pets appetite can be a major warning sign that something is wrong. Today we will look at...
A number of perfectly innocent situations can lead our pets to want to drink more than usual for a short time - coming back from a particularly energetic walk, for example, or a long day out with the family with limited 'pit stop' opportunities. A change from wet food to a dry diet will also tend to increase the amount of water we see our pets consume. But persistently increased thirst and drinking is a serious symptom and should not be ignored in any species.
It can be difficult to accurately assess fluid intake, particularly in a multi-animal household, and often just a general feeling that you're seeing the pet at the water bowl more often, or for longer than normal, or just an overall sense that you're filling up water bowls more often than usual is all that you will have to go on.
Common causes of increased thirst and drinking can include kidney problems and metabolic and hormonal issues including diabetes and Cushing's disease. It can also be associated, less commonly, with a wide range of other conditions. While some of these problems are more treatable than others, in all cases early diagnosis should improve the eventual outcome for the patient. Initial investigations may include urine and blood tests, or your vet may choose to start with a structured process of measuring the pet's drinking before moving on to other testing if appropriate.
Tommorow we will look at changes in eating patterns.