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Increased thirst and urination.

Species: Dog
Breed: Toy Poodle
Age: 11-15 years
I have an 11 year old spayed female toy poodle. She has been drinking a lot of water lately, and sometimes she would just pee in the house or she would pee while sleeping or laying down.

Sometimes she would even pee while walking. I took her to my vet and the vet ran some urine tests. Her urine came back ok with no infection, and no spill over of glucose in her urine, and no stones.

So evidently she's not diabetic, so my vet said it was incontinence. She prescribed Molly 25mg of Proin. She takes half a tablet every 12 hours.

Some days are good, however, today even though she has taken her medicine she is leaking a lot!

Any ideas please?

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hmmm...this is a bit of a tough question. Let me give you my thoughts on what you have written.

It sounds like your vet is treating Molly for USMI. You can read more about this here: USMI in dogs.

This is really common in spayed females as they get older. However, there are a few things that don't quite fit with USMI here. USMI shouldn't cause Molly to want to drink more. Additionally, it shouldn't cause urine to leak out while she is walking. That is quite unusual.

Did the vet tell you if she had a normal specific gravity? This is the number that tells us how well the kidneys are concentrating the urine. Usually, if there is a condition that is causing a dog to drink more and urinate more, then we will see that the urine is dilute. However, you've mentioned that the vet said that the urine was normal, so I am definitely puzzled.

Now, it still is possible that this is USMI. Some dogs need to be on Proin three times daily in order to be controlled, so you can talk to your vet about increasing the dose.

The other types of conditions that I can think of that would cause these symptoms are all quite rare. It's possible that there is a neurological issue with the bladder, possibly because of a back problem. BUT, this wouldn't cause her to drink more. It's also possible that there is a bladder tumor which is affecting the bladder's ability to stay closed. However, once again this wouldn't cause her to drink more.

If this were my case, the next step I would probably take would be to culture the urine. This is where we send it to the lab just to be sure there is no infection. Sometimes, the lab tests that we do in the office can look like there is no infection, but when we send the urine for culture, then yes, there actually is infection there. If it does turn out that the urine is dilute, then a mild kidney infection could cause these symptoms.

One final thing. Does Molly eat chicken jerky treats that have been manufactured in China? In my blog post about chicken jerky problems in dogs we are discovering that there is something seriously wrong with some lots of chicken jerky being sold lately. The FDA is working on it but doesn't have enough evidence to call a recall. Many dogs have the symptom of increased thirst and urination. The symptoms tend to get better within a couple of weeks of stopping the treats.

I hope this has helped. Please let me know if you have more questions.

Dr. Marie

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Molly's urine to me is very dilute...actually her pee does not smell like urine...but just water! It is very clear looking.

It just seems like she's drinking an awful lot of water. This must have been her 4th or 5th time to the water bowl today.

I recall the vet telling me there was no infection, no stones, and no glucose spill over.

We do not feed her the chicken jerky treats. I'm very careful of the products I do buy and I won't purchase food made in China.

By the way, thanks for your quick reply. I've been worried sick about her. The vet said she looks awesome for her age!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome. I think it's probably a good idea to give your vet a call after the weekend and mention that you are still concerned.

One other thought that I had, if her urine is dilute, is for Cushing's disease. Here is some information on Cushing's for you.

Any time a dog is drinking excessively there has to be a medical issue of some sort.

I hope things are sorted out soon!

Dr. Marie

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.