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Causes of Excessive Thirst and Urination in Dogs

by Lynn
(South Bend, IN USA)

My dog is a 9 year old collie/retriever mix. She recently began drinking more water than usual, and as a result, needs to urinate more frequently. My concern is that when she has to go, she has to go immediately! It seems to come about very suddenly. When I take her outside, she urinates without hesitation. She does not appear to be in any kind of pain or discomfort.


We are administering Neomycin and Polymyxin B Sulfates and Dexamethasone Ophthalmic Ointment 3 times a day as she had a growth removed from her eye a few days ago. After the surgery, she did have some trouble processing the anesthesia and was slow to get back to her normal self. Otherwise, the eye is healing extremely well.

Should we be alarmed by this new thirst? Could it be caused by the medicine or after-effects from the surgery?

Suggestions from our Vet regarding Excessive Dog Urination and Thirst/b>

Hi Lynn,

Yes, you should be alarmed by your collie’s increased thirst and urination. These can be signs of very serious diseases in dog. The top three that I worry about are kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, and Cushing’s disease. Please get your dog in to the veterinarian immediately for a physical examination, blood work, and a urinalysis.

It is possible that either the anesthesia or the medication could be playing a role. The dexamethasone in your dog’s eye ointment can cause increased thirst and urination, but the relatively small amounts that she is absorbing through her eye don’t normally result in such significant symptoms. Complications from anesthesia can adversely affect kidney function.

You’ll need to talk to your veterinarian to determine whether this is a possibility.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM




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