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Excessive thirst (medical term polydipsia [pah-lee-DIP-see-uh]; abreviated as PD) is a symptom of diabetes. Diabetic animals often drink incessantly because they are dehydrated from the cell-dehydrating effects of hyperglycemia, plus the effects of their bodies casting off the excess glucose through urination, taking hydration with it. The process also removes electrolytes the body needs to function properly such as potassium, sodium and chloride also.
Chronic mild dehydration (common in diabetic cats) can lead to bowel motility problems among other things. One thing to check in the case of constipation is hydration level.
To check if your pet is dehydrated, look at their gums and their skin. Skin will not snap back quickly when pinched, gums will be tacky or dry; more signs can be found at the link below. This condition can be deadly or lead to deadly complications, within a day, so it must be remedied immediately.
In any case of dehydration, check frequently for ketones. Mild dehydration may be possible to remedy with lots of water; if this isn't working, the next step is subcutaneous fluid injections, usually performed by your vet. (Though some people see this problem enough to have the equipment and fluids at home.)
- ↑ Healthology.com-Diabetes/Dehydration
- ↑ American College of Emergency Physicians-Pediatric Endocrine Emergency Answer Sheet
- ↑ DiabetesNow-UK-Page 4
- ↑ Pet Education.com-Drs. Foster & Smith-Potassium Requirements & Deficiencies
- ↑ Pet Education.com-Drs. Foster & Smith-Sodium & Chloride Requirements & Deficiencies
- ↑ Washington State University--Assessing Dehydration Status
- ↑ Pet Education.com-Drs. Foster & Smith-Water: A Nutritional Requirement
- ↑ Discussion from the FDMB on dehydration, hyperosmolarity and blood glucose