What Is Diabetes Insipidus in Dogs?


Diabetes insipidus is an uncommon medical condition that pertains to water metabolism in dogs. When a dog has this type of diabetes, his kidneys expel immoderate levels of water within his urine. Typical signs of diabetes insipidus in dogs include inordinate thirst, high water intake and dilute urine. Diabetes insipidus is rarer than diabetes mellitus.

Two Primary Forms

Diabetes insipidus exists in two primary forms: nephrogenic and neurogenic. If a dog has nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, his body lacks the antidiuretic hormone. This hormone's roles are lessening urine flow and stimulating capillary muscles for the purpose of saving water for various key body processes. Electrolyte disparities, kidney cysts and kidney amyloidosis are all potential causes of this diabetes.

If a dog has the neurogenic version, his body has inadequate vasopressin, a hormone that's responsible for water retention. The brain's hypothalamus is in charge of vasopressin emission. Problems with vasopressin emission, as a result, are sometimes the effect of brain tumors or head trauma. Pituitary gland or hypothalamus troubles are also sometimes the culprits behind insufficient vasopressin. While this kind of diabetes insipidus is occasionally idiopathic, the nephrogenic form is generally acquired.

Possible Symptoms

Possible symptoms of diabetes insipidus in canines include:

  • dull urine
  • frequent urination
  • heightened water consumption
  • heightened thirst
  • reduced urination accompanied by dehydration
  • intermittent inappropriate elimination inside of the home
  • thin and dull coat
  • seizures
  • disorientation
  • collapse
  • coordination problems

Veterinary Diagnosis, Treatment and Prognosis

Veterinarians diagnose diabetes insipidus in dogs by conducting thorough physical examinations, complete blood counts, blood chemical profiles, electrolyte panels and urinalysis. They also speak with owners for details about early signs of the condition. Dogs who have diabetes insipidus require hospitalization for modified water deprivation tests.

The prognosis for diabetes insipidus is based on several potential factors. Head injury intensity is one potential factor. Diabetes insipidus is often treated by antidiuretic hormone administration via nasal drops or injection. If the veterinarian discovers that your dog has neurogenic diabetes insipidus, she might opt to treat your pet using vasopressin injections.

Although diabetes insipidus lacks a cure and is typically a lasting situation, the condition can be managed effectively with proper veterinary guidance. Prognoses for cases of diabetes insipidus in canines generally are positive.


  • As soon as you notice possible symptoms of diabetes insipidus in your pet, schedule an appointment with the veterinarian. Ignored cases can cause comas, stupor and even death due to dehydration.

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