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What are the signs that a dog has diabetes? The reason I ask, we recently brought into our home a four-year-old English Pointer trained for bird hunting. Mr. Big is constantly drinking and peeing, and his body temperature runs warmer than our other dog (Lab/Greyhound mix). Otherwise, he seems perfectly normal.

He tends to have accidents in the house because of the amount of water he drinks. We try to limit him without being neglectful. I have concerns that he could be diabetic. Is this normal for a working dog, or should I take him to the vet? He had blood work done when he was neutered in October, so I would think it would show up in that.

I look forward to your response. Thank you for your time.

Faye C.

Dear Faye,

Most owners with a newly-diagnosed diabetic do complain of an increased water intake or urinary accidents. The diagnosis is usually easily made on blood work, so, if your dog’s water intake was high before the pre-surgical blood work, diabetes is unlikely. There are many diseases that can cause increased water intake, but, in a young dog, a kidney infection is the most common. This is easily diagnosed on urinalysis and is treated with 6-8 weeks of antibiotics. Left untreated, this will eventually progress into kidney failure. If Mr. Big is warm, it can be a low-grade fever, which can happen with infection. Until you are sure, do not limit water as even mild limitations will make bladder and kidney infections worse. If you want confirmation that Mr. Big’s water intake is abnormal, delivering urine to your vet for a simple urine-specific gravity test will confirm if you have anything to worry about.

-Dr. Sherry Weaver

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