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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 20615
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I have an 11 year old female westie - never had any problems

Customer Question

I have an 11 year old female westie - never had any problems up to now ! she is drinking a lot - her water bowl is always empty and now she has started urinating in the house which she has never done - any answers ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

I share your concern about Rosie's increased thirst and its side effects, her increased in urination and accidents.When we see increased thirst and drinking in dogs, it can be an sign of a range of issues. At her age, we have to consider metabolic/hormonal diseases (ie diabetes, Cushing's disease, Addison's disease, etc), bladder infections, inflammatory processes, and organ troubles (ie liver, kidney, heart). And while it is not nice to think about, at her age, we also have to consider the possibility of cancer being involved here.

In this situation, it would be ideal to have a check up with her vet. They will be able to listen to her heart, and check her for any sinister lumps or bumps. If you do have her seen, it would also be a good idea to ask her vet check a blood sample. This will allow you to check her organ function (to make sure they are working as they should), rule out diabetes, infection, and give you an idea if hormonal diseases may be afoot. Depending on the findings, you will be in a position to address this appropriately for her and determine her long term prognosis.


If you aren't keen to get him to the vet's immediately, then I would note that you can also consider submitting a urine sample to the vets. The vet will be able to analyze it and determine if there is anything abnormal. They will be able to appreciate changes to the urine's white blood cell content (a marker of infection, which is good to rule out since it is so commonly seen secondary to diabetes), and the presence of glucose/ketones (markers of diabetes). Furthermore, they can check the urine specific gravity to check on her kidney function. So, that would be a good non-invasive means of ruling out some of these concerns for Rosie. And depending on their findings, you can discuss the next step +/- treatment with her vet.

Finally, since you have noted that her bowl is running dry, do want to note that this is not ideal. This because Rosie is suffering from an underlying disease that will make her terribly thirsty (hence why she drinks so much) and as I am sure you can appreciate an empty bowl will make her terribly uncomfortable and will not be good for her.

Overall, poor wee Rosie is suffering from an disease process that is increasing her thirst which is causing her to drink more, urinate more, likely producing abnormally dilute urine, and having accidents (since she won't be used to her bladder filling so fast). Therefore, we'd want to consider getting her checked and a urine +/- blood sample to identify the cause for these signs. Once we are able to identify the cause, your vet will be able to advise you on appropriate treatment to settle these signs and help wee Rosie.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Dr. B. and 2 other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

do you think she coud be fretting over my husband cause he took her with him everywhere

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
Hi again Lynda,

We can see vices, occasionally drinking related, arise when a pet is undergoing the trauma of loss of an owner. That said, we would have expected to see Rosie start these signs (if this was vice motivated) with your husband's passing not months afterwards. Therefore, I do think that it would be best to at least check a urine sample (especially as westies are very prone to diabetes as well as the other health issues I have noted above) to make sure we are not missing a health issue for her.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )