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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
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Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Hi Have a diabetic 7yr old West Highland Terrier (normal weight)

Resolved Question:

Hi Have a diabetic 7yr old West Highland Terrier (normal weight) on 1 injection of 9units Hypurin Bovine Lente insulin per day is drinking from 1800ml to 2700ml of water per day should I be worried about this intake of water or is this normal with his condition. Thanks Mo
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

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


Generally speaking, we'd only expect stable diabetic dogs to drink a wee bit more then their non-diabetic counterparts but not excessively so. In your lad's case, this volume is concerning. The reason is because the average dog will drink around 2 ml/kg of body weight per hour (=48mg/kg/day). And if we consider the average westie is about 10kgs, then the totals you have listed are 4-6x higher then an average westie would drink. Therefore, to drink this excessively suggests that his diabetes is not yet as well controlled as it could be or that there are other issues also present (ie ongoing bladder infections, Cushing's disease, etc).

In this situation, I would be concerned about this level of thirst despite treatment and advise ringing your vet. If a blood sample (fructosamine) has not been checked recently, then you may want to consider having one checked at this stage to let you know how well or poorly controlled he is. Depending on the fructosamine level, your vet can advise you on modifying his insulin dose. Furthermore, if the bloods or the vet's exam findings are suspicious of other issues, the vet can check a urine sample (to rule out or confirm infection) or have the blood sample tested further to determine if there is anything else amiss.

Overall, diabetics can drink more then a non-diabetic dog would. That said, 4-6x the volume is excessive and is something to be concerned about here.

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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Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 17117
Experience: General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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