Water Intoxication?
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Thread: Water Intoxication?

  1. #1

    Default Water Intoxication?

    Dog: 26 month old YLF running HT as MH
    Outside temperature ~72 degrees
    5:30am Fed 1/4 of normal morning feeding (1/2 cup of dry food)
    8:00am-10:00am Water Training Session (training 2 dogs)
    – Ran two 125+ yd water marks, short break, and two 100 yard water blinds w/ short break in between
    – Noticed on exiting water after blinds that dog was uncomfortable, bloated (swollen belly) and trying to throw-up
    – Appeared to be ok after walking around and urinating
    – Ran one more 150 yard water blind. Dog again appeared to be uncomfortable, bloated and trying to throw-up
    – Walked dog around for ~20 minutes when dog did throw up a white fluffy foam (like beaten egg whites)
    - Dog still very uncomfortable but not as bloated looking
    – Dog started to moan, whimper and drooling clear saliva
    11:30am Took dog to emergency animal hospital
    – Diagnosis was: “bright, alert and responsive” w/ “vital parameters within normal limits” (HR=100, RR=24/min, T100.3F)
    - so "nothing" appeared to be wrong with her

    Following day took to local vet: X-rays, snap 4 panel, and blood work normal
    At this point, she did appear to have cold tail which continued for the next couple days.

    It was almost a week before she started to act normal which is when we started training again. We have been training for about a week now and she is still not performing at the level that she was. Her blinds are good but she is really struggling on her marks, which she has never had troubles with in the past. She is just NOT the dog she was 2 weeks ago, before the incident described above.

    The vets have no answers, could this have been water intoxication?

    If so, what should have been done after it happened so that I will know what to do if it ever happens again?

    If not water intoxication, does anyone have any other ideas?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated?

    Thank you!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member runnindawgz's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Hemingway, SC


    I had a dog that went into stage 1 Bloat twice during his life... Neither times his stomach twisted (thank God) but both times I saw the early signs and had him tubed to expel the “white foamy” contents of his stomach that were filling him up... After he was tubed he would be fine (medically) but both times “off” in terms of not being his regular self for a while. Just a guess but maybe your dog started toward “bloat” and it corrected.... again, just a guess and my experience with somewhat similar symptoms.

    I hope your girl is OK.
    Danielle R. Pellicci
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  4. #3
    Senior Member PalouseDogs's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Pullman, WA


    Sounded like it could have been bloat to me, too. But I'm not a vet. Very scary.
    Kelly Cassidy (person)

    Pinyon Cassidy, pest-in-chief (golden retriever puppy, DOB 3/28/2016)
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  6. #4
    Senior Member verne socks's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Belgium, WI


    So has the dog ever had an issue of inhaling water while swimming before?

  7. #5
    Senior Member jacduck's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Middle of Michigan


    As an old paramedic I would think water intoxication would show up in blood work. Basically in humans the excess water dilutes the necessary for cellular function salts like potassium and sodium as well as others. Water intoxication in humans can lead to seizures and worse. I know not a dog but another country heard from.
    John Cottenham aka jacduck in many circles before the internet

    "Duck hunter's minds are like concrete. All mixed up and permanently set."

  8. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by verne socks View Post
    So has the dog ever had an issue of inhaling water while swimming before?
    Not really. When she was younger she would gag every once in a while on the way back from water marks but that doesn't happen very often any more.
    She also urinated a lot more after doing water work when she was younger.
    Last edited by Eric Whitacre; 06-20-2013 at 09:13 PM.

  9. #7
    Senior Member verne socks's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Belgium, WI


    So it sounds to me like she swallows water. This time was enough to make her bloat - when younger just enough to make her urinate more.....but due to swallowing water would be my guess. Not sure what causes it or how to help it!

  10. #8
    Senior Member John Lash's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Pittsburgh, Pa.


    Usually when dogs swallow water while swimming they look bloated and throw up a lot of water upon exiting., not "white foamy stuff." So, I don't think it was ingesting water.

    If it was humid maybe the dog overheated, was it 72 all day, or when you started? If it was 72 all day she probably wasn't.

    Usually drooling preceeds throwing up.

    I've never had a dog with cold tail but I understand it's painful. Maybe she was uncomfortable and confused from that.
    Last edited by John Lash; 06-20-2013 at 09:46 PM.
    John Lash

    "If you run Field Trials, you learn to swallow your disappointment quickly."

    "Field trials are not a game for good dogs. They're for great dogs with great training." E. Graham

  11. #9
    Senior Member
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    May 2013
    Longview Texas


    As a current paramedic, I will tell you that water intoxication is BS. In any mammal, water is only absorbed into the body through the intestines, not the stomach. Everything that is ingested hangs out in the stomach so the body can start to digest it and see if there are any nutrients to be had. Then it must go through the pyloric sphincter into the intestines before it is absorbed. Furthermore, it would take a helluva lotta water to cause electrolyte abnormalities that were stated above. There is absolutely no way that this could be the case in the time frame that you're talking about.

  12. #10
    Senior Member pupaloo's Avatar
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    Jan 2006


    Was the water warm? Sounds to me like overheating, especially since the dog worked hard enough to trigger cold tail and is not acting normally still. Gotta say I would not have run a second time if the dog was bloated, uncomfortable and throwing up. Overheating has killed dogs-it doesn't have to be super hot if it is also humid and the dog can't cool down. Sounds like you are lucky it wasn't worse...hope she gets it all back, be patient....
    Marlana Smith
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    CPR Max's Black Diamond Girl Scout JH - "Scout"

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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