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What is Pollakiuria?

The normal volume of urine produced by most dogs is generally around ten to twenty milliliters of urine for every pound of body weight each day. When a dog begins producing greater quantities of urine (amounts of urine in excess of twenty milliliters of urine per pound of weight), pollakiuria or polyuria is most likely present.

Dogs who are experiencing polyuria will urinate more frequently, and the amount voided each time may actually be smaller than average. Although this may simply be a case of a dog choosing to drink large amounts of water or consuming an excess of salt in the diet, it may also signal serious conditions like cancer, diabetes, or the failure of the kidneys or liver.

Pollakiuria, known more commonly as polyuria, is a condition in which the dog produces excessive urine and therefore needs to urinate more frequently.

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Symptoms of Pollakiuria in Dogs

The overproduction of urine should always be evaluated by a veterinarian, however, when it is accompanied by certain symptoms it should be made a priority. These symptoms may include: 

  • Blood in the urin
  • Diarrhea
  • Disorientation
  • Foul breath
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of coordination
  • Pain or vocalization during urination
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss

Types

Although pollakiuria may occur on its own, it is frequently accompanied by a disorder known as polydipsia. Polydipsia is the excessive intake of water, and this condition can be caused both by physical issues as well as psychological disorders. In some cases, pollakiuria is followed by a condition known as oliguria or deficient urine production, and occasionally the dog may stop urinating altogether. When these conditions arise, it can signal that the disorder has taken a critical turn and a veterinarian should be contacted right away.

Causes of Pollakiuria in Dogs

There are a number of diseases and disorders that can lead to the overproduction of urine in canines. Some of the more frequently seen disorders that cause this condition include:

  • Bladder or urinary stones
  • Cancer
  • Compulsive water intake
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Damage from medical procedures
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive salt intake
  • High calcium levels
  • Liver failure
  • Low potassium levels 
  • Medications
  • Renal disease
  • Trauma
  • Urinary tract infection

Diagnosis of Pollakiuria in Dogs

When you bring your dog into the veterinary clinic, a full physical examination will be completed, and the abdomen will be palpated which may reveal if there is significant swelling in the liver or kidneys. Standard diagnostic tests such as a biochemical profile, a complete blood count (CBC), and a urinalysis will also be completed at this time. The urinalysis is often particularly informative for cases of pollakiuria as it can help uncover if the cause of the excess urine is related to the patient drinking too much water; this is done by measuring its specific gravity as well as by identifying imbalances in the chemicals such as calcium and potassium that can lead to urinary or bladder stones. 

The blood tests will help to evaluate the health of the liver and kidneys, check for bacterial or viral infections, and may even reveal fluctuating blood sugar levels. If any infections are found in the urine, the sample will then be cultured in order to determine which specific bacteria, fungus, or virus is causing the symptoms. X-ray and ultrasound technologies are frequently used to get a better image of the dog’s bladder, kidneys, and the ureters, and contrast dye may be utilized during the x-ray in order to better visualize the movement of liquid in the urinary system.

Treatment of Pollakiuria in Dogs

The treatment for a dog with pollakiuria will depend heavily on the underlying cause of the overabundance of urine. Those canines that appear to be in distress, or are showing indications of liver or kidney failure, will generally be admitted to the clinic and started on supportive treatments right away. Supportive treatments typically include the intravenous administration of fluids in order to both prevent dehydration and to adjust for any imbalances that are present in the patient’s system as well as supplemental oxygen if the animal seems to be having any trouble getting enough on their own. 

Dogs with life-threatening disorders like primary hyperparathyroidism, cancers, or organ failure will require aggressive treatments which may include surgical intervention. Diabetes, a common cause of both polydipsia and polyuria, is typically managed with adjustments to the patient’s diet but frequently requires daily supplemental insulin administered by injection. Canines that are diagnosed with an infection, such as a bladder infection or an infection of the urinary tract, will typically receive a prescription for antibiotic medications and any stones or crystals that are found in the urinary tract or bladder will be removed through medications, diet alterations, or surgical intervention.

Dogs without any underlying physical condition who exhibit polydipsia or pollakiuria may be suffering from a condition known as psychogenic polydipsia, a behavioral disorder in which the dog feels compelled to continue drinking water long after its thirst is quenched. Dogs with this disorder should be offered water in the appropriate amounts several times a day, but water should not be left out for them as they will drink compulsively.

Recovery of Pollakiuria in Dogs

The prognosis for dogs that are experiencing pollakiuria is as variable as the underlying causes. Dogs with kidney and liver failure typically have a guarded prognosis, however, if the additional urine production is due to a urinary tract infection, crystal formation, or diabetes, the condition is generally reversible with proper medication and dietary adjustments.

If your pet has undergone surgery to correct their condition, they will need a quiet and calm environment to return home to as they are frequently disoriented and uncoordinated while recovering from anesthesia. Maintaining the recommendations of your veterinarian is crucial in regards to dietary adjustments and administration of medications in order to give your companion the best chance at a full recovery.