Your column is interesting, and I enjoy reading it. But, you dropped the ball on your advice to the parent of the husky Krypto. Krypto’s mom Darlene said, “He drinks gallons of water every day. In fact, when the vet took a sample, it was almost all water. He pees a lot too. If the water bowl is empty in the middle of the night, he will howl next to my bed to let me know to refill it.”
The dog is in kidney failure.
It’s noble that his owner wants to get him a “doggie wheelchair,” but basing his quality of life on him “wagging his tail and perking up when she talks to him” is not the same as a skilled vet diagnosing him properly. If she doesn’t address the kidney issues and start him on a proper low protein diet, the declining mobility issues won’t matter.
Thanks for the open forum to ask for pet advice.
— Bonnie, via email
You’re right. Drinking “gallons of water” can be a sign of kidney failure, and is relatively common for senior pets, like Krypto who is a 13-year-old husky. Darlene’s letter was very focused on end of life decisions, and that seems to be what I focused on when I responded. Hopefully, she follows up with a veterinarian to determine if the increased water consumption is related to kidney failure, diabetes, or Cushing’s Disease, a few diseases related to increased drinking, so, at the very least, palliative care can be provided if she is facing end of life issues. Thanks for your caring letter.
Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal