Water Intoxication in the Winter

Jet is an active dog. She was having a grand old time chasing the snow coming out of the snowblower one February day while her owner cleared the driveway. After a couple of hours, both went indoors. Her owner immediately recognized something was wrong with Jet. She was drooling, unsteady, and looked dazed. He brought her right in and we diagnosed her with water intoxication. Usually, we see this in the summer when a dog has been endlessly fetching toys in the lake, or chasing waves, or having fun biting at the water from a sprinkler.

As Jet taught us, even excessive ingestion of snow or snow dust can cause water toxicity.

Fortunately, Jet’s owner brought her in soon after the signs started, and she was a mild case. She responded quickly to treatment and went home the same day. Some dogs are not so lucky and require more aggressive hospitalization. Others have died from this condition. Be aware that this can happen so you can prevent it in your dog!