Excess Sodium in the Blood in Dogs


What is Excess Sodium in the Blood?

Sodium is a mineral in your pet dog’s blood that is managed by aldosterone (a hormonal agent) produced by the adrenal glands. This hormonal agent lets the kidneys understand when to conserve sodium from the urine and when to let it go (through urination). Sodium is necessary in managing your pet dog’s physical fluids to keep them going where they belong and manages nerve and muscle cells also. Thankfully, persistent (real) hypernatremia is not typical in dogs, however severe dehydration hypernatremia prevails for some dogs when they do not get adequate water, excessive workout, fever, or getting too hot. That is why it is necessary that you constantly offer your pet dog with lots of fresh water and, if they are outdoors, appropriate shade so they do not get too hot.

Excess sodium in the blood (hypernatremia) is an unsafe electrolyte imbalance that triggers excessive sodium (more than 154 mEq/L) and inadequate water. Moderate hypernatremia prevails in dogs from being dehydrated or overheated, however it can be harmful if the sodium reaches a quantity high adequate (over 170 mEq/L) to trigger signs. Hypernatremia can trigger the fluid to move from the intracellular areas to the extracellular areas, potentially triggering a decline in the volume of cells in the cerebrum (cerebral edema), brain hemorrhage, neurological damage, coma, or death.

Signs of Excess Sodium in the Blood in Dogs

The signs for hypernatremia are the exact same whether it is severe or persistent, however they are simpler to discover in the severe kind of this condition. The factor for this is since the indications begun unexpectedly and they are more serious. The persistent kind of hypernatremia signs occur much slower so you might not discover it as much and the indications are typically less serious since your pet dog’s body has actually had the ability to get utilized to them. The body will make up for the imbalance of sodium by utilizing the amino acids and carbs in the brain to keep water in the intracellular area where it requires to be. The signs of severe and persistent hypernatremia are:

  • Severe thirst
  • Extreme urination
  • Weak Point
  • Drowsiness
  • Baffled and disoriented
  • Psychological anxiety
  • Strolling in circles
  • Head pushing
  • Twitching or shivering muscles
  • Throwing Up
  • Diarrhea
  • Inflamed stomach (edema)
  • Seizures
  • Coma


Severe hypernatremia is an unexpected (and more serious) boost in sodium in your pet dog’s blood stream. Persistent hypernatremia is a progressive (and less obvious) boost of sodium in your pet dog’s blood stream.

Reasons For Excess Sodium in the Blood in Dogs

Hypernatremia (both severe and persistent) can be brought on by lots of things depending upon the underlying disease, however it essentially all results in your pet dog having excessive sodium in the blood stream. This can be from an absence of water, the reduction of water in your pet dog’s blood stream, or a boost of sodium in your pet dog’s body. The most typical reasons for each are:

Absence of Water

  • Diabetes
  • Fever
  • Throwing Up
  • Heatstroke
  • Insufficient access to water

Decreasing Water Level

  • Persistent kidney failure
  • Diarrhea
  • Pancreatitis
  • Peritonitis
  • Little digestive tract blockage
  • Throwing Up

Increasing Sodium Level

  • Salt poisoning
  • Main hyperaldosteronism
  • Hypertonic fluid administration
  • Sodium bicarbonate infusion

Medical Diagnosis of Excess Sodium in the Blood in Dogs

The very first thing the vet will do is make certain your pet dog is steady and comfy. You will require to let the vet learn about all of your pet dog’s signs, current health problems and injuries, any modifications in habits or consuming routines, and if you have actually made any modifications in your pet dog’s diet plan just recently. Your vet will carry out an extensive physical exam of your pet dog, which will consist of body temperature level, high blood pressure, and heart rate. Once he has actually analyzed your pet dog, the vet will require to run some tests to identify what the reason for your pet dog’s signs are. The initial tests will be a total blood count (CBC), electrolyte panel, urinalysis, urine particular gravity, blood chemistry panel, and glucose test.

 Depending Upon the result of these tests, the vet might require to run more tests, such as ACTH stimulation (thyroid test) if hormonal agent imbalance is thought; endocrine screening, kidney examination, liver enzymes, and digital radiographs (x-rays) if your pet dog has actually had access to lots of water and the vet believes thyroid, kidney, or liver issues. Often it is tough to identify the reason for the hypernatremia and the vet might wish to confess your pet dog to the health center for more screening and fluid treatment. Your pet dog will require to be hospitalized for any kind of fluid treatment if persistent hypernatremia is the possible medical diagnosis since it needs to be done slowly due to a danger of cerebral edema.

Treatment of Excess Sodium in the Blood in Dogs

In any case of severe hypernatremia your vet will wish to begin fluid treatment as quickly as possible to increase water levels and reduce sodium levels. This typically consists of IV fluids if your pet dog is reasonably or seriously dehydrated, which is typically the case if you saw signs in the top place. With persistent hypernatremia, your pet dog will require to be in the health center throughout the treatment since it needs to be done much slower and under observation to lower the danger of cerebral edema.

Once the vet gets your pet dog’s sodium and fluid levels back to regular, the underlying cause will need to be dealt with. If it was a case of throwing up, fever, heatstroke, diarrhea, or insufficient access to water you will have the ability to take your pet dog home immediately with guidelines to expect any more signs. Any other health problems will need to be dealt with prior to you can take your pet dog house. The vet might potentially desire you to remain for a couple of hours to make certain your pet dog’s fluid and sodium levels remain regular.

Healing of Excess Sodium in the Blood in Dogs

When you take your pet dog house, you will wish to make sure to be alert for any signs or issues that might repeat. Follow your vet’s guidelines precisely and be specific to offer your pet dog any medication as recommended if essential. Make certain you return for your pet dog’s follow-up go to as arranged. Your pet dog might be weak or worn out for about 24 hours, however after that, whatever must be back to regular if the underlying cause was looked after. If the cause was heat fatigue or absence of water, make sure to offer additional water and lots of shade for your pet dog when they are outdoors, and bring them inside when it is too hot.

Like it? Share with your friends!