Dog’s Death Creates a Stark Warning About Kids Pools


Very recently, a BC woman named Jessie posted a video about the death of her 18-month-old Border Collie Winter, which warned viewers about a very unexpected but nonetheless very lethal phenomenon. In short, her dog spent about an hour playing in a kids’ pool with about four inches of water. After which, Winter spent some time playing fetch before tiring out and heading inside. That was when the dog vomited out a huge amount of water, walked forward a bit further, and then collapsed while drooling, shaking, and whining. Jessie rushed Winter to the emergency veterinarian right away. Sadly, they were unable to save the dog even though she had managed to get him there in less than 25 minutes.

What Happened?

Chances are good that interested individuals can guess that Winter’s death had something to do with the kids’ pool. However, the issue wasn’t with the kids’ pool. Instead, the issue was with the contents of the kids’ pool. Specifically, Winter experienced water intoxication, which is when dogs drink too much water.

Water sustains life. Unfortunately, when dogs drink too much water, they will see their blood sodium levels plummet. Subsequently, their cells will take in more water, thus causing their cells to swell. There are some organs that can handle this swelling. Others, not so much. After all, the brain is encased in bone, meaning that it has very limited space in which to expand. This is but one of the issues that can happen when a dog’s blood sodium levels plummet. Interested individuals should know that it is also possible for dogs to see their blood sodium levels soar by drinking too much saltwater rather than freshwater. Unsurprisingly, that is extremely dangerous as well. Generally speaking, dogs experience water intoxication because they have been playing around. For example, they have swallowed a lot of water because they have been swimming. Similarly, they have swallowed a lot of water because they have been play-biting the streams coming out of hoses, sprinklers, or some other source. Winter was unlucky. However, his case was far from being unprecedented because what matters is how much water the dog swallows rather than how much water the dog is interacting with.

Having said this, there are certain kinds of dogs that are more at-risk from water intoxication than others. For instance, smaller dogs are more at-risk than their counterparts because there is less of them to soak up the water. Similarly, skinnier dogs are more at-risk than their fatter counterparts for much the same reason. On top of this, hyperactive dogs have somewhat higher chances of experiencing water intoxication because they will spend more of their time playing with water. Something that is particularly true if they happen to live close to large bodies of water that they can interact with. As mentioned earlier, some of the symptoms of water intoxication aren’t particularly distinctive. There are a lot of things that can cause dogs to vomit. Furthermore, there are a lot of things that can produce drooling, lethargy, and a restlessness, which can be said for other symptoms of water intoxication such as bloating, drooling, pale gums, glazed eyes, dilated pupils, and a lack of coordination as well. Eventually, the pressure placed upon the dog’s brain can lead to even more troubling signs such as comas, seizures, and breathing problems.

What Can People Do About This?

If people see these symptoms, they should get their dog to an emergency veterinarian right away. Mild cases of water intoxication can resolve on their own. However, more serious cases of water intoxication can leave lasting consequences even if the dog manages to survive the experience. Sometimes, they suffer so much neurological damage because of their swollen brain that they have to be euthanized. As such, people need to get their dog to an emergency veterinarian right away because there is a lot that veterinary professionals can do to help out. For example, they can administer electrolytes. Similarly, they can administer drugs for relieving the pressure in the dog’s brain as well as removing the excess water in the dog’s system. Combined, emergency veterinary assistance provides the dog with the best chance for the best outcome to the situation.

Other than this, people can also take measures to reduce the chances of their dogs experiencing water intoxication. First, they should keep their dog well-hydrated, which should reduce their dog’s chances of drinking water while unsupervised. Second, they should always supervise their dog whenever their dog is interacting with water. Third, they should always set time limits on their dog interacting with water. Fourth, they should never leave their dog unsupervised with a large source of water. Fifth, people should get their dog’s kidneys checked out whenever they pay a routine visit to the veterinarian. In this as in other things, putting a bit of effort into prevention can save interested individuals a lot of hassle in the long run.

What Are Some Other Water-Related Dangers For Dogs?

Of course, it is also a good idea to be careful about dogs interacting with water because there are other water-related dangers out there. To name an example, large bodies of water are often home to bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens. Dogs have defenses against them in much the same way that humans have defenses against them. Still, those defenses aren’t perfect, which is particularly true when dogs are either particularly old, particularly young, or have some kind of preexisting medical condition that weakens their immune system. As such, it is better to avoid large bodies of stagnant water that tend to be home to higher concentrations of these pathogens. In other places, there are more visible threats to watch out for. There are certain species of algae that can be problematic if they get either on the dog’s skin or inside the dog’s stomach. Similarly, jellyfish can be surprisingly dangerous to dogs, particularly if they manage to sting dogs on either their face, their nose, or their tongue. On top of these, dogs can also get into trouble while they are swimming about in the water. Said activity is extra-risky if dogs don’t have a convenient way to get out of the water but are instead blocked by steep inclines and the like.

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