Canine Diabetes Wiki
Fluid loss routes

Fluid is lost from the body by breathing/panting (insensible), normal urination or polyuria, (urinary), and normal bowel movements or diarrhea (fecal). They're called sensible losses because they can be easily detected and measured.

Excessive urination (medical term polyuria [pah-lee-YOOR-ee-ah]; abbreviated as PU) is a sign of diabetes. It may also be a sign of other conditions.[1]

Animals with high blood glucose levels urinate frequently and in large amounts to rid their bodies of excess glucose.

Excessive urination often is accompanied by excessive thirst (medical term polydipsia [pah-lee-DIP-see-uh]; abreviated as PD). Diabetic animals often drink incessantly because they are dehydrated from the cell-dehydrating effects of hyperglycemia, plus the effects of their bodies casting off the excess glucose through urination, taking hydration with it.

The extra urine is full of glucose, as can be easily seen using Urine testing stix, and is therefore hospitable to bacteria. This can easily lead to a urinary tract infection.[2][3] Also see Laboratory tests for more information.

A small benefit of an unregulated animal's excessive urination is frequent opportunities to test its urine for ketones using urine testing stix.

Specific Gravity

The concentration (or lack of it) is determined by what's called a urine specific gravity test. The basis for comparison used is the specific gravity of water, which is 1.000. The specific gravity of urine which has a large amount of glucose (such as the urine of a yet to be controlled diabetic) increases by 0.010 units due to the amount of glucose present in it. [1][4]

If the specific gravity of a dog or cat's urine is less then 1.035, polydipsia is suspected. [5]

Daily urine output for a cat or dog of more than 20 mililiters per pound of body weight [6] means polyuria, or over-frequent urination. [5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Lunn, Katharine F., James Katherine M. (2007). Normal and Abnormal Water Balance: Polyuria and Polydipsia. Compendium.
  2. Bartges, Joe (2011). Urine Heaven: Of Bugs and Drugs-Urinary Tract Infections. Western Veterinary Conference.
  3. Daniels, Joshua B., Chew, Dennis J. (2011). Diagnosis and Treatment of Routine and Difficult Urinary Infections in Dogs. Western Veterinary Conference.
  4. Specific Gravity of Urine. Cornell University.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Polydipsia & Polyuria.
  6. Pounds to Kilograms/Kilograms to Pounds online converter. Open Toronto.

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