Failure to concentrate urine? Long but I need some help

As you may know, we've had some ongoing issues with Sophie (just turned 2 years old) and urinary continence. As a young puppy, she sometimes leaked in her sleep, but this gradually improved. We had her spayed at 6 months and the incontinence came back and is now controlled with medication. Very, very rarely we might see a small damp spot where she was lying. Very rare and easy enough to deal with.

We've had other issues with her re: housetraining. She still will pee in one particular area of our house--a corner of our family room, in fact, from time to time. No predictable pattern: there can be days and even a couple of weeks or more with no wet spots, and then we'll have days in a row with one or more. She is out frequently on walks, and throughout the day, depending on weather and family schedule. The spot is often dry even if she has only been out on scheduled walks; a wet spot can appear moments after she's just been out on a nice long walk, voided several times and had time outside. I've tried very hard to catch her but haven't yet actually seen her pee. We are assuming it is Sophie rather than Sherman or Archie because of the small amount of liquid: the boys put out a LOT of urine.

She also exhibited some signs that sound similar to symptoms of low thyroid: she is sometimes cranky/agressive towards Sherman. Nothing terrible--no one has had a mark put on them. But she's cranky sometimes. She is fed less than the others, and has a small frame but she's plump. Her coat is less full than her litter mate's coat, and than any of our other OES by far.

The dogs are all fed 2 times per day, rare and small treats. Archie is on the thin side (not a big eater but is given the most food--excess is removed so Sherman and Sophie don't eat it) and Sherman is just exactly right. Water is always available. It is our observation that she drinks less than Archie or Sherman, who really drink in huge gulps and will drink from any source. Sophie is more delicate and drinks less and avoids dirty puddles, etc.

So, I took her to the vet for a work up. We were certain she had an ear infection (and does--being treated) but since I was already there, I asked for more testing, which I had planned to do later this month at her regular check up. So, the vet did a full work up, including thyroid panel. They went ahead and collected urine (she had been out on a walk an hour earlier and voided but they were able to collect a sample). All her test results were normal EXCEPT the vet said her urine was very dilute. This is curious since Sophie does not drink much water--less than the other dogs by a significant amount, although we haven't actually measured out their water: bowls are just refilled throughout the day.

None of the likely causes seemed to fit: not diabetes, nor anything else the vet could think of. At this point, we are at a wait and see stage. Vet could do a more detailed set of tests that would involve boarding her, giving her only measured amounts of water and during urinalysis to see if she can concentrate or if this was a fluke. Vet hasn't worked up an estimate yet and to tell the truth, I don't know exactly whether this should be done. I know that amongs all of you, there is years and years and years of OES experience. Does anybody have any ideas or suggestions??
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Dilute urine - shown by the specific gravity portion of a UA - is a common indicator of kidney function. An abnormal SG (dilute) can be a sign of kidney problems, Addisons, Cushings or diabetes. There also is another condition that is just escaping me at the moment. We see it in our human patients who have head injuries.
I stress - these are just some possibilities.

Here is a link to a golden retreiver web site with some info:

I just had Simon is for a UA. He is having more frequent urination and not being able to "hold it" for as long as he used to. Like overnight.
I was hoping he just had a UTI and would be fine after a round of antibiotics. But, it came back all normal. Back to the drawing board we go....
Diabetes insipidus?
Ron wrote:
Diabetes insipidus?

For Simon or Sophie?
It isn't diabetes for Simon, we just had bloodwork done as part of his senior profile as well.
Either. Not diabetes mellitus (a high concentration of glucose), diabetes insipidus (a high concentration of salt) in the body.
Hmm, I will have to check out what all was tested.
Simon doesn't drink more than he used to though. He is peeing little, more frequent amounts. His urine is not dilute at all either - very yellow, which is normal for him.

BTW, the one I couldn't think of was SIADH - Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretc Hormone. So, sort of on the same wavelength!
I'll speak with the vet about the details of the urinalysis and if a more detailed one is warrented. I am worried about kidney function, obviously.

Sophie doesn't drink very much or eat very much: the boys eat and drink more than she does (although she'd eat more if I gave it to her) and yet, she's a pudge. They all go on walks together, and she and Sherman play more vigorously than Archie who is almost 9 and a little slower than he used to be--plus not that thrilled with Sherman's body slams. No increase in appetite, no change in diet/schedule.

I read up on Cushings and Addisons', some of which fits and the rest, quite the opposite.

You've given me some stuff to take to the vet. Thank you all.
Hmm, I will have to check out what all was tested.
Simon doesn't drink more than he used to though. He is peeing little, more frequent amounts. His urine is not dilute at all either - very yellow, which is normal for him.

They ruled out bladder stones or a prostate problem? This is coming from someone with 6 females so I may be way off base :oops: but I think both can cause more frequent urination.

With diabetes insipidus you have to be very careful that the dog ALWAYS has free access to water. They thought Panda might have this last year but discovered her urine wasn't dilute enough for the condition. She drinks a lot and her urine is more dilute than normal but no problem has ever been diagnosed despite lots of testing. :roll: We have to do a few days of dog-in-one-room-with-measured-water to see exactly how much she's taking in in 24 hours.

One thing we did notice with Panda... she has to take Uroeze to acidify her urine or she'll get struvite crystals and pee in the house. If we feed her vegetables or fruit, it throws her ph off and she'll pee on the floor again (same place usually). Back to her Eagle Pack Holistic Select kibble, a couple of their biscuits per day and cooked meats as a treat and she's fine again.

Good luck to you in finding the cause.
What are the symptoms of struvite crystals? Are they detected in a normal urinalysis? What should I ask for?

Vet didn't think either form of diabetes made sense. Sophie doesn't drink much water, which makes the dilute urine a big puzzle. She's only 2 so Addisons seems less likely and only fits about half of her symptoms, which may not be important.

I'd like to be armed with as much info as I can so I can ask the right questions and for the right tests. I need to get back with the vet sometime in the next little bit. Have to go out of town next week and so it will probably have to wait until after that.
The struvite crystals would be seen under the microscope in a regular urinalysis. I was told that there is a very strong urge to void or pee and the dog just can't help but go. But I've read that SOME dogs have struvite crystals which do not cause the dog a problem.

We had extensive testing done because of Panda's numerous recurrent UTIs and housetraining problems. When we adopted her, it was in her description that even at 11 months this was an issue- "...The reality is she needs more lessons in the art of housebreaking..." Turned out she had a Persistent Urachus which was finally diagnosed and surgically corrected a year ago... she's had no UTIs since. :phew: I doubt this would be the cause for Sophie since the accidents in the house are not on a regular basis and the vet probably checked for this when she was spayed because of the incontinence problem.

We then tried to find a cause for the somewhat dilute urine last year but have never be able to find anything.
Please post again if you find something? I'll do the same!

No advice from me as I haven't come across this problem before but just wanted to say I hope you find a solution to the problem. Hugs to you and Sophie!

Have her checked for atypical addisons disease. My 13 1/2 year old aussie was being treated for kidney failure. His sodium and potassium were normal. Even when I asked about the possibility of addisons the vet didn't think it was. But he was tested anyhow and I was right. Atypical addisons can progress to typical and the dog can crash which is a true medical emergency. This disease is called the great impersonator because it presents such a variety of symptoms many vague and therefore is very often confused with other diseases. One of Chances symptoms was nocturia, urinating in his sleep. He did start drinking more water and urinating more frequently. He also had GI symptoms. He was not concentrating his urine and this still remains a problem but his kidney values have greatly improved. This was probably coming on for a lot longer than I ever would have realized. A day here or there where they just seem off or more tired. Anyhow he is on a daily dose of prednisolone 2.5 mg and if he is under more stress or is more active he may need a little more or symptoms can return and I have to be mindful that he can become typical in the future. I hope you have him checked because this is a sneaky disease that the vets don't look for and can kill your dog if left undiagnosed. If your vet won't do the test go elsewhere like a university with a veterinary school. It may not be addisons but some of what your saying sure sounds familiar. My email is Let me know what you find out.
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