A Victoria woman is reeling and warning dog owners to stay wary this summer after water intoxication claimed the life of her beloved Border Collie.
Last week, Jessie Weninger took to social media, saying her 18-month-old dog, Winter, passed away on Saturday, June 11th, after playing for an hour in a kids’ pool filled with roughly four inches of water.
“I will miss him dearly,” said Weninger.
“The events from [Saturday] can only be explained as a freak accident,” she wrote on Instagram. “None of it truly makes sense, but somehow this time spent splashing around in the pool became fatal.”
Weninger says her post came to advocate on Winter’s behalf, share the details surrounding his death and help spread awareness about the dangers of water intoxication for dogs.
According to the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC), water’s hidden danger to dogs often has nothing to do with its depth or tide but rather repeated ingestion.
The club says it goes to show that sometimes, too much of a good thing can prove fatal.
“Water intoxication, also known as hyponatremia, happens when too much water is consumed and causes the body’s sodium levels to drop, followed by water filling and swelling the brain, as well as other organs,” states a CKC post.
“While it’s most likely to occur from playing in deeper water, like diving to retrieve toys or sticks, water intoxication can also occur from simply playing with a backyard sprinkler or water hose.”
CKC says initial signs in dogs include excessive salivation, nausea, vomiting, lack of coordination, lethargy, bloating, dilated pupils, and lightened gum colour, while advanced symptoms can include seizures and coma.
Pet owners who suspect their dog has water intoxication should call their vet immediately, as urgent and aggressive veterinary care is needed once intoxication takes place.
“With that being said, please be careful with your dogs this summer—especially on hot days or during potential heat waves. We do not need another innocent pup passing away tragically from this,” said Weninger.
She says Winter’s passing has left her “deeply saddened” as she continues to grieve and adjust to life without him.
“I cannot even comprehend the fact that he is never coming back,” added Weninger. “I am so grateful for the time I had with Winter, and I truly hope he brought as much joy to everyone else as he did to me.”