Dog Dies After Lake Day, Family Issues Warning About Water Intoxication

Jen Walsh and family decided to take a trip to the lake a few weeks ago. But little did she know, the trip would be the last lake day that her two-year-old Schnauzer, Hanz, would be accompanying them.



Jen and Hanz spent the day swimming and playing fetch with sticks and balls in the water. Something many of us and our dogs enjoy doing. Hanz was full of energy and enjoying himself, just like the rest of the family.




After an hour and a half and a couple dozen trips in and out of the lake to play fetch, Jen noticed that something was off about her dog. The last time he retrieved a toy, he didn't shake the water off of himself like dogs typically do. Not long after, he collapsed onto the ground and appeared “worn out”.



The dog's condition deteriorated rapidly. The family packed up and rushed Hanz to the vet. His health continued to decline during the car ride.


When Jennifer arrived at the vet's office, the dog was rushed to the back. Unfortunately, it was too late for Hanz. He passed away shortly after.


That's when Jen learned about the condition known as water intoxication. Medically known as hyponatraemia.



This condition kills thousands of dogs a year, and has even claimed the life of humans, but chances are you've never heard of it.


The condition is brought on by excessive fluid intake, which causes the body's sodium levels to be diluted.


As a result, the body’s cells begin to fill with water and swell thanks to osmosis drawing water from the blood stream and into the cells to restore balance. The cells in the brain swell and in severe cases, causes cerebral edema, which can cause seizures and death.



When playing extended games of fetch in bodies of water, dogs often accidentally swallow more water than you might think.


The first symptoms of water intoxication can be weakness, dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.


Advanced symptoms often include fatigue, confusion, excessive licking, bloated abdomen, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, cramps, seizures and loss of consciousness.



Dogs who dive under waves or dive under water are at an increased risk. Playing fetch games also increases the risk of your dog swallowing too much water by mistake.


If you suspect your dog may be suffering from water intoxication, you should always contact a veterinarian immediately.




The Walsh family weren't aware of the dangers and had this to say:


“This will never happen to us again, but I wish we had been warned of the possibility. It would have saved Hanz’ life. He was the best dog EVER,” Jen posted to Facebook.


Jen’s Facebook post has been shared over 88,000 times on Facebook, but that's not enough. We need to spread the word and warn others.



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