Polydipsia / polyuria: psychogenic

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  • A common cause of polydipsia/polyuria in stabled horses.
  • Cause : includes boredom and excessive salt intake.
  • Signs : polydipsia/polyuria, excessively wet bedding.
  • Diagnosis : monitor water intake, clinical chemistry, urinalysis, water deprivation test.
  • Treatment : turn out, increase exercise, acces to ad lib salt.
  • Prognosis : excellent.


Differential diagnosis

  • Chronic renal failure    .
  • Occasionally renal concentrating ability is lost before azotemia develops.
  • Diabetes insipidus (extremely rare)    .
  • Diabetes mellitus (pancreatic origin diabetes mellitus is extremely rare)    .
  • Sepsis/endotxemia  [Endotoxemia: overview]  .
  • Iatrogenic (sedation with a2-agonists, triamcionlone administration).
  • Vitamin D toxicity.


Clinical signs



  • Excellent.

Expected response to treatment

  • Excellent.

Reasons for treatment failure

  • Owner non-compliance.
  • Misdiagnosis.
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