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Central Diabetes Insipidus - Issue Description

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Issue Name

Central Diabetes Insipidus

Other Names
Diabetes Insipidus, CDI, DI, Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus, NDI

Issue Description

Diabetes insipidus is a condition characterized by excessive thirst and excretion of large amounts of severely diluted urine, with reduction of fluid intake having no effect on the latter. There are several different types of DI, each with a different cause. The most common type is central diabetes insipidus, caused by a deficiency of vasopressin, also known as antidiuretic hormone (ADH). The second common type of DI is nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, which is caused by an insensitivity of the kidneys to ADH. It can also be induced iatrogenically by various drugs.


  • Increased thirst/drinking
  • Increased urination
  • Often increased urination even if he or she isn't drinking a lot
  • Urine will be very dilute and clear

  • Diagnosis

    Diagnosis of canine diabetes insipidus is done by excluding other diseases that can cause similar symptoms. These diseases include renal failure, liver disease, Cushing's disease, and canine diabetes mellitus. Also, the veterinarian will likely perform a sonogram to take a close look at the pituitary gland.

    Types Of Diabetes Insipidus

    Diabetes Insipidus caused when the pituitary gland does not secrete enough antidiuretic hormone (ADH). This type of DI may be the caused by a congenital defect, trauma, a tumor on the pituitary gland, or unknown causes.

    Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus caused when the kidneys do not respond to the ADH that is produced by the pituitary gland. This type of DI may be caused by a congenital defect, drugs, or caused by other metabolic disorders.


    Central DI is treated with desmopressin, a drug that mimics the actions of ADH. It is available under the trade name DDAVP and as a generic. DDAVP is available in several formulations: as a nasal spray pump; as a liquid for use with rhinal tube; as an injectable liquid; and in tablets. Most pet owners use the nasal spray or rhinal liquid formulations and use them as eye drops, nose drops, or inject it subcutaneously.

    Nephrogenic DI is commonly treated with thiazide diuretics. These drugs help to concentrate the urine. An oral drug called chlorothiazide acts on the kidneys to help concentrate the urine. Other treatments may include chloropropamide, which increases the effects of ADH on the kidney. But chloropropamide is not always successful. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be used in dogs.

    No therapy may be chosen, and the pets can survive as long as plenty of water is always available.

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