Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
sandymere

Coursing thirst.

Recommended Posts

Coursing thirst, the musings of a layman.

 

When a dog runs itself to a standstill you would expect it to damage the major muscles of locomotion and in extreme cases this can potentially lead to the life threatening complication of Rhabdomyolysis (RMS). In simple terms with RMS the damaged muscles cells breakdown and releases their contents into the blood stream, this impacts on the kidneys with possibly a resultant fluid shift from the blood into the damaged muscle tissue. RMS is an emergency situation and a vet should be involved in the animal’s treatment. I’ve had dogs suffer a degree of RMS with the classic reddish coloured urine and loss of condition over the following weeks but thankfully none have done enough damage to suffer with marked kidney failure.

 

A symptom that occasionally presents itself in similar circumstances to RMS is ‘Coursing Thirst’ this presents as an extreme thirst with a resultant increase in urine output after an extended run. I’ve recently contacted a number of people with a background in coursing to get a little more information on this subject, thanks to all who replied, and from this have considered the likely aetiology. We know that this presents when a dog has run to the point of complete exhaustion which would give an indication that RMS will be taking place as well plus we would also expect the animal to be extremely hot to the point of hyperthermia in this situation.

 

Muscle contraction creates heat and extended running will create extensive over heating. Very fit dogs adapt to cope with this hyperthermia to a remarkable degree but even for them there is a limit, less fit dogs will be less well adapted to cope. Added to the short term kinetic heat of contraction will be the longer term inflammatory heat from the damaged muscle. Dogs aren’t good at dissipating heat; they don’t sweat or have the many surface blood vessels that humans or horses have. One way they loss heat is drinking, an example is when I take the lurchers down the beach for some ball work they very quickly over heat unless I intermittently throw the ball into the surf to cool them down. If I don’t cool them they will use a water point to drink prior to getting in the car, if they’ve spent time in the water they rarely bother to drink. So a dog run to exhaustion will drink to cool down and the double whammy of kinetic and inflammatory heat combined with the possible fluid shift out of the blood stream due to RMS would be major contributors to coursing thirst but there is another factor to consider electrolytes.

 

One would expect marked changes in electrolyte levels in this scenario, those released from the muscles damaged cells, the normal shift that come with muscle contraction along with the loss of fluid volume due to the shift into the inflamed tissue would all alter levels. An increase in blood electrolytes will impact on thirst. An example would be going out for a meal and it being rather salty, pepperoni pizza say, you may well feel very thirsty later that evening. The body has recognised an electrolyte imbalance in the blood, in this case to much sodium, and so we drink to dilute and flush out the excess via the kidneys/urine. With RMS we know the cell contents have been released with their entire electrolyte so there is likely to be marked imbalances present which will add to the symptoms of coursing thirst over the medium term.

 

So there is excessive heat, both inflammatory and kinetic, there is possible electrolyte imbalance and dehydration due to fluid shift out of the blood stream! Basically it’s not surprising that the dogs drinks and in truth this is perhaps the best thing they can do. Drinking will help to flush the waste products and electrolyte imbalances through the kidneys hopefully reducing damage to these important organs whilst bolstering the vascular fluid compartment in the short term.

 

Next we should consider treatment and that’s simple, cool the dog down, ie water, wet towels etc and the vet, IV fluidss and medication are the only real treatment for extensive RMS and any dog showing symptoms of coursing thirst is potentially at risk. Many owners advocate electrolyte drinks but one should consider if these are appropriate in this situation, as discussed there is likely an increase in certain electrolyte, such as potassium, from the damaged cells and blindly adding more into the mix can be just adding fuel to the fire. Plain water with perhaps a glucose drink is always a good idea with any dog that has over run. For those showing symptoms of RMS or coursing thirst then the vets is the first stop for proper evaluation and treatment. There may be a need for some electrolyte replacement but this will be specific and targeted, given within the IV fluids along with supportive medication to minimise long term damage.

 

So in conclusion coursing thirst is not an unexpected result of over running when we consider the biochemistry involved electrolyte imbalances, overheating, trauma and even going into shock. It would be easy to say avoid the circumstances that lead to the problem but alas there will always the one that got up in front of the dog after its run, the extra incentive to make the dog push that little bit harder. We’ve bred sighthounds to push the physical barriers and at times they will go beyond them. The answer is unlikely to lay in an over the counter bottle of non specific electrolytes, at least not if we want the best outcome for the animal. Perhaps better to take a swig of electrolytes yourself after all carrying a collapsed dog over a few fields will bring on a bit of a sweat. I know I’ve done a couple of times.

Regards S

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the passed, i found by using recharge (dog electrolyte) before running hard and after, it stops this happening.

Also, a dog needs to be very fit, to run hard as explained about, with a very good diet.

Taking a dog out that is not a 100% fit, on strong quarry, or a hard nights lamping, is asking for this to happen!

I have a lurcher bitch, 3 years ago, she ran a hare to a stand still and got Coursing thirst, she was saved by recharge at the time.

I could not get this electrolyte again, so used liquid life aid, recommended to me by a greyhound man, but later found out, this was not suitable, so now have found a regular supply of recharge and only use it if its needed by hard running and hard fitness workouts.

Just my personal experience. :thumbs:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must admit to not knowing the actual chemistry side of things very well, but I had a bitch who needed to drink and drink after a hard day out: and of course she peed for England too. After I started giving her Recharge she never needed to drink as much, and she seemed much healthier in herself, recovered more quickly from a hard day and is still going strong at nearly 11 years old. I know for a fact that Recharge works on humans too even if it isn't designed for us. Out coursing I always carried a bottle of Recharge made up, gave the dogs a tiny cupful after each course, and at intervals during the day. I drank it too one day: I used to get very dehydrated and a flask of tea didn't help. I ended the days with bad headaches, but after drinking the dogs' Recharge at intervals throughout the day: no more headaches. This sounds like an advert for Recharge doesn't it :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: but I would swear by it as I've seen the results myself.

I have this theory that when a dog drinks loads and loads of water after running hard, it is not just trying to put back fluid, but it is needing the mineral salts etc it has lost. that's why electrolyte solutions stop that desperate drinking as the dog is getting those salts put back in via the Recharge. Just my opinion and experience on the matter.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Skycat,unfortunately I do know the biochemistry, perhaps a little geeky, but the main theme is pretty straight foreword. Potassium is a chemical that is very important in the right concentration but very dangerous when outside of the normal range. I’m not saying that at times there isn’t a place for electrolyte drinks but perhaps not with RMS is not one of them. We need to bear in mind that Recharge also has glucose and it is that would give the dogs and yourself a boost which would account for the improvement. They will have depleted their reserves during the run to a marked degree. Its known that RMS will result in high Potassium in the blood stream so adding more just doesn’t make sense does it? To much Potassium (hyperkalaemia) is not where the dog needs to be, see link and note RMS is mentioned.

 

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002162/

 

In the most simple terms the dog already has high amounts of potassium and adding more can cause lots of nasty stuff to happen. The kidneys usually flush out excess but these are being clogged up by the other chemicals that are released so will be less effective. The dog will likely improve because of the glucose but in spite of the extra potassium but why take a chance the dog deserves better, it’s just almost run itself to death after all!

 

 

 

Ps, Be careful drinking to much canine electrolytes as they contain more potassium than one would have in human electrolyte drinks. Note Gatorade has 7% sodium but only 1% potassium whereas recharge has about equal amounts. Try plain water and if lots of headaches see a bloody doctor lol.

 

Canine.

5 mL of Recharge contains:

 

Sodium 0.14g Potassium 0.15g Chloride 0.22g Phosphate 0.09g Citrate 0.06g Magnesium 0.02g

Sulfate 0.06g Glucose 1.3g

 

Human.

Gatorade

Serving size 8 US fluid ounces (240 ml)

Energy

50 kcal (210 kJ)

Carbohydrates

14

- Sugars

14

- Dietary fiber

0

Fat

0

Protein

0

Potassium

30 mg (1%)

Sodium

110 mg (7%)

Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must admit to not knowing the actual chemistry side of things very well, but I had a bitch who needed to drink and drink after a hard day out: and of course she peed for England too. After I started giving her Recharge she never needed to drink as much, and she seemed much healthier in herself, recovered more quickly from a hard day and is still going strong at nearly 11 years old. I know for a fact that Recharge works on humans too even if it isn't designed for us. Out coursing I always carried a bottle of Recharge made up, gave the dogs a tiny cupful after each course, and at intervals during the day. I drank it too one day: I used to get very dehydrated and a flask of tea didn't help. I ended the days with bad headaches, but after drinking the dogs' Recharge at intervals throughout the day: no more headaches. This sounds like an advert for Recharge doesn't it :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: but I would swear by it as I've seen the results myself.

I have this theory that when a dog drinks loads and loads of water after running hard, it is not just trying to put back fluid, but it is needing the mineral salts etc it has lost. that's why electrolyte solutions stop that desperate drinking as the dog is getting those salts put back in via the Recharge. Just my opinion and experience on the matter.

 

that is right. i lost a dog threw not giving the electrolytes.

i gave glucose in d water it did not work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, so that makes sense S. But giving small amounts of recharge during a hard day or night would then help to prevent dehydration? Obviously Rhabdomyalisis needs specific treatment: different to just keeping a healthy, hard working dog properly hydrated. Of course it is not a substitute for proper fitness conditioning, just as an aide in extreme weather conditions or if the dog has run exceptionally hard, even if it was fit enough to do so in the first place. We can't always forecast just how long for or how hard our dogs might have to run. I really noticed a difference in other peoples' dogs when they began to use Recharge on the coursing field. Dogs which had previously been knackered after a very hard run, and would have taken a long time to recover, were able to run again much sooner once they were regularly being given small amounts of Recharge in the field. I know that this wasn't a scientific experiment, but its still my observations over a number of years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anubis

Good reading this thread...thanks for sharing folks.

 

Was on the fens one day when what you said happened to a friends dog she just collapsed and was pissing red urine.

The dog was carried back to the car given electrolytes,water and a good rub down then back to a friends house and given a b12 vit then was rested and seemed to come back round.

Edited by Anubis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you know "she wsas saved by the recharge.."?

Regards s

 

Because everything else i used, did not work, including water!

Recharged does a very good job in my opinion and experience!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Goodman, I’m sorry you lost the dog, I take it was due to RMS? If so then you can be assured that giving an electrolyte drink would not have altered the outcome. To put it in a real world context, if you attend hospital with RMS you will be given the best available treatment based on the best research knowledge and experience, this treatment will not include an electrolyte drink. Specific electrolyte replacement will be given in IV fluids but they would not dream of giving a mixed bag of electrolytes by mouth, especially one containing comparatively high does of potassium. It’s the same processes happening in the dog.

 

Skycat, Skycat, giving small amounts of an electrolyte with glucose would be unlikely to do much harm; the glucose will replace that burnt by the run. As you know glucose is the main energy used in high speed muscle contraction and its not stored in overly high amounts by dogs especially unfit ones, so regular boosts will maintain the fuel ready for the next run and so aid recovery. Basically it would be a quick refill against ‘natures’ more complicated method of converting new substrate such as fat into glucose hence the noted improvement. There is potential of harm but there is in most things, it’s a matter of gain against risk.

 

I have contacted a number of electrolyte manufactures with regard to this subject and none have come back to say that they would promote the use of their products if there is a risk of RMS. Also none of their web sites suggest the use of their products in any but the mildest of cases ie travelling or kennelling, certainly not in an emergency or if there’s potential of real heath compromise. I covered this before ie energy bars.

 

Blue one, I must say that it is surprising that people have such belief in sugar water with a pinch of salt, personally I’d take it with a pinch of salt, and the idea that this elixir of sugar and salt water can cure the renal failure caused by RMS! They’ll be closing down all the dialysis units and prescribing this instead? or perhaps not.

 

 

Basically if used sparingly then it might help, perhaps it may lessen some of the effects of plain glucose water, then again it might not. Belief plays a major part so if you feel it helps then a little might well do so but with a dog that’s really pushed the limits then the vet is the answer.

Regards S

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good reading this thread...thanks for sharing folks.

 

Was on the fens one day when what you said happened to a friends dog she just collapsed and was pissing red urine.

The dog was carried back to the car given electrolytes,water and a good rub down then back to a friends house and given a b12 vit then was rested and seemed to come back round.

 

Back along I had a nasty cold, a man told me to wear a red hat and it would go away. A week later it had gone! The next week I bashed my knee, it hurt so I put on the red hat and an hour later the pain had gone!

If a dog has RMS then massage, sugar water, B12 injections etc will not cure it; it’s a red hat. If it got better it was irrespective of those interventions, dogs especially sighthounds have wonderful recuperative abilities. The red urine is signs that it suffered kidney damage, one would expect a degree of chronic kidney failure to be present, and that may cause problems in the longer term.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just like to say SM, experience is far more important, than what is written in a book, or on the net.

Read to much and you go mad, talking to dog men that have been in the game years, know more than whats written by some scientist.!

Real life is far different SM, so get out their and get some experience, and get them glasses off and get the hands dirty and dogs wet,,,

Good luck :thumbs:

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×