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Mourning Family Warns Other Dog Owners After A Day At The Lake Turns Deadly

Written by: Dina Fantegrossi
Dina Fantegrossi is the Assistant Editor and Head Writer for HomeLife Media. Before her career in writing, Dina was a veterinary technician for more than 15 years.Read more
| Published on August 30, 2017

A heartbroken California family is mourning the loss of their dog after a fun-filled day at the lake turned tragic.

Jen Walsh, her husband, and their 8-year-old daughter spent the day at a nearby lake celebrating a family member’s birthday.

Their 2-year-old Schnauzer, Hanz had a blast fetching sticks and balls tossed into the water for more than an hour and a half before Walsh noticed something was wrong.

Screenshot via Inside Edition


Hanz became very still in the water and started trembling all over. When he emerged from the lake, he did not shake himself off as usual. He urinated excessively as if unable to control himself. Next, Hanz began to stumble and act lethargic, almost as if he was drunk.

Screenshot via Inside Edition


The Walshes put Hanz in the car and headed for the vet. He stopped breathing along the way, and Walsh’s husband performed CPR.

The family arrived at the hospital just 45 minutes after Hanz’s symptoms began, but it was already too late. Veterinarians later explained that hyponatremia, a condition caused by water intoxication, was responsible for his death.

Screenshot via Inside Edition


Water intoxication is a form of poisoning that occurs when a dog ingests large quantities of water in a short period of time. The hyper-hydration drastically lowers the sodium levels in the blood leading to fatal brain damage.

This frightening condition can affect any dog although it is more common in smaller, leaner pups. And of course, water-loving pooches are at a higher risk.

The symptoms of water intoxication include:

  • anxiety
  • vomiting
  • excessive drooling
  • lethargy
  • wobbliness when moving
  • muscle twitches

The signs become more severe as hyponatremia progresses, including:

  • labored breathing
  • staggering when trying to walk
  • inability to control bladder
  • severe muscle spasms
  • seizures
  • loss of consciousness

If you suspect your dog may have water intoxication, seek immediate veterinary care.

“If we had known about water intoxication, maybe there would have been something more we could have done to save him,” Walsh said in an interview with Inside Edition.


H/T and Featured Image via Inside Edition

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