Diabetes In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, & Treatment For Healthy Dogs

Diabetes In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, & Treatment For Healthy Dogs

Well, yes, dogs can get diabetes just like people can. In one of the latest studies conducted in relation to diabetes in dogs, it was discovered that cases of diabetes are on the rise due to the general increase in overweight and obesity within our canine companions. There is a direct relationship between obesity in dogs and the chances that they will suffer from canine diabetes. Therefore, it is important that you worry about the physical condition of your canine friend and control its weight to ensure that he does not get too fat and develop health problems, particularly canine diabetes.

If you do not keep your dog at a healthy weight, they are much more at risk of suffering from other diseases like hypertension and kidney failure. At the same time, you increase the chance that your dog will develop underlying health conditions like hip dysplasia, joint issues, and diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus seems to affect females more than males and usually appears between the ages of six and nine in the dog. There is also an inherited factor in many cases of diabetes. The fact is that this condition has no cure, but it can be prevented through a good exercise plan and a quality diet. But if your pet is affected by canine diabetes, you will have to treat it with a specific diet and inject your dog with insulin regularly. As you can see, it is very similar to the treatment of diabetes in humans.

To be clear, diabetes in dogs goes through a condition in which a lack of insulin causes our affected pet to be unable to convert the food it eats into energy. Insulin is responsible for transforming food proteins into glucose, which is what supplies energy throughout the body. Insulin deficiencies can lead to vision loss over time and an increased chance of kidney failure. Luckily, diabetes in dogs can be prevented and managed so that your dog can lead a normal life.

Two types of diabetes mellitus

There are two forms of diabetes:

Type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes: Type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes occurs when the dog’s pancreas stops producing insulin. You will have to administer insulin to the dog for life in order for it to lead a happy and healthy life. This is the most common type of diabetes in dogs.

Type 2 diabetes or NOT insulin-dependent: With type 2 diabetes or NOT insulin-dependent, the pancreas does generate enough insulin, but it is the body that does not manage it well, or it produces insulin insufficiently. This type of diabetes, less common in dogs, is closely related to your dog being overweight.

Symptoms of diabetes

Change in Appetite: Since the pancreas does not make enough insulin, the dog’s brain manages these deficiencies by ordering more food to compensate for these insulin deficits. For this reason, you may notice that your dog becomes more and more hungry. You may also notice that your dog has a loss of appetite and is beginning to suffer from unexplained weight loss.

Frequent Urination: If you notice that your dog urinates more than normal, it could be another alert from the body that could indicate canine diabetes. A dog with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) urinates a lot more compared to other dogs.

Cloudy Eyes: Up to 80 percent of dogs that develop diabetes mellitus eventually develop some form of cataracts, some cases are more severe than others. Cataracts are one of the most common long-term complications that are seen when it comes to diabetes within dogs.

Normally, if the dog is healthy, the dog’s lens will absorb glucose from the eye fluid and convert the excess glucose into sorbitol. However, when there is a large amount of glucose within the eye, the dog’s body will produce a large amount of sorbitol. Sorbitol has a very strong pull on water, this causes water to enter the dog’s lenses and cause distortion of the fibers within the eye. This blocks light from passing through and will cause the dog’s eyes to appear very cloudy.

It is important that your dog’s diabetes is treated as soon as possible. If you do anything, the dog will enter a chain of systematic failures, with loss of vision, cataracts, blindness, and kidney disease. The first signs of diabetes will likely then lead to kidney failure and urinary tract infections. This multi-functional symptom picture ultimately ends the life of the animal. So it is essential to prevent diabetes from developing and go quickly to the vet at the first symptoms that you observe in your canine friend.

Diagnosis of Diabetes in Dogs

The vet will diagnose diabetes through blood and urine tests, looking for high blood glucose levels. Diabetes in dogs can be controlled, but sadly there is no cure for diabetes. Like humans, diabetes is forever. We can only prevent it from developing and then manage its symptoms if it does develop. This is best accomplished through proper diet, which your veterinarian will likely recommend in addition to daily exercise.

The sooner that your vet is able to diagnose your dog with canine diabetes, the sooner you can begin a treatment plan. If diabetes is caught early on and is managed, the long-term effects of the disease will be minimal compared to more advanced and severe cases.

Treating Canine Diabetes

You will likely have to check your dog’s blood sugar on a regular basis to provide an accurate detail of the blood glucose curve to determine how the glucose levels of your dog change throughout the day. This curve will determine when the best time to administer insulin is. Likely, your vet will recommend that you check your dog’s blood sugar level before administering an insulin injection. You will then likely have to check your dog’s blood sugar every 1 to 4 hours throughout the day to monitor its levels.

The best way to manage canine diabetes is with insulin therapy. Type 1 diabetes can only be treated with insulin injections on a regular basis. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly measure the blood glucose level to ensure that the dog has the correct amount of insulin. If the dog’s blood sugar level does drop too low, the vet may elect to lower the insulin dose.

Type 2 diabetes can often be cured by changing your dog’s lifestyle as well as its eating habits. Sometimes it is necessary to combine this with insulin therapy that is controlled by a veterinarian. This means that an adapted and appropriate diet is essential to the long-term health of your furry friend.

Exercise is another helpful tool to monitor and manage your dog’s diabetes. To help avoid sudden spikes or drops in glucose levels, it is especially important that diabetic dogs maintain a moderate but consistent exercise routine. This is especially important if your dog is overweight and suffering from obesity. This will not only help manage your dog’s diabetes but also prevent other unwanted health conditions from arising that often accompany being overweight.

Dog Breeds More Prone To Develop Diabetes

There are some dog breeds that are more prone to develop canine diabetes based on their genetic inheritance. Some of these common dog breeds are:

Even though there is no cure for canine diabetes, it can be managed with proper care and attention; providing your dog with a long and happy life. It is best to engage in preventative behavior to avoid developing canine diabetes in the first place. If you have any other questions related to canine diabetes, it is best to contact your vet, as they will be able to answer any questions that you may have.

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