Diabetes in Dogs – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention
Before you jump into trying to find out more about the best glucose monitoring system for your diabetic dog and how it works, it is important that you have a basic knowledge about diabetes in dogs, to be able to provide your diabetic dog with the best possible care.
In this blog you will learn more about what diabetes in dogs is like, what the causes of this chronic condition are, what the symptoms look like, treatment options, how a glucose monitoring system can help and prevention methods.
People and pets suffering from diabetes share a little in common. Most pet owners are familiar with the condition of diabetes mellitus to an extent, possibly because they know someone who suffers from this condition. If this is so, then you must know that there is no permanent cure for this disease. Hence, it is recommended that you have the basic information about diabetes in dogs so that you can offer your dog the best possible care and allow him or her to continue living a healthy life by managing and controlling this diabetic condition.
The food your dog eats is broken down into a standard substance called glucose or sugar and it is the most basic source of energy or fuel for your dog’s body cells. The glucose travels through the bloodstream in the dog’s body and the pancreas is responsible for producing a certain hormone called insulin, which is needed for the glucose or sugar to get transported inside the body cells where they can be utilized.
However, for a diabetic dog, this simple bodily function doesn’t work in the same way. In diabetes, the pancreas produces too little insulin and the glucose and sugar cannot be properly utilized by the body. This means that your dog’s blood glucose level is irregularly high and the amount of sugar or glucose in the cells is low, which is likely to result in the disruption of many bodily functions.
Signs and symptoms of diabetes in dogs
The earlier you diagnosis your dog’s diabetes, the better you can manage and control the condition. Remember, at the first sign or symptom of diabetes, you should take your dog for a visit with the veterinarian. The earlier signs of the diabetic condition in dogs can be feeling weak and tired all the time, having less energy and a recurrance of infections. Some advanced signs of diabetes in a dog may include losing weight despite having a good diet, an abnormal increase in appetite, increased urination, and increased thirst.
If you don’t act fast enough and leave your diabetic dog untreated, it can possibly lead to life-threatening consequences.
Causes of diabetes in dogs
There are two types of diabetes in dogs. Type 1 diabetes in dogs occurs when the part of the pancreas responsible for producing the hormone insulin is not able to produce sufficient insulin to continue performing the body function as required. This often happens because of the dog’s immune system attacking insulin-producing cells and destroying their ability to function normally. Genetics plays a stronger role than obesity when identifying or causing diabetes type 1 in dogs.
Type 2 diabetes in dogs is often the result of factors like obesity and is not commonly diagnosed in dogs.
Type 1 diabetes is more common in dogs, specifically in breeds like Samoyeds, Poodles, Schnauzers, Keeshonds and Spitz. Moreover, many studies show that in comparison to male dogs, females are twice prone to suffer from the disease of diabetes.
Treatment options for diabetes in dogs
If you observe any change in your dog, whether physical or behavioral, it means it’s time to take your dog to visit your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can help
you to confirm if your dog is suffering from diabetes, some other infection or disease or if there is some other reason for this change. For a diagnosis of diabetes, your veterinarian would need blood and urine samples and to perform a physical exam.
Most often, the treatment recommended for diabetic dogs is insulin injections, which is quite successful in controlling the condition. If not insulin therapy, than sometimes oral medication may also help achieve the same results. But, simultaneously, no matter what treatment option the vet has set for your dog, he or she is also going to need a healthy diet plan and a regular exercise schedule. You can consult your veterinarian for your dog’s diet plan.
Once you get your dog on insulin therapy or oral medication, it is important that you properly follow your veterinarian’s instructions. Changing the amount of insulin you give your dog or the diet prescribed by the veterinarian might lead to harmful consequences. However, if at any point after getting your dog on injections or medication, your dog behaves differently or is unsteady, don’t give him of her more insulin and contact your veterinarian or take him or her to the nearest hospital. Even though it might be nothing, taking the risk is not worth it.
Prevention options for diabetic dogs
As mentioned above, diabetes cannot be completely cured or prevented, but if you are committed enough, you can definitely help your dog live a long, healthy life. You will have to be dedicated enough to get your dog to a healthier lifestyle, getting into the habit of keeping your dog’s glucose level regular with readings using a home-based blood glucose monitoring system and take your dog for a visit to the veterinarian after regular intervals as discussed with the veterinarian.
Here are few ways to start bringing a lifestyle change to your diabetic dog to better manage the disease.
- Plan meals that are high in protein and fiber.
- Make sure the treats you give your dog don’t cover more than 10 percent of his or her daily diet.
- Try not to feed your dog leftovers, because they are not likely to be a good fit for a diabetic dog.
- Make sure he gets enough exercise on regular basis.
- Try to avoid any sudden big changes and stick to the routine.
I am Carle Stone and I am a blogger. Being a pet owner myself I like to know about ways to give quality life to my pet and medical conditions that my pet should stay clear from and treatments that will help them. Some of my usual subjects are Blood glucose monitoring for diabetes.