Diabetes, the growing epidemic is not just limited to people; dogs too are known to suffer from diseases like diabetes. It may sound strange, but diabetes in dogs occurs and one in every 200 dogs is reported to develop this disease.
The dog breeds that are prone to get diabetes are Australian Terriers, Mini Schnauzers, Poodles, and also in Golden Retrievers. This health issue may sometimes go unnoticed because of the occurrence of symptoms in nil during the early stages.
And if left untreated for a long time, it may lead to further complications like diabetic cataract, diabetic ketoacidosis, etc.
Many types of treatment methods are available these days and if you want to help your pet live a long and healthy life, you need to know everything about Diabetes in Dogs.
Know the Basics
Diabetes in dogs is either caused due to the lack of insulin hormone or the inability of the body to use insulin properly. When a dog eats, its digestive system breaks down the food into glucose and various other components.
Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, signals the liver, fat cells and the muscles to absorb this glucose to be used as energy.
In case of insulin deficiency or inability to make proper use of insulin, the cells fail to absorb glucose, which then accumulates in the blood and causes the blood sugar level to elevate.
Types Of Diabetes Found In Dogs
Type I – The most common form of diabetes found in dogs is Type I. This occurs when the pancreas is incapable of producing enough insulin. The vet usually suggests insulin therapy for dogs in such cases.
Type II – This type is very rare among dogs and is mostly found in cats, where the insulin doesn’t properly respond or in other words, the body fails to make proper use of the insulin.
Symptoms Of Diabetes In Dogs
If you find your pet showing any one of the following indications, then it is time that you take him to a vet and have his blood-sugar level checked:
- Weight Loss – A sudden loss of weight in your pet could be a high alarm indicating diabetes. There are other diseases too that is accompanied by weight loss but this is one of the most prominent symptoms of diabetes.
- Increased Urination and Urinary Tract infection – Constant thirst can lead them to drink more water and pee a lot.
- Weakness or Fatigue is another usual symptom of diabetes in dogs.
Causes And Risk Factors Associated With Diabetes In Dogs
The exact cause of diabetes is not known but genetic issues and autoimmune diseases are the most commonly known reasons for diabetes. Research has also revealed that excessive protein deposits and certain medications can cause diabetes to develop in dogs.
If the disease is left treated during the early stages, it could lead to more severe complications like Cataract. Over a long period of time, diabetes can also lead to hardening of arteries, nerve issues and kidney failures.
Untreated diabetes can also cause a coma and death. So, when you notice a slight symptom in your dog, take him to the vet right away.
Treatment Measures To Take
Diabetes in dogs is a very silent disease; hence, if you notice one or more symptoms in your pet, take him for an immediate blood test. Ensure that you take your pet for a routine medical test so that you can diagnose diabetes at an early stage even when the symptoms haven’t shown up.
Here’s what the treatment plan for Diabetes would look like;
- Diet – The vet would recommend you to include high-quality protein, fibre and complex carbohydrates in your dog’s diet in order to facilitate slow and required absorption of glucose. During the treatment, it is advisable that you feed your dog with low-fat food. Ensure to get a complete diet plan from the vet; this will help you to effectively split up the meals and the portions.
- Exercise – A consistent and moderate level of exercise is necessary for your dog in order to keep sudden glucose drops at bay.
- Insulin Shots – The vet will mostly prescribe a daily insulin shot for your pet to keep its glucose levels stabilized. It may seem a bit difficult to get your pet used to the injections but as the days go by, it will become a part of the daily routine. Get the vet’s help to give the first few shots and you can take care once you feel confident; the point is, your pet mustn’t feel
Apart from following the treatment plan, you need to monitor and manage diabetes in your pet. In order to do that, you need to pay close attention to what your dog eats, the way it behaves, it’s energy level and its glucose levels.
How To Prevent Diabetes In Dogs?
Most of the time, diabetes in dogs is inherited. But otherwise, it can be prevented with proper diet and regular exercise. Obesity also is considered as a contributing factor towards diabetes; keeping your pet’s weight under control can help prevent the early onset of diabetes in dogs.
Diabetes in your dog shouldn’t make you panic. With proper veterinary help, you will be able to offer the right care and treatment for your dog.
Most importantly, you must know that Diabetes is a manageable disease and can be kept under control with proper care. Consult the best vet near you in order to ensure top-notch treatment for your dog.