Dogs can also be diagnosed with diabetes

It is important to understand, that diabetes is considered a manageable disorder – and many diabetic dogs can lead happy, healthy lives.

 

What type of diabetes do most dogs get?

Diabetes can be classified as either Type 1 (lack of insulin production) or Type II (impaired insulin production along with an inadequate response to the hormone.)

The most common form of the disease in dogs is Type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas is incapable of producing adequate levels of insulin. Dogs who have Type I require insulin therapy to survive. Type II diabetes is found in cats and is a lack of normal response to insulin.

What are the symptoms of diabetes in dogs?

The following symptoms should be investigated as they could be indicators that your dog has diabetes:

  • Change in appetite
  • Excessive thirst/increase in water consumption
  • Weight loss
  • Increased urination
  • Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting
  • Cataract formation, blindness
  • Chronic skin infections

 

What causes diabetes in dogs?

The exact cause of diabetes is unknown. However, autoimmune disease, genetics, obesity, chronic pancreatitis, certain medications and abnormal protein deposits in the pancreas can play a major role in the development of the disease.

Which dogs are prone to diabetes?

It is thought that obese dogs and female dogs may run a greater risk of developing diabetes later in life (6-9 years of age). Some breeds may also run a greater risk, including Australian terriers, standard and miniature schnauzers, dachshunds, poodles, keeshonds and samoyeds. Juvenile diabetes can also be seen and is particularly prevalent in golden retrievers and keeshonds.

How is diabetes diagnosed?

In order to properly diagnose diabetes, your vet will collect information about your dog’s clinical signs, perform a physical examination and check blood work and a urinalysis.

 

How is diabetes treated?

Diabetes treatment is based on how severe the symptoms and lab work are and whether there are any other health issues that could complicate therapy. Each dog will respond a little bit differently to treatment, and therapy must be tailored to the individual dog throughout their life.

Some dogs may be seriously ill when first diagnosed and will require intensive hospital care for several days to regulate their blood sugar.

Others who are more stable when first diagnosed may respond to oral medication or a high-fiber diet that helps to normalise glucose levels in the blood.

For most dogs, insulin injections are necessary for adequate regulation of blood glucose. Once your pet’s individual insulin treatment is established, typically based on weight, you’ll be shown how to give him insulin injections at home.

Spaying your dog is recommended, as female sex hormones can have an effect on blood sugar levels.

 

What should I know about treating my diabetic dog at home?

It’s important to always give your dog insulin at the same time every day and feed it regular meals in conjunction with the medication. This allows increased nutrients in the blood to coincide with peak insulin levels, and will lessen the chance that his sugar levels will swing either too high or too low.

It is also important to avoid feeding your diabetic dog treats that are high in glucose. Regular blood glucose checks are a critical part of monitoring and treating any diabetic patient, and your vet will help you set up a schedule for checking your dog’s blood sugar.

Consult your vet about a consistent, daily exercise programme and proper nutrition for your dog to help keep his weight in check.

How can diabetes be prevented?

Although a certain form of diabetes – the type found in dogs less than a year of age – is inherited, proper diet and regular exercise can be very effective in helping to prevent onset of diabetes in older dogs. Aside from other negative health effects, obesity is known to contribute to an ability to respond normally to insulin.

What should I do if I think my dog has diabetes?

If showing any of the clinical signs listed above, please see your vet ASAP.

What can happen if diabetes goes untreated?

If diabetes progresses without being treated, dogs can develop secondary health problems like cataracts and severe urinary tract problems. Ultimately, untreated diabetes can cause coma and death.

 

Read the original article on WebMD 

 

DID YOU KNOW?
Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics. 
To receive news links via WhatsApp, send an invite to 061 694 6047
The South Coast Sun is also on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest – why not join us there?

Do you have more information pertaining to this story?
Feel free to let us know by commenting on our Facebook page or you can contact our newsroom on 031 903 2341 and speak to a journalist.

(Comments posted on this issue may be used for publication in the Sun)

  AUTHOR
Holly Konig

Latest News

COMMENTS

Top
Recommended Story x
#Nurdle spill washes onto beaches