Just like humans, dogs can develop diabetes and while diabetes can’t be cured—it can be managed, so it’s possible for your pet to live a long and healthy life.
21 Jul 2015 By Kat Pekin Comments
If you know or suspect that your dog has diabetes it’s extremely important to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet can assist you with a treatment plan for your dog, as well as providing you with the best information on the disease itself.
Though it’s not known what causes dog diabetes, there are a number of breeds in which the condition is more common. Labradors, Poodles and crossbreeds of Terrier and Cattle Dogs are examples of breeds that are more likely to contract diabetes. However, this isn’t indicative of every country. In Australia, studies have shown that Border Collies and Rottweilers are more likely to get diabetes, but this is not the case in the UK and USA.
Types of dog diabetes
There are three types of dog diabetes, all of which need to be treated with insulin. The first is “type 1 diabetes”, which is the same as type 1 diabetes in humans. The second type of dog diabetes is “dioestrus (dy-o-ess-truss) diabetes”. This is similar to pregnancy (gestational) diabetes in humans and only effects female dogs when they are in season. The third type of dog diabetes, and least understood, is “pancreatitis-associated diabetes”.
Symptoms of dog diabetes
Sometimes dogs have quite obvious symptoms when they aren’t feeling well (like vomiting) but on occasion they can have no symptoms at all. Every dog is different. For diabetes, be on the lookout for sudden weight loss, excessive urination and excessive thirst. These symptoms often have a rapid onset and within a few days your dog may have lost quite a few kilos. If you notice any of these symptoms or your dog just doesn’t seem right, make an appointment with your vet.
Managing dog diabetes
Though it can’t be cured, dog diabetes can be treated and the symptoms can be controlled. The disease is controlled primarily by insulin injections and diet. The insulin will help your dog store the nutrients in its meals. Your vet will advise you of the best time to feed your diabetic dog, and most likely suggest you feed your dog at the same time every day, following an insulin injection.
Overweight and obese dogs are commonly affected by diabetes. Monitoring their food and exercise in order to reduce their weight is a very important aspect of treatment, but surprisingly taking your chubby pup on a vigorous jog may not be as useful as you might think. The sudden strenuous exercise can cause low blood glucose levels and this can lead to hypoglycaemia – an effect that happens if diabetic dogs are given too much insulin. For this reason it is important to control the exercise your dog gets.
Maybe try one lap around the park, or a walk to the local shop and back with breaks along the way. It’s very good to have your dog moving, but over-exercising a diabetic dog can be harmful to their health. It’s also a good idea, if you’re able, to bring water for your diabetic dog if your walk doesn’t venture past a river or stream. You can purchase pop-up dog bowls that fit into a small bag or can dangle off a lead, or take a water bottle from home. Try to remember that if you need to stop and have a drink, your canine chum might be thirsty too!
If your dog has diabetes, it’s very important to visit the vet regularly as part of their treatment plan. Weight control needs to be regulated and blood sugar levels need to be checked, and your treatment plan may need to be adjusted. Take your dog to the vet at least once every three months for a check-up. Even if everything is fine, these visits will help put your mind at ease and ensure you are taking the best care of your dog as possible.
Do you have a dog with diabetes? How do you manage his or her health?
21 Jul 2015 By Kat Pekin Commentscomments powered by Disqus