Diabetes in Dogs

diabetes in dogsDiabetes in dogs continues to be on the rise. While diabetes in senior dogs occurs more frequently, younger dogs are also susceptible to developing diabetes too. Armed with a little knowledge, you can reduce the likelihood that your dog will develop diabetes. You can also make yourself aware of the symptoms, resulting in a better long term prognosis for your dog.

What is diabetes in dogs?

The most common type of Diabetes in dogs is Diabetes mellitus. This metabolism disorder is often referred to as sugar diabetes. There is a direct connection to diabetes in dogs and the insulin and glucose in the dog’s body. Insulin helps to move nutrients through the blood stream.

In a dog with diabetes something goes wrong with the connection between insulin and glucose. Most common of cases of diabetes, an adequate amount of insulin is not being made in the dog’s body. This happens due to a malfunction of the pancreas in some form or another. Other cases of diabetes, more commonly seen in older dogs, are referred to as insulin-resistance. This means that the insulin is there, but the dog’s body isn’t processing it the way it should.

Risk Factors of Diabetes in Dogs

Obesity Factor

Extra weight increases the risk of a dog developing diabetes. Pay attention to your dog’s weight when he is a puppy. Stay diligent throughout each stage of life in keeping your dog at a healthy weight. Each stage of life carries with it new guidelines for exercise and feeding. Do you know if your dog is overweight? Feel along your dog’s rib cage. If you feel your dog’s ribs, chances are he is not overweight. Also, regularly schedule examinations will give the professionals the opportunity to examine your dog and determine with certainty the ideal weight for your dog.

Age Factor

Senior dogs are at a higher risk of developing diabetes than their younger counterparts. As dogs gain senior status, they begin to exercise less and gain more weight. This often occurs between the ages of seven and nine in many dogs. Extra weight causes sugar levels to rise creating an imbalance between the insulin – glucose connection.

Breed Factor

All dogs are susceptible to this disease of the metabolism. However, diabetes seems to be more prevalent in certain breeds. Mini Schnauzers, Beagles, Cairn Terriers, Miniature Poodles and even larger breeds such as German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers are at high risk of developing diabetes.
Signs of Diabetes in Dogs

Knowing the signs of diabetes will help your dog receive prompt treatment, which will leave him with the best overall prognosis. Delaying treatment can have serious ramifications. Damage to organs can occur, resulting in long suffering and even premature death. The kidneys, eyes, blood vessels, nerves and heart can all be damaged by too much glucose. In fact, it has a poison effect.
• Excessive thirst
• Frequent urination
• Increase in appetite
• Weight loss
• Fruity smelling breath
• Dehydration
• Cataracts
• Vomiting
• Urinary tract infections
• Cataracts
• Reoccurring skin infections
• Seizures
• Depression

Treatment of Diabetes in Dogs

Treatment of diabetes in dogs is often threefold. A diabetic diet will be prescribed. This will include high quality protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, and low fat. Insulin injections under the skin may also be part of the treatment plan for your dog. Dosing and frequency will be rigid. Your vet will teach you how to do the injections right in the office. A healthy dose of daily exercise will also be in order. A routine should be developed to help reduce drops or sudden spikes in sugar levels.

As guardian of your pet, keeping up with veterinary examinations will be the first line of defense against this disease. Moderate daily exercise and a healthy diet will also help reduce the likelihood that your dog will develop diabetes.

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