Diabetes in Dogs – Symptoms and Treatment
Did you know that very few diseases can be diagnosed exclusively in humans? For this reason it should not be surprising that dogs are likely to contract innumerable conditions that may also occur in us.
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Some of these diseases can affect any dog, regardless of factors such as gender, age or race, on the contrary others may occur more frequently as our dog grows.
This is the case of diabetes , a disease that affects the dog’s metabolism and endocrine system and needs chronic treatment. Due to the importance that this condition can have for the health of our pet, in this article of YourCatCareguide we will talk about diabetes in dogs , as well as their symptoms and treatment .
What is diabetes?
Dogs, like us, get the energy needed for vital functions from food and as a source of energy they mainly use glucose, a nutrient that comes from the metabolism of carbohydrates.
In order for glucose to be used as a source of energy, it needs to pass from the bloodstream to the inside of the cells, thanks to the action of a hormone called insulin that is synthesized in the pancreas.
In a dog with diabetes the pancreas suffers damage (the cause is not known exactly although it is suspected that it can be autoimmune) and is not able to synthesize insulin .
Faced with the deficiency of this important hormone, glucose can not be used as a source of energy by the cells, which results in a deterioration of the body and loss of vitality, which is clinically manifested by the very high levels of blood glucose, a situation that sustained over time can lead to serious risks for our pet.
As we mentioned earlier, middle-aged and elderly dogs are especially susceptible to this disease.
Symptoms of diabetes in dogs
As in many other conditions, watching our pet is essential to detect in advance any signs that indicate that your health is suffering from some damage.
The symptoms of diabetes in dogs are those typical of hyperglycemia, a situation characterized by their very high levels of blood glucose:
- Urine very often
- Drinks water very often.
- Have a bigger appetite
- Weight loss
These symptoms are typical of a dog with diabetes, and interestingly, are also the same symptoms that a person with type I manifests. If you notice any of these signs on our pet, you should go to the vet right away .
Diagnosis and treatment of diabetes in dogs
To diagnose diabetes, the veterinarian will take into account the patient’s complete clinical history as well as the symptoms manifested, however, to verify the presence of this disease will require a blood and urine analysis to determine the glucose levels in both fluids .
If the diagnosis of diabetes is confirmed, the veterinarian will indicate how to perform the treatment, a treatment that is not only pharmacological but involves certain lifestyle habits.
Next, we’ll look at all those components that should be part of the treatment of a dog with diabetes:
- Insulin : The dog will need subcutaneous injections of insulin to be able to properly metabolize the carbohydrates. The application of insulin is simple and can be done at home. Because we can not predict how much food our dog will ingest, insulin usually applies after our pet has eaten.
- Diet : The veterinarian will indicate which food is most suitable for the treatment of a diabetic dog, although it is usually balanced food rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates, since these are absorbed progressively and do not change abruptly the levels of blood glucose.
- Physical exercise : The diabetic dog needs to exercise daily to promote the passage of glucose from the bloodstream into the cells.
- In bitches, the veterinarian may recommend sterilization to improve disease control.
Initially it may be difficult to get used to diabetes treatment, but these measures should be applied chronically and soon enough both the owner and the dog will have become accustomed to the new routine to live with this disease.
Canine diabetes control
Treating diabetes in dogs will allow our pet to have a better quality of life as it will help keep blood glucose levels stable by controlling the symptoms that derive from hyperglycemia.
Keeping glucose levels stable will also help prevent any complications that may arise from this disease, such as kidney failure, nerve damage, blindness or diabetic ketoacidosis, a metabolic change that can compromise the animal’s life.
Our dog’s insulin needs may vary depending on your appetite, level of physical activity and even changes that may occur naturally in your physiology, so the diabetic dog should undergo periodic checks .
Your veterinarian will tell you how often it is necessary for your dog to go to the clinic to evaluate the treatment and control of diabetes.
Warning signs in diabetic dog
If your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes and you notice any of the following signs, you should urgently consult your veterinarian as they may indicate severe decompensation of the disease:
- Excessive thirst for more than 3 days
- Excessive urination for more than 3 days
- Muscle contractions
- Decreased appetite
- Loss of appetite
- Behavioral changes
- Signs of pain
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest that you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
If you would like to review more articles that may be older than Diabetes in Dogs – Symptoms and Treatment , we recommend that you go into our Other Health Problemssection .