Updated by Sheryl on Oct 22, 2021
Diabetes mellitus is a common disease in humans, but did you know that it can also affect dogs? It is possible that your dog has diabetes too. The good news, however, is that if you've just found that your dog has diabetes, you'll be able to help them live a happy and healthy life.
In dogs, diabetes is an endocrine (hormonal) disease that mainly affects middle and older-years dogs. Insulin is required for glucose (sugar) to enter the circulation and be transported to cells throughout the body, which helps cells to flourish and develop.
As a result, diabetic dogs have blood sugar levels out of control, referred to as hyperglycemia. Many dogs can manage this for a time, but they can get very ill if they become sick with anything else, such as a urinary infection. Furthermore, diabetic animals are far more likely to have additional health issues.
Diabetes affects dogs of all breeds and is a severe condition, it's essential to understand the signs of canine diabetes so you can be alert to them if your dog suffers it. When a dog has diabetes, they will often show the following signs:
The initial signs of diabetes in dogs can be so minor that you cannot notice anything wrong with them. But until ketoacidosis occurs, dogs may seem healthy while having more apparent symptoms. Ketoacidosis signs and symptoms include:
It's critical to catch problems early before ketoacidosis sets in since it's more difficult to cure, and some dogs will die even after treatment.
Even though all dogs are at risk, certain diseases and breeds are more prone to the development of diabetes than others.
Moreover, dogs with chronic or severe pancreatitis, typically caused by a high-fat diet, can get diabetes and obesity. Therefore, dogs must maintain a balanced diet and appropriate body weight for canines health. Besides, schedule frequent vet visits, stay away from table scraps and sugary treats, and ensure your dog receives the exercise he requires.
Diagnosing diabetes requires just a few basic diagnostic tests. Your vet will test your dog for electrolytes and liver enzymes. In addition to electrolyte abnormalities and elevated liver enzymes, a blood test can reveal diabetes. And a urine sample test is used to determine the amount of glucose in a dog's bloodstream and urine. Once your pet's diagnosis has been verified, your veterinarian will prescribe an initial dosage and type of insulin for them.
In most cases, treatment includes these elements and has the following objectives:
In some instances, your dog may need insulin shots daily. Initial testing by a veterinarian, which enables them to monitor blood glucose levels throughout the day, will determine how often a dog needs injections.
While your veterinarian may suggest a different time for the injection, it is generally advised that the dose be given immediately after meals. It helps to suggest the dosage depending on how much your dog ate that day.
Diabetic dogs must keep up a regular yet modest activity schedule to prevent dangerous spikes and decreases in blood glucose levels.
Provide weight loss assistance if required for your dog. Shedding a few pounds can help a dog's cells become more responsive to insulin, making glucose absorption more straightforward.
To help stabilize blood sugar levels, consider the best food for diabetic dogs, rich in quality protein (not necessarily "high protein" diets), reduced fat content, and a combination of fiber and complex carbs. Finding the proper dog diabetes diet takes trial and error to observe how their bodies react to different options for insulin.
Some people think it's okay for dogs to eat anything, even human food, but that's not always the case. Diabetic dogs can safely consume the following human foods without experiencing an increase in blood sugar levels.
The best diabetes treatment is prevention. In reality, the most effective preventive methods are pretty similar to the therapy alternatives above.