Many dogs suffer from diabetes. This common disease occurs when the dog’s body is not able to produce enough insulin. Some types of dogs are more prone to diabetes:
- Cairn Terriers
- Golden Retrievers
- Miniature Schnauzers
- German Shepherds
However, any dog can be affected by diabetes, no matter what the breed. Females are affected more often than males by three to one. The onset of diabetes usually occurs between the ages of 6 to 9 years.
Symptoms of Diabetes
There are some warning signs that might alert you that your dog is developing diabetes:
- At first, your dog will start eating more frequently and larger amounts. As the disease develops, this increased appetite will drop off.
- Extra glucose in the urine will lead to frequent urination and increased drinking.
- Although, your dog is eating and drinking more, you may witness a drop in weight.
If you don’t get treatment for your dog’s diabetes, the advanced symptoms will include:
- Loss of appetite
- Organ failure
Prevention of Dog Diabetes
You might consider taking your dog in for genetic testing, if you are concerned that your dog is at risk. Other steps you can take are to provide a well-balanced diet, encourage plenty of exercise, and arrange proper dental care for your dog. If you are concerned that your dog may be suffering from diabetes, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Treating Your Dog for Diabetes
One effective way to treat diabetes in dogs is to administer daily insulin injections. It will also be very important to control your dog’s diet. You can talk to your vet about food options that have been developed specifically for dogs with diabetes. You will make regular trips to the veterinarian for blood glucose testing and to fine tune the timing and dosage of insulin injections. In some cases, you will need to collect urine samples and test it for glucose levels.
It is important to understand that obesity can increase your dog’s risk for diabetes and will make treatment much more difficult. During the treatment of an obese dog, a weight loss plan will probably be a component. Your vet will help you to decide the best way to help your dog reach her ideal weight.
Exercise is a good way to help your dog lose weight and is also effective at lowering her blood glucose levels. Try to schedule exercise sessions at about the same time and for the same amount of time each day. Consistency is more important than increasing the exertion level. In fact, if you exercise your dog too long or too vigorously, the glucose levels could drop dangerously.
Maintain a Good Relationship with Your Vet
Your veterinarian can be a great source of advice, education, support, and comfort. Talk to a vet at Pet Medical Center as soon as you suspect diabetes and maintain visits are recommended. Your dog deserves the best quality of life that you can make possible.