Dogs and Diabetes: Know the Risks
A diabetic dog’s body is unable to successfully convert food to energy. Sadly, diabetes is on the rise in canines. Banfield Pet Hospital reported that the cases of diabetes in dogs rose by 80 percent in a study carried out between 2006 and 2015.
Approximately 99 percent of all canines have what is referred to as diabetes mellitus which is commonly called ‘sugar diabetes’. Dogs will have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
What Causes Canine Diabetes?
Diabetes in dogs occurs when the cells of the body that produce insulin are destroyed which renders the body unable to regulate blood sugar. Inflammation of the pancreas plays a critical role in the development of canine diabetes.
Currently, experts truly do not know what causes the pooch’s endocrine system to stop regulating blood sugar. However, there are identifiable risk factors associated with the development of the disease such as it being more common in certain breeds of dogs with females being twice as likely to develop the condition than males. Likely, there is probably a genetic component involved in the disorder that hasn’t been completely isolated because the following breeds are at an increased risk for developing diabetes :
- Cocker spaniel
- Golden retrievers
- Toy poodles
- German shepherds
- Labrador retrievers
- Doberman pinschers
Certain risk factors are often associated with diabetes in dogs such as:
- Female who has been spayed
- Cushing’s disease
- Use of steroids or progestogens
Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs
Sadly, the symptoms of diabetes in dogs do not always show up until the canine is profoundly ill.
Symptoms of diabetes in dogs include:
- Muscle loss
- Weight loss
- Poor coat quality
- Decreased strength in the dog’s legs
Diagnosing Diabetes in Dogs
Do you suspect that your dog has diabetes? Then a trip to the veterinarian might be in order. The vet will evaluate the dog’s medical history, perform a physical exam, order blood work, and carry out a urinalysis. The tests will determine if your pooch has diabetes and the conditions’ severity.
Diabetes is a disorder that must be managed to maintain the dog’s blood sugar levels. If you do not manage the dog’s diabetes then the animal might start to lose his eyesight and develop rapid kidney failure.
Managing Diabetes in Dogs
In severe diabetes, your dog will require insulin injections and diet changes. You’ll need to feed a diet that is high in fiber to the dog. Fiber also helps slow down the glucose within the canine’s bloodstream. If your dog is overweight then it is imperative that the animal lose a few pounds, so you’ll need to increase his daily exercise
Fido will require regular visits to the vet to make sure that the animal’s blood glucose level is being adequately controlled. In most cases and with the dedication of the owner, the diabetes in the dog can be adequately controlled so the pooch lives a long and fulfilling life