When diabetes occurs in dogs, it often affects overweight, middle-aged female dogs. It occurs due to a lack of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas necessary for glucose metabolism. Visit Gordon Vet website to know how to keep your pet healthy.
Pancreas is damaged either by inflammation or an attack by the dogs own immune system. As a result, there is a shortage of pancreatic cells that produce insulin. This condition is irreversible. As a consequence, diabetic dogs are quite unlikely to go into remission.
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Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs
One of the clearest signs of diabetes in dogs is increased thirst. However, some other medical conditions exist in which your dog may drink more water than usual, like liver disease, kidney disease or Cushings disease.
Your vet will use some tests to check if there is diabetes. These tests will check if the glucose levels in urine and blood are higher than normal.
- Since diabetes in dogs occurs due to a lack of insulin, supplementing that insulin through injections is an important part of the treatment. The first step in this is to find out how much insulin is needed by your dog. Your dog will be admitted in the hospital and administered a measured dose. Then his blood will be regularly checked to evaluate the response. Once the amount of insulin needed by him is thus calculated, you can then treat him at home.
- Administering insulin injections is not difficult to learn and the needles are so fine that your dog will rarely notice them.
- Another important thing is that the energy needs of your dog should be kept constant. This means that he should be given the same level of exercise, because more or less than normal will affect the amount of insulin needed by him.
- Similarly the food intake of your dog should also be constant from day to day, both in terms of quantity and timings of meals. If you do this, you can help keeping his blood glucose levels within normal range.
- Overweight or obese dogs should be given a diet with restricted calories as weight reduction can make it easier to normalize blood glucose.
- The hormone progesterone can increase blood glucose levels and also make it tough to stabilise a diabetic dog. Therefore females should be spayed.
- A lot of prescription dog foods are available that can make this process easier if your vet suggests them.
- Most diabetic dogs get cataracts in their eyes and their vision is affected. However, a few adjustments can still make them enjoy a good quality of life.
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Two emergency situations can take place in your diabetic dog.
- Hypoglycaemia: This happens when his blood sugar levels drop too low, either because of a too large dose of insulin or not eating all his food. Symptoms include weakness and trembling, and sometimes even seizures. Rubbing some glucose or honey on his gums is an emergency treatment. This will immediately increase blood glucose. Most dogs soon recover after this; however, its still good to get them checked by your vet.
- Diabetic Ketoacidosis: In case of inadequate insulin, your dogs body metabolises fat to get energy. This metabolism creates some byproducts known as ketone bodies. They have a remarkable odour like that of nail polish remover. Affected dogs become lethargic, off their food and keep vomiting. Diabetic ketoacidosis usually occurs before diabetes is detected in your dog. This is because their pancreas doesnt produce sufficient insulin; but it can also occur if his diabetes isnt being managed well and his dose of insulin is too low. This is a serious emergency and your dog is in need of urgent veterinary treatment.
Diabetes in dogs has no cure. However, a committed owner can manage it well and can help his dog enjoy all the normal activities. Take help of someone like the best animal healthcare practice in Turramurra vet to keep your pet healthy always.