Discover The Early Warning Signs Of Poor Diabetes Contol And
How To Avoid Complications
We can help if you have a problem feeding
your diabetic dog, need
or want to save money on treatment.
When your dog is first diagnosed, Vets will often offer good advice on the initial treatment but be aware that much of this advice is quoted from textbooks and very few Vets have experience of treating a diabetic dog in a home environment.
Whilst there is no outright cure to diabetes in dogs, it can be controlled and our helpful guide give lots of useful information to help you and your pet to lead a near normal life.
There are three forms of canine diabetes, all of which display very similar symptoms, the most noticeable being:
- Your dog has increased urination.
- Your dog drinks frequently / excessively.
- Your dog begins to lose weight.
- Your dog is often tired, lethargic or sleeps more often.
Note that these symptoms are not exclusive to diabetes, but they are often the earliest signs detectable by owners.
The increased urination is due to excess glucose which the animal is unable to process normally and so tries to get rid of by urinating. This frequent urination causes greater thirst, thus the animal must drink more frequently to replace the lost fluids.
If the body cannot gain sufficient energy from the food consumed, it will burn stored fat resulting in a loss of body weight and ketones to become present.
Weight loss in a diabetic dog which eats normally or even one with an increased appetite is not uncommon. Ketones levels in the bloodstream can be tested and treatment, usually dietary, administered. If left untreated this can lead to ketoacidosis which in serious cases can become an emergency condition leading to coma and even death.
Tired or Lethargic
Normally active dogs which suddenly show signs of tiredness, no energy and take to sleeping a lot require urgent attention. An appointment should be made with your Vet ASAP to either prove or discount the possibility of diabetes.
Types of Diabetes
There are three forms of Diabetes in dogs. They are Diabetes Mellitus, Diabetes Insipidus and Gestational Diabetes. Although all three types of Diabetes occur, Diabetes Mellitus is by far the most common. The use of insulin and prescribed food is often the only method available to enable effective control of your dog's diabetes once the disease has taken hold.
This is an abnormal increase in urine output, fluid intake and often thirst. It causes symptoms such as urinary frequency because the urine output is not concentrated normally and instead of being a yellow color, the urine is pale, colorless or watery in appearance and the measured concentration (osmolality or specific gravity) is low.
Diabetes Insipidus resembles diabetes mellitus because the symptoms of both diseases are increased urination and thirst. However, in every other respect, including the causes and treatment, the diseases are completely unrelated.
Diabetes Mellitus in dogs.
Insulin is produced by the pancreas and helps regulate blood concentrations of glucose. Diabetes Mellitus is a disorder where their bodies are deficient in the production of insulin or unable to use the insulin produced effectively. The symptoms become worse as the disease progresses so the sooner it is diagnosed the better to avoid complications.
The Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus in dogs.
High blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) develop because the animal’s body is unable to break down and use glucose properly. This inability causes sugar to appear in the urine (glucosuria) that in turn causes an excessive amount of urination (polyuria). To compensate for the increase in urination the dog must drink an excessive amount (polydipsia).
This occurs only in female dogs during pregnancy when her body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it produces correctly. Gestational diabetes has the same symptoms as Diabetes Mellitus and is treated similarly with diet control and sometimes with insulin injections.
The most obvious symptom is that of a normally well house-trained dog urinating in the home for no apparent reason. Sometimes this can be confused with incontinence, particularly with elderly dogs, but there are other conditions, such as a bladder infection, which can display the same symptoms.
A relatively simple blood test is required to give an accurate diagnosis. Although the same equipment used for human diabetes blood-sugar checking can also suffice, if the tests confirm diabetes a diabetes management program will be required right away.