Diabetic pet management is one of the big concerns for pet owners with diabetic pets. A big part of taking care of a diabetic pet includes the home care you give them. The first step in home care for a diabetic dog is to learn more about the medical condition and then how you can help them. In the blog, we will help you learn more about your diabetic dog by learning the causes, symptoms and treatment options for your pet, which should cover all necessary aspects of your diabetic pet’s management.
Most of us know at least one person who has had diabetes and we understand how diabetes in humans works. However, what not many of us know is that diabetes in humans and diabetes in dogs is somewhat the same. We know that there is no permanent cure for diabetes but with proper medical and home care your diabetic pet can continue living a healthy life, which is also a reason why pet owners with diabetic pets are recommended to learn about their pet’s condition.
The meal a dog has is broken down into a smaller substance known as glucose or sugar. It is the most basic form of energy for body cells. The sugar circulates through the bloodstream to reach different body organs and the pancreas produces the insulin hormone that helps the sugar to travel to the body cell, which is where the body utilizes it.
However, this basic bodily function doesn’t work the same way for a diabetic dog. In case of a diabetic dog, the pancreas does not produce adequate amounts of the insulin hormone, which is why the sugar can’t be properly utilized by the body. It means that your dog’s blood sugar level is abnormally high and the body cell’s glucose count is low. This results in disruption of simple body functions.
Symptoms of diabetes in dogs
The earlier you are able to diagnose your dog’s diabetes, the easier it will be for you to manage his condition. Some of the initial signs of symptoms of diabetes in dogs are feeling tired and weak all the time, recurring infections, and an increase in water consumption and urination. It is important that the first sign you notice you make sure to test your dog, just to be sure.
Moreover, some of the advance signs of diabetes can be losing or gaining weight and abnormal increase in appetite. Even though diabetes is not usually very hard to maintain, when left untreated it can be life-threatening for your dog.
Causes of diabetes in dogs
When it comes to dogs, there are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when a dog’s pancreas is not able to produce enough of the insulin hormone as needed by the body. The most common reason for this dysfunction is the dog’s immune system is attacking the insulin-producing cells, which directly affects their ability to function properly. Another major factor that increases your dog’s vulnerability to Type 1 diabetes is the genetic specification.
On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes occurs as a result of factors such as obesity. This type of diabetes is not very commonly found in dogs, whereas Type 1 diabetes is relatively more common particular in dog breeds like Poodles, Samoyeds, Schnauzers, Keeshonds and Spitz.
In addition, according to a number of studies, females dogs are twice as likely to develop diabetes than male dogs.
Treatment options for diabetes in dogs
If you notice any of the above-mentioned signs of diabetes in your dog, whether it is physical or behavioral, you should get your dog tested and take him to the veterinarian. With the help of your vet, you can confirm if your dog has diabetes or is suffering from some other infection. The vet would need a blood and urine sample and may also conduct a physical exam to diagnosis diabetes.
One of the most commonly used treatments for diabetes is insulin therapy, which is when the vet prescribes your dog a dose of insulin injection. Other than insulin therapy, some dogs may be kept on oral medication to help maintain their sugar level. However, for any type of treatment program to work effectively, you need to make sure you make healthy meal choices for your pet and help him get daily exercise. If you would like you can also consult your vet for the diet plan or any other aspect of diabetic pet management.
Once you have started a treatment program, whether insulin therapy or oral medication, it is important that you follow up with your vet and make it to all appointments. Your dog’s insulin needs change, which changes the right dose and type of insulin and medication your dog should take. This is why regular check-ups are recommended for the overall health of your diabetic pet.