We can’t stand to see our dogs in pain so we do everything we can to keep them happy and healthy. But despite all our efforts, some dogs end up developing diseases or becoming ill. Similar to humans, a common disease among dogs is diabetes. Let’s look at what this disease is and how to treat it.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is caused either by a lack of insulin or an insufficient response to insulin. When a pup eats, their digestive system breaks the food into different components. One of those components is glucose, which is carried into their cells by insulin – the hormone secreted by their pancreas.
If a dog cannot produce insulin or they can’t use it correctly, their blood sugar levels will increase, resulting in hyperglycemia. If left untreated, hyperglycemia can cause health problems for dogs.
There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type II. Type 1 is categorized as a lack of insulin production and type II is an insufficient response to insulin. Dogs typically suffer from type 1 diabetes. With this type, dogs require insulin in order to survive. Type II is typically found in cats.
Though the exact cause of this disease is unknown, some autoimmune diseases, genetics, obesity, and chronic pancreatitis can play a factor in the development of diabetes.
Furthermore, obese dogs and females dogs are at a greater risk for developing this disease.
The main symptoms of diabetes include change in appetite, weight loss, increased water drinking and excessive thirst, increased urination, exhaustion, dehydration, sweet-smelling breath, vomiting, urinary tract infections, cataracts, and chronic skin infections.
Diabetes is a manageable disease and treatment depends on how severe the symptoms are. If a dog is very sick when diagnosed, they may require hospitalization to stabilize their blood sugar. If they are stable when diagnosed, oral medication or a high-fiber diet may be necessary to stabilize glucose levels.
Most dogs will need insulin injections to maintain their blood sugar levels. Veterinarians will show you how to give your dog insulin injections at home once the treatment plan is established.
If left untreated, diabetes can ultimately be fatal.
One form of diabetes is inherited – the type that is found in dogs that are less than one-year-old – but other forms of diabetes could be prevented with regular exercise and a proper diet.
If you suspect your dog is showing any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Although this disease can be scary, if caught early enough it is a manageable disease. To make sure your dog stays safe, happy, and healthy, get them the Nuzzle collar. With GPS technology and activity monitoring, you’ll always know where your pup is and what they are doing.