What is canine diabetes?
Diabetes in dogs is a complex disease caused by either a lack of the hormone insulin or an inadequate response to insulin.
After a dog eats, his digestive system breaks food into various components, including glucose-which is carried into his cells by insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas.
When a dog does not produce insulin or cannot utilize it normally, his blood sugar levels elevate. The result is hyperglycemia, which, if left untreated, can cause many complicated health problems for a dog.
Excessive thirst/increase in water consumption - known as polydipsia, one of the early signs of diabetes
Weight loss - usually the result of the body not converting nutrients properly
Increased urination - the body is trying to get rid of the excess sugar in the system through urination
Lethargy - due to ketoacidosis, metabolic acidosis caused by the breakdown of fat and proteins in the liver in response to insulin deficiency
Urinary tract infections
Cataract formation, blindness
Chronic skin infections
Most dogs will need one or two insulin doses daily immediately before or after meals. You have to make sure that your dog exercises regularly. Consistency is key.
The best dog food for diabetic dogs is one with low fat and high fiber content and low glycemic content. This will keep your dog's sugar levels under control. Dogs with diabetes can live a completely normal life when treated, and their life expectancy is no different from other dogs'.
If you see any of the above symptoms in your dog's behavior, take your dog to the vet immediately. Prevention and catching the disease early can make all the difference.