Diabetes mellitus in dogs is a serious health condition which can prove life-threatening. However, preventive measures can be taken to stop this disease from spreading beyond control.
Dogs are prone to diabetes as much as we are. If your dog has been feeling weak, or you have noticed a drastic change in its behavior, it may indicate an underlying health condition. We do not like seeing our pets suffer, and honestly them falling ill can be a very painful experience to endure. All pet lovers will agree that pets often become like family to their owners. Unfortunately, diabetes as a disease affects both humans as well as dogs and cats equally.
The endocrine glands get affected which thereby interferes with the secretion of insulin in the dog’s system. This results in excess glucose content in the body which saturates the bloodstream. Basically, the pancreas stop functioning properly which causes the insulin levels in the dog’s body to fall substantially. The end result is that the dog loses energy and begins to lose a lot of weight. This is an insulin dependent form of diabetes. Let us find out about the various symptoms of this health condition in dogs.
Clinical Signs of Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs
There can be no exact explanation that can be given as to why some dogs develop diabetes, nonetheless a lot has to do with the genetic predisposition of the dog as well as the lifestyle that is provided to the pet by its owner. Let us understand some of the symptoms of this disease as observed in dogs:
- The first thing you will notice is that the dog will be perpetually thirsty for water. This thirst will be far more than the pet’s usual habit of water intake.
- Consequently, the dog will relieve itself or urinate frequently, many times over the day. If the owner will need to keep a tab on the number of times the pet had to go to urinate. This phenomenon occurs because the dog’s body is not being able to absorb the excess glucose, therefore the kidneys try to dissolve the glucose with the remaining water in the system so as to discharge it. This is why more and more water is needed by the dog, as its feeling increasingly dehydrated. The dog’s bladder will be perpetually full during this condition.
- Diabetes may lead to UTI or urinary tract infection among dogs as well. The reason being that the excessive glucose feeds the yeast or fungi present in the tract which in turn causes the fungi to grow exponentially.
- The dog may lose weight while its appetite increases or decreases substantially. This behavior may vary form one dog to the other.
- The dog might shed a lot of hair and the texture and luster of its coat may reduce to a large extent.
- Wounds may take longer to heal, especially scratch scars.
- Diabetes may affect the dog’s vision and make it blurry.
- Increases the chances of developing cataract in either or both the eyes.
- It sometimes affects the dog’s hearing abilities as well.
- General lethargy and unwillingness to play or interact with family members.
- It can lead to severe health conditions such as hypoglycemia due to excess secretion of insulin. It could also cause ketoacidosis which is a deadly disease.
You should firstly take the dog to a vet, so that few tests can be run. Ask him about the various symptoms of diabetes in dogs and how to deal with it. The tests will check the dog’s blood and urine sample to check the glucose level in them. Only once the results are assured should any medications be given to the pet. Here are some things owners must do:
- The dog could also be showing signs of pre-diabetes, and if that is the case, preventive medications must be given in prescribed dosage.
- Certain lifestyle changes will also be needed to be brought about which includes, regular exercises. No treats and artificially flavored foods such as canned dog food or meat. Everything will need to be cooked from scratch and the dog will need to be fed boiled low sugar and fat food until the blood sugar is brought back to normal. This rule applies even to cases where the dog has been diagnoses with diabetes.
- The owner will need to check the blood or urine sample of the dog. This can be done through a Glucometer and sample dip strip or stick. All they will need to do is to take a bit of blood or urine sample from the dog every day. You will need to dip the dipstick and measure the glucose levels. The levels should be below +2 on the stick, if it exceeds you will need to get the doctor checked by the vet.
- Insulin injections will need to be administered by the dog’s owner so as to keep the blood sugar in control. Though this must be done strictly under the orders of the vet. The doctor will specifically mention the steps to be taken while injecting the dog. Always keep the insulin refrigerated and use a sterile needle every time no matter what.
Canine diabetes mellitus can be brought under control, through proper medications and preventive measures. Through which the dog can lead a healthy life. Though this is an incurable disease, and if not brought under control will eventually prove fatal for the dog.