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Diabetes Symptoms in Dogs

Diabetes Symptoms in Dogs

Taking into account the prevalence of diabetes in dogs, it goes without saying that every dog owner should be aware of the symptoms of this condition. Hence, this article on canine diabetes and its symptoms.
Mayuri Kulkarni
As in the case of humans, even in dogs, diabetes is a fairly common condition that either results from insulin deficiency or the inability of the body to utilize insulin. It can be attributed to a range of factors, including obesity, genetics, hormonal changes, as well as side effects of certain medication. Regardless of how it is caused, the dog needs be subjected to early treatment to ensure that he leads a healthy life, and for that, it has to be diagnosed early.
Diabetes in Dogs

Almost all dog breeds can get diabetes, but there are certain breeds that are more vulnerable. These include the poodle, doberman, dachshund, keeshond, etc. It has also been observed that female dogs are at a higher risk of having diabetes compared to their male counterparts.
There are basically two types of diabetes that can affect dogs: diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mellitus is more common than diabetes insipidus. It is further grouped into two types: type 1 diabetes, wherein the dog's pancreas are unable to produce enough insulin, and type 2 diabetes, wherein the produced insulin is not utilized by their body properly. As for diabetes insipidus, it occurs when the dog suffers from deficiency of anti-diuretics, which, in turn, worsens insulin deficiency.
Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs

Like we said, it's important to diagnose the condition early as later it becomes difficult to treat the same. In the worst case scenario, it can even lead to blindness in dogs. That makes it important for pet owners to be well-versed with canine diabetes―its symptoms in particular. There are two things to keep in mind here. First, these symptoms are observed in a gradual manner. Second, they differ from one dog to another.
Excessive drinking of water and frequent urination

Both these symptoms are actually linked to each other. The inability of the body to hold the excess unprocessed glucose results in frequent urination (polyuria), which, in turn, makes the dog thirsty and hence, the increased water intake (polydipsia). When the dog drinks unusually more water, it may go unnoticed, but frequent urination is unlikely to go unnoticed for a long time. If you notice either of these early symptoms, you should immediately consult a veterinarian.
Lethargic behavior

Lethargy is yet another prominent symptom of canine diabetes. In this case, you will notice that the dog spends most of the time either sleeping or just lying around, and if he indulges in any physical activity, he gets tired very soon. In diabetic dogs, shaking and shivering of the body is also observed.
Other symptoms

A dog suffering from diabetes will experience unusual weight loss all of a sudden even when he is eating food on a regular basis. Similarly, sudden weight gain may also be observed. Sweet breath is an indication of increased sugar level in the body. The dog may develop cataract and may even become vulnerable to a range of infections, including gum infections, urinary infections, and fungal infections. Even depression, weakness, vomiting, rapid breathing, etc., are symptoms of diabetes in canines.
If diabetes is diagnosed in its last stage, then it becomes difficult to treat the dog. Thus, the moment you see anything suspicious about your dog's behavior or observe anything that remotely resembles diabetes symptoms, you should consult a veterinarian. If the condition is diagnosed, then you will have to make some important changes in your dog's lifestyle. These changes will help the dog to recover from the ailment and ensure that he lives a healthy life.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of a veterinarian.
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