Dogs are one of the most popular and loyal friends of man. These canine companions suffer from many health problems similar to humans. One such health problem faced by dogs is diabetes. It has been found that diabetes in dogs is of two types: diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is further divided into Type I and Type II. In case of diabetes insipidus, it occurs due to lack of an antidiuretic hormone, vasopressin. Vasopressin helps in absorption of water by the kidneys. Diabetes mellitus occurs due to insulin deficiency.
Type I diabetes occurs in young dogs and is referred to as juvenile dog diabetes. Type II diabetes is observed as an age related problem. It causes dependency of the dog on insulin. It is important to understand the symptoms and seek medical help immediately, if you want your pet to lead a healthy, fuller and happy life.
Dog with Diabetes: Symptoms
It is very important to spot the dog diabetes symptoms early on as it will help in controlling the situation. Diabetes, if not controlled, can spiral into a crippling condition that may lead to death of the dog. There are many signs to watch out for that will help you know if your dog is suffering from diabetes. Some of them are as follows:
- Lethargy is a symptom common to many other dog illnesses. Thus, if you find your dog turning lazy and inactive, you should take him for a check up at the vet's clinic.
- Excessive thirst leading to drinking more water than usual can be a sign of diabetes. Overproduction of glucose or improper metabolism of glucose can make a dog feel thirsty.
- Frequent urination is a sign of diabetes related to excessive water consumption. If you find your dog drinking more water and urinating frequently, it can be a symptom of diabetes.
- Sudden excessive weight gain or weight loss may be a sign of diabetes. Lethargy causes your dog to slow down and gain more weight. Sometimes, it may lead to unexplained weight loss and diabetes may occur with some other health problem causing the dog to lose his appetite.
Dogs with Diabetes: Life Expectancy
Now, after going through the symptoms, one must be worried about the life span of dogs with diabetes. Diabetes in dogs is a treatable condition. If one takes measures to keep the blood sugar level in dogs under control, it will help improve the quality of life of the dog. Diabetes does not curb a dog's life span, only if you seek proper treatment. Untreated diabetes will interfere with the dogs' life expectancy and decrease the quality of their life. High blood sugar levels can lead to weakness in legs, ketoacidosis, dehydration, cataracts and even untimely death. Thus, you do not have to worry about decrease in the life expectancy of your dear dog, if you seek early and continuous medical intervention.
Dogs with Diabetes: Treatment
As we have learned from the above paragraph, diabetes does not affect a dog's life expectancy. But, this statement is only true, if you give your dog proper diabetes treatment. So, the first step of treatment is starting your dog with diabetes diet that is correct. You need to put your dog on a low sugar and low-fat diet, to keep the blood sugar levels in check. Speak to the veterinarian regarding the foods you can feed your dog from now on.
Follow a strict schedule of feeding and avoid missing meal times. This will avoid sudden reduction in blood sugar levels that lead to other health problems in your dog. Apart from the diabetic dog diet, one may even have to administer intravenous insulin injections to their dogs. Depending on the condition of your dog, the veterinarian may suggest the type of insulin injection suitable for your dog.
This was all about the dog with diabetes life expectancy, symptoms and treatment. Diabetes is also called a silent killer and may affect your dog's health immensely. Seek proper treatment at the right time and you will find your dog living a happy and jovial life. For more information on canine diabetes, consult a veterinarian for details.