November is Pet Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, but it Is also Pet Diabetes Awareness Month.  

Diabetes is managed effectively with insulin treatment and focus on diet and exercise, however as with all health related issues early detection is essential. Successful diabetes therapy of pets, will restore the quality of life of cats and dogs with diabetes mellitus. The following information is courtesy of this ASPCA in order to bring consciousness and information for pet parents.

What Is Diabetes?   Diabetes in dogs is a complex disease caused by either a lack of the hormone insulin or an insufficient response to insulin.

Following a dog eats, his digestive system breaks food to various parts, including sugar–which is carried to his cells from insulin, a hormone secreted from the pancreas. When a dog does not produce insulin or can’t use it normally, his blood sugar levels elevate. The result is hyperglycemia, which, if left untreated, can cause many complicated health issues for a dog.

It is important to understand, however, that diabetes is regarded as a familiar disorder–and many diabetic dogs can lead happy, healthy lives.

What Type of Diabetes Do Most Dogs Get?

Diabetes can be classified as either Form 1 (lack of insulin production) or Type II (impaired insulin production along with an insufficient response to the hormone.)

The most common type of the disease in puppies is Type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas is incapable of producing or secreting adequate levels of insulin. Dogs that have Type I require insulin treatment to endure. Type II diabetes is located in cats and is now too little normal reaction to insulin.

What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs?

The following symptoms should be investigated as they may be signs Your dog has diabetes:

  • Change in appetite

  • Excessive thirst/increase in hot water intake

  • Weight loss

  • Increased urination

  • Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath

  • Lethargy

  • Dehydration

  • Urinary tract infections

  • Vomiting

  • Cataract creation, blindness

  • Chronic skin infections

What Causes Diabetes in Dogs?

The precise cause of diabetes is unknown. However, autoimmune disease, obesity, genetics, chronic pancreatitis, specific medicines and abnormal protein deposits in the pancreas can play a major role in the development of the disease.

That Dogs Are Prone to Diabetes?

It is thought that obese dogs and female puppies can run a greater chance of developing diabetes later in life (7-9 years old). Some strains may also run a greater risk, such as Australian terriers, standard and miniature schnauzers, dachshunds, poodles, keeshonds and samoyeds. Juvenile diabetes can also be seen and is particularly prevalent in golden retrievers and keeshonds.

What’s Diabetes Diagnosed?

In order to properly diagnose diabetes, your veterinarian will gather information regarding your dog’s clinical signs, perform a physical exam and assess blood work and a urinalysis.

How Is Diabetes Treated?

Diabetes therapy is based on how severe the symptoms and lab work are and whether there are any other health issues that could complicate therapy. Each dog will respond a little bit differently to therapy, and treatment needs to be tailored to the patient dog during his lifetime.

  • Some puppies may be seriously ill when initially diagnosed and will require intensive hospital care for several days to control their blood sugar.
  • Dogs that are more secure when initially diagnosed may respond to oral medication or a high-fiber diet which helps to normalize glucose levels in the blood.
  • For the majority of dogs, insulin injections are essential for adequate regulation of blood sugar. Once your pet’s individual insulin therapy is established, typically based on weight, you will be shown the way to give him insulin injections at home.
  • Spaying your dog is advocated, as female sexual hormones can have an impact on blood sugar levels.

Your veterinarian may also show you how to perform glucose tests in your home.

What Should I Know About Treating My Diabetic Dog at Home?

As your veterinarian will explain, it’s important to always give your dog insulin at precisely the exact same time every day and feed him routine meals in combination with his medication. This enables increased nutrients in the blood vessels to coincide with peak sugar levels, and will lessen the possibility that blood glucose levels will swing either too large or too low. You can use your veterinarian to make a feeding schedule around your pet’s medication time. It is also important to prevent feeding your diabetic dog treats that are high in glucose. Standard blood sugar checks are a critical part of monitoring and treating any diabetic individual, and your veterinarian can help you establish a schedule for assessing your dog’s blood sugar.

Please also ask your vet about a consistent, daily exercise program and proper nutrition for your dog to help keep his weight in check.

How Can Diabetes Be Prevented?

Although a particular kind of diabetes–the kind found in puppies under a year old–is inherited, correct diet and regular exercise can be quite powerful in helping to prevent onset of diabetes in older dogs. Aside from additional negative health effects, obesity is known to contribute to an ability to respond normally to insulin.

What Can I Do If I Believe My Dog Has Diabetes?

If your dog is showing any of these clinical signs listed above, please see your veterinarian straight away.

What Can Happen If Diabetes Goes Untreated?

If diabetes grows without being medicated, dogs can develop secondary health issues like cataracts and acute urinary tract issues. Finally, untreated diabetes can cause coma and death.

This is for information & awareness purposes only.     Please consult with your veterinarian.

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