Health & Wellness

Does your dog have Diabetes? Symptoms and treatment

Diabetes is an endocrine disorder, and like humans, dogs too can acquire diabetes. Diabetes is brought about by the malfunction of the endocrine glands. Though most people aren’t aware, here are some signs you can look for.

Like humans, dogs too can acquire diabetes too. Photographs: Nishal LamaLike humans, dogs too can acquire diabetes. Photographs: Nishal Lama

As diabetes becomes more common
among the human population, so it goes with dogs. Dogs suffer from many of the same ailments that people do, skin irritations, arthritis, cancer and diabetes. Most people aren’t aware that canine diabetes can be as common as it is with people, but there are some signs you can look for. Diabetes is an endocrine disorder, and like humans, dogs too can acquire diabetes. Diabetes is brought about by the malfunction of the endocrine glands. The cause isn’t known but experts feel heredity, obesity and the taking of certain medications increase the chances of a dog developing diabetes. Diabetes mellitus can affect any age, breed or sex of dog.

“A few common risk factors for dog diabetes are old age, overweight and under-weight dogs. Aside from older dogs, bigger dogs are more susceptible to dog diabetes than smaller breeds. Obese female dogs are more prone to diabetes. Once the pancreas fails to secrete the right level of insulin needed by the dog to utilize all of the glucose produced by the body, the problem occurs,” Says Sandeep Karkhanis, CEO, Provimi Animal Nutrition India.

He adds, “The signs and symptoms of dog diabetes may not always be obvious or consistently visible, which is the main reason it often goes unnoticed in many dogs. A few signs and symptoms that may indicate your dog has diabetes are listed below. If you have noticed any of the below symptoms combined in your dog, it is best to have your dog tested for diabetes. A veterinarian can conduct a blood sugar test to determine if your dog has diabetes,”

Canine Diabetes Symptoms:
* Hyperglycemia - High blood sugar levels
* Polydipsia – excessive water consumption – dogs with diabetes drink too much water
* Polyuria – excessive urination
* Weight gain – many dogs who have diabetes often lack energy and this inactivity can result in weight gain
* Weight loss – weight loss caused by dog diabetes can be excessive, may go in spurts or may be more gradual in nature.
* Signs of poor skin and hair coat
* Vomiting
* Weakness in the rear legs
* Secondary bacterial infections and dehydration.

Diabetes mellitus can affect any age, breed or sex of dogDiabetes mellitus can affect any age, breed or sex of dog

Sandeep says that if a dog’s diabetes is not regulated it will become blind or have kidney problems. Diabetes can induce the abnormal flow of blood in your pet's body, thereby causing a range of circulatory complications. “Diabetes can also lead to a variety of other diseases like heart ailments. With proper care, diabetes can be controlled and is rarely the sole cause of death in canines or humans. Once diabetes is diagnosed in your pet, regular monitoring is necessary to make sure that your pet remains in good health despite the onset of the disease. While it is not possible to cure dog diabetes with medication, it is very possible to manage the diabetes with insulin injections and proper stabilization. Most dogs who are diagnosed as diabetic can lead very normal and happy lives once the condition is under control,” he explains.

How to treat a Diabetic dog?
In order to ensure that a diabetic dog’s blood glucose levels remain healthy, it is vitally important to maintain all of the other factors, other than insulin, that affect glucose levels on a daily basis. These factors include:
* Diet – Dogs with diabetes need to eat a very healthy and well-rounded diet high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. This kind of a diet will help avoid elevations of glucose after eating and help with regulation of blood glucose.
* Amount of food – It is also important to control the amount of food the diabetic dog eats at each meal, making sure to keep the amount exactly the same with each feeding.
* Timing of feedings – The diabetic dog should eat at the same time every day to help ensure proper digestion,
* Exercise – Controlling the amount of exercise a diabetic dog gets in also very important. Keeping the amount of exercise and the times of exercise constant each day will be beneficial.
Ensuring a healthy food diet and a fit weight management regime may be possible help prevent the development of dog diabetes. Just like your family, make sure you provide your pet with the right level of care and attention so as to ensure its perfect health at all times!
Inputs from CEO/MD Provimi Animal Nutrition India. He can be reached at
Tags: dog diabetes, canine diabetes symptoms, treatment for dogs with diabetes, diet for dogs, diabetic dog, dog’s blood glucose levels, heart ailments, heredity

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