Recently I was working with a dog who has diabetes. Seeing all those instructions from the owner and medications made me think about dogs affected by diabetes and other long-term illnesses. And about their dedicated, loving owners looking after them and giving them the best care possible. What causes diabetes in dogs?
Diabetes in dogs/canine diabetes
Canine diabetes develops because the dog’s pancreas stops producing insulin or is not producing enough. The function of insulin is to carry the glucose around the body, helps absorb sugar into the bloodstream after eating, turns food into energy.. and keeps the sugar levels in check.
Unfortunately, diabetes in dogs is not curable. Close monitoring can give doggies better quality of life.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs:
*A diabetic dog will try to drink at every opportunity. He will become excessively thirsty as the body tries to keep up with the excess fluid loss
*You might notice that your dog will wee more often, too, as the glucose will draw water into the urine
*Being more hungry as his body thinks it is starving
*Being lethargic as energy levels as low
*He will start losing weight as his body won’t be able to use sugar from food if there is no insulin. Lack of insulin prevents sugar from turning into much-needed energy. This will mean that your doggie is not getting enough calories, and his body will start digging into reserves and break down fat and muscle to get more energy
How common is canine diabetes?
About 1 in 300 dogs will get diabetes throughout their life. Canine diabetes is more common in middle-aged to senior and female dogs and obesity in dogs might play its role too.
There are a few breeds that are predisposed to diabetes: Alaskan Malamute, Bichon Frise, Labrador Retriever, Keeshond, Poodle, Miniature Wirehair Dachshund, Cairn Terrier, Pug, Miniature Schnauzer, Spitz, Australian Terrier, Samoyed, Tibetan Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Norwegian Elk Hound, Springer Spaniels.
You know your doggie the best. If you are worried that he might have diabetes, get in touch with your Vet. If untreated, it can cause more serious diabetic ketoacidosis. The vet will do simple urine tests and blood tests to determine the diagnosis. If managed and monitored, your doggie has a chance for a happy life as possible.