Almost all dogs that develop diabetes do so due to their metabolism. The disease manifests mainly through elevated blood glucose. Diabetes mellitus in dogs is caused by impaired insulin secretion of the pancreas, insulin resistance failure, or both.
What is diabetes mellitus in dogs?
Diabetes mellitus is traditionally classified into three types of disease:
- Type 1: The pancreas is unable to produce or secrete insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes in dogs.
- Type 2: The pancreas is capable of producing insulin but is impaired. Therefore, it does not make enough to meet the needs of the body. This frequently occurs in overweight and obese pets.
- Type 3: This is a rare form of the disease is known as diabetes insipidus or water diabetes. Large amounts of diluted urine mark it.
If diabetes is diagnosed early and treated promptly, your pets can live a long, happy life,
If the disease is not treated immediately, the condition will gradually get worse. The disease also leads to cataracts and urinary tract infections, malnutrition, ketoacidosis, dehydration, and ultimately death.
Who is susceptible to diabetes mellitus?
Diabetes in dogs can occur at any age (from 18 months on); however, it mostly occurs in middle-aged (aged 5 and over) to senior dogs. Diabetes is more common in overweight or obese dogs.
Dog breeds such as Dachshunds, Poodles, Schnauzers, Cairn Terriers, and Springer spaniels are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. Other dogs that frequently develop diabetes include Cocker Spaniels, Shepherds, Collies, Boxers.
What causes diabetes in dogs?
- The pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin.
- Diabetes also can be classified as insulin antagonist or insulin resistance. Either condition keeps the body from properly using insulin.
- Secondary diabetes can be caused by the use of steroid drugs, sex hormones, and pregnancy. It also can be a complication of other medical conditions such as Cushing’s disease.
- Environmental factors and inadequate diet are the main cause of diabetes mellitus in dogs.
- Other genetic disorders, overweight, or chronic pancreatitis can cause diabetes.
Symptoms of diabetes
- The first three diabetes signs are drinks more water than usual, unexplained increased appetite, excessive urination.
- Feeling exhausted or lacking energy: Pets will become entirely apathetic and no longer eager to run or walk or participate in games. Watch for signs your dog is sleeping more than usual.
- Weak back legs: Watch for signs your dog is favoring his back legs or moving unnaturally.
- Breath that smells or has an unusual chemical odor.
- Fruity or sweet-smelling urine.
- Some other manifestations include weight loss, weight gain, restlessness, tremors, and thin or dull hair.
Symptoms after diabetes
Eye issues: Diabetes mellitus in dogs can cause cataracts or cloudy eyes, leading to blindness if not treated promptly.
High blood glucose (Hyperglycemia): Water diffuses onto the lens, causing disruption and swelling and changing the eye’s lens.
Kidney failure (chronic or acute): Sugar retention in the dog’s blood spills into the urine and damages the kidneys. The dog’s kidney becomes overworked, and the kidney’s nephron or filters cannot handle the sugar. This causes kidney dysfunction.
Other common symptoms include urinary incontinence or the loss of bladder control, vomiting, urinary tract infection, chronic skin infections, and in extreme cases, loss of consciousness and coma due to hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemic (low blood sugar).
A diagnosis of diabetes mellitus in dogs
The diagnosis of diabetes is generally fairly simple and is based on three criteria:
- Clinical signs
- Increasing levels of glucose in the blood
- Glucose in the urine
Normal blood sugar levels for humans are 80-120 mg/dl and can rise to 250-300mg/dl for people with diabetes. However, for diabetic dogs, blood glucose levels are higher and can rise to 400-600 mg/dl. Some diabetic animals will have extremely high blood glucose up to 800 mg/dl.
Treatment of diabetes in dogs
Diabetes in dogs can be treated but is most successful when caught early. Treatment depends on which type of disease is present and the specific characteristics.
Treatment options include insulin therapy, regular exercise, and adjusting to an appropriate diet.
Adjusting to healthy eating
Work with your veterinarian to develop an eating plan for your dog that most likely will include meals at set times and few or no treats. If your dog requires insulin injections, you will need to feed him before giving the shot.
Most vets recommend a high-fiber diet that easier to digest and helps stimulate insulin secretion. Increasing daily exercise also will improve your dog’s response to insulin treatment. Consult with your vet to determine the right amount of exercise for your diabetic dog.
Be sure to monitor your dog’s water intake to make sure he’s drinking enough but not too much water.
If you’re concerned your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t, you can take steps to make a dog throw up.
Diabetes comes from many different and complex causes. An appropriate diet and regular exercise, avoiding excessive weight or obesity, will help reduce diabetes risks.
Jane Abir has been a freelance writer for wewpet.com since 2019. In addition to her love for pets, she also loves music and participates in many social activities to donate to charity. Contact her by email at email@example.com.