Diabetes is one of the chronic diseases that commonly affects not only us, humans, but also our four-legged best friends. Diabetes mellitus, also known as sugar diabetes, is a rather common type of disease found in canines. It occurs when the dog’s pancreas fails to produce enough insulin which results for the pet’s blood glucose or sugar level to rise. All dogs are known to be susceptible, although some breeds are particularly predisposed because of genetic factors. Female dogs are more at risk of diabetes as compared to males, especially those that have not been spayed yet.
What You Need to Know about Canine Diabetes
Early symptoms of canine diabetes include a dog’s tendency to drink lots of water and urinate frequently, as well as to eat more than usual but still lose weight. Signs of later stage diabetes include vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, lethargy, and cataracts. In serious cases, Fido’s breath might even smell like a nail polish remover. If this disease is left untreated, it will eventually affect all of the dog’s organs and result in life-threatening neurological disorders.
Watch out for these symptoms of diabetes and consult your vet at its very first sign. He/she will most likely do urine tests and several blood tests to determine Fido’s blood sugar levels. Once this health issue is diagnoses, follow your vet’s treatment instructions carefully. While there remains no cure for diabetes, bear in mind that this can be managed successfully, thereby giving Fido a chance to still live a long and healthy life.
Ways to Manage Diabetes in Dogs
1. Use of insulin injections. One way to control diabetes in dogs is by having him injected insulin every single day in order to restore his insulin level and then regulate his blood sugar concentrations. Work with your vet to find out the suitable insulin product, appropriate dosage, as well as the treatment regimen for Fido as each diabetic dog’s requirement varies. Since your pooch might have to be injected with insulin on a daily basis, then you will most likely have to learn how it should be administered.
2. Constant monitoring. Keeping an eye on your furball’s blood sugar level is crucial in managing diabetes. Due to the fact that each diabetic dog is not the same, your vet will have to help you in choosing which monitoring device (e.g. blood sugar meters or urine glucose/ketone test strips) will work best for you and your pooch.
3. Strict diet and regular exercise. Diet also plays a very important role when it comes to the successful management of diabetes. The disease should be regulated with appropriate diet so Fido needs to be fed exactly the same kind of food regimen daily at the same time(s) of the day. A diabetic’s meal should be a source of low-fat, good-quality protein, dietary fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Your vet can certainly recommend a kind of diet that is best suited to the needs of your pooch. In addition, routine exercises are essential in keeping Fido not only active, but healthy and happy as well. This should be controlled though, for physical activity has a major impact in your dog’s blood sugar concentrations. Just ask your vet for the safe and acceptable exercise schedule.
4. Timely check-ups. Consulting your vet for regular check-ups is vital in identifying changes in Fido’s condition. Always remember that diabetes is a tricky disease. It can affect your pooch in different ways as the months or years go by; even when a long period of stability has elapsed. With a chronic health issue like diabetes, it would be best to stay in touch with your vet closely for successful management.