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What You Should Know About Diabetes and Your Dog!

Posted Mar 09 2012 1:01pm

Thanks to our friends at  for this guest post on information you need to know regarding dental problems and your dog! 

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Diabetes not only affects humans, but dogs as well. Diabetes in dogs is known as Diabetes Mellitus, and will affect 1 out of ever 10 dogs. Canine diabetes usually strikes between the ages of 6 and 9 years old. It is actually known that female dogs are more susceptible to diabetes than males because of changes in their hormones.  

Insulin is produced in the pancreas and helps to control the levels of glucose in the blood. When a dog has diabetes, there is not enough natural insulin produced to slow the glucose production to the bloodstream.  It is important to catch diabetes as quickly as possible because you do not want the glucose levels to get too high. If this happens, glucose can leak into the kidneys and cause infections as well as infect other organs in the future.

There is no cure for diabetes in dogs, but it can be managed. If diabetes is left untreated, it can lead to serious illness, and even death.

Symptoms Of Diabetes In Dogs:

Symptoms of diabetes in dogs need to be caught early on top help prevent serious side effects and provide relief for your dog. There are 3 different forms of dog diabetes: Mellitus, Insipidus an Gestational diabetes. The most common of the three is diabetes Mellitus. All three forms of diabetes display similar symptoms. The most common symptoms of diabetes in dogs are the following: 

Excessive urination - If your dog frequently urinates throughout the day, especially more than he used to, it could be a symptom of dog diabetes. Increased urination is caused by excess glucose which is not processed normally, so your dog’s body will try to get rid of it by urinating. Frequent urination will also cause extreme thirst.

Weight loss/gain - Weight fluctuation may be caused by a few things. If your dog is losing weight, it may be cause of lack of activity due to lethargy. On the other hand, a diabetic dog may not be able to burn as much sugar as he should because of insulin deficiency. If you notice your dog’s weight changing and there are no probably causes for it, it could be a sign of diabetes.

Lethargy - Dogs are very active animals. If your dog seems to be low on energy or sleeping all the time, it is important that they are examined by a vet right away. Lethargy or excessive sleeping may be signs of other illnesses as well.

Cataract formation - The most common disorder to cause cataracts in dogs is diabetes mellitus. Cataracts are formed because of an increase in glucose concentrations. Cataracts in dogs can develop very quickly if the problem is not treated right away. Cataracts will usually affect both eyes. Usually they require surgical removal after a few months of treatment for diabetes.

Diabetic ketoacidosis - If symptoms of diabetes in dogs are not caught and treated fast enough, you dog may become ketonic. Diabetes ketoacidosis is when acids (or ketones) build up in the blood stream because sugar is not available for energy. Some symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis include:

  • Vomiting
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Weakness
  • Breath has an acetone-like odor

If your dog displays any of these symptoms, it is important to take him to the veterinarian immediately.

Treatment For Dog Diabetes: 

Once diabetes has been diagnosed in your dog, it is time to begin treatment. Your vet will likely begin a strict plan to best treat your dog’s case of diabetes. There are a number of different treatment options available. 

While diabetes cannot be cured, it can be controlled. IT is a lifelong process which includes a healthy balance of exercise, proper diet and medication. Supplements can also be given along with insulin to help control your dog’s diabetes and reduce any symptoms.

Insulin therapy - Depending on the level of diabetes your dog has, the amount of insulin needed is different for each dog. The size of your dog may depend on how frequent his dosage will be. There are several types of insulin available. Your vet will prescribe the best type for your dog.

Spaying females - Often times, owners will choose to have their dogs spayed after being diagnosed with diabetes. This is helpful because the reaction with insulin and level of other hormones, particularly progesterone, decreases after they have been spayed.

Spaying your dog will not only make it easier for owners to manage their dog’s diabetes, but also help to normalize insulin requirements.

Diet - The best way to control your dog’s diet is with a properly controlled diet. A good diet is beneficial because it decreases your dog’s dependency on insulin and helps control weight. Your veterinarian will have the best information regarding your dog’s case of diabetes and which diet will be most beneficial.

For more information about diabetes in dogs, treatment options and risks, as well as some home remedies, visit  



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