What is canine diabetes?
Canine diabetes is a disease that makes your dog’s body unable to use the energy from food the way it’s supposed to be used. Your dog can eat nonstop and still not have enough energy to fuel body functions. It’s more likely to show up in older dogs, especially females.
When should we go to the vet?
If you suspect something isn’t right with your dog, a vet visit is always appropriate. If your dog has diabetes, you might see symptoms like
- extreme thirst
- extreme urination
- weight loss, even with increased appetite
- lack of energy
While these symptoms show up when a dog has canine diabetes, they can appear for other reasons. Your vet will help clarify and make a diagnosis so that you can get your dog feeling better again.
Is all canine diabetes the same?
If your dog has diabetes, there are a couple of types to be aware of. Depending on which one your dog has, your vet will help you come up with a treatment plan to help them feel better.
The more common form, insulin-dependent diabetes, is the condition in which your dog’s pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to allow the sugars from food to get processed. These dogs usually need insulin injections every day.
The other form, insulin-resistant diabetes, can sometimes be managed with weight loss and diet. Their pancreas produces at least some insulin, but the body doesn’t use it well, so the energy from food doesn’t get processed right.
According to Wikipedia, less than 1% of dogs suffer from diabetes. But if your dog is one of them, you’ll want to know what you can do to help your dog be more healthy. Read this post from AKC for more information about canine diabetes.
What can you do to help your dog live a healthy life?
Treating your dog’s diabetes is vital to their quality of life. Some of the steps you’ll need to consider are
- Insulin injections will most likely be necessary every day. You’ll have to give your dog the shots, but you can both learn to accept it as a daily routine.
- Check glucose levels either daily or as needed.
- Your dog will need to be on a specific diet that limits fats and has a good source of protein and complex carbohydrates so that their body will best use the food you give them.
- Exercise every day will help your dog’s body stay regulated.
With your attention and the right follow-up from your vet, your dog will most likely be able to live for years without any complications, even with canine diabetes. This disease is manageable, especially if you’re paying attention and take control of the situation.
Do you have a dog with canine diabetes or one that you suspect might have it? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.