What is Canine Diabetes
September 27, 2011
Everyone wants the best for their pets. Of course, a happy animal is a healthy one, so it’s worth knowing what you can do if your dog suffers from health problems or diseases. One condition it is important to look out for is diabetes. This is a surprisingly common illness in canines, but knowing what to look for, and how to treat it, can mean a long and enjoyable life for your dog.
Diabetes is a disease which destroys the vital beta cells within the pancreas; these are necessary to produce the body’s natural insulin. With this insulin, the body will not function as it should. Canine diabetes will affect one in every 500 dogs; but if treated correctly this should not affect the dog’s quality of life, nor shorten its life span. Therefore it’s worth knowing how to spot the signs of diabetes, so that your pet can be diagnosed as quickly as possible, and begin receiving treatment.
Usually canine diabetes in found in middle age dogs, and predominately females. And some species are more prone to it than others. However, there are plenty of exceptions, and dogs can contract diabetes even in adolescence. If canine diabetes is left untreated, this can lead to serious disorders, such as weakness in the dog’s legs, dehydration and malnutrition, loss of eyesight, or even death. It goes without saying that it’s important to know what symptoms to look for. The most common signs are an increase in appetite and eating more whilst not gaining weight (even sometimes becoming thinner); and drinking more water than usual, followed by excessive urination. In addition, the onset of cataracts is often a sign of underlying diabetes.
While a diagnosis of diabetes in your dog can be distressing, it is easily treatable. As the body is not producing insulin, the main treatment of diabetes involves insulin therapy. For this you will be required to feed your dog twice a day, and injecting them with insulin after each meal. As diabetes can sometimes lead to other complications, like pancreatitis, a low-fat dog food, or fixed formula is usually a good idea. Of course, the exact requirements and dosage for each dog will depend on each individual animal, and your veterinarian can discuss the best way to treat your pet. As treatment is on-going, and can change if the dog’s condition alters, it’s worth looking into pet insurance as well. It’s quick and easy to get dog insurance quotes and will be inexpensive; and doing so should help cover the costs of your dog’s treatments.
Discovering your pet has a medical condition can be hard news to accept at first, but once your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes, it is easy to keep it under control. Through daily insulin doses, formulated food and following the advice of your veterinarian, your dog will be able to live a full, happy life.