Diabetes in Dogs: Keeping The Disorder Under Control
In the same way that millions of people cope with diabetes, so too, does the disease affect canines.
Specifically, the disorder is called diabetes mellitus (DM).
An insulin deficiency prevents your pooch’s body from metabolizing glucose effectively.
There are two varieties of DM: Type I and Type II.
The former is the most prevalent type (99% of dogs with DM suffer from this type) and occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin.
The latter occurs when insulin is manufactured but your pooch’s body isn’t able to use it properly.
In this article, we’ll describe the warning signs that may suggest your canine has developed diabetes mellitus. It’s a potentially life-threatening condition, so catching it early is critical. We’ll also explain how the disease is diagnosed and treated as well as what you can do at home to help your dog manage the disorder.
Possible Warning Signs
The most common symptoms of DM include a marked increase in the amount of water your canine drinks and as a result, the frequency with which he urinates. You might also notice that he is losing weight even though he maintains a strong appetite. Other signs include a general apathy or decrease in physical activity and the sudden onset of blindness.
Treatment After Diagnosis
The health of your pooch can decline rapidly once diabetes mellitus develops. His body’s inability to process glucose effectively can lead to severe dehydration and other health issues. It is important that you have a veterinarian perform a full physical exam if you notice any of the warning signs described in the section above.
The veterinarian will ask you about your dog’s eating routine as well as his elimination activity. You’ll also be asked to describe any changes in his weight and disposition. Then, a urine analysis is performed to identify possible infections and review glucose levels.
Once diabetes mellitus has been diagnosed, your veterinarian will teach you how to administer daily insulin injections for your pooch. He or she will also create a diet and exercise routine that will help your canine manage his weight. During the first several weeks of treatment, the amount of insulin administered will likely change. Most veterinarians prefer to start cautiously with small doses and increase them gradually.
What You Can Do At Home
Providing care for your dog involves administering daily insulin shots (sometimes, twice daily) as well as any other medications that your veterinarian has recommended. You’ll also need to be vigilant regarding your canine’s eating and exercise routine in order to ensure he maintains a healthy weight level. If your dog experiences an insulin overdose (he might seem weak or disoriented), give him food right away.
As noted, diabetes mellitus can be potentially deadly. However, once it has been diagnosed, you can help your dog live a healthy, happy, and problem-free life.
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Proper Methods For Coping With Pets With Diabetic Issues
Humans are not the only ones who can have diabetes. Cats and dogs can have it as well. Diabetes is a chronic disease where the level of sugar in the blood (hyperglycemia) increases beyond the normal value. The pancreas is a special organ that releases insulin, which, in turn, controls the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. Once the pancreas is damaged, it can no longer produce insulin, and this gives way for Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is when the pancreas is still able to produce insulin, but in very little amount below the body’s requirement. Cats are more susceptible to have diabetes than dogs.
Type 2 diabetes is more prevalent in pets than Type 1 diabetes. This is because of processed foods consumed by your pets which are usually high in fats and carbohydrates, and thus, giving you low values in terms of nutrients. Weakening of lower limbs is common among cats with diabetes, while cataract growth is seen with diabetic dogs. Around 90% of pets can acquire Type 2 diabetes. Symptoms of diabetes include extreme thirst, hunger, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Any behavioral changes in your pet can be alarming, so have a meeting with your vet to learn more about these changes.
To determine whether your pet is suffering from diabetes, laboratory tests are necessary. Obtain urine sample from your pet and use urine strip to determine the rate of sugar in urine. Blood can be extracted by pricking your pet’s ear or lip. You can use a special glucometer for pets to determine the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. However, never use human glucometer because results may be different. Human red blood cells are very much different from animal cells. So to acquire accurate reading of glucose in the blood, use pet glucometer.
Blindness can occur if diabetes in dogs is not controlled. Alternatively, cats can have leg paralysis if diabetes is not properly managed. Consult your vet about proper insulin injection as well as the correct storage of insulin. Insulin should not be frozen nor stored in room temperature; however, it needs to be refrigerated. By no means that, insulin is given in less or more than the allowed amount. In excess of insulin may cause very low blood sugar or hypoglycemia to your pets.
Diet and exercise are very important to diabetic pets. Avoid foods that have high content of carbohydrates and fats and provide foods that are rich in protein. Canned foods can be given, but check out the nutritional label. Commercially made diet foods are ideal than homemade foods. Although homemade foods can be given, be sure that it is not dry because dry foods contain a lot of carbohydrates and fats. In addition, do not overfeed your pets instead, follow frequent feeding but in small amounts only.
Always check with your vet what the proper diet for diabetic pets is when you decide to give them homemade foods. Also, ask all appropriate exercise for your pet, especially for obese pets. Observe for any signs of hypoglycemia such as lethargy, sleepiness, sweating, hunger, and shakiness. So, better be aware of the symptoms of both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia to prevent further complications.
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