What You Need to Know: Diabetes in Dogs
It's estimated that 1 in every 300 dogs will be diagnosed with diabetes at some point in their life. With some education and commitment, diabetic dogs can lead fulfilling and happy lives, but treating diabetes of any kind requires a real commitment from the dog owner. We understand that treating a diabetic dog can be challenging and that treating these dogs can cause a lot of pain and suffering.
In a diabetic dog or cat, the cells of the pancreas produce little or no insulin, and there is an abnormal reaction to the insulin produced. The dog's body cells cannot process it, so the amount of insulin produced is not sufficient. This is sometimes referred to as type II diabetes mellitus, but it is a delayed response to insulin release - the cells remain. In diabetic dogs and cats, all the tissues in their bodies are relatively insulin resistant and they cannot produce enough insulin or use the insulin they produce effectively. In diabetic cats and dogs with type I diabetes there are no delayed reactions to insulin production and the pancreas system functions as usual, except that in some diabetic dogs with type II diabetes some of their cells can produce insulin but their bodies cannot produce enough insulin.
Becoming comfortable with controlling your dog's blood sugar will ultimately reduce the cost of diabetes treatment and ensure that he gets safe and effective doses of insulin. Keeping his weight in check and making sure he has a good workout regimen is also a great way to help him be as healthy as possible. Steps to prevent diabetes in dogs will not only make them healthier but also save you the cost of treatments to keep your diabetes under control. Treating diabetes in dogs is also easier than in humans because dogs can eat the same food every day. However, a well digestible diet for dogs with a sensitive stomach can contribute to high blood sugar levels during eating, which is not good for diabetic dogs.
If your dog has diabetes, your veterinarian will teach you how to give injections and store insulin. Your dog will need to inject insulin, probably twice a day, to control his blood sugar. When and how often it should be tested for glucose levels depends on the individual dog, taking into account the type of insulin used and the age, weight, and other health conditions of the dog. In some cases, diabetic dogs may receive insulin injections for up to two weeks after diagnosis.
Diet can play an important role in treating this type of diabetes and should be used in medical treatment, but it will never replace medical care such as blood sugar control and insulin management. In order to stabilize the dog and prevent or correct the obesity that is often associated with early diabetes mellitus, dietary changes become important in stabilizing blood sugar levels and stabilizing insulin levels in dogs with type II diabetes.
Although many pet owners only take their dogs to the vet once or twice a year, it is important to know some of the most common symptoms of diabetes in dogs, as these can cause serious health problems. Treatment options for diabetes in dogs and cats vary depending on whether your dog has diabetes mellitus. For information on the treatment of diabetes mellitus, contact your veterinarian. Once your veterinarian has confirmed that your pet is suffering from some type of diabetes, he or she may draw up a personalized treatment plan.
A dog's life doesn't need to be over just because they have diabetes. They can live a normal, healthy, and happy life as long as they receive their proper medication and treatment!