Canine Diabetes is quite common in dogs and can be as heart-breaking as diabetes in humans. Most dogs with diabetes are between seven and ten years of age, when the diagnosis is made. Canine diabetes may be developed by dogs who are just 18 months of age.
Surprisingly, around 70% of dogs with diabetes are females. Although, any dog breed can be affected but miniature schnauzers, dachshunds, poodles, springer spaniels, cairn terriers and a bunch of other dog breeds are at an increased risk. Interestingly, dogs with diabetes can live a life that is close to normal with support from their human pals. Read on to know more about this type of diabetes and its various aspects.
Table of Contents
- Signs of Canine Diabetes
- Risk Factors for Canine Diabetes
- Breeds that May Develop Diabetes
- Prevention of Canine Diabetes
- Treatment for Canine Diabetes
- Common Complications Due to Diabetes in Dogs
Signs of Canine Diabetes
The most common signs of canine diabetes are:
- Increased Thirst and Frequent Urination: Diabetic dogs drink a lot and urinate even more.
- Increased Hunger: Your dog will be hungry most of the times because his body cells don’t have access to glucose.
- Weight Loss: Your dog will experience weight loss because his cells can’t utilize sugar without adequate insulin. Hence your dog will start burning away body tissue to produce glucose.
- Vomiting: Your dog might vomit a lot if he or she also has pancreatitis.
- Weakness or fatigue: If you observe these symptoms in your dog, you should get a vet test for diabetes before his diabetes worsens.
However, knowing what may lead to diabetes in dogs can surely help in preventing it. So, let’s learn about risk factors.
Risk Factors for Canine Diabetes
Below are few risk factors for canine diabetes.
- Breed or genetic factors
- GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
- Metabolic syndrome
Certain dog breeds are more vulnerable to develop canine diabetes. Let’s see which breeds are most prone to develop diabetes.
Breeds that May Develop Diabetes
Few dog breeds are more vulnerable to develop diabetes. But it is important to note that canine diabetes isn’t confined to just these breeds. Any dog may get canine diabetes.
- Alaskan Malamute
- Chow Chow
- Cairn Terrier
- Doberman Pinscher
- Finnish Spitz
- Golden Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Hungarian Puli
- Labrador Retriever
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Miniature Pinscher
- Old English Sheepdog
- Springer Spaniel
- Tibetan Terrier
- White Terrier
Prevention of Canine Diabetes
Let’s learn how we can prevent diabetes. For preventing diabetes in dogs, follow these recommendations.
- Eliminate all the processed foods such as kibble and canned foods.
- Eliminate both sugar and starch like kibble and starch-containing foods.
- Feed your dog a moderate protein, moderate fat, low carbohydrate diet and high fiber diet.
- Reduce weight by increasing your dog’s physical activities.
- The most crucial factor is that your dog should like his food and eat it happily every time.
- Exercise your dog for 20 to 30 minutes before his evening meal.
- Reduce stress. You may exercise your dog and may also consider flower essences and certain calming herbs.
- Minimize vaccinations. This might somehow prevent your dog from canine diabetes.
Follow the above-mentioned recommendations to keep your dog diabetes-free. If your dog has already developed canine diabetes, these guidelines may also help manage his condition and reduce need for insulin. Let’s learn how canine diabetes can be treated.
Treatment for Canine Diabetes
Diagnosing canine diabetes and treating it are both possible and easy to do. With that said, canine diabetes is a treatable illness and dogs with it can lead normal, high-quality lives. Almost all dogs with diabetes require insulin therapy. Similar to humans, the insulin is administered through injections. Most of these diabetic dogs require this insulin dose twice daily.
It is worth mentioning that almost all dog owners are capable enough of properly administering insulin to their diabetic dogs. The needles used in the process are very small, thereby making injections quite pain-less and comfortable.
There are various types of insulin available, your veterinarian will help you with what type is most appropriate for your dog. Insulin must be refrigerated and mixed gently before administration to your dog. You must also make sure that you have properly disposing off used insulin syringes.
Let’s now discuss what health complications may arise if you don’t manage your dog’s diabetes.
Common Complications Due to Diabetes in Dogs
Here are few health complications due to diabetes:
1. Diabetic Nephropathy:
It is a kidney problem that occurs in around 40 percent of human diabetics. While the percentage of canine patients who suffer from diabetic nephropathy is unknown, it is even more common in cats. Its earliest symptom is hyperalbuminuria and hypertension (high blood pressure). All of these may contribute to eventual kidney damage.
Certain infections especially urinary tract infections (UTIs) are quite common in dogs with canine diabetes. To detect these UTIs in dogs with diabetes, their urine is cultured periodically and detected for infections. If needed, antibiotics can be administered.
3. Liver (Hepatic) Disease:
Liver disease is another common problem that might result from diabetes. In a survey of 221 dogs with diabetes, almost 70 percent of them had increased liver enzymes.
4. Cushing’s Disease:
Hyperadrenocorticism or Cushing’s Disease is another health complication. In one major study, around 23 percent of dogs with diabetes had Cushing’s disease. At-least 10 percent of dogs who suffer from Cushing’s disease also have canine diabetes.
Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid may result in diabetes. In the studies mentioned above, around 9 percent of dogs with diabetes had hypothyroidism. Nevertheless, thyroid hormone deficiency may also result in worsening of insulin resistance.
It is therefore important to manage your dog’s canine diabetes effectively.
Any dog may develop canine diabetes, but certain breeds are more prone to developing diabetes. You should be aware of the classical signs and symptoms of diabetes so that you it is possible to detect diabetes earlier. Canine diabetes may also lead to certain health complications including kidney diseases and Cushing’s disease. All this makes it important to manage diabetes effectively.
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