Diabetes in dogs

Diabetes in dogsIs your dog always urinating? Does your dog drink water more often these days? Does your dog have a cataract or is she going blind? 

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, please have your dog checked by the veterinarian immediately. 

Your dog may have diabetes which can lead to coma or death if not treated. 

Diabetes in dogs
Panchito, furbaby of Portia Carlos, is still a puppy and being trained to eat dry dog food. No table food is given to Panchito to prevent illnesses. 
A dog has to produce insulin and use it normally to prevent the sugar level from going up.

An elevated sugar level leads to hyperglycemia.

If the hyperglycemia is left untreated, a dog can develop more complicated health problems.

“Diabetes in dogs is a complex disease caused by either a lack of the hormone insulin or an inadequate response to insulin. After a dog eats, his digestive system breaks food into various components, including glucose—which is carried into his cells by insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas,” the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA ) said.

The good news is diabetes is a disorder that can be managed. Many dogs with diabetes enjoy a happy, healthy life.

There are two kinds of diabetes:

1. Type I (lack of insulin production)

2.Type II (impaired insulin production along with an inadequate response to the hormone).

Type I is the one more common in dogs.  This happens when the pancreas can not produce or secrete adequate levels of insulin. Dogs with Type I diabetes need insulin therapy to survive.

Symptoms in Dogs

The ASPCA said the following signs show that your dog may be diabetic:

· Change in appetite

· Excessive thirst/increase in water consumption

· Weight loss

· Increased urination

· Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath

· Lethargy

· Dehydration

· Urinary tract infections

· Vomiting

· Cataract formation, blindness

· Chronic skin infections


“The exact cause of diabetes is unknown. Autoimmune disease, genetics, obesity, chronic pancreatitis, certain medications and abnormal protein deposits in the pancreas can play a major role in the development of the disease, “ASPCA said.

Dogs Prone to Diabetes

· Obese dogs and female dogs may develop diabetes later in life (6-9 years of age).

· Australian Terriers, Standard and Miniature Schnauzers, Dachshunds, Poodles, Keeshonds, and Samoyeds are more prone to develop diabetes.

· Juvenile diabetes is possible and can also develop particularly in golden retrievers and Keeshonds.

How to diagnose diabetes

Your vet will do the following:

1. collect information about clinical signs;

2. perform a physical examination;

3. check blood work; and

4.  have a urinalysis done.

How to treat diabetes

· Each dog responds differently to therapy. Treatment will depend on the signs and on other health issues present in the dog.  

· Some dogs may be seriously ill when first diagnosed. They will need intensive hospitalized care for several days to regulate their blood sugar levels.

· Dogs who are stable or not so sick when first diagnosed may respond to oral medication or a high-fiber diet that normalizes glucose levels in the blood

· For most dogs, insulin injections are needed for adequate regulation of blood glucose. When your pet’s individual insulin treatment is established, typically based on weight, you will be shown how to give him his insulin injections at home.

· Spaying is good for a dog because female sex hormones can have an effect on blood sugar levels.

“As your veterinarian will explain, it’s important to always give your dog insulin at the same time every day and feed him regular meals in conjunction with his medication; this allows increased nutrients in the blood to coincide with peak insulin levels. This will lessen the chance that her sugar levels will swing either too high or too low. You can work with your vet to create a feeding schedule around your pet’s medication time. It is also important to avoid feeding your diabetic dog treats that are high in glucose. Regular blood glucose checks are a critical part of monitoring and treating any diabetic patient, and your veterinarian will help you set up a schedule for checking your dog’s blood sugar,” the ASPCA stressed.

How to prevent diabetes

Proper diet and regular exercise can help prevent diabetes among dogs.

“Aside from other negative effects, obesity is known to contribute to insulin resistance,” ASPCA said.

 “Although a certain form of diabetes—the type found in dogs less than a year of age—is inherited…” ASPCA  added.

If you suspect your dog has diabetes, please bring your dog to the vet immediately.

“If a diabetic dog is not treated, he can develop secondary health problems like cataracts and severe urinary tract problems. Ultimately, untreated diabetes can cause coma and death,” ASPCA warned.

Topics: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals , pets , dog , diabetes
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