Dogs are prone to diabetes, just as humans are. In both species, the elevated levels of blood sugar interfere with the body’s ability to use glucose for energy or store it in skeletal muscle and other tissues. Dog diabetes can manifest in a variety of ways: from a mild increase in thirst/urination to a complete inability to move without assistance. For this reason, an observant dog owner may be able to spot the effects of diabetes before the animal is diagnosed by a veterinarian.
Dogs can develop diabetes as they age, and the condition is seen in 15 to 20 percent of older dogs. The causes of canine diabetes are unknown and there’s no way to know who will get it and who won’t. Some breeds appear to be more genetically predisposed than others, but this is far from certain. There are also chances that diabetes is related to obesity.
Dogs with diabetes may be either type I or type II. Type I is characterized by a great deal of insulin production and a lack of the protein-binding ability of normal. It’s simple enough to test a pet’s blood glucose level, but it’s important to make a note of the results. If your dog’s levels are consistently high, you should consult your veterinarian about the possibility that he has diabetes.
The signs of diabetes in dogs are often subtle — some may go unnoticed altogether — and knowing about them can help detect the problem early, or at least prevent it from progressing more quickly. In this article, we will discuss some signs that may help you detect early-stage diabetes in your pup.
7 Signs That Your Dog Is Diabetic
One of the main symptoms of diabetes in dogs is excessive thirst. There are also other common signs that are definitely worth looking into!
1) It’s Hard for Them to Walk or Jump Around
Diabetes can lead to a decrease in blood sugar levels, which means that the tissues cannot get the glucose needed to produce energy so they become weak and tire out quickly.
2) They Have Lost Weight Without Trying
Diabetic pets will often lose their appetite and lose weight gradually over time.
3) They Are Drinking More Than Usual
This is another symptom of decreased blood glucose levels. Pets will increase their water consumption to try to restore balance in their body. If you notice your pet drinking more water or urinating more, it might be time to make an appointment with the vet.
4) They Have Very Bad Breath and Urine
Pancreatic beta cells are responsible for producing insulin. These cells can be destroyed by the dog’s own immune system when it is fighting off infections. If this happens, the dog will begin to produce little or no insulin at all, which can lead to diabetes. When there is not enough insulin, glucose builds up in the dog’s urine, and their urine, as well as breath, starts to smell.
5) They Develop Sores on Their Feet and Legs
Diabetes affects the blood vessels and nerves in the dog’s feet and legs. They become swollen and painful.
6) Their Appetite Increases Every Day
A significant change in weight will require an examination by your veterinarian to check for any other problems such as hyperthyroidism, cancer, Cushing’s disease, or Cushingoid syndrome. If no other problems are detected, it is most likely diabetes.
7) They Are Getting Really Fat
When your dog drinks a lot of water, he will want to eat more food! Weight gain is a major symptom of diabetes in dogs. Vets can quickly diagnose obesity as a symptom of diabetes because it is easy for them to see that the dog has gained too much weight over such a short period of time.
If you have just adopted a puppy from a shelter, you should monitor your dog for any signs of diabetes. Many dogs in shelters have been exposed to viruses and disease. The dogs may develop diabetes as a result of these viruses. These dogs also usually have a high-stress level which increases the chances of contracting this disease.
A dog will not show symptoms all at once, so you may not notice them right away. This is why it is important to take your pet to the vet as soon as you detect something unusual happening. Make sure that you check your dog for all the signs before making an appointment because some symptoms can be mistaken for other diseases.
Complications As A Result of Diabetes
Diabetes can often lead to blindness, kidney failure, gangrene, and high blood pressure (hypertension). If left untreated, the condition often progresses to the point where the dog must be put to sleep. Because dogs with diabetes are more likely to develop other health problems because of low blood sugar, having diabetes is very stressful for them and their owners.
You might also be interested in How to Live With a Diabetic Dog?
Treatment Of Diabetes in Dogs
All dogs should be tested for diabetes by a veterinarian yearly beginning at about four years of age. This is even more important if your dog already has some health problems, such as difficulty breathing, eyesight problems, heart disease, and arthritis. The veterinarian will recommend a treatment plan after the diagnosis.
There are two types of diabetes: Type I and Type II. Dogs with type I diabetes produce little or no insulin. About 80 percent of dogs with diabetes have type I, and the condition responds well to treatment. Dogs with type II diabetes produce too much insulin. About 20 percent of dogs have this type of diabetes; it also responds to insulin therapy.
The goal is to control diabetes and not eliminate it. Once a dog has been diagnosed, daily insulin injections, along with diet and exercise changes, will usually need to be part of the regimen. You must check out our article ‘How to treat Diabetes in Dogs?’ for more information regarding the treatment of a diabetic dog.
Information about signs and symptoms of diabetes in dogs changes rapidly because new testing procedures result in new information being added regularly. It is important to get your dog tested if it is older than 6 years and to get the results of the tests back quickly so you can act on them.
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Now that you know the signs of diabetes in dogs, you will be able to tell when something is not right with your pet! For more information on Canine diabetes, check out other articles here.
Is your dog showing signs of canine diabetes? Have you noticed any of the signs in your pup that we have mentioned above? We would love to hear from you. Please share with our community by leaving a comment below!