Diabetes mellitus is a cross that not only we humans have to bear: It is estimated that one in 100 dogs suffers from type 1 diabetes. Find out here how dog owners can correctly recognize the symptoms and take the right action.Both dogs and cats can suffer from what is probably the best-known diabetes, but the symptoms are often easy to overlook. Read how you can recognize diabetes in your dog and how it can be treated.
Definition of type 1 diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases that involve a disorder or. have in common a dysfunction of the sugar balance in the body. In the healthy body, the main regulatory hormone insulin is secreted after food intake so that the sugar in the blood can be absorbed by the cells as fuel and converted into energy. In addition to an absolute or relative insulin deficiency, there may also be an attenuated effectiveness of the hormone. In dogs, however, only type 1 diabetes occurs: The pancreas stops producing the important messenger insulin, and a so-called "absolute insulin deficiency" occurs – meaning the cells lack the signal to absorb sugar from the blood. As a result, the blood sugar level is excessive, but the cells can no longer produce energy. The sugar is excreted unused through the urine and thus smells (and tastes) very sweet – which gave the disease the Greek name diabetes mellitus – roughly "honey-sweet flow.
The sudden stop in the production of insulin can have many causes and probably arises from the joint interaction of hereditary and environmental factors such as hormone disorders, pancreatic disorders, obesity and poor diet. Also concomitant diseases such as cataracts (clouding of the eye lens) or retinal changes can occur together with diabetes.
Recognize symptoms correctly
The symptoms of diabetes are often diffuse and only become apparent when the blood sugar balance is already dangerously tipped. It is better to visit the vet if your dog has..
– drinks much more and thus urinates more than usual. – wants to eat continuously, but at the same time loses weight. – poor wound healing. – the coat loses its luster. Animal debilitated. Becoming apathetic. – suddenly vomits, becomes dehydrated or unconscious.
If one or more symptoms appear in your dog, visit a veterinary practice as soon as possible. There, the sugar concentration in the blood and urine can be measured and relatively quickly clarified whether your suspicion is confirmed or not. Subsequently, further examinations are carried out with the aim of identifying the exact cause of the disturbed sugar balance. Female dogs and neutered male dogs as well as dogs of senior age and with significant overweight are most frequently affected; the dog breeds dachshund, poodle, beagle, miniature schnauzer, Labrador and golden retriever are also particularly at risk.
Untreated diabetes ends due to the inability of the organism to prdouzieren energy, mostly fatal. However, if the disease is diagnosed in time, most dogs can continue to live for many years without major restrictions if the veterinary instructions are followed correctly. Since the dog can no longer produce its own insulin, it must be supplied from the outside (usually by injection or injection). insulin pen) must be given at regular and precisely defined intervals. For this purpose, blood glucose levels must be checked at home using test strips or portable meters to ensure that the insulin dose set is appropriate for the dog – the more precisely the dose is matched to the individual dog, the higher the quality of life will increase. Physical changes require readjustment of the dose, therefore it is recommended to bring the animal suffering from diabetes to the veterinarian's office for regular check-ups.
In addition, a special diet and a stress-free environment are usually necessary to support the disturbed blood sugar balance. Vets usually recommend castration for female dogs, as the female sex hormones can seriously upset the blood sugar balance. Especially for overweight dogs, a healthy, species-appropriate diet and regular exercise are also enormously important.