Diabetes is quite common in dogs. The severe metabolic disease is characterized by a sharp increase in blood glucose levels, which has earned it the popular name diabetes.
How diabetes develops in dogs and how the metabolic disorder becomes noticeable, you will learn below. In addition, we explain what treatment options are available and what a disease of diabetes means for the life expectancy of your dog.
Diabetes in dogs: what is it actually??
Diabetes is a metabolic disease that leads to a disturbance in the regulation of glucose levels in the blood. Normally, the hormone insulin is responsible for transporting glucose from the blood to the cells.
However, in dogs with diabetes, this does not work, causing blood sugar levels to rise sharply, leading to numerous symptoms. Mostly older dogs are affected by diabetes, while the disease is rather the exception in young animals.
Diabetes can occur in two different forms. Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin. In type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, there is always enough of the hormone available. However, there is a so-called insulin resistance, so that the necessary regulation of the glucose level does not occur. Dogs usually suffer from diabetes type 1.
How diabetes occurs in dogs?
Why dogs get diabetes has not yet been clearly explained. However, it is believed that the disease is caused by a combination of factors. Besides disorders of the immune system, infectious diseases, obesity and hormonal disorders are among the risk factors.
Apart from this, pancreatitis in dogs can probably also contribute to the development of diabetes. In addition, certain breeds are more prone to diabetes due to a genetic predisposition.
The following dog breeds, for example, are affected by diabetes more often than average:
– Beagle – Dachshund – Golden Retriever – Labrador – Maltese – Pug – Miniature Poodle
How to recognize diabetes in dogs?
Diabetes is noticeable in dogs through a variety of symptoms. How severe the symptoms actually are, however, depends on the severity of the disease.
The symptoms that diabetes can cause in dogs include:
– Excessive thirst – Frequent urination – Problems with wound healing – Fatigue – Weight loss despite normal food intake – Cataract
If diabetes in dogs is not recognized and treated in time, the metabolic disorder can, in the worst case, even lead to a life-threatening shock.
How does the vet diagnose diabetes in dogs?
If you are concerned that your dog is suffering from diabetes, you should consult a vet immediately. This will measure the fasting glucose level in your four-legged friend. Follow up with a glucose tolerance test. With this the veterinary can control whether your dog can regulate the glucose level in his blood.
If the blood glucose level has not reached its original baseline value even two hours after administration of a sugar solution, there is a strong suspicion that your dog actually has diabetes.
For a final diagnosis, the vet will measure the ketone bodies and the protein/creatinine ratio in the dog's urine.
How to treat diabetes in dogs?
If your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, you can expect to have to inject him with insulin every day. The vet will adjust the dose exactly to your four-legged friend. He will also explain to you how to give the injection correctly, so that the procedure will soon no longer be a big problem for you and your dog.
If your dog suffers from diabetes due to a previous illness, it is of course also important to counteract this with the appropriate treatment measures.
What is important in the diet of dogs with diabetes?
The administration of insulin is basically only a part of the measures necessary for the treatment of diabetes in dogs. In addition, it is almost as important to avoid excessive blood sugar fluctuations by changing the diet.
We recommend for dogs with diabetes a change to favorite menu from Bellfor. The grain-free wet food for dogs contains neither artificial additives nor additional sugar. Instead, it provides your diabetic four-legged friend with fresh fruit. Vegetables as well as with an adequate amount of animal proteins from food-grade ingredients.
If you would like to give your diabetic dog a treat in between meals, we recommend our high-quality dried meat. The little treats do not contain sugar. This makes them very low in carbohydrates. Also a good choice for dogs with diabetes.
Is diabetes in dogs curable?
The earlier diabetes is detected and treated in your dog, the more likely it is that major limitations in terms of quality of life can be avoided. However, a complete cure is the exception.
In most cases, diabetes in dogs requires lifelong treatment with insulin and a permanent diet with a suitable food such as Bellfor favorite menu.
If you consistently follow the instructions of your veterinarian, you can normally look forward to a few happy years with your dog.
Can you prevent diabetes in dogs?
Because the triggers are not yet clearly understood, it is not possible to reliably prevent diabetes in dogs. However, since there seems to be a connection between diabetes and obesity, we recommend that you feed your dog according to his needs and that he get enough physical activity.
Avoiding obesity can also reduce many other health risks, such as the likelihood of joint disease.
If your dog is already overweight, we recommend a moderate reduction in the amount of food and supplementation with Shiimun Slim. Shiimun Slim is our natural diet powder for dogs, with which you can reliably support the diet of your four-legged friend.
Our conclusion on diabetes in dogs
As you can see, diabetes is a serious disease that can have serious consequences for your dog. However, a prompt diagnosis and consistent treatment, which includes not only the daily administration of insulin but also a change to a suitable food, can usually counteract the consequences of diabetes quite well and largely maintain the quality of life in affected dogs.
Regardless of this, for the sake of your dog, you should always try to avoid overweight and make sure that your dog gets enough exercise and a balanced diet with a high-quality dog food, such as you will find in the Bellfor range. This can help to at least somewhat reduce the likelihood of your dog developing diabetes.