Diabetes in dogs is a serious diseaseDiabetes mellitus is now considered the second most common hormonal disorder in dogs. Between 0.3 to 1 percent of domestic dogs have the disease. Our dogs can get diabetes just as we humans do.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the hormone insulin is missing or can no longer work properly. Not infrequently, the disease is promoted by a poor diet and obesity.
Diabetes must be monitored and treated throughout life, but is now considered to be well controlled.
What is diabetes mellitus and insulin?
The metabolic disease diabetes mellitus is often also called diabetes. It usually occurs in the second half of a dog's life. However, more and more often young animals are also affected.
The disease is observed four times more often in bitches than in males.
If a dog has diabetes, it lacks insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels. In a healthy dog the hormone is produced in the pancreas. Insulin is responsible for the glucose, which is taken up with the food, to get from the blood into the cells.
If insulin is missing, too much glucose remains in the blood and the blood glucose level rises. In the sick dog, either insulin is no longer produced or it no longer works in the body cells. How do type 1. Type 2 diabetes?Basically two different types of the disease are distinguished. Type 1 diabetes mellitus is diagnosed much more frequently than type 2 diabetes mellitus.
In diabetes mellitus type 1, the pancreas no longer produces insulin.
Type 1 develops just as in humans for various reasons. These can be a disorder of the immune system, a genetic predisposition or even infectious diseases. Hormonal imbalances, pancreatic disorders, poor nutrition and obesity are also common causes of the disease.
In diabetes mellitus type 2, the pancreas produces insulin, but the cells are resistant to it.
Diabetes mellitus type 2 is the most common form in humans. It occurs very rarely in dogs. Also the origin is not really clarified. It is also followed by an elevated blood glucose level.
Symptoms of diabetes in dogs
Some symptoms are very typical of diabetes. In most cases, the disease is manifested by excessive thirst and hunger. This results in a strong urge to urinate.
Even if your dog loses weight for no apparent reason, his strength decreases or wound healing is poor, these can be signs of diabetes.
If the blood sugar level rises sharply, this can lead to a life-threatening shock. Then the dog vomits. Loss of water leads to dehydration and drowsiness. These conditions can lead to coma. If the disease is not detected. If treated, it leads to the death of the animal. Therefore, always pay attention to your dog at the slightest signs. To be on the safe side, visit the vet.
In the practice, a possible diabetes disease can be easily clarified by a blood and urine test. Other examinations may be necessary in order to clarify the general condition of the animal.
Therapy for canine diabetes
If a dog has diabetes, it usually needs insulin for the rest of its life. In this case, as the pet owner, you have the task of injecting the dog with its daily amount of insulin and measuring the blood glucose level.
Today there are already medical accessories that are very easy to use and the veterinarian gives the appropriate instruction. The veterinarian will additionally check the values at regular intervals.
If the dog is overweight, it must follow an appropriate diet and sufficient exercise should be ensured. In the future you should keep the weight. Document the general condition of your pet. This allows changes or possible complications to be detected more quickly.
If the vet's instructions are followed, the dog will continue to have a good quality of life.
Unfortunately, secondary symptoms such as eye problems or urinary tract infections can always occur. These occur much more frequently if the therapy is not carried out consistently.
As a dog owner you cannot really prevent diabetes. The exact causes are not yet sufficiently known in dogs.