Recognize and treat diabetes in dogs

Diabetes in dogs – causes, symptoms& TherapyDiabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease that occurs in dogs mainly in the second half of life, but can also affect younger dogs in some cases. A dog suffering from diabetes lacks the insulin necessary for lowering the blood sugar level or suffers from a so-called "insulin resistance", i.e. the body cells no longer respond to this hormone. If too little insulin is produced due to a limited function of the pancreas, or if production stops completely, the glucose from the blood cannot reach the cells to be processed there. The dog's blood sugar level is rising. The typical symptoms of diabetes mellitus occur.

Causes of diabetes mellitus

Diabetes in dogs occurs more often with overweight animals at. Female dogs, especially those that have not been spayed, are more frequently affected by this disease than male dogs. According to statistics, the disease particularly affects dogs of the breeds Beagle, Dachshund, Golden Retriever, Miniature Pinscher, Labrador Retriever, West Highland White Terrier and Tibetan Terrier.

Diabetes types

There are two main types of diabetes in dogs: Diabetes mellitus type 1 and diabetes mellitus type 2. A type 1 diabetes develops due to the interaction of various factors such as genetic predisposition, a disorder of the immune system or due to infectious diseases. Hormonal disturbances, wrong nutrition, overweight and diseases of the pancreas can also be the cause of this form of diabetes in dogs. Diabetes from type 2 Occurs relatively rarely in dogs. In this form of the disease, insulin is produced in the pancreas, but the body cells are not able to recognize the insulin (insulin resistance).

Around one percent of dogs and cats in Germany are affected by this metabolic disease. While humans and cats usually suffer from type 2 diabetes, most dogs have type 1 diabetes. A special form is the Type 3 diabetes. This is triggered by other underlying diseases such as Cushing's disease or hypothyroidism. Also the heat or. Gestational diabetes is classified as secondary diabetes.

Recognizing and treating diabetes in dogs


A diabetic dog, for example, is on excessive hunger and thirst and can be recognized by frequent urination, weight loss, poor wound healing and general debilitation. Insulin levels that are too low can lead to a life-threatening metabolic derailment called ketoacidosis. This is manifested by loss of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, apathy and even coma. Therefore, a veterinarian should be consulted even with slight symptoms. With long-lasting diabetes a clouding of the eye lenses, thus a so-called cataract, can develop with the dog.

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