Signs for dog diabetes and how you can help!
We always want our pets to stay happy and active. And being a pawrent, we will do our best to keep our pets healthy forever. But there are some diseases that are not curable, like diabetes. If you think, diabetes is restricted to humans only, then you are wrong. Your dog can suffer from it too.
Canine diabetes is a serious disease and is constantly rising due to poor lifestyle and eating habits. As a pawrent, we try to buy everything excellent for our pups, but sometimes unintentionally, we give them food and treats that are harmful to their body. So, in this blog, let's discuss everything you need to know about diabetes and how to handle canines suffering from it.
What is canine diabetes?
Like humans, dogs get diabetes when they no longer produce insulin at a normal rate. Most canines suffer from Diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes. It is a chronic disease that is incurable but manageable. There are two forms of diabetes dogs are most prone to;
1) Insulin-deficiency diabetes
Your dog develops this form of diabetes when it does not produce enough insulin. It happens when the pancreas is harmed or not working effectively. It is the most common form of diabetes in canines.
2) Insulin-resistance diabetes
It occurs when the dog's body is not using the insulin the pancreas produces, because of which, glucose in the blood does not get absorbed by the cells. You might find elderly or fat dogs prone to this diabetes. A female dog might develop insulin resistance, when in heat or pregnant.
Signs your dog is diabetic
Diabetes can affect your dog at any age, but keeping in mind the symptoms of diabetes can help in early detection and treatment. When in doubt, it is always better to consult a vet for a proper diagnosis of the disease. You can look out for the following signs of diabetes in your pup;
1) Frequent peeing
If you see your dog nudging you to help, get out of the house, or his trips to the backyard have increased due to the frequent need to pee, it might be because the kidney can no longer filter glucose fast enough to keep it in the blood, leading to diabetes. Increased urination refers to polyuria and is the most common symptom of diabetes.
2) Drinking more water
Most often, pawrents think that their pup is urinating more because of drinking water, but in this case, it is quite the opposite. Your pup is drinking more water than usual because of excessive urination. As dogs urinate frequently, they become dehydrated leading to drinking more water. Drinking excessive water is known as polydipsia and is an early sign of diabetes.
3) Insatiable diet
Your dog might feel hungry more than usual as his body is not using the insulin the pancreas produces. The blood's glucose is not being properly absorbed by the cells. Because of the lack of insulin, the body can't perceive glucose and thinks it is starving, leading to your dog feeling hungry.
4) Losing weight despite eating
There are many conditions that lead to weight loss in dogs, but when your dog is losing weight despite having a normal appetite, it can be a sign of diabetes. The body will begin to break down muscle and fat to use proteins and fats in place of glucose, resulting in weight loss.
5) Cloudy eyes
Do you see a white cloud-like structure forming in your pup's eyes? It might be cataracts, the most common long-term complication seen in canines with diabetes. Water enters the lens and distorts the fibres, blocking light from passing through due to an imbalance of glucose in the eye fluid.
6) Poor coat & skin quality
Due to dehydration because of excessive urine, the haircoat of your pup will often start to lose its shine and thin out. When your puppy's body is not getting enough nutrients, the skin and hair coat might even have dandruff and dryness. With insulin shots, these conditions might improve.
7) Sudden vomiting
If you are witnessing your dog vomiting suddenly without any reason, it might be an alert to take him to a vet. Vomiting is not something that happens in uncomplicated diabetes. It happens when the blood sugar is very high, and little-to-no insulin is pulling the glucose to vital organs. You might even notice a change in the odour of your pup's breath at this stage.
8) Lethargy and losing interest
Your dog might become lazy as his body is deprived of the glucose it needs for energy when sugar is stuck in the blood and unable to reach the tissue. Your dog might become less interactive as he does not have energy. He might get tired more than usual and not enjoy his favourite routine activities.
How can you help your dog suffering from diabetes?
As mentioned earlier, there is no cure for diabetes, but you can manage diabetes in your pets. Diabetic pets usually require lifelong treatment with special diets, a good fitness regimen and at times, insulin injections. The key to managing diabetes is to maintain blood sugar levels normal, not too high or too low. Below are a few easy ways to help your dog suffering from diabetes;
1) Healthy and low-fat meals
A sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits are the most common causes of diabetes in dogs. You can prevent diabetes in your dog by feeding a healthy and well-balanced diet. Low-fat dog food is generally preferred. Obese dogs are more prone to diabetes, so make sure your dog gets enough exercise.
2) Healthy treats
Excessive sugary treats are harmful to your dog. Give your dog healthy treats that don't have any salt, sugar, seasonings, or preservatives to ensure your dog gets all-around nutrition, like Pawsindia Organics Raw Bites.
3) Time the meals appropriately
You are stabilising your pup's blood sugar level by feeding him at the same time each day and giving healthy treats between meals. This will help your dog keep insulin dosage consistent if he is on insulin.
4) Walking and Exercise
Regular exercise will also aid in weight loss and blood sugar control for your dog. It's important to exercise your dog every day for the same amount of time and with the same level of intensity. Due to a sudden change in exercise routine or strenuous activity, blood sugar levels might go too low.
5) Spay your female dog
Your veterinarian will advise having your dog spayed as part of the treatment if you have a female dog. This is because progesterone, a female sex hormone, can impair insulin's ability to function normally. Spaying your diabetic female dog is essential to remove the source of the generation of progesterone.
6) Avoid stressful situations
Just like humans get stressed with unwanted changes in the routine likewise, our dogs also get stressed. Dogs that are ill ought to be surrounded by a lot of affection and care. Try to keep your dog as calm as possible.
Though not curable, you can manage diabetes in your pup. Much of it has to do with lifestyle, just like with humans. Make sure your dog receives wholesome meals and plenty of exercise. You can always check out Pawsindia's collection of healthy dog food and treats. Take a sneak peek at our collection of interactive toys to keep your doggo happy and distracted and make their exercise session more fun.
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