Canine diabetes is becoming increasingly common in dogs. While diabetes seems to affect obese dogs more often, there also appears to be a genetic link to the disease. For example, certain breeds seem to be predisposed to developing diabetes. Poodles, Schnauzers, Cairn Terriers, Dachshunds, Keeshounds, Beagles, and Cocker Spaniels are in the highest risk group for developing canine diabetes.
Canine diabetes is a serious disease wherein the dog’s body stops producing enough insulin or when certain cells become resistant to insulin. As a result of diabetes, affected dogs cannot properly regulate their blood sugar levels leading to a number of problems. While identifying the symptoms of canine diabetes seems easy enough, many of the symptoms are common for other diseases so you will need to visit a veterinarian for diagnosis. Nevertheless some of the most common symptoms of canine diabetes include:
- Increased urination
- Sudden changes in weight (weight loss or weight gain)
- Increased drinking
- Increased appetite
Through a series of blood tests that determine your dog’s ability to process sugar, your veterinarian will diagnose canine diabetes. Your veterinarian will likely want to check your dog’s sugar for glucose. Once a diagnosis of canine diabetes has been made, treatment is necessary. Left untreated, dogs suffering with diabetes will become very ill and die.
However, diabetes treatment in dogs is very straightforward and quite similar to human treatments. In extreme cases, your dog may require insulin injections, but in the beginning of treatment your veterinarian will recommend a strict diet and regular exercise. A diabetic dog should avoid fats and simple carbohydrates and move to a diet that is high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. Finally, your dog will require regular veterinary visits to ensure that his blood sugar levels are maintained at the appropriate levels.