Diabetes

Tips for Understanding Canine Diabetes

Just like humans, dogs can get canine diabetes mellitus. Dogs who gain weight and are between 5 and 9 years old are most at risk for developing diabetes mellitus. Female dogs that are not spayed are also at risk for diabetes. The progression of canine diabetes is very similar to human diabetes mellitus. The following tips will help you recognize the signs and symptoms of canine diabetes mellitus.

Just like humans, dogs can develop the same symptoms of diabetes, such as extreme thirst and frequent urination. If your dog loses weight it might have type 1 diabetes, and if your dog gains weight it may have type 2 diabetes. Your dog may lose interest in eating and become anorexic, or it may have an increased appetite. Some dogs are more prone to canine diabetes than other dogs; for instance, French poodles, Dachshunds, and other smaller breeds are at risk of developing diabetes at some time in their lives. Though canine diabetes is more prevalent in smaller breeds of dogs, larger dogs can also become diabetic.

It is important that you put your dog on a diabetic diet as soon as you get a diagnosis of canine diabetes. Your vet will advise you on how to feed your dog. It is likely that your vet will put your dog on a low fat, higher fiber and low carbohydrate diet. It is important that you do not give your dog extra foods and treats from the table. If you give your dog milk bones and other treats the calories should be worked into your dog’s daily caloric requirements. Your dog’s dietary requirements must be balanced with activity and insulin if prescribed.

Walking and playing with your dog is very important for him to stay well. Just like humans, dogs have to have their blood glucose levels within normal or near normal levels to be well. If their blood sugars stay out of balance your dog could become very sick. You will need to check your dog’s blood glucose levels with a glucometer and report any abnormal levels to your veterinarian.

If your dog is prescribed insulin, you will have to be diligent to stay on schedule with his insulin shots. Most insulin dependent dogs must have two shots of insulin per day. It is not difficult to give your dog insulin, and it isn’t going to hurt him. Let your veterinary professional teach you how to check your dog’s blood sugar. You will also need to be shown how to give your dog insulin. Your veterinarian may show you a little DVD instructional video or some literature on how to test for glucose levels, and prepare and administer insulin.

Some people think of having their dog euthanized when they find out their dog has canine diabetes mellitus. There is no reason to destroy a dog, just because they have diabetes. Just like people, dogs can have diabetes and still live out very happy and healthy lives. You, as a dog owner must be committed to monitoring your dog’s diet, and testing blood glucose levels with a glucose meter, and giving insulin as ordered.

As a dog owner, you should be aware of the signs and symptoms of high or low blood sugar. Some symptoms may be confusing, and some dogs have no symptoms at all, so it is important to test your dog’s blood glucose level at scheduled times, if indicated by your veterinary professional.

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