Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Symptoms of diabetes in dogs

Diabetes in dogs is on the rise, but don't panic, the symptoms are similar to diabetes in humans and can be managed if diagnosed early.
Picture source : Teodoro S Gruhl

The most common type of Canine Diabetes is Diabetes Mellitus. This is caused by a lack of insulin which plays an important part in the body's sugar metabolism. Diabetes Insipidus, is a lack of vasopressin which controls water resorption by the kidneys. Diabetes Mellitus can be categorised as Type 1 or 2, most dogs will fall into the Type 1 category, which will require insulin as treatment.

The third type of Canine Diabetes is Canine Gestational Diabetes. This happens when a female dog is pregnant and her body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it produces correctly. The symptoms are the same symptoms as Diabetes Mellitus. Treatment is a variation of diet and exercise and in some cases insulin injections. Gestational Diabetes is a result of the pregnancy and in most cases, symptoms will cease after the dog gives birth.

Diabetes is basically caused by a lack of insulin.Normally, the pancreas manufactures its own insulin. Insulin is needed in order for the body's cells to accept glucose. Glucose is a sugar which is needed to provide fuel for energy. When the pancreas isn't functioning properly, it stops the production of insulin. This leaves your dog feeling tired and lacking energy.

EARLY WARNING SIGNS: If your dog is experiencing increased thirst, frequent urination and eating more while appearing to lose weight, they may be suffering from diabetes.

INCREASED RISKS: Diabetes may be hereditary or result from obesity and a poor diet. Middle aged to older dogs are more prone. Certain breeds appear to have a higher risk: Poodles, Daschunds, Cocker Spaniels and Beagles.

MORE SERIOUS SYMPTOMS: If diabetes goes unchecked, more serious symptoms can develop: depression, vomiting, rapid breathing and even death.

Many of the symptoms of diabetes can be confused with other health problems. If you suspect your dog has diabetes, it’s important to take them along to your local vet. Not only for your peace of mind, but for the comfort and safety of your pet. The veterinarian can do a simple blood test to confirm your suspicions. Diabetes can be managed with insulin, exercise and an appropriate diet. With a lot of love and a few lifestyle changes, your beloved dog can live for many more years to come.

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