Diabetes mellitus is now the second most common hormonal disorder in dogs. Between 0.3 to 1 percent of domestic dogs are affected. Our dogs can get diabetes just like us humans.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the hormone insulin is missing or no longer able to work properly. It is not uncommon for the disease to be promoted by poor diet and obesity.
Although diabetes has to be observed and treated throughout life, it is now considered manageable.
What are diabetes mellitus and insulin?
The metabolic disease diabetes mellitus is often also called sugar disease. It usually occurs in the second half of the dog’s life. However, young animals are also increasingly affected.
The disease is observed four times more frequently in bitches than in males.
If a dog has diabetes, it lacks insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels. In a healthy dog, the hormone is produced in the pancreas. Insulin is responsible for getting the glucose that is ingested with food from the blood into the cells.
If there is no insulin, too much glucose remains in the blood and the blood sugar level rises. A sick dog either no longer produces insulin or no longer works in the body’s cells.
How do type 1 and type 2 diabetes differ?
There are two different types of disease. Type 1 diabetes mellitus is diagnosed much more frequently than type 2.
In type 1 diabetes mellitus, the pancreas no longer produces insulin.
Just like in humans, type 1 develops for various reasons. These can be a disorder of the immune system, a genetic predisposition, or infectious diseases. Hormone imbalances, diseases of the pancreas, poor diet, and obesity are also common causes of the disease.
In type 2 diabetes mellitus, the pancreas produces insulin, but the cells are resistant.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is the most common form in humans. It is very rare in dogs and its origin has not been explained. There is also an elevated blood sugar level.
Symptoms of diabetes in dogs
Some symptoms are very typical of diabetes. In most cases, an illness manifests itself through excessive thirst and hunger. This results in a strong urge to urinate.
If your dog is losing weight for no apparent reason, is losing strength, or has poor wound healing, these can also be signs of diabetes.
If the blood sugar level rises sharply, this can lead to a life-threatening shock. Then the dog vomits. Water loss leads to dehydration and lightheadedness. These conditions can lead to coma.
If the disease is not recognized and treated, it will lead to the death of the animal.
Therefore, always pay attention to your dog at the slightest sign and visit the vet to be on the safe side.
In practice, a possible diabetes disease can be easily clarified with a blood and urine test. Other examinations may be necessary to clarify the general condition of the animal.
Therapy for canine diabetes
If a dog has diabetes, it usually needs insulin for the rest of its life. In this case, as the pet owner, you have the task of injecting the dog with its daily amount of insulin and measuring the blood sugar level.
Today there are already medical accessories that are very easy to use and the veterinarian gives the appropriate instruction. The veterinarian will also check the values at regular intervals.
If the dog is overweight, it must be on an appropriate diet and sufficient exercise should be ensured. You should document the weight and general condition of your pet in the future. This allows changes or possible complications to be identified more quickly.
If the veterinarian’s instructions are followed, the dog will continue to have a good quality of life.
Unfortunately, side effects such as eye problems or urinary tract infections can occur again and again. These occur much more frequently if the therapy is not carried out consistently.
As a dog owner, you cannot prevent diabetes. The exact causes are not yet sufficiently known in dogs.
However, with a healthy and balanced diet, you can help prevent the dog from becoming overweight.
Frequently Asked Question
What is the cost of insulin for a dog?
In addition, there are costs for hormone preparation. 10 milliliters of insulin cost about 100 euros. The four-legged friends need two injections a day. In addition, more frequent visits to the doctor must be taken into account in the initial phase.
How long can a dog live on sugar?
If your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to adjust its lifestyle and diet accordingly. Although diabetes cannot be cured, a normal dog life with this disease is possible. However, he will probably need daily insulin injections.
How do dogs react to diabetics?
The diabetic alert dog warns its diabetic by, for example, nudging them or putting its paw on them. How the diabetic alert dog indicates an imminent hypo or hyperglycemia is already innate and does not have to be trained first. This natural ability is encouraged in training.
Can dog diabetes be cured?
Type 1 diabetes cannot be cured. The treatment must be lifelong. Through the therapy, the dog receives the insulin it needs and can lead a completely normal dog life. In type 2 diabetes, which is less common in dogs, treatment can improve cells’ resistance to insulin over time.
What should a dog with diabetes not eat?
Dogs with diabetes should never eat high-fat dog food (or treats). This puts additional strain on the liver.
When should dogs inject insulin?
If your dog hasn’t eaten his meal or sorted out the carbs, only inject him with half the normal dose of insulin to keep him from hypoglycemia. You usually inject 20 to 30 minutes after eating. This is the so-called feed-spray distance.
What lowers blood sugar in dogs?
If the dog has diabetes, it needs insulin for life. After the veterinarian has created a daily glucose profile from the blood, the correct dosage of insulin can be administered in the form of injections under the skin.
What to cook for the dog with diabetes?
High-quality dog food for diabetes mellitus (diabetes) In the case of a diabetic dog, animal protein sources should not only be of good quality but also easily digestible. These include in the particular beef, liver, and lean fish.