Diabetes in dogs
Diabetes in dogs is the same as it is in humans in terms of physiology. It is a condition in which the body doesn't correctly produce or manage insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. Its job is to make sure the cells absorb glucose. The glucose is then turned into energy. When the cells cannot absorb the glucose, it collects in the blood. Too much is not a good thing and can cause a multitude of problems.
Senior dogs and overweight dogs have a higher chance of developing the condition than do younger, thinner dogs. Females also have a higher chance of developing diabetes than male dogs do.
Diabetes in dogs can be detected through some telltale signs and symptoms. These include increased thirst and urination. The untreated diabetic dog seems to never be able to drink enough water to quench their thirst. In turn, they need to eliminate more often and may even have accidents in the house. Often there is an accompanying increase in appetite resulting in a consumption of more food but not an increase in weight. They may even experience weight loss. A later sign is bad breath and vomiting. If your pet is exhibiting any of the symptoms you should make an appointment with a veterinarian for a definitive diagnosis and commencement of treatment.
Often the underlying problem is excess weight. Too much fat interferes with the action of insulin and can lead to the condition. The initial course of treatment may focus on weight reduction. Your dog may be prescribed a high fibre diet. This aids in treatment because, in addition to the weight loss it spurs, high fibre slows digestion. This slowing of digestion also slows the release of glucose into the bloodstream. The goal of treatment is to regulate glucose. An exercise program may also be suggested as a treatment tool. Insulin may also need to be given to your dog. This could be in the form of an oral medication or as an injection. You will also need to schedule regular vet checks for your diabetic dog.
The old dog often has to have modifications made in the way they live their lives. If diabetes becomes a problem, changes will definitely be in order. If you are diligent and persistent in keeping to the program prescribed, diabetes in dogs will not mean a change in your relationship with your pet.
Click here to return from Diabetes in Dogs to My Old Dog Homepage