Like humans, dogs can also have diabetes due to malfunction of the endocrine glands. Heredity, obesity and certain medications cause diabetes at any age, breed or sex of dog.
Early diagnosis is very crucial. Diagnosing diabetes is done through a series of blood tests and urine tests. When pancreas fail to secrete the right level of insulin needed by a dog to utilize all of the glucose produced by the body, diabetes occurs. These tests are necessary to rule out other diseases that have similar symptoms to diabetes. Once diabetes is diagnosed in your pet, regular monitoring is necessary. Diabetes is of two types - diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus.
Diabetes insipidus is characterized by the lack of vasopressin (anti-diuretic hormone) which controls the kidney's absorption of water. Diabetes mellitus is often called “sugar diabetes” characterized by insulin deficiency. It is a condition where the dog's body can't metabolize sugar well. This is common and more dangerous and strikes 1 in 500 dogs. Diabetes mellitus is further divided into two groups:
Type I/ juvenile dog diabetes occurs during the early years of the dog's life. Type II diabetes is observed in senior dogs.
Dogs can also develop signs of poor skin and hair coat, liver disease, vomiting, weakness in the rear legs (diabetic neuropathy), secondary bacterial infections and dehydration. They can also develop a life threatening condition — ketoacidosis. A dog whose diabetes is not regulated will often become blind or have kidney problems develop as well. Diabetes can induce the abnormal flow of blood in your pet's body, thereby causing a range of circulatory complications. Diabetes can also lead to a variety of other diseases like heart ailments.
Your dog will probably be switched to a diet that is high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. This kind of a diet will help avoid elevations of glucose. Insulin therapy is done through injections that are given under the skin. Once the dog has been regulated on its insulin, he will be sent home with special feeding instructions and recommendations to lose weight. By losing weight; the dog may even be able to come off the medication at some time.
(The author is Managing Director & CEO at Provimi Animal Nutrition India Pvt Ltd. He can be contact at email@example.com)
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