Did you know that dogs can suffer from diabetes? Diabetes affects both dogs and humans in the same way, but it’s much easier to prevent or detect in your dog than in yourself. If you have any concerns about your dog’s health, one of the first things you should do is get him tested for diabetes.
There are many signs that may indicate that your dog has diabetes, and these are discussed in detail below. The good news is that some cases of diabetes can be reversed with proper treatment, so don’t let your dog suffer needlessly—get him tested today!
Dogs are just as likely to get diabetes as humans
Although diabetes is often thought of as a human disease, dogs are just as likely to get it. As with humans, there are a number of risk factors that increase the chances that your dog could develop diabetes.
One of these is obesity. Dogs that weigh too much have a greater chance of developing diabetes than those that do not. Similarly, dogs that eat too many calories or don’t exercise enough can also be at risk. But even if you keep your pet fit and trim, they may still be at risk if they have an inherited tendency towards diabetes.
This means you should always ask your vet about whether or not you should test your dog for diabetes before buying them any expensive toys or treats!
There is no cure
Once your dog has diabetes, there is no way to get rid of it. It is a lifelong disease. But that doesn’t mean your dog can’t live a happy, healthy life. Finding and treating diabetes early are important steps in keeping your pet around as long as possible.
Even if you’re only able to delay symptoms by a few years, that could be enough time for you to make some great memories with your pup. And who knows? Maybe he’ll even outlive you!
Signs of diabetes in dogs
Watch out for excessive thirst and urination, weight loss, increased appetite, fatigue, and irritability. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog on a regular basis, it’s time to get him tested. There are several ways to test dogs for diabetes, including blood tests and urine tests.
A simple blood test can help determine if your dog has diabetes by detecting high levels of glucose in his bloodstream; however, there is also an oral glucose tolerance test that can provide more specific results.
This test requires fasting your dog overnight before taking a sample of his blood first thing in the morning; then he will be given glucose via an IV drip. After two hours, another blood sample will be taken to measure how much glucose is present.
The results from both samples are compared and can help veterinarians confirm whether or not your dog has diabetes.
Both human and canine diabetes are treated with insulin, either in pill form or via injection. In some cases, the treatment also involves diet changes and/or exercise. If your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, you should work closely with your veterinarian to determine a treatment plan that best suits his or her needs.
Once a new routine is established, you should monitor your pet’s weight, appetite, and glucose levels on a regular basis to make sure he or she is maintaining an appropriate lifestyle. Be sure to consult your vet if any of these measurements start to rise unexpectedly; it could be a sign of infection or other complications.
Also, check with your vet if you notice increased thirst or urination in your dog—it could be another symptom of diabetes. A urine test can reveal excess sugar in your dog’s urine, which is one of the main symptoms of diabetes.
And while some dogs will show no signs at all when they have diabetes, others may experience excessive thirst and urination as well as fatigue, weakness, and lethargy.
How testing can save your dog’s life
While diabetes is often referred to as the silent killer, it doesn’t have to be. Routine blood tests can indicate if your dog has diabetes, a disease in which blood sugar levels become dangerously high. If caught early enough, diabetes can be managed and reversed; plus, there are plenty of ways to prevent it from happening in dogs who are at risk.
Learn about preventing and diagnosing diabetes today!
The most common form of canine diabetes is called insulin-dependent (IDDM) or Type 1 diabetes. This type is also called juvenile-onset because it usually starts when dogs are young—typically between one and four years old. Dogs that develop IDDM need to take daily insulin shots for life.
However, many diabetic dogs can go into remission if they receive proper treatment, which includes a diet low in carbohydrates and high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber. The second most common form of canine diabetes is non-insulin-dependent (NIDDM), also known as Type 2 diabetes.
NIDDM doesn’t require insulin injections but does require a special diet and exercise regimen to manage blood sugar levels. Both forms of diabetes have symptoms that include increased thirst, excessive urination, weight loss, lethargy, and poor coat quality.
If you notice any of these signs in your dog, talk to your veterinarian about testing him for diabetes. It could save his life!
Diabetes isn’t just a problem for dogs; cats can get it too. In fact, according to a study published in 2013 by researchers at Colorado State University, approximately 25 percent of diabetic cats were misdiagnosed with kidney disease before their condition was correctly identified.
Early detection is crucial for both dogs and cats because the sooner treatment begins, the better their chances of survival are.
How you can help reduce your dog’s risk
Because diabetes is so common in middle-aged dogs, it’s important to keep an eye out for symptoms. Speak with your vet if you notice any of these signs of diabetes, which are often mistaken for other ailments: Excessive thirst and urination, increased appetite, or fatigue.
Proper nutrition and exercise can also lower your dog’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes; it’s helpful to monitor your pet’s weight, as obesity makes dogs more susceptible to insulin resistance. If you think your dog might be diabetic, speak with a veterinarian immediately. Untreated diabetes can lead to kidney failure and blindness within just a few years.
But there is hope—diabetes can be managed through diet and exercise, helping dogs live long, healthy lives.