Managing Canine Diabetes
Diabetes is no longer just a human problem, over the past thirty years, the incidence of diabetes in dogs have increased three-fold. Finding out your dog has diabetes can be frightening for any pet owner and will likely leave you with many questions and possibly leave you feeling powerless and overwhelmed.
The Pet Experts are here to help you and your pet navigate the path toward your dog’s wellness. With proper veterinary help and home care by a dedicated pet parent there is no reason why your dog can’t live a normal life with canine diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease of the pancreas that results when a dog either cannot produce insulin or has become resistant to insulin. Both situations cause blood sugar levels to elevate (hyperglycemia) which can create a host of health problems if left untreated.
The symptoms of canine diabetes manifest in the following ways:
- Excessive thirst/increased urination
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss
- Sweet or “chemical” smell to the breath
- Urinary tract infections
- Chronic skin infections
There are a variety of reasons a dog may wind up with a diagnosis of diabetes including genetics, obesity, chronic pancreatitis, and even certain medications. Making sure your dog is active and at a healthy weight will greatly reduce the likelihood of diabetes:
- Get your dog out for a walk, run, or game of fetch every day.
- If your time is limited, enlist the help of a friend, neighbor, or professional dog walking service to help your dog get his or her daily exercise
- Feed your dog a high quality dog food
- Do not give table scraps to your pup
- Offer cooked vegetables in lieu of treats
Although there is no cure for canine diabetes, it’s relatively simple and cost effective to manage, and need not shorten your pet’s lifespan. Working closely with your veterinarian and implementing a few dietary and lifestyle changes will go a long way toward helping your best pal to live a long, healthy life.
Once your dog’s diabetes is under control (this may require time spent in the clinic, depending on how advanced the disease is) your dog will most likely need daily insulin injections to help him or her regulate blood glucose levels. To keep the glucose levels stable, these injections will need to be given at the same time every day in conjunction with mealtime.
Obesity inhibits a normal response to insulin in the body, which makes weight management a critical component to your dog’s diabetes care plan. The Pet Experts will help you come up with a diet and exercise plan tailored specifically to your pup.
Don’t hesitate to give us a call if your dog is exhibiting any of the symptoms of canine diabetes.