Did you know that diabetes in dogs is on the rise? Diabetes is not as uncommon in pups as we would hope. About one in 300 of our canine companions have this dangerous disease. A Washington DC vet discusses diabetes in dogs below.
Just as with people, diabetes in dogs is associated with how the body produces and uses insulin. Like ours, dogs’ bodies use insulin to turn the glucose from our food into fuel for our cells to use as energy. If that process isn’t working properly, Fido’s cells won’t be fueled properly. This can cause some pretty serious health issues. There are two types of doggy diabetes: insulin-deficiency diabetes occurs when a pooch’s body doesn’t produce enough insulin. With Insulin-resistance diabetes, a pup may be producing insulin, but his body can’t process it properly.
Any dog can develop diabetes, and at any age. That said, there are things that contribute to the risk. Dogs in their golden years are more likely to be obese than puppies. Fido’s risks may also be higher if he has had certain illnesses or medications, is experiencing hormone imbalances, and/or is obese. Certain breeds are also predisposed. These include Schnauzers, Poodles, and certain snow dogs, such as Samoyeds and Huskies.
Keep an eye on Fido, and watch for signs of diabetes. An increase in water consumption is one red flag. Other things to look for are weight gain or loss, a dull coat, increased urination, and clouded eyes. Some pooches also develop ‘bottomless stomach’ syndrome, meaning that they are always hungry, no matter how much they’ve eaten.
Fortunately, thanks to advances in modern veterinary medicine, diabetic dogs can still lead full, happy lives. Good home care will go a long way here. Some dogs will need insulin injections, which you can administer yourself once you’ve learned how. Simply making sure that your canine companion is eating healthy, nutritious food is also crucial. Your vet may recommend low-fat meals and treats. Fido may also benefit from having some veggies, such as spinach, broccoli, or string beans, added to his food. It’s also important to be consistent with feeding times, portions, and treats. Proper activity is also crucial. Ask your veterinarian for specific advice.
Please reach out with questions or concerns about caring for a diabetic pup. As your Washington DC, we are here for you!