Although our beloved canine pets are physically different from us, unfortunately there are some diseases we share with them and diabetes is one that we must deal with. Fortunately we can also share the treatments which we can give them for a good quality of life.
What are the symptoms of diabetes in dogs?
Detecting the disease is not so difficult. The first thing we observe is that they drink a lot of water (polydipsia), every so often and therefore they urinate too much (polyuria) and everywhere. What constitutes an imminent danger of dehydration.
The other aspect to take into consideration is the high consumption of food, if they are constantly eating or letting you know that they are hungry and even though you give them plenty of food they do not get fat (polyphagy).
But perhaps the symptom that worries us the most is when we see our dog lying down without wanting to play or carry out any activity (lethargy). These three symptoms together are evidence that we should seek help from our trusted vet.
What is diabetes?
Let’s start by saying that canine diabetes is a change of the endocrine system. Let’s first explain the process to see what happens in our dog’s organism.
By ingesting food, it disintegrate in the stomach through gastric juices, becoming nutrients and diluting enough to be transported to the body. Among the components that disintegrate and compose are carbohydrates which are converted into simple sugars where we can find glucose (sugar).
At this point, the villainous organ that generates diabetes: the pancreas, has the function of releasing a substance called insulin which converts glucose into fuel in the cells of our pet’s body.
In other words, glucose is “the gasoline” of the body, it is used by the body to repair body tissues, digestion, cell multiplication and other vital functions.
The problem comes when the pancreas does not generate enough insulin, therefore glucose will not be able to enter the cells for them to do their job. In reaction, the body begins to store high concentrations of glucose in the bloodstream.
Let’s see what happens in detail; cells are unable to detect glucose and insulin tells the body to produce more glucose and then the vicious cycle of storing sugar in the bloodstream begins and causes the body to burn more fat and protein to produce more glucose and this ends up filtering into the urine, passing through the kidneys and dragging a large amount of water with it.
Types of canine diabetes
By burning fat and protein in large quantities, the body accumulates toxic substances in the blood, generating two types of canine diabetes.
Type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes:
This is one is where the pancreas does not originate enough insulin. In this degenerative typology, insulin injection is necessary for life to control the disease.
Type 2 or non-insulin-dependent diabetes:
They also call it: insulin resistant diabetes. In this one the pancreas originates enough Insulin but the cells cannot locate it and it is not able to use it or it may happen that the pancreas generates insulin but not in the amount required by the body. This type of diabetes is the most common in older and obese dogs.
In both cases of diabetes, the impact on the dog’s body is negative. Accumulation of sugar in the blood and cells without being able to use it for its operation.
But there are also factors that can trigger or develop any of the mentioned diabetes and these are: Old age, after five years they must be diagnosed by a veterinarian.
Obesity, one of the primary factors that contributes to insulin resistance. Which is why it is essential to provide an adequate diet.
It is important to know that when diabetes is detected in dogs, they generate an irreversible and rapidly evolving cataract, for which it is necessary to attack the symptoms in time to stop this degenerative process. Some symptoms that may appear are seizures, bloated abdomen, vomiting, diarrhea among other deficiencies that complicate the life of our pet.
Canine Diabetes: Treatment
Daily intravenous insulin administration is, up to the present, the way to regulate the high glucose content in dogs’ blood to keep them healthy, just like humans.
The other aspect to take into consideration is their diet, for which the consultation with the vet is recommended to help them choose between the products offered by the animal industry.
Moderate exercise is essential to keep the body active and can generate the natural defenses required to maintain its acceptable quality of life level.
As for bitches, their sterilization is recommended so that the hormones do not interfere with diabetes.
Although it is an incurable disease, the recommendation is the same as in humans, with proper treatment, our pets can lead long, healthy and happy lives.
Failure to treat diabetes in our pets in time can achieve these unpleasant consequences:
-Urinary tract infections.
-Cataract formation and possible blindness.
-Chronic skin infections..
When your pet is diagnosed with diabetes, you must take into account that you should make more frequent visits to the vet while adjusting the medication and the tests for the first time.
You will learn with your vet the procedure of insulin injection and how to feed it properly at the same time and do not forget to put a plaque on your dog’s collar that indicates that it is insulin dependent.