The Importance of Catching and Diagnosing Diabetes in Dogs Early
Early Diagnosis and Management of Diabetes in Dogs are Crucial
AN OVERVIEW OF DIABETES
Diabetes is a chronic disease that can affect dogs, cats, other animals and humans. Diabetes is a complex disease that is caused by an inability of the body to regulate blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is the major source of energy for the body’s cells to function. Glucose comes from foods and is carried to the cells through the bloodstream. Several hormones, including insulin, control glucose levels in the blood. In diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or the body can’t respond normally to the insulin that is made (type 2 diabetes). As a result, the glucose cannot be used by the cells properly and your dog’s blood sugar levels will rise, which can lead to a number of adverse side effects.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for diabetes. However, although diabetes can’t be cured, it can be managed very successfully. That’s why it’s important to notice and address the signs of diabetes in dogs early. With treatment and proper management, a healthier and longer life is possible.
WHAT INCREASES THE RISK OF DIABETES IN DOGS?
Middle-aged to senior dogs (5+) are at greater risk of developing diabetes.
Unspayed females are twice as likely to develop diabetes.
Long-term use can cause diabetes.
Diabetes can be a complication of this disease which is caused by high levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in the blood.
Both mixed breed dogs and purebreds are at risk. High-risk breeds include beagles, pugs, miniature poodles and -schnauzers, dachshunds and certain terriers.
Chronic or Repeated Pancreatitis
Inflammation of the pancreas can result in extensive pancreas damage which can lead to diabetes.
Obesity is linked to acute pancreatitis and pancreatitis can lead to diabetes.
Other Health Conditions
An autoimmune disorder or viral disease could possibly be responsible for triggering diabetes in dogs.
EARLY DETECTION OF DIABETES IS IMPORTANT
The same rule applies to many health conditions and diseases in humans and in dogs: Early diagnosis and treatment can really promote wellness and well-being.
Here are the steps for dealing with diabetes in dogs:
- Detect it early
- Understand the condition
- Provide proper customized care
- Continue to manage it
DAMAGE CAUSED BY DIABETES IF NOT TREATED AND MANAGED
Untreated diabetes in dogs can lead to multi-organ damage as well as:
- Kidney failure
- Diabetic ketoacidosis(DKA): a deadly medical emergency
Don’t wait for the severe signs and symptoms of diabetes to surface. The sooner diabetes is diagnosed and treatment begun, the better chance your dog has of a normal life. Contact your veterinarian, if you notice any of these early signs of diabetes in dogs: excessive thirst, increased urination, weight loss and increased appetite.
Your veterinarian will perform a simple blood test to check glucose (sugar) levels. Other diagnostic tests may be recommended to identify the underlying cause of your dog’s symptoms, such as tests to evaluate kidney, liver, and pancreatic function.