Diabetes in Dogs
Diabetes in Dachshund is a common disease and can be dangerous for your pet. You should watch out for many symptoms, and it’s essential to take your dog to the veterinarian if you suspect that he or she has diabetes mellitus.
In dogs, diabetes is referred to as “diabetes mellitus” or “sugar diabetes.” The disease is characterized by increased blood glucose (sugar) levels. Glucose comes from digested food and is usually transported in the blood by the insulin hormone. Insulin then enables the sugar to be used by the body’s energy production cells. When there is insufficient insulin (or the dog’s body is incapable of using its insulin), glucose stays in your dog’s bloodstream instead of moving into the cells for energy production.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas fails to use its insulin or produces too much insulin. Dogs with diabetes also have high blood sugars. If your dog is overweight, this can contribute to diabetes because of the extra weight. You may even notice a difference in your dog’s appetite and how often they eat. If short-term treatment with insulin works for your dog, it may eventually be able to produce enough insulin on its own again; if this does occur, you’ll probably need to see your veterinarian for regular check-ups. Most dogs with diabetes can usually be treated without insulin injections, however.
Diabetes in Dogs: What Are the Symptoms?
There are many different symptoms of diabetes in dogs, and it’s essential to know them so that your dog can get the treatment he or she needs as soon as possible. If you remark any of these signs, contact your veterinarian right away:
- Increased thirst and urination: This happens because your dog has too much glucose in its blood. The glucose draws water from the cells causing them to swell up with water—this is what causes the increased thirst and urination.
- Weight loss: When cells are full of water, they’re larger and weigh more than when they’re not. Additionally, the extra calories needed to satisfy increased appetite can be effectively used to produce energy for the body; if your dog’s body is incapable of using this energy, it will have to be burned off.
- Frequent infections: Because the immune system is weaker when you have diabetes, infections could occur more frequently.
- Skin sores: The sugar in your dog’s blood can cause skin breakdown.
- Dental problems: Extra sugar in the bloodstream can cause bacteria to grow faster on teeth.
In the first stage of diabetes, the dog will drink more water and urinate more often. It may also become lethargic and lose weight. These are all symptoms of diabetes in dogs. If your dog has trouble breathing, it could be due to high blood sugar levels. Your vet may take blood or urine samples to check for this.
In the second stage of diabetes, your dog’s body will start losing the ability to utilize the insulin that it produces, and his or her blood sugar levels will rise. Most of the traits detected in dogs with diabetes in this stage are related to high blood sugar. Hyperthyroidism is characterized by excessive thirst and urination, weight loss, more infections than usual, and skin sores, as well as canker sores on the lips or gums.
Your pet’s veterinarian can usually diagnose diabetes with a simple physical exam and some lab tests. Blood tests can confirm the diagnosis and monitor the amount of insulin necessary for treatment. In many cases, dogs given medication for diabetes can maintain normal blood sugar levels with relatively few symptoms. Some dogs, however, have more severe cases and require different treatments to control their diabetes fully.
Your veterinarian will want to gain as much information about your dog’s condition before starting treatment. The veterinarian will examine your dog and may request blood and urine tests. Your vet may prescribe medications that lower any abnormal levels of sugar. There are several options for treatment, including:
Oral medications by mouth
These are taken daily or every other day and reduce the amount your dog’s body produces insulin. However, some dogs develop side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea.
These injectable medications replace the insulin your dog’s body cannot produce. For dogs with a very high sugar level in their blood, insulin injections may be necessary every day.
It is a tiny device placed under your dog’s skin. It administers doses of insulin to bring the sugar level down as needed.
A special diet
It would be best if you fed dogs a low-fat, high-fiber diet. You can also use diets specially made for dogs with diabetes that supply easily digestible carbohydrates and help control blood sugar levels.
Dogs with severe diabetes may need surgery to remove an overactive portion of the pancreas called the islet cells, which produce insulin.
The best way to manage your dog’s diabetes is to take it seriously. Take your dog to the vet if it does not respond well to treatment. Once your pet’s diabetes is under control, keep up regular visits with his or her veterinarian, and make sure you keep up on any medications he or she may advise.
Type of Insulin
Both dogs and cats are given either animal-based insulin or human-based insulin. There are no significant differences between these two insulins, and neither of them is any more suitable for dogs or cats.
The Differences Between Human and Animal Insulin
Some people are concerned that using animal insulin will cause their pet to develop type 2 diabetes, but this is a myth. The insulin source does not affect the type or severity of diabetes your dog will develop.
The recommended dosage for animal-based human insulin increases depending on your dog’s current size and the severity of his diabetes. The heavier and more overweight he is, the larger the insulin dosage he will be prescribed.
If your pup has developed diabetes because he or she is overweight or has a history of obesity, reducing the amount of food you give your dog will help reduce blood sugar levels and stabilize these levels in some cases. Be sure to discuss any changes with your veterinarian before attempting them alone.
Getting more exercise can stabilize blood sugar levels in dogs with diabetes. Walking your dog at least one hour a day makes it happy and healthy.
Acupuncture may help to control blood sugar levels in a diabetic dog.
What Causes Diabetes in Dogs?
Several underlying factors may contribute to diabetes in dogs. Researchers at the University of California tested this hypothesis in a study by testing the effects of two different antioxidants on the functioning of pancreas beta cells from diabetic Wistar rats with either non-diabetic or impaired glucose tolerance:
“The results indicated that the administration of high doses (0.2–4.0 mg/kg) of curcumin was sufficient to increase the insulin secretion significantly.”
What Are the Risk Factors for Diabetes in Dogs?
Eating too many carbohydrates – Eating too many carbohydrates can lead to diabetes, obesity, and even heart disease.
Lack of exercise – Your dog cannot eat himself into a diabetic coma. It requires neglecting to provide enough exercise to keep himself slim.
Hereditary factors – If your dog has diabetes in the family, he is more likely to get it.
Older dogs get diabetes more than younger dogs – Dogs start getting diabetes when they are eight years old, and they usually get a generic version of this disease, where there’s not much you can do about it and have to treat it; keep a close eye on them.
What is the Treatment?
A high-fiber diet
A high fiber diet will lower your dog’s blood sugar levels and help prevent diabetes.
The diet you feed your dog will influence if he gets diabetes or not.
Overeating causes obesity which can cause your dog to have diabetes, so you can prevent this disease by controlling the amount of dog food you give your dog every day!
Treats should be fed in moderation.
It’s a good idea to give treats to reward your dogs, but don’t overdo it. If your dog is overweight because of food, it will have more diabetes.
A healthy lifestyle is crucial.
Get a good amount of exercise in your dog’s daily routine. It will help reduce the risk of diabetes for your dog!
You can beat diabetes.
As long as you’ve stopped him from overeating and keep a healthy lifestyle, he’ll be fine!
Treatment of Diabetes in Dogs
Diabetes is a condition in dogs that develops when the pancreas either stops producing or releases too little insulin. Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels by allowing glucose to enter cells and energy. Its purpose is to preserve the sugar needed for their happy life, and it also plays a part in removing toxic substances from the blood.
It means that if your dog is not receiving enough insulin or isn’t being released well, blood sugar levels can rise too high. Your dog will experience symptoms such as excessive thirst, increased urination, lethargy, weight loss, and eventually death. In extreme cases, he may collapse and stop breathing altogether.
Diabetes is becoming increasingly problematic in both dogs and cats. It is estimated that over 3 million dogs already have diabetes in America alone. However, the good news is that you can take steps to prevent and treat diabetes in your dog.
How To Prevent Diabetes
The most important thing you can do to avoid diabetes is to ensure that your dog maintains a healthy weight. If your dog is overweight, it will have to rely on insulin more often, and its blood sugar levels will be higher, which will increase the risk of developing this disease.
High metabolic rates also increase the risk of diabetes, which means that if you have a very active dog, he may need more insulin than a passive one. It’s essential to keep his activity level in check not to put him at risk for high blood sugar levels.
Some breeds are also more prone to developing diabetes than other breeds. Miniature Schnauzers, for example, are an ideal example of a breed that is at risk for this disease. This dog type typically has lots of energy. It is very active, so it only needs moderate amounts of insulin to regulate blood sugar levels, which means that they can develop diabetes without knowing it. Other dogs with a high metabolic rate and a need for frequent insulin injections are Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers.
If your dog develops symptoms of diabetes such as excessive thirst or an increased appetite, you should take him to the vet immediately. You should also be aware that any weight loss in your dog may indicate a problem that requires insulin injections to treat.
What You Should Do If Your Dog Develops Diabetes
If you notice that your dog has symptoms of diabetes, then you should take him to the vet immediately. He will run some tests such as a blood sugar test, urinalysis, and ketones test. The vet will likely also recommend tests such as x-rays, ultrasounds, and perhaps even an endoscopy or biopsy if he thinks it’s necessary.
Once the cause of diabetes has been determined, your vet may recommend one of two treatment options, depending on the type of diabetes he has developed. These two options are diet management and insulin injections.
A change in diet helps many dogs suffering from Type 2 diabetes. In most cases, your veterinarian will recommend a low-carbohydrate, high-fiber diet for your dog to help manage blood sugar levels and prevent the disease from progressing. The vet may also recommend that you feed your dog medication such as Metformin to slow glucose production in the body and reduce insulin resistance.
Monitoring and Managing Your Dog’s Diabetes
Monitoring and managing your dog’s diabetes is a lifelong commitment. Your furry friend cannot do it alone. The commitment to monitoring and managing your dog’s diabetes is a lifelong responsibility that you will share with your veterinarian.
There is no cure for canine diabetes, but you can manage it.
There is good news for pet owners because they can learn how to enhance their dog’s quality of life. He will be healthier, happier, and better behaved when well-managed. In the absence of such a cure, managing the condition effectively with dachshund diet and regular exercise will significantly prolong his life.
A well-fed, exercised, and monitored pet is a happy one. If your dog has diabetes, be prepared to go along with the doctor during regular visits to regularly monitor his blood sugar levels using two different methods – one by mouth (the traditional glucometer) and the other by a blood test. Besides, you may also need to keep a diary of your dog’s day-to-day activities, including exercise. It is best if you can go along with the vet when she does blood tests, or you can schedule it whenever possible.
Diabetes in Dogs: Treatment, Life Expectancy, and Cost
1. The first and most obvious sign of diabetes is the dog becoming unwell and keeping away from food. Its appetite will vanish, or it will refuse to eat. If you speculate your dog has diabetes, there are some simple tests that you can do at home.
2. Once diagnosed, the diabetes treatment is relatively easy. There are insulin injections to control glucose levels in a pet’s system.
3. This disease can be prevented or caught early by feeding a good quality diet with no corn, wheat, or potatoes in it. For an in-depth guide to feeding a diabetic pet, click here.
4. The cost of diabetes depends on how big the dog is and how long they have the disease. A good quality diet will cost more than if you bought your dog a cheaper brand, but this should be offset by cheaper insulin injections, which will be less frequent and longer-lasting than the more expensive brand. (Note: Always check with your vet before buying any medication, but below are some cheaper alternatives we offer)
5. Life expectancy for a dog with diabetes is variable and depends on many factors such as medication prescribed at diagnosis and lifestyle changes in general. Some dogs only live for a couple of years, and others live much longer. We can’t say how long yours will live, but we recommend that you continue to monitor your dog’s glucose levels regularly throughout his / her life or as long as they continue to have the disease.
Types of Diabetes in Dogs
Diabetes is a condition caused by insulin resistance or underproduction in the body, resulting in problems regulating blood sugar levels. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. In dogs, genetically predisposed animals can develop this condition, and different causes result in type 2 diabetes. For this reason, we will discuss Type 2 diabetes in dogs.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease of older dogs that often occurs with aging and obesity, and other health issues. Although it is not completely clear why it occurs in older dogs, research has found that these animals’ disease is more likely to be caused by other diseases. These includes:
- Diabetes Mellitus (DM)
- Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease)
- Chronic Pancreatitis
Genetic predispositions also play a role in these conditions.
Most dogs that acquire this disease are large breeds and have been fed a poor diet over an extended period. Besides, they may also have other diseases, including hyperadrenocorticism, hypothyroidism, hypoadrenocorticism, and chronic pancreatitis.
The cause of Type 2 diabetes in dogs is not entirely known. It is a disease that can be passed genetically from one generation to the next. It can be related to some factors, including obesity, heredity, lack of exercise, and poor nutrition. To determine if your dog has diabetes, it will need to be examined by a veterinary doctor. A blood test should be conducted to verify this condition. Blood sugar levels are usually measured with a glucose meter, and the results are compared with the reference range for a healthy animal at rest. Dogs should have blood sugar concentrations between 200 and 500 mg/dl (11.1-27.8 mmol/L). A high blood sugar level in your dog can lead to toxic symptoms and complications, including kidney failure and death.
Signs of Diabetes in Dogs
- Feeding too much
- Exercise too much
- Weight loss
- Inappropriate weight gain
- Problems with the eyes
- Hemorrhage (bleeding from the gums) or bruising from combative behavior or problems around the eye
- Blisters on the lips and between the toes, mainly if joint swelling is present, and blisters around the eyes.
- Infections around the eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting, loss of coordination or muscle spasms, and twitching
Treating and Managing Your Dog’s Diabetes
- Fasting periods can be long for diabetes, so provide food and water only at mealtimes.
- If you have no choice but to give your dog a “partial” diabetic diet, record the amount fed and monitor your dog’s insulin levels each morning before breakfast.
- Don’t give any medications (unless prescribed) without consulting the veterinarian first; your vet can recommend the safest medication to use and dosage guidelines.
- Feed your dog a high-carbohydrate diet (preferably grain-free) from the time he/she is diagnosed until you know without a doubt that diet control is possible.
- Be sure to monitor your dog’s insulin levels at each meal and throughout the day with a blood glucose monitoring system.
- If you must use insulin medication, keep its use as short as possible.
- Don’t remove food or water unless your dog is hospitalized or under expert care.
- Keep an eye on your dog’s weight.
- Regular physical examinations are beneficial both to your dog and to you and your veterinarian.
- Remember, the best health care for your dog is a regular veterinary exam, lots of exercises, and a quality diet maintained with proper insulin.
Life Expectancy for Dogs With Diabetes
Dogs with diabetes, in general, have an average life span. It is not unusual for dogs with diabetes to live close to the average life expectancy. However, it will depend heavily on the type of diabetes the dog has. Dogs with mild cases of diabetes may live up to twelve years, while those who have severe cases have a shorter lifespan.
Four Ways to Tell if Your Dog Has Diabetes
1. You notice the smell of dog urine, even when it is not in the room.
2. Your dog has more accidents at home than usual or licks its paws after going outside to pee.
3. Your pet’s stomach is very bloated, and they are drinking a lot of water and urinating more often than usual (excessive thirst and urination).
4. The skin around your pet’s pancreas is inflamed, red, or bloody when touched (pancreatitis).
How to Prevent Dog Diabetes?
- Feed your dog healthy food such as the one that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
- Avoid feeding your dog too much high sugar or fat foods especially mixed with low carbohydrate vegetables.
- If you want to feed your dog meat, make sure it’s lean meat like raw chicken because fat is a carbohydrate and not suitable for a diabetic animal.
- Please get rid of any unwanted puppy teeth by brushing it every day and making sure it does not eat anything poisonous (bugs or grass).
- Make sure your dog’s bowels are flushed daily by getting it to go to the toilet once in a while. Food gets trapped in the stomach and, if not taken out, will cause an accident.
- Keep your dog’s teeth clean by regularly brushing its mouth with a toothbrush, flossing the teeth, and giving it bottled water when you can’t brush its teeth yourself.
- Don’t let your dog drink excessive amounts of liquids because it could cause him to develop diabetes (pulmonary edema).
- Make sure your dog eats dry food before going to the beach or swimming pool since sugar and water can cause an accident as well as diabetics.
- If you are out in the sun for long periods, make sure your dog is wearing a protective cap to block out the sun’s UV rays or a cool vest to keep it cool.
- Keep your dog at least 3-5 adult steps away from any radiator because this produces heat which could also have a detrimental effect on him.
How to Manage Dog Diabetes?
- Feed your dog according to its age and weight.
- Monitor your dog’s blood glucose levels by using ACCU-CHEK Aviva or ACCU-CHEK Active
- Please keep your dog’s bowels empty at all times by making sure it goes to the toilet at least once (once in a while is fine) every day.
- Avoid giving your dog honey, fructose, and even molasses as they are high in sugar and raise blood sugar levels quickly in diabetic animals and cause an accident or an insulin shock if not dealt with immediately. Furthermore, it can make your dog diabetic.
- Give your dog a bath or a shower once in a while but never regularly because this could remove his coat’s protective oil, which will make him cold and increase his exposure to diabetes.