Most people love their pets to a fault and would give everything to make their pets happy. Nevertheless, no matter how much they do to keep their canine friends comfortable, nature always has its course. Dogs are like humans too. They experience the ill effects of illnesses simply as we do, and one of these diseases that they share with us is diabetes.
It is important for a dog owner to know the symptoms of diabetes in dogs so that he can immediately bring his pet to a veterinarian for checkup and treatment once these symptoms are observed.
Symptoms Of Diabetes In Dogs
Symptoms of diabetes in the dog are easily noticeable if you follow their behavioral pattern carefully.
1. Change In His Natural Appetite
Because your dog’s body does not get the much-needed glucose even if it is frequently eating, it will make your dog hungrier and will result in an increase in the appetite. However, while a growth in appetite is evident during early stages of diabetes, loss of appetite may occur at a later date. When loss of appetite becomes evident, it means that your dog has a serious problem.
2. Excessive Thirst
Polydipsia or excessive thirst is an early warning sign of diabetes among canines. You will know that your dog is thirsty all the time, and you will notice that he is increasing his water consumption at a faster rate than he usually does.
3. Increased Urination
Polyuria or an increase in urination also occurs because the body tries to get rid of the excess glucose in the blood by excreting it through the urine along with the water that binds with it.
4. Weight Loss
Despite the fact that there might be an increase in appetite during the early stages of diabetes, sudden weight loss may still occur. Weight loss happens because a dog with diabetes often has a decreased rate of metabolism.
5. Fruity Breath
Since the body does not make enough insulin, the cells do not receive the glucose that they need for daily activities. Once this occurs, the body will resort to plan B to take care of the energy requirements. This plan B is to burn fat. When fats are being burned in the place of sugar, this produces ketones. Ketones will build-up in the urine and blood of your dog. As the ketone levels become higher, it will cause bad breath in your dog.
Dehydration is another common dog-diabetes symptom. Diabetes and dehydration are linked in a way that when there is an increase in the blood sugar levels for a prolonged period, the kidneys will remove some of this excess glucose through urine making your dog urinate frequently (here comes polyuria). As the kidneys filter the blood through urination, water is also removed from the blood. If this water is not replenished fast enough, dehydration will occur.
It is important that you take note of your dog’s water level intake to ensure that he is drinking enough to compensate for the fluids that he may have been lost. This will effectively prevent the occurrence of dehydration.
When there is a high blood glucose level in the body, it slows down the circulation of the blood and inhibits the cells to get the oxygen and nutrients that they need. Since cells are not well nourished and oxygenated, your dog may feel weak and tired all the time. On the other hand, when the blood sugar levels are low, it will also cause some fatigue because there is not enough to fuel the cells to work properly.
When your dog’s blood sugar levels rise or fall, this causes disruption in his metabolism pattern and may lead to nausea and vomiting. Also, vomiting is considered as a definite sign of diabetes which usually happen as ketoacidosis brought about by the presence of ketones. Ketoacidosis usually affects female and older dogs.
9. Thinning Of Hair
Thinning of hair may happen because diabetes will interrupt the process of hair growth by slowing it down. Sometimes, the immune system will attack the hair follicles leading to hair loss on different parts of your dog’s body.
10. Cloudy Eyes
Dark eyes in dogs often signify the presence of cataracts. If not treated, it may lead to blindness. Reasons why a cataract develops during a diabetic illness is still unknown, however, controlling your dog’s sugar levels may help reduce the risk.
Your veterinarian will recommend the best type of food for your dog. Usually, this diet will include good quality sources of protein, fiber and complex carbs. A low-fat diet may also be recommended.
More on exercise
To help control spikes in glucose levels, get your dog to maintain a moderate and consistent exercise routine. It will be an immense help with his diabetic treatment.
Insulin Injection Shots
Insulin shots are vital for the treatment of diabetes among dogs. Typically, your dog will require daily shots of insulin. Even if it requires quite a few shots, owners can administer the medication right in their homes itself. In case you are not sure how to do it, you can ask your dog’s vet to explain the process to you.
Glucose Monitoring At Home
It’s an important part of the treatment of diabetes among canines. Monitoring the glucose levels of your dog will ensure that there are no spikes in glucose and you will know whether you have controlled the disease or not. Know the warning signs of complications. It is important for you to know what the warning signs are so that you will be able to immediately report this to the vet and prevent the progression of the complication.