The incidence of diabetes in canines is not uncommon, and occurs in 1 in every 10 dogs between the ages of 7 and 9. It’s a disease in which the body suffers from either an absolute shortage of insulin (type 1), or when cells respond incorrectly to the insulin that IS produced (type 2). Type 1 is more serious since it is dependent on daily insulin injections to maintain normal blood sugar balance.
Early signs include: excessive thirst and urination, hunger, and weight loss – even with normal eating patterns. An affected dog could be constantly hungry since glucose levels in the brain are too low to register that food is being received.
Advanced signs include: complete loss of appetite, lethargy, depression and vomiting.
Some breed types are more prone to diabetes, and the following are at higher risk: Keeshond, Puli, Min Pin, Samoyed, Cairn Terrier, Poodle, Dachshund, Miniature Schnauzer, and Beagle.
- Hormone treatments: It is believed that hormone treatments, for heat cycles in females, could be a contributing factor.
- Heredity: If your dog’s parents had the disease, your dog stands a fair to good chance to develop the disease, also.
- Steroids: Steroid shots, to treat other ailments, can affect the pancreas, which can cause an overabundance of insulin.
- Obesity: Human food or high-calorie doggie treats can affect blood glucose levels and the production of insulin, over time.
Preventing obesity is one of the most important, pro-active measures you can take to ward off the disease. A balanced diet, without sugary and fattening foods, along with regular exercise, is vital.
Unfortunately, this is not a curable disease, and diabetic dogs usually require lifelong treatment with insulin preparation. However, diabetes can be managed well if caught at an early stage.
Again, dietary control is so important, in addition to injections of insulin. With the help of your dog’s veterinarian, you will receive step-by-step guidance on what treatment program is best for your particular pooch.
Interestingly, diabetic dogs use the same medications, equipment and monitoring methods as human diabetics use. It’s extremely important to take your dog’s diabetes seriously since complications can lead to cataracts, blindness, kidney and liver problems, and death.
- Cinnamon: Just sprinkle a small amount on your dog’s food, daily. The cinnamon works by substituting insulin in your dog’s blood.
- Apple Cider vinegar: This can be used to boost the effects of any current medicine your pooch might be taking. Add a few drops to your dog’s water, daily.
- Gurmar: This is an herb, also known as gymnema sylvestre, that can lower blood sugar.
If you’re like most pet owners, your dog is a loved and valued member of your family. And like children, our pets need the right amount of love, food, and exercise to maintain a robust, healthy life. With the help of your vet, your best friend, in spite of having diabetes, can remain an important part of your life for years to come!
Karen C. writes about variety of topics like pets, diabetes and jewellery.