Diabetes in Dogs

What is diabetes in dogs, and what to watch out for…



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November marked National Pet Diabetes Month - Jo Bennett, My Family Pet and Bridge Vet Centre Vet, talks about what diabetes is, and what to watch out for…

What is diabetes, exactly?


Diabetes comes about when a dog’s pancreas is no longer able to produce insulin. It’s a common hormonal disease, especially in older dogs, and is sadly incurable.


Usually, a healthy dog’s pancreas will produce insulin to prevent blood sugar levels from becoming too high. When this stops working, dogs with too much sugar in their blood can suffer from hyperglycaemia. 


Diabetes tends to affect female dogs more than males, and is more common in certain breeds such as Poodles, Dachshunds and Springer Spaniels.


What if my dog has diabetes and I don’t know?


This is why vets always advise owners to have their dogs checked up every 6 months, especially as they get older. They’ll be able to pick up on conditions such as diabetes early, and begin treatment right away.


If you spot any of the following symptoms, your dog may be suffering from diabetes:


  • Drinking and eating more than usual
  • Urinating more than usual
  • Losing weight

Diabetes is easy enough to manage and many diabetic dogs have long and healthy lives, but if it is left untreated, it can lead to severe health problems… so it’s always best to get help from your vet if you’re concerned.”


How do you care for a diabetic dog?


Type 1 Diabetes (far more common than Type 2) means the dog will need daily insulin injections for life. This is easy enough once you get the hang of it… and your vet will show you how to do it.


They’ll also need regular check-ups with the vet. As an owner, make sure you stay vigilant and contact your vet ASAP if something isn’t right.


At home, a suitable balanced diet will be a great help. Eating the correct food can keep your dog’s blood sugar levels stable. Once again, your vet will be able to advise on what is the best diet for your specific dog.


With all the right measures in place and plenty of care from their owner, a diabetic dog can enjoy a full, happy and healthy life.


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