Diabetes in Dogs 101
by Ian Germann
What is Diabetes?
Just like in humans, dogs are at risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes in dogs, also known as canine diabetes mellitus, is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar levels. It occurs when the body is either unable to produce enough insulin (Type 1) or effectively use the insulin it does produce (Type 2).
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps regulate blood sugar levels by allowing glucose to enter the cells to be used for energy. When there is not enough insulin or the body cannot use it properly, glucose builds up in the bloodstream leading to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
Although there may be no cure for diabetes, both types of the disease can be managed in dogs through the use of proper nutrition, exercise and even medicine.
Early detection of diabetes in dogs is crucial in making sure your pup can get the help they need ASAP. The best way to catch diabetes early in dogs is through understanding the common symptoms of diabetes in dogs. However, it’s important to remember that the symptoms of diabetes in dogs can vary depending on the severity and duration of the disease. With that being said, some of the most common symptoms include:
- Increased thirst: Dogs with diabetes may drink more water than usual to compensate for the increased glucose in their bloodstream.
- Frequent urination: As a result of increased water consumption, dogs with diabetes may need to urinate more frequently.
- Increased appetite: Despite eating more than usual, dogs with diabetes may still lose weight due to the body’s inability to use glucose properly.
- Weight loss: Dogs with diabetes may lose weight despite an increased appetite, as their body is unable to use the glucose from their food for energy.
- Lethargy and weakness: Diabetes can cause dogs to feel tired and weak, as their body is unable to use glucose for energy.
- Vomiting and diarrhea: In severe cases of diabetes, dogs may experience vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and other complications.
- Cloudy eyes: Diabetes can cause cataracts to develop in dogs, which can cause cloudiness in the eyes.
As explained earlier, both types of diabetes in dogs can be managed through the use of proper nutrition, exercise and medicine. Treatment for diabetes in dogs typically involves insulin therapy, which involves giving insulin injections to help regulate blood sugar levels. While exercise isn’t too complicated, understanding a diabetic dog’s nutritional needs requires a bit more attention.
When choosing a diet for a dog with diabetes, it is important to select a food that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which can lead to high blood sugar levels in dogs with diabetes. Protein, on the other hand, is broken down into amino acids, which do not have the same impact on blood sugar levels.
Additionally, it is important to choose a diet that is high in fiber, as fiber can help slow down the absorption of glucose from the food into the bloodstream. This can help prevent spikes in blood sugar levels after meals.
That’s where Evanger’s Dog Food comes in; their Super Premium Dinners (Beef, Chicken and Venison & Beef) and Canned Complements (Chicken, Beef, Duck, Rabbit and more) are 100% grain and gluten free, being packed with high-quality protein and no added carbohydrates that make the perfect addition to any diabetic dog’s diet.
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