Just as it is seen in humans, cats and mammals in general, diabetes can occur congenitally or later in dogs. Diabetes in dogs usually occurs in the form of type 1 diabetes. Diabetes mellitus, which has symptoms such as drinking more water than usual, increased urinary frequency, a significant increase in appetite, and sudden or rapid weight loss, can cause serious health problems if left untreated. In this article, you can find information about diabetes in dogs and the symptoms of diabetes in dogs.
- What Is Diabetes In Dogs?
- What is Glucose?
- What is Insulin?
- Diabetes in Dogs and Its Consequences: What Happens If Canine Diabetes Is Not Treated?
- What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs?
- What Are the Risk Factors for Diabetes in Dogs?
- How Is Diabetes Diagnosed In Dogs?
- Diabetes Treatment in Dogs
- Are Dogs Congenital Diabetes?
What Is Diabetes In Dogs?
Normal sugar levels in dogs are between 79-126 mg/dl. However, diabetes causes these values to increase, in other words, to increase blood sugar in dogs. So how does this mechanism work? Diabetes mellitus, medically known as Diabetes Mellitus, is a health problem characterized by the lack of production or underproduction of the insulin hormone, which is secreted by the pancreas and enables the cells to use glucose in the blood, or the inability to use the insulin produced by the pancreas by the cells. Diabetes is included in the metabolic disease classification because it affects the body’s mechanism of converting food into energy. For a clearer understanding of diabetes in dogs, the glucose and insulin connection must be established correctly.
What is Glucose?
Glucose is the primary fuel for cells in the body. When food is digested, some nutrients are broken down and converted into glucose, a vital energy source for organs. Glucose is a type of sugar, it is absorbed in the intestines and then transported throughout the body.
What is Insulin?
Insulin is the hormone responsible for fuel distribution throughout the body. It is secreted from the pancreas, which is located next to the stomach. It is a control mechanism that tells cells to use glucose and nutrients by transporting glucose and other nutrients through the blood.
Diabetes in dogs occurs in two different ways. The first situation is that the dog’s body does not secrete enough insulin. In this condition, also called type 1 diabetes, a dog’s pancreas is either damaged or not working properly for some reason. Dogs with type 1 diabetes need daily insulin injections to close the insulin deficit in their bodies. The most common type of diabetes in dogs is type 1 diabetes.
In some cases, dogs secrete insulin, but their bodies cannot use the hormone insulin properly. When cells cannot respond correctly to the messages sent by insulin, they cannot use glucose as fuel. This condition, called type 2 diabetes, occurs more often in older dogs.
Diabetes in Dogs and Its Consequences: What Happens If Canine Diabetes Is Not Treated?
Regardless of type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the consequences of diabetes in dogs are equally devastating. Excess sugar builds up in the bloodstream of dogs, and although there is excess sugar in the bloodstream, the cells cannot access these fuels for energy. Muscle cells and cells of some organs are deprived of this energy source necessary to maintain their vital functions and begin to break down their own fats and proteins to provide energy. At this point, what is meant by protein breakdown is the destruction of the muscles. The presence of high sugar in the bloodstream creates a separate problem. Many organs can cause multi-organ damage as a result of the excess glucose in the bloodstream changing the blood chemistry. In particular, the kidneys, eyes, blood vessels, nerves and heart are adversely affected by high blood sugar.
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs?
Although the symptoms of diabetes in dogs may vary according to the stages of the patients, they can be listed as follows:
- Excessive thirst: Diabetes in dogs often presents with symptoms of excessive thirst and drinking more water than usual.
- Increased urinary frequency: An increase in urinary frequency is also observed among the symptoms of diabetes in dogs. Dogs may feel the need to go outside more than usual or they may leak urine due to excessive urging.
- Weight loss: When dogs develop diabetes, rapid and sudden weight loss can occur.
- Increased appetite: When it comes to diabetes in dogs, there may be an increase in appetite. Dogs that need energy because their cells can’t get enough fuel may tend to eat more.
As the disease progresses, the symptoms of diabetes in dogs may also change. Loss of appetite, weakness, a depressed mood and vomiting may occur. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to kidney failure, seizures, urinary tract infection, liver enlargement, cataracts, and ketoacidosis.
What Are the Risk Factors for Diabetes in Dogs?
It is possible to mention many potential factors that can cause diabetes in dogs.
Age: Although this disease can occur at any age, it is more likely to occur in older dogs.
Gender: The incidence of diabetes in unneutered female dogs is twice that of male dogs.
Chronic or recurrent pancreatitis: Chronic or recurrent pancreatic inflammation can damage pancreatic functions and lead to diabetes in dogs.
Obesity: Obesity contributes to insulin resistance and is a risk factor for pancreatitis, which can lead to diabetes.
Diseases: Some viral diseases and immune system disorders can contribute to diabetes.
Genetic factors: Scientific studies reveal that some breeds have a higher risk of developing diabetes than others. (Miniature Poodles, Bichon Frises, Pug, Dachshunds, Miniature Schnauzers, Beagle and Samoyed breeds)
How Is Diabetes Diagnosed In Dogs?
It is important to apply various screening tests and evaluate the complaints in detail for the diagnosis of diabetes in dogs. It is possible to diagnose with a complete blood count, serum biochemistry profile and urinalysis. Glucometer results in dogs are necessary for the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, but other tests are also necessary to obtain more detailed information about the progression of the disease and complications caused by diabetes.
Diabetes Treatment in Dogs
Diabetes in dogs is a disease that cannot be completely cured, but can be controlled with the right treatment. The treatment process may differ in line with the progression level of the disease, the type, and the conditions that may change for the dog. To generalize, it may be possible to manage different processes such as insulin injections, changing nutrition programs, and ensuring a more active life within the scope of diabetes treatment in dogs. You can view the types of dog toys that will activate your friend here.
Are Dogs Congenital Diabetes?
Dogs can have congenital diabetes. Congenital diabetes can occur as a hormonal antagonism, chronic pancreatitis, or an autoimmune condition. One of the breeds at high risk of developing congenital diabetes is the Labrador Retriever. Congenital diabetes symptoms usually become concrete when 6-12 week old puppies are younger than their siblings.