If your dog has not been eating much and has been gaining weight, it can be due to any medical condition. Dogs can suffer from various medical conditions that might take the life out of your once lively pup and make them feel tired and annoyed round the clock. Diabetes is one of the conditions that can result in such behavior. You might not notice it instantly, but if the behavior persists, you should take your dog to the vet.
However, can dogs become diabetic? In this blog, we look at whether dogs can become diabetic and what you can do if they catch it.
Types of Diabetes in Dogs
There are two main types of diabetes in dogs: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is the most common for dogs. This type of diabetes is usually caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors and often occurs in middle-aged or older dogs. Type 2 diabetes is much less common and usually only affects very young dogs. It is generally caused by a single gene mutation and tends to run in families.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a complete lack of insulin production by the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that helps to regulate blood sugar levels; without it, blood sugar levels can quickly become dangerously high. Dogs with Type 1 diabetes will need to be injected with insulin several times a day to keep their blood sugar levels under control.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is caused by a partial or complete loss of function of the pancreas. This means that the pancreas either doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the body doesn’t respond properly to the insulin that is produced. As a result, blood sugar levels can become elevated and lead to various health problems. Type 2 diabetes can often be managed with diet and exercise, but some dogs may also require medication or insulin injections.
Type 3 Diabetes
Type 3 diabetes is a condition that can occur in pregnant dogs. It is caused by the body’s inability to produce insulin, which leads to high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of type 3 diabetes include weight loss, increased urination, and increased thirst. Pregnant dogs with type 3 diabetes will need to be monitored closely by their veterinarian to ensure they remain healthy and do not develop complications.
Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs
Dogs with diabetes typically have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Increased thirst and urination:Dogs with diabetes often drink more water and urinate more frequently than normal. This is caused by the increased blood sugar levels in their bodies, which forces the kidneys to work overtime to filter it all out.
- Weight loss: Despite eating more food than usual, dogs with diabetes may lose weight because their bodies cannot properly utilize the nutrients in their food.
- Lethargy: Increased blood sugar levels can cause dogs to feel tired and sluggish.
- Changes in appetite: Some dogs with diabetes may eat more, while others may have a decreased appetite.
- Changes in behavior: Dogs with diabetes may seem more irritable or depressed than usual.
- Panting:Panting is a common symptom of diabetes in dogs and can be caused by increased thirst and urination and changes in blood sugar levels.
- Loss of energy:Dogs with diabetes may lack energy and enthusiasm for exercise.
- Recurrent infections:Urinary tract infections are common in dogs with diabetes due to the increased sugar levels in their urine. Skin infections can also occur more frequently.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, take them to the vet for a checkup. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to managing diabetes in dogs.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, you must immediately take them to the vet for diagnosis and treatment. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health problems like kidney disease, blindness, and even death.
Treatment of Diabetes in Dogs
The most important aspect of treatment is maintaining a consistent blood sugar level. This can be done through diet, exercise, and medication. A consistent blood sugar level will help to prevent complications from diabetes such as ketoacidosis and diabetic neuropathy.
Diet is an important part of treatment for both types of diabetes. For dogs with Type I diabetes, a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet is essential. This diet helps to keep blood sugar levels consistent and prevents ketoacidosis. For dogs with Type II diabetes, a diet that is lower in calories and fat is necessary. This diet will help your dog lose weight, which will in turn help to improve insulin resistance.
Exercise is also crucial for both types of diabetes. Exercise helps to lower blood sugar levels and can improve insulin sensitivity. Talking to your veterinarian before starting an exercise program for your diabetic dog is essential, as too much exercise can raise blood sugar levels.
Medication is often necessary to control blood sugar levels in dogs with diabetes. Insulin is the most common medication used to treat Type I diabetes, while oral hypoglycemic drugs are often used to treat Type II diabetes. Your veterinarian will work with you to determine the best course of treatment for your dog.
With proper treatment, dogs with diabetes can lead happy and healthy lives. If you think your dog may be diabetic, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Our Final Thoughts
So, can dogs become diabetic? Dogs can develop diabetes, but it’s relatively rare. The most common type of diabetes in dogs is insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), the same condition humans can get. Dogs with IDDM need daily insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels.
If you think your dog may have diabetes, take him to the vet immediately. Diabetes is a serious condition, and left untreated; it can cause many health problems for your dog. But with proper treatment, most dogs with diabetes can live long and healthy lives.