Diabetes in dogs
UNFORTUNATELY, like us, our dogs are able to develop diabetes.
Diabetes in dogs is insulin dependent and requires injections of insulin once or twice a day to be effectively controlled.
Diabetes at this time cannot be cured, but can be effectively managed with the correct insulin regime, diet and commitment from the dog’s owners.
Treatment requires owners to be able to give their pet an injection once or twice every day as well as bringing them into the clinic periodically to assess how well the current dose of insulin is working.
There is a significant financial cost involved with treatment and this needs to be discussed prior to a commitment being made to treat the illness. Treatment needs to be lifelong. Detecting diabetes earlier in the disease process and beginning treatment at this time saves the dog from becoming very sick from uncontrolled diabetes.
This can be a life threatening situation and also adds a significant amount to the cost of treatment as stabilisation from this point is difficult and time consuming.
The clearest sign that a dog has diabetes is a sudden or gradual increase in thirst and urination.
You may also notice that your pet has started having trouble controlling their bladder and is having accidents in the house or incontinence while sleeping.
Diabetic dogs can lose weight, or gain weight as a result of the disease.
When they are becoming sick from diabetes they will often go off their food and may develop vomiting, as concurrent pancreatitis is a common reason for a sudden crash in their wellness.
If you have noticed an increase in your dog’s thirst it is a simple matter of having their blood sugar checked and a urine sample tested to rule in or rule out diabetes.
Beginning treatment before they become very unwell provides a good prognosis for management of the disease.
Tim Craig BVSc, veterinarian