How long can a dog live with untreated diabetes, Next, we will detail what symptoms should make us suspect that our dog has this pathology. We must seek veterinary assistance to balance glucose and avoid complications arising from its increase.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a common disease in dogs. It is caused by an inadequate secretion of insulin, which is a hormone that is produced in cells of the pancreas and whose function is to regulate blood glucose levels. The destruction of these cells can follow pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas. Insulin works by helping glucose enter cells throughout the body, in which it undergoes different processes to produce the energy necessary for the functioning of the body.
When there is not enough insulin, the glucose level rises above the normal range. It is what is called hyperglycemia. The opposite is hypoglycemia, a situation that can also occur and that implies that the glucose level is lower than normal.
What dogs can suffer from diabetes?
This disease can affect any dog, but a higher incidence has been found in some breeds such as the Golden Retriever or the Poodle.
Symptoms of diabetes in dogs
Among the different symptoms that we will be able to appreciate before what colloquially is known as a rise or fall of sugar, it is worth highlighting:
• Glucosuria, which is the presence of a large amount of glucose in the urine.
• Due to glycosuria, the dog urinates in large quantities.
• By urinating so much, fluid loss is compensated by an increase in water intake.
• Abundant excretion of urine can lead to the dog becoming dehydrated.
• Increased appetite at first because the dog fails to metabolize enough glucose. Subsequently, this is lost to the extent that the animal is suffering from malnutrition.
• When the disease is advanced, it can affect all organs and produce symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, weakness and, in the most severe cases, coma.
• Associated complications include cataracts, kidney and neurological problems, urinary infections or high blood pressure.
What is diabetic ketoacidosis?
It is a disorder that arises as a result of severe hyperglycemia. It produces the accumulation of ketones in the blood. Ketones are products of fat metabolization. In ketoacidosis, the body does not have glucose to get energy, so it uses fats. Its symptoms are generalized weakness, vomiting, rapid breathing and smell of acetone in the breath. It is an emergency with the risk of death. The dog should be transferred to the veterinary center immediately.
How is diabetes diagnosed in dogs?
To confirm that the clinical signs correspond to this disease, the veterinarian must take a blood and urine sample. In them, the high glucose will appear above the normal range. Fructosamine is another important parameter to monitor for the diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes.
Treatment of diabetes in dogs
The treatment focuses on two basic pillars, which are food and medication. The dog will need us to inject insulin daily to compensate for what his body cannot produce. If we are rigorous with the treatment, the dog can lead a normal life, although it is true that his life expectancy may be reduced. Veterinary control should be thorough because each dog will need a different amount of insulin and even the doses will vary throughout the life of the same dog. Therefore, at the beginning of the treatment, the veterinarian will have to monitor the glucose levels to see when maximum and minimum levels occur.
With all the information, the dose is adjusted and it is decided when to give the injections. As we will have to prick the dog at home, the veterinarian will explain how to do it. If we are afraid, we can put the first injection in the clinic itself, with the support of the veterinarian, so that we can resolve the doubts.
Precautions in the administration of insulin
The consequences of inadequate administration of insulin can be serious, so we must follow the instructions of the veterinarian regarding the amount and type of insulin, its preservation, the frequency of administration or the type of administration. syringes If we go over the dose glucose can drop to alarming levels. This hypoglycemia causes confusion, sleep, tremors, wobbles, seizures, and even coma.
Food and diabetes
It is recommended that a diabetic dog consume a dry or wet diet with high fiber content, hypocaloric and complex carbohydrates because they are the ones that reduce the possibility of hyperglycemia being triggered. This is because they minimize glucose fluctuations after each intake. For sale in veterinary clinics, we will find this type of food in different presentations. If we prefer a homemade diet we must prepare a menu with the veterinarian. In any case, the food should be administered in two or three daily doses to avoid hyperglycemia after an abundant intake.
Finally, the insulin dose is calculated based on the daily calorie requirements, which depend on the weight of the dog and the activity it develops. That is why we mustn’t vary the amount of food we offer each day. Also, the dog should exercise daily, as it increases insulin absorption.
Obesity in diabetic dogs
In addition to a diet adapted to the dog’s disease, we must avoid being overweight. Obesity negatively affects health, complicates diseases, predisposes to others or hinders the administration of anesthesia. In the case of diabetes, it reduces the response to insulin, which makes it difficult to control. Therefore, if the dog is too fat, in addition to the treatment for diabetes, the veterinarian will determine his ideal weight and prescribe a proper diet to achieve it. Currently, specific feeds are available for these disorders.
Slim Diabetic Dogs
If by the time the diabetes is diagnosed the dog has already lost weight, he must return to his ideal weight. To achieve this, low fiber diets are recommended because they contain a higher caloric density. We can also find them for sale.
What is the relationship between sterilization and diabetes?
As part of the treatment of diabetes, the veterinarian can recommend sterilization in the case of females, that is, the removal of the uterus and ovaries. This is because progesterone has a hyperglycemic effect.
Prognosis of diabetes in dogs
The prognosis of this pathology will depend on each case. Also, factors such as the ability of the owner to follow the prescribed treatment, the ease or not to control glucose levels and the presence or absence of other diseases influence. In specific cases, diabetes can remit, for example, in female dogs with pyometra or ovarian rest. Also, as in the case of women, when diabetes is due to pregnancy.
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