Dog Diabetes Dog Diabetes affects a multitude of dogs throughout the world. Diabetes in dogs can be treated and there are many resources that a pet owner can turn to for help. Dr. Sam discusses the how’s and why’s of dog diabetes, as well as how we treat and regulate diabetes in dogs.
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Diabetes in Dogs Diabetes in Dogs is caused by a deficiency in insulin production by the pancreas. Insulin helps the body transport blood sugar or glucose from the bloodstream to the tissues.
When carbohydrates are ingested and digested, sugar molecules are absorbed into the bloodstream. From there, insulin helps remove sugar from the bloodstream to the tissues; it does this in such a way as to keep the sugar or glucose level in the blood even throughout the day. Sugar is a vital energy source that is needed for each organ. When there is an insulin deficiency, the body is unable to remove the glucose from the bloodstream to use in the tissues. As a result, the level of glucose in the blood rises. In other words, there is plenty of sugar around but it is unable to be used.
into the urine through the kidneys. Since it is a relatively large molecule, it osmotically pulls water along with it making a much larger volume of urine. In order for the dog to not become dehydrated, the dog must drink a lot more water to compensate for this. This is the reason for one of the principle symptoms of diabetes in dogs: increased drinking and urination. Once the dog diabetes has progressed, the dog may enter a ketoacidotic state as its body tries to digest through an alternative metabolism in order to get energy. Dogs in a ketoacidotic state often present to a veterinary hospital in a very dehydrated, depressed Once the glucose level reaches a certain level, it spills over condition and are often vomiting as well. The prognosis is much more serious when this happens.
Diagnosis is through a blood test to determine your dog’s blood glucose level and sometimes even blood insulin levels.
Treatment for diabetes involves both treating for secondary conditions like ketoacidosis and dehydration, and treating with insulin injections to get control over your dog’s blood glucose. Once on insulin, periodic monitoring of your dog’s blood glucose is necessary. Some pet guardians even learn how to do their own blood glucose monitoring at home.
- Sam Meisler DVM
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