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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.

Post a message or ask a question on our new Dog Health Problems Advice Forums

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

The statements or information on this website have not
been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to
diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.