Like humans, dogs can also suffer from long-term diseases that may affect the quality of their lives and even cause death. One of the common, but treatable health problems that affect dogs is diabetes. If your pooch has been diagnosed with diabetes, you should not be worried. This is because diabetic dogs can just have a life expectancy that is similar to dogs without diabetes if you give your canine the required treatment.
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Diabetes in Dogs
Canine diabetes mellitus mainly occurs when the pancreas does not produce adequate insulin to regulate blood glucose levels or the body does not utilize insulin effectively. This causes a significant increase in the levels of glucose in the blood. Diabetes mainly appears in middle-aged and older canines and overweight dogs are also at a higher risk. The good thing is that dietary changes and insulin injections can allow your four-legged friend to enjoy a relatively normal life.
Dogs are mainly affected by diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus. Diabetes insipidus mainly occurs because of the lack of vasopressin, an antidiuretic hormone that aids in the absorption of water by the kidneys. Diabetes mellitus can be classified into Type I and Type II and is caused by insulin deficiency.
Diabetes Type I mainly occurs in young dogs and is called juvenile dog diabetes. Type II diabetes is usually an age-related problem that results in the dependency of dogs on insulin. If you want your pooch to lead a happy, healthy, and fuller life, you need to know the symptoms associated with diabetes and when to seek immediate medical help.
The Life Expectancy of Dogs with Diabetes
If your pooch is diagnosed with diabetes, you do not have to euthanize him/her. This is because diabetic dogs can still live a happy life without the symptoms of this disease. However, this will require lots of effort on your part. If you provide dog insulin, then diabetes will not adversely affect the life expectancy of your pet.
Many dogs that die from diabetes do so before the disease can be regulated. Most of these dogs tend to have other illnesses that cause them to be extremely sick or complicate their treatment. Diabetes is a treatable condition and the quality of life of your dog can be enhanced if you take the necessary measures to keep the level of blood sugar under control.
The life expectancy of your dog will only be affected if you do not provide the required treatment for your dog. Therefore, you should never worry about a decrease in the life expectancy of your pet, if you seek early and incessant medical intervention.
Symptoms of Diabetes in Dog
You need to identify the symptoms of diabetes early on so that you can assist in controlling the situation. If not controlled, diabetes can become a crippling problem that may even cause the death of your pooch. Some of the signs you need to look out for include:
- Lethargy, where your dog becomes inactive and lazy
- Excessive thirst leads your dog to consume more water than usual. Improper glucose metabolism or overproduction of glucose will make your dog feel thirstier.
- Frequent urination
- Sudden or rapid excessive weight loss or weight gain
- A ravenous appetite
During the early stages of diabetes, the symptoms will not be too severe on your dog. However, once the dog has full-blown diabetes, the symptoms are not subtle. Some of the less obvious signs of diabetes include the following
- Poor coat quality
- Recurrent infections
If your dog has diabetes, you should never assume that he will not be around for a long time. In most cases, the life expectancy of your dog will depend on different factors including his age at the time of diagnosis. It will also depend on your willingness to treat your pooch by giving him his daily insulin injections and the response of the dog to the medication. Without treatment, your pet will develop diabetes-related conditions such as blindness and will even die from the disease.
Your dog will live longer provided he gets the best treatment and this includes a diabetes diet. Your pooch should be put on low fat and low sugar diet to keep their blood sugar levels in check. You can consult your veterinarian to inquire about the foods that you can feed the dog.
You should also follow a strict feed schedule and never miss mealtimes. This will prevent any sudden reductions in the levels of blood sugar that may cause other health problems for the pooch. Additionally, intravenous insulin injections should also be administered to the dog. The vet will recommend the right insulin injection based on the condition of the dog.
Diabetes is a silent killer that can immensely affect the health of your dog. Therefore, every dog owner with a diabetic pooch should seek proper treatment for their pet at the right time. This will ensure that the dog lives a jovial and happy life. You can be confident that with the right treatment and proper diet, your dog will live longer and diabetes will not affect his/her quality of life.