Diabetes in dog: who can suffer and what are the symptoms?
Diabetes can be life-threatening and dogs who suffer need care, support and attention to make sure they cope with condition. Owning a dog that suffers from diabetes does not have to be difficult. As long as you know the signs, symptoms, how to treat the condition and what kind of dietary requirements your dog needs, it can be relatively easy to deal with.
Dogs can suffer from two different types of diabetes - diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus. Each type has a different effect on your dog. Diabetes mellitus is the condition whereby the sufferer will have an inability to metabolize sugar, so dogs who suffer from this version will become insulin dependent. This type is the most common type of diabetes and considered the more dangerous of the two that an animal can acquire. If your dog is diagnosed with diabetes insipidus it means that there is insufficiency of vasopressin. Vasopressin is an anti-diuretic hormone that controls water absorption by the kidneys.
Early diagnosis of diabetes is crucial if there is to be a chance to reverse the effects. If a dog is suspected to be suffering from diabetes, a blood sugar test will be undertaken by your local vet if you schedule a visit and express the concern that your dog might be a diabetes sufferer.
So how do you know whether your dog might be suffering from a form of diabetes? There are a number of signs and symptoms which characterize the condition which you should look out for.
Is your dog lethargic? Lethargy can be a sign of many diseases, diabetes included. If your dog is being lazy or unresponsive then you should make a note of it and check whether they are exhibiting any other signs that they are currently sick. Lethargy by itself will not indicate diabetes. Along with lethargy, there are several other warning signs that your dog may be suffering from diabetes. If your dog is lethargic as well as exhibiting some of the following symptoms, take your pet to the vet to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Dogs that excessively drink water and excessively urinate are likely to be suffering from diabetes. Diabetes causes dogs to consume lots of water because of the effect that too much glucose or the inability to metabolize glucose can have on your dog's body. Naturally, drinking a lot of water will lead to an increased need to urinate so these symptoms are interlinked.
Another tell-tale sign that your dog may be suffering from diabetes is sudden weight loss or weight gain. If your dog is diabetic, they will not be as active as they should be. This results in not enough sugar being metabolized and your dog putting on excess weight.
Unfortunately, sometimes a dog that is suffering from diabetes may not exhibit any of the above signs. In these cases, regular check ups at the vet can help you to catch the condition early on and make it manageable as soon as possible.
Much like the human condition, diabetes can occur early on in the dog's life, in the form of juvenile diabetes. Another type of diabetes mainly affects middle-aged and senior dogs. It isn't just older dogs that are affected, large dog breeds seem to be affected more by the adult condition than smaller breeds especially if the dogs become obese. Ultimately, any dog can develop diabetes. It is normally considered a hereditary disease, but it can be caused by a few other factors, e.g. obesity.