Canine Diabetes Mellitus
Your dog’s body needs insulin in order to produce energy from sugar. The pancreas is responsible for producing insulin. Canine diabetes mellitus occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin. Sometimes the pancreas will produce enough insulin, but the body won’t respond to it.
This condition will lead to a range of health problems if left untreated. One of the most common complications is the development of diabetic cataracts which can lead to blindness. Your dog may even go on to suffer from a condition known as ketoacidosis.
There are various reasons for the development of diabetes mellitus in dogs. Canine pancreatitis, a condition which results from inflammation of the gland responsible for secreting insulin, can lead to diabetes. Overweight dogs also have an increased risk. There are also certain medications like glucocorticoids that interfere with insulin.
Adults with diabetes will show a range of symptoms. They will drink more water than usual, and in turn urinate more frequently. Your pet will also be hungry much more often since his brain will be deprived of sugar. Although he will eat more often, he will still lose weight since he won’t be able to extract the nutrients from food.
If the condition is allowed to progress, your dog may suffer infections of the kidney, bladder, or skin. As mentioned earlier, the condition can also lead to cataracts. In some cases, diabetic dogs will develop an abnormal gait.
Other diseases can cause some of the same symptoms as canine diabetes mellitus. If the vet suspects that your dog’s symptoms are caused by this condition, he will perform a variety of tests. A urinalysis will help determine if there is glucose present in the urine. Some dogs may also have a urinary tract infection. A blood test will also help determine the level of glucose in the blood.
You should be aware that canine diabetes mellitus cannot be cured. The disease can only be managed. Your dog will likely need to take insulin shots for the rest of his life. You’ll also need to ensure that he gets plenty of exercise and eats a proper diet.