Monday, April 5, 2010


Most of the causes of diabetes in the dog can’t be controlled or prevented. If you don’t know that your dog has this disease, then you can’t prevent it from killing him. Sometimes you may see a few symptoms and other times none at all.

Many times diabetes is a heredity disease meaning that if the parents of the dog had this condition, his offspring has a greater chance of getting this disease. This is why knowing your dog’s background is extremely important when you are considering using him for breeding.

There are other reasons that your dog can get diabetes and that is from infectious diseases and viruses. Or perhaps your dog suffered from another disease and your dog’s diabetes was triggered by this. Certain diseases that affect the pancreas can produce abnormal production of the hormone insulin. When this happens, it is much harder for the dog’s body to manage glucose or blood sugar levels. This is when diabetes begins. A condition like Cushing’s disease is an example that can trigger diabetes.

If you have used steroids for your pet on a regular basis this may also be a contributing factor to your dog developing diabetes. Steroids can affect the normal functions of the pancreas which can cause under production of insulin.

Usually a dog will develop diabetes when he’s between the ages of seven to nine years old. The female dog is usually at a higher risk than the male because of the changes in her reproductive hormones every time that she gets pregnant.

I was surprised to read that diabetes is a common occurrence in the dog. From my research it says that one in every ten dogs in the world will suffer from diabetes. It is an autoimmune disease and it is critical that it be taken care of immediately. This disease can slowly affect your dogs’ entire body system and eventually cause its death! Many times you won’t even know that your dog has it because it rarely produces symptoms and yet it can cause irreversible conditions inside the dog’s body. This is why diabetes strikes like a silent killer. This is why diagnosing this disease early on is very important. If it’s discovered at a later time, your veterinarian may have few options in the treatment of your dog.

Some of the signs that your dog MIGHT have this condition:

LETHARGY – although this could be a symptom of many diseases, not just diabetes. Sometimes we may think that our dog is just lazy when he may have a serious medical condition instead. He should be checked by your vet.

EXCESSIVE WATER CONSUMPTION – when a dog constantly drinks water and he’s doing it excessively it is likely that he may have diabetes. He drinks excessively because of the overproduction of glucose or that the glucose can’t be metabolized by its body properly.

INCREASED URINATION – obviously if your dog is drinking an enormous amount of water, his need to urinate more often is understandable. Because these two symptoms are related to each other, you need to notify your vet about this.

UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT GAIN OR WEIGHT LOSS – Naturally if your pet is lying around all day and is not active, he will gain weight. Your dog cannot burn as much sugar as it should because of the insulin deficiency it is suffering from. Weight gain abnormally is a major cause for concern and can be an indicating your dog is suffering from diabetes.

Not all dogs will have these symptoms that I just mentioned and that’s the biggest challenge you as a dog owner will face. Sometimes your dog won’t display any symptoms at all! The dog may have diabetes and it’s disrupting his functions of the body without showing any signs. That’s why it is advised to take your dogs to the vet for regular check ups in order to catch this killer early on.

While there is no permanent cure for canine diabetes, dogs do and can live a normal life despite living with this condition. In order to do so, this may require a lifestyle change and taking regular medications to control this condition.

What treatments are available for a dog that is diagnosed with diabetes? Your vet will give you some strict guidelines that must be followed concerning your dog’s diet and lifestyle. You must give your diabetic dog the right diet for his condition. Low fat and low sugar meals are a must so that your dog’s condition won’t exacerbate. Your vet will give you a list of foods that your dog shouldn’t be fed. He will determine by his testing how much this disease has affected your dogs’ system. He will then try to treat him with medications to reverse this condition.

There are all different degrees to the seriousness of the canine diabetic. Some dogs have a mild case of the disease and some have the more severe case of the disease. If a dog has a milder case of it, his condition can be addressed by a simple diet change and taking the necessary medications. The more severe cases of this disease may require insulin injections. Your vet will administer the shots. Sometimes he will teach you how to do it yourself.

Insulin is usually categorized as short-acting (usually effective up to four hours); medium range (effective for up to one day) and long range (can be effective up to 28 hours). Your veterinarian will determine which one is best for your dog. Usually intravenous insulin is administered to your dog on a regular basis. Of these three types of insulin, the short acting injection is the most powerful. This one is administered to dogs suffering from ketoacidosis as well. It is the initial medication given to dogs that suffer from this particular disease.

The smaller dog may only require one injection daily whereas, the larger dog may need two or more shots in order for him to carry on his normal activities. Regular monitoring is necessary. Sometimes your vet may need to adjust your dog’s medications so he can properly benefit from them.
Your veterinarian will need to make periodic blood sugar testing if your dog is diagnosed with diabetes. He will take a small portion of blood from your dog so he can analyze its glucose content. If your dog’s condition gets better, the dosage will decrease as well.
What is Glipizde? Glipizide is one of the many drugs that your vet may use to treat your diabetic dog. Dogs that have low insulin levels will benefit greatly from this medication. It is a prescription drug used to control blood sugar levels. Glipizide contains sulfonylurea, an effective anti-diabetic agent. This drug was created for humans but it really seamed to work very well for the diabetic dog. At this time it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for dogs. Taken orally in the right dosage, this medicine works by stimulating the pancreas and initiating the production of insulin. This is the reason that Glipizide is recommended mostly for insulin deficient diabetics. When the body has enough insulin, the body processes are restored to its natural state. However, this medication can only help in managing the disease. At this time, there is no cure for diabetes.

When giving Glipizide to your dog, be very careful about using the proper dosage and the frequency when giving this medicine. Read the label very carefully and follow your veterinarian’s instructions strictly! It is a safe drug if used as prescribed! It should be noted that it shouldn’t be combined with certain other medications that your dog may be on. These medications include prescription drugs as well as over the counter or herbal drugs as well. The known side effects of Glipizide are lowered body temperature, nervousness, vomiting, headaches and confusion. That is why this medication should be used under the guidance of your vet. If you notice any of these conditions, get in touch with your vet right away.

Be very careful not to overdose your dog on Glipizide. Symptoms of overdose may include anxiety, hunger, weakness, nausea, unconsciousness and drowsiness. If you suspect that your dog has been overdosed, call your vet immediately.
If your dog has Type II diabetes or canine diabetes mellitus, your vet very well may treat your dog with Vetsulin. It is the first and so far only insulin approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat canine diabetes mellitus. It is a prescription drug.

It is very common for a dog to develop diabetes mellitus or Type II diabetes. In fact, it is estimated that about one in 500 dogs suffers from signs of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes is also more common in obese dogs. If your dog is diagnosed with this condition, this type of diabetes is not fatal and given proper care your dog can continue to have a good life for many years.

The medication Vetsulin has been proven to be safe and effective for over two decades now. It is an intermediate acting form of insulin. It contains 30% amorphous insulin which allows it to go to work quickly. Its activity usually peaks about four hours after injection and lasts eight hours. The other 70% of Vetsulin is crystalline insulin which is more slow acting and usually peaks about 11 hours after you administer it to your dog.

Usually when you give Vetsulin to your dog, it is given once a day by injection under the skin with his meal or right after he eats. Your vet will reevaluate your dog at appropriate intervals and most likely adjust the Vetsulin dosage in 10% increments based on how your dog looks and the results of his urinalysis and glucose curve spot check values until the diabetes has been brought under control.

Just what is canine diabetes mettitus? Canine diabetes is caused when your dog’s pancreas stops producing the hormone insulin or if certain body tissues become resistant to the action of the insulin. As a result, your dog’s body will no longer be able to control its blood sugar and it will develop hyperglycemia, meaning that its blood sugar levels are too high. Why this happens is still a mystery but heredity and/or chronic pancreatitis may be the culprit.
Here again, you will need to change your dogs diet. Your vet will probably put him on a high protein/low carbohydrate diet. This can run into problems when you’re feeding your dog a commercial dry dog food. Many of them are high in carbohydrates and this can be a contributing factor to your dog’s diabetes. Feeding your dog a dry food that is high in protein and low in carbs will help keep his glucose level from elevating after the dog has eaten and will help regulate his blood glucose.

The reason why you will need to give your dog Vetsulin every day is that if the diabetes is left uncontrolled, your dog can suffer serious consequences. For example, it can become ketotic which may lead to depression, vomiting, weakness and rapid breathing.

Taking care of a diabetic dog is something that must be done on a daily basis, just as it is with a human that has this condition. He needs to have his medicines and/or injections for the rest of his life. There are no short cuts. He needs his injections every day in order to live. Owning a diabetic dog requires that you are patient and careful to make sure your dog gets his proper medications, and the correct diet. If the animal can get the same kinds of deadly diseases as the human can, this means that he needs the same type of medical care and treatment in order for him to live a healthy and productive life. Our aim is to ensure that our dogs live a long life with us for as long as he can.

My rating: early detection of early diabetes: (4), changing the food of the diabetic dog: (4)

From the book: "INFECTIOUS DISEASES OF THE DOG AND CAT" - Access the most up-to-date, clinically focused information on prevention strategies as well as diagnostic and treatment approaches.

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