Many diseases common in dogs, like diabetes, are often only thought of as human health issues. This unfortunately means that pet owners miss out on the symptoms and signs of diseases like diabetes in their pups. So how common is diabetes in dogs, and how can you ensure you take the right precautions to protect your pet from diabetes? Here is everything you need to know about diabetes in dogs.
What is Canine Diabetes?
Canine diabetes, much like diabetes in humans, is a condition that affects the amount of sugar, or glucose, in a dog’s blood. When your dog’s body
- makes too little insulin, or
- stops producing it completely
we call that diabetes. As you can see this is pretty similar to diabetes in human beings as well. Dogs are, after all, super sweet, aren’t they?
The carbohydrates in the food your dog eats are converted by her body into glucose, which is absorbed during digestion. From here, blood carries glucose to the cells that need it as power, and the body can continue working normally. If there isn’t enough insulin (the hormone that pulls sugar into the cells), glucose will build up in the bloodstream and cause damage.
How Common is Pet Diabetes?
This is tricky to calculate as canine diabetes is vastly under-diagnosed. Current numbers suggest that approx. 23 to 130 dogs in every 10000 dogs will suffer from canine diabetes, and that the condition is common in middle age and older dogs. That doesn’t mean that young dogs can’t be affected, but it is a lot less common.
Now that you know that diabetes can affect dogs too, you’d like to know how to prevent your dog from falling into the arms of this dangerous disease, right? Good! The first thing to be aware of, are the symptoms that your dog may exhibit if she is diabetic.
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs?
Catching onto the symptoms of canine diabetes early is vital as it means you can give your dog lifesaving treatment sooner. Dogs can have completely normal lives with diabetes once their insulin is under control, so it’s important to talk to your vet as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary damage. We have written an in depth article about the signs and symptoms of dog diabetes but here are a few to keep in mind.
One common symptom is extreme thirst. If your dog begins to drink more frequently and empties the water bowl more often, give your vet a call. Because of the increased thirst, your dog may also need to go out more often or start to have accidents in the house. This is happening because your dog’s body is trying to get rid of sugar by sending it out as urine.
Your dog might also lose weight despite eating normal portions, or even eating more than usual, because its cells aren’t getting the glucose they need from what it eats.
In addition to these, in more advanced cases of diabetes, symptoms can include lack of appetite and energy, depressed attitude or lethargy, and vomiting. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible, Even if these aren’t symptoms of canine diabetes, they could be signs of other serious health issues that you’d also want to address as soon as possible. When it comes to your pet, you can’t be too careful. They’re family after all!
Controlling your dog’s carb intake has known to have several benefits, including controlling blood sugar levels. Ketona is the world’s first low carb dog kibble, and we have some amazing feedback from dog parents with diabetic dogs. If you want to switch to healthier low carb, dog food then start by telling us about your dog.