We have all heard of diabetes for humans, but did you know that your dog can get it, too? Diabetes is a disease caused by the lack of insulin or lack of response to it. Some forms of diabetes are inherited, but you can help prevent it by exercising your dog regularly and preventing obesity with a healthy diet.
According to the ASPCA, if your dog is exhibiting the following symptoms, please take him to the vet to be properly diagnosed:
Change in appetite
Excessive thirst/increase in water consumption
Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath
Urinary tract infections
Cataract formation, blindness
Chronic skin infections
Treatment in each case can and will be different. Some dogs may respond to a change in diet that may include a higher amount of fiber, but most will become insulin dependent for the duration of their lives. It is important to give them their insulin at the same time every day, and your vet can work with you on details on how to plan their meal schedule around this. Soft/moist foods should be avoided because of the immediate impact this can have on your dog’s glucose and spaying is highly recommended for the same reason.
Although a diagnosis of diabetes will definitely change your dog’s routine, they are still perfectly capable of living long, healthy and happy lives with the proper care. Please pay attention to any warning signs and work with your veterinarian to keep them healthy.