Diabetes has increased among dogs and cats over the last several decades. Some say it may simply be because pets live longer, giving them a greater chance to develop diabetes. However, it’s also hard not to notice that the lifestyles and diets of dogs have changed radically. Unfortunately, it’s not that straightforward, because no one can identify the true cause of diabetes mellitus in dogs.
Some good news about diabetes is that the sooner it is noticed, the greater chances the patient has to live a normal life. Being able to tell the early signs of diabetes mellitus can literary save your dog’s life.
NOTE: It’s not necessary for you to know the symptoms of all possible diseases. If there is something unusual going on with your pet, a visit or phone call to the vet would be very helpful.
- Increased urination: This is often the first sign noticed by the owners of a diabetic dog. What happens here is that the dog’s body tries to lower its blood glucose level, something which is usually done by insulin. The dog suddenly starts to ask to go out more frequently or starts to pee on the floor. This is when people often turn to an animal behaviorist for help, when in reality they should consult a veterinarian. Large puddles or frequent urination can be signs of not only diabetes, but many other diseases, as well.
- Increased water consumption: If you have a yard, you may not notice increased urination. However, what you should be able to tell is that your dog is drinking more water. If you replace your dog’s water at least daily, you will be able to notice any changes in water consumption early enough.
- Increased appetite: Dogs with diabetes are not able to receive sufficient nutrition from their food. That means that a diabetic dog will need to consume more food to meet dietary requirements. The dog may feel satisfied early but then feel hungry again after a short time. Remember that increased appetite can be a sign of many diseases. Visit a veterinarian and look for any other signs present. You can learn more about excessive eating in dogs.
- Rapid weight loss: This appears to be a paradox—the dog eats more, but loses weight. It means that the dog is not getting enough nutrition and is losing not only fat reserves but also muscle mass. Soon enough, however, diabetes will make the dog gain weight, because the body becomes unable to turn fat into energy. Since most diabetic dogs are reported to be obese before the onset of the disease, a classic diabetes pattern is: Obesity -> Rapid weight loss -> Obesity.
Later signs of diabetes mellitus include obesity, anorexia, lethargy, and vomiting. Those signs can also point to other medical conditions, and diabetes can only be confirmed by a veterinarian. Remember, early diagnosis is the biggest step to a good outcome.
Treatment of diabetes in dogs, or we might say management of diabetes, usually includes insulin administration, a significant amount of physical activity, and a well-balanced and consistent diet.
If you keep these things in mind and notice the signs of diabetes early, the prognosis is good for your dog to live a normal life and reach an old age.