canine diabetes is diabetes mellitus, or "sugar diabetes." This occurs when the animal's body doesn't produce insulin, the hormone that allows the glucose in the blood to be delivered to the body's cells for energy. The result is canine diabetes and high blood sugar.
The excess high blood sugar is expelled through the urine. Dogs with diabetes will drink and urinate excessively. A housebreaking accident inside the home is often the first sign that alerts pet owners that something may be wrong. Other signs of diabetes in dogs include increased appetite, weight loss, recurring infections, and an intolerance to exercise. Sometimes dogs will suddenly become blind due to the development of cataracts.
Dogs with high blood sugar are more prone to experiencing additional health complications. Some of these include:
Canine diabetes is diagnosed by a vet who will review the symptoms and order blood tests and sometimes urine tests as well. Once diagnosed, there is a period where the correct dosage of insulin for your pet needs to be determined. There is no standard dosage so the process may take some time. Some dogs may only require one insulin shot per day, others will need more. A vet might also recommend feeding a prescription food.
Note that there are many different types of insulin. It could take time to figure out which product works best for your dog.
Initially, dogs must be monitored frequently until the veterinarian feels that they are stable. Monitoring can be done less often after the dog is stable.
Once the dog starts receiving insulin, owners should be aware of the possibility of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Insulin works to lower blood sugar, so if your dog doesn't eat his meal or exercises too much, or if he is accidentally "double dosed" with insulin (eg. two members of the household each give him an insulin shot), then hypoglycemia can occur. This condition is not usually fatal, but it can be.Karo or corn syrup on his gums.
You can prepare for a possible hypoglycemia attack by keeping syrup or sugar handy. Buy small travel containers to hold corn syrup in case of emergency. Keep one in the car, in your purse or backpack, or even attach it to your dog's leash with a pouch. Another option is to fill syringes with caps (without the needle part) with the corn syrup. You can also buy individual honey packets, as an alternative.
Canine diabetes and high blood sugar are treatable. Your veterinarian can show you how to administer the insulin shots, tell you what to watch for, and help you understanding how diet and exercise will affect your dog and his insulin dosages. Dogs with diabetes can be successfully managed and live long and happy lives.