Regardless of age, diabetes does not choose its carrier. In America alone, both children and adults are diagnosed with diabetes often. It may seem as a big surprise to some people, but pets are also susceptible to diabetes. The rate of diabetes among household pets in America has more than tripled since the 1970s. Today, at least one out of every 160 dogs are suffering from diabetes.
While some humans with varying diabetes cases are caused by diet, medicines are developed to answer these cases along with the proper diet to help treat a high or low rate of diabetes. On the other hand, older dog’s diabetes is a lifelong condition that requires pet owners to track carefully blood sugar and use daily insulin injections.
Diabetes mellitus, the medical term of the illness, occurs with the body’s inability to provide a sufficient amount of insulin for food metabolization for energy especially when the body’s cells fail to utilize properly the insulin. In human cases, the pancreas’s inability to produce enough insulin is known as the type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is similar to the type of diabetes that affects almost all dogs, which is also possibly acquired during pregnancy. Type 2 diabetes, formerly known as the adult onset diabetes, is linked to diet and obesity which results to insulin resistance. It is the most common form of diabetes with humans. And while dogs are known to have Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes is more commonly known to be the kind of diabetes present with cats. There is no concrete proof that dogs have this kind of diabetes.
Classic symptoms observed in humans such as increased urination, excessive thirst and weight loss despite increased intake of food consumption. An acute onset blindness resulting from cataracts may also be a sign of diabetes. Health investigation reveals that the same symptoms occurring to humans may be a lot similar to dogs. (read more here)
Just like with humans, the diagnosis for pet dogs can be easily confirmed with simple tests that would reveal a high percentage of sugar both in the blood and urine. Other test results associated to diabetes include traces of ketones found in the urine, increased liver enzymes, an enlarged liver, low blood phosphorus levels, elevated white blood cells caused by secondary infections, increased urine specific gravity due to dehydration, hyperlipidemia – elevated cholesterol levels and/or triglycerides, and traces of protein in the urine.
Older dog’s diabetes may either be complicated or uncomplicated. In complicated cases, they are sick, not eating or vomiting. In cases like this, these dogs require medical attention especially that of hospital care. Luckily, most cases are not complicated and treatments can be done at home and with the loving hands of their owners.