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Diabetes is a very common hormonal disorder in pet dogs. It occurs when a dog’s pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin. This hormone is involved in properly metabolizing the sugar in their diet, and if there is a shortage, the result is high levels of sugar in their blood. This can lead to a lack of energy, weight changes and even blindness.
The most common symptom of canine diabetes that is noticed by owners is excessive thirst. Affected dogs empty their water bowl several times a day and of course, what goes in must come out. These dogs therefore urinate a lot, and they may start to leave little puddles inside the house.
While diabetes does occur in young dogs, it is usually a disease of middle aged animals, and for some reason it is more common in females than in males. It is also more likely to develop in dogs that are overweight. Some drugs such as corticosteroids also increase the risk of a dog becoming diabetic if they are used for extended periods of time.
Diagnosing diabetes isn’t difficult; if your veterinarian suspects that your dog has this condition, he will perform blood and urine tests to check their glucose levels. If the diagnosis is confirmed, then your dog will need to start on daily injections of insulin to restore their blood glucose levels to normal.
It can take some time to work out the right dose of insulin for your dog. Blood glucose is also affected by what your dog eats, when they eat and how much exercise they get. This means that you need to do your best to keep their food intake and exercise levels constant. Any changes can mean that their dose of insulin needs to be adjusted.
In Summary – If your dog is a diabetic, you will need to be prepared for the initial expense of reaching a diagnosis and working out how much insulin they need. After that, it’s not difficult to manage, and diabetic dogs can live a normal, happy life.
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