In a previously written article, I told you all about the signs of canine diabetes, what it is, diagnosis, and treatment. But once your precious pooch is diagnosed and back from the vet, you will need to know how to care for your dog at home. Now, I’m not saying I’m a doggy guru of diabetes, I’m just saying that some of this may be useful when combined with what your vet tells you.
As your veterinarian will explain, it’s important to always give your dog insulin at the same time every day and feed him regular meals in conjunction with his medication. This is similar to how you would treat a person with diabetes. According to Pet WebMD:
This allows increased nutrients in the blood to coincide with peak insulin levels, and will lessen the chance that his sugar levels will swing either too high or too low. You can work with your vet to create a feeding schedule around your pet’s medication time. It is also important to avoid feeding your diabetic dog treats that are high in glucose. Regular blood glucose checks are a critical part of monitoring and treating any diabetic patient, and your veterinarian will help you set up a schedule for checking your dog’s blood sugar.
Please also consult your vet about a consistent, daily exercise program and proper nutrition for your dog to help keep his weight in check.
Golden retriever eating from his bowl.
Picture taken from: https://sonyasimpkins.wordpress.com/
But is there any way that diabetes can be prevented?
Although a certain form of diabetes, the type found in dogs less than a year of age-is inherited, proper diet and regular exercise can be very effective in helping to prevent onset of diabetes in older dogs. Aside from other negative health effects, obesity is known to contribute to an ability to respond normally to insulin.
The average age when dogs get diabetes is in the six-to-nine year range. Some breeds, such as German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Poodles, Keeshonds and Miniature Pinschers are more vulnerable to the disease, although all breeds can get it. Females are three times more likely than males to develop diabetes.
If left untreated, it can lead to cataracts, liver and bladder problems, weakness, and coma. Diabetes may develop slowly and can worsen over time. The earlier your dog gets treatment, the better. If you notice these signs continuing for more than a couple days, go see the vet:
• Frequent drinking and urination
• Excessive hunger
• Weight loss
• Lethargy or weakness
• Loss of appetite
Hopefully, now that you know what to look out for and how to care for the dog at home, you will be well prepared for what is to come. Remember that female dogs are even more at risk then males. So monitor your male’s diet and especially a female.
This disease that ravishes humans as well and is truly a horrible illness. So many (canine and human) have lost their lives too early because of it. I only hope that when/if a cure is found, the pups will be saved as well.