Diabetes mellitus is an extremely common endocrine condition in dogs. It is mostly seen in middle-aged and older dogs.
Diabetes mellitus has a relative or absolute insulin deficiency. This results in an inability to transfer glucose from the bloodstream to the cells. Blood glucose concentrations are increased. If the renal level is exceeded, glucose is excreted in the urine, resulting in increased urination and increased thirst. In addition, glucose metabolism is damaged, which deteriorates the overall health of the dog and, if untreated, it might lead to death.
Symptoms that Indicate Diabetes Mellitus In Dogs
Some common clinical signs include:
- Weight loss
- Eye cataracts
- Urinary tract infection
If you find that your dog has some of these signs, be sure to seek advice from a trained veterinarian.
Common Causes of Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes mellitus occurs when the body does not make enough insulin. Insulin controls blood sugar (glucose) levels when insulin levels are too low and blood sugar levels rise, resulting in diabetes. Diabetes is a life-threatening condition, but it can be successfully treated in most cases.
How is diabetes mellitus diagnosed?
Diabetes mellitus is diagnosed with the presence of standard clinical symptoms (excessive hunger, excess urination, excess appetite, and weight loss), as well as the presence of a persistently high level of glucose in the bloodstream and glucose in the urine.
Diabetes mellitus treatment can require dietary changes, oral medications, exercise, and insulin therapy. Identifying and treating concurrent diabetes is an important aspect of diabetic treatment when insulin resistance is suspected. The exact treatment guidelines differ on a case-by-case basis and should be decided by the veterinarian in charge of the case. Most animals have insulin-dependent diabetes and insulin injections are required. Insulin requirements can be very complex, so you can try multiple kinds of insulin, doses and even frequencies before your dog or cat’s disease is managed. Insulin handling, storage and administration are different for each form of insulin and should be checked with your veterinarian. Once the dog has begun treatment, frequent veterinary visits are required to assess the control and periodic examinations are recommended for ongoing monitoring. Ultimately, the aim of treating most animals with insulin-dependent diabetes is to minimize clinical symptoms, because curing the disease is usually not feasible.
If you can learn how to monitor your pet’s blood sugar levels at home, you can save a lot of money and potentially get better management of glucose.
You will need a glucose meter if you want to monitor your dog’s glucose levels at home. Pet gluco-meters can be obtained at any drugstore or online. The gluco-meter kit includes a spring-loaded lancet system for taking blood samples (usually from the margin of the ear), measuring strips and calibration solutions. Remember to keep a record of when your pet was fed, when insulin was given, and what glucose levels you observed. Bring this log to your veterinarian when you come for a check-up. Glucose levels collected prior to the first insulin dose of the day are especially useful. Your veterinarian may also be deeply interested in signs associated with poor regulation: excessive thirst, excessive urine production, excess appetite, and weight loss.