When it comes to diabetes, dog owners can have a lot of questions about the health and safety of their pets. For starters, dogs are typically more prone to develop Type I diabetes instead of Type II. It is similar to the version that humans might contract in that it exhibits many of the same qualities and symptoms.
Though the cause of the illness in dogs is still a mystery, it is estimated that Type I diabetes comes from a range of initial triggers that include genetics, autoimmune deficiencies, and other impacts that can come from the surroundings in which the dog resides. The disease is not related to diet or obesity.
But much like the human version of the illness, Type I diabetes in dogs results in the destruction of cells within the pancreas that regulate the production of insulin. When there is no insulin in the body, the dog can’t transfer glucose from the bloodstream and into the cells to produce energy.
Type I Diabetes Symptoms
There are some specific indicators that a dog is suffering from Type I diabetes. If your dog is showing any of these signs, they could be early warnings that need to be addressed immediately.
They include significant weight loss, eating and drinking more often than normal due to unquenchable hunger or thirst, and increased urination.
Although there is currently no cure for Type I diabetes, dogs can receive insulin injections that help to replace what is not being manufactured in the dog’s body so that glucose can be supplied to the cells in order to react function properly.
These insulin injections can be a challenge to administer for the most beneficial effects on the dog’s system as the amount of blood sugar supplied can require some delicate adjustments for the greatest efficacy. Most treatments are comprised of insulin injections along with a healthy, balanced diet and an active lifestyle.
But in order to create the most effective treatment option, you need to take your pet in for some initial tests that check the blood sugar levels in the blood. This is performed in the same manner as doctors monitoring glucose in humans who may be diabetic.
The veterinarian will order a blood panel which is usually taken after the dog has not eaten overnight. Urine may also be checked for ketone which is present in animals whose bodies aren’t producing the proper amount of glucose to be used by cells.
But taking blood work isn’t something that’s done just once or twice. Diabetic dogs need to have their blood sugar levels monitored on a regular basis. From these blood tests, an insulin treatment will be built to meet the demands of your pet’s glucose needs.
Some testing periods can last as little as a couple of weeks to a period of a few months in order to determine the most effective dosage of insulin to be given via injection for your pet’s well-being. This time-consuming process can have a frustrating effect on pet owners who only want to help their dog to live a happier, healthier life.
Patience is key as this monitoring process is absolutely essential to creating an insulin treatment that will help you manage the illness. Once the dosage is figured out, most veterinarians recommend you administer the injections at certain intervals twice a day.
Diet and Exercise
These two factors are critical to the treatment of your pet more so than usual. Your veterinarian will create the proper dosage of insulin to be given to your dog based on a variety of factors that include proper diet and exercise routines that are being practiced on a daily basis.
It is crucial that these factors be kept as routine as possible. Any deviations in the diet, exercise, even stress impacts on the dog can have a substantial effect on the levels of insulin that are required to treat your pet properly.
Making any changes in diet or activity may result in the injections becoming far less effective than usual and that can place your dog at serious risk.
However, as long as you stick to the routines that have been established during the blood work phase, your dog can live a full and rewarding life through consistent treatment designed by your veterinarian. It’s up to you to ensure that the treatments are administered faithfully and no major changes are made to the dog’s eating or exercise habits.