'Diabetes Awareness Week'
Diabetes is a condition that not only humans can suffer with, but animals too. Unfortunately Canine Diabetes is an incurable disease which is caused when the body stops making insulin however, it is common and is manageable with many dogs leading healthy and happy lives.
Symptoms of Canine Diabetes are:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss
- Increased appetite
Like in humans, if undetected, Diabetes can cause further health problems to dogs if it is left untreated. Some of these symptoms are:
- Enlarged liver
- Urinary tract infections
- Kidney failure
Dogs can be diagnosed with diabetes from as young as 18 months old, although the most common age is between 7 and 10. Un-spayed female dogs are twice as likely as males to have diabetes resulting in 70% of dogs with diabetes being female. Chronic or repeated pancreatitis, obesity and steroid medications are all things that can put a dog at risk of developing diabetes.
There are a few ways to manage diabetes, these are:
- Diet: Good-quality protein as well as fibre and complex carbohydrates is the recommended diet for dogs with Diabetes. A relatively low fat content is also high recommended by vet.
- Exercise: To help balance glucose levels, it is important that diabetic dogs maintain a moderate but consistent exercise routine. Not only does this help with sugar levels but also helps make sure your dog is staying as fit and healthy as possible.
- Medication: Most Diabetic dogs will require daily injections that the owner can administer. This can be easily made as part of the dog’s daily routine and will not be traumatic for them at all.
The dog’s blood sugar levels, amounts of medications and general health can be monitored every day by the owner to make sure that they are receiving the right care.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you and your dog through Diabetes:
- Avoid overfeeding: Diabetes is best managed through portion control
- Meal times: Prevent drops in glucose levels with feeding at the same time each day
- Keep alert: Putting a bell to the dog’s collar will help you keep alert to where they are, especially if they are is prone to seizures
- Clean teeth: Just like in humans, Diabetes can have bad effects on teeth. Make sure to keep them clean
- Record everything: Make notes of meal times, glucose levels and exercise times throughout the day
- Clue up: Educating yourself fully on Canine Diabetes will help manage the daily tasks of caring for a dog with diabetes