Diabetes in Large dogs – Your Awareness Can Help Your Canine To Live Better
Diabetes, this silent killer disease, can occur both in humans as well as in animals. Diabetes insipidus and Diabetes mellitus are the two most common forms of diabetes. In the animals, it is sugar diabetes or the latter diabetes mellitus that is reported quite often. An estimate says that 1 dog among 500 other is diabetic. W hile in humans diabetic retinopathy is noticed, cataracts in diabetic dogs is quite common and cause annoyance to the dog owners.
Cataracts develop in dogs due to high levels of blood glucose that result in build up of water in the lens, and there is eventual swelling and rupture of the fibers of the lens leading to opacity of the lens or what is commonly named cataracts. Before you are aware of the diabetes a cataract has already formed, and unfortunately, some of the cataracts cannot be corrected and the dog may even go blind.
What is diabetes mellitus and what condition leads to this dreadful disease in your canine? Diabetes mellitus occurs when the endocrine organ, pancreas under perform to produce the hormone, insulin that is important for breaking down glucose and thereby releasing energy. Diabetes is a metabolism disorder that stems from the insulin deficiency. Every cell in the body needs energy to live, and it is through the process of metabolism that the cells release energy by breakdown of food into glucose. Glucose flows into the blood of the dogs, and the insulin released from the beta cells of the pancreas help in the breakdown of glucose and release of energy within each cell.
Large dogs tend to suffer mostly from Type-I diabetes. In this case, the pancreas of the canines fail to produce insulin and without insulin the cells cannot utilize the glucose and hence it begins starving eventually rising the level of glucose in the blood. As the cells starve and there is no energy, the brain cells send out signals and the dog begins to eat more. Thus, a vicious cycle is generated.
More glucose is created, but it cannot be turned into energy. When a condition like this occurs, glucose from blood leaks into the dog’s urine. Thus, some of the symptoms of a diabetic dog are weight loss in addition to increased appetite, excessive thirst and increased urination. Some dogs might also suffer from vision problems.
How do you determine that your dog is diabetic? To diagnose that your dog has become diabetic, a veterinarian needs to take a complete biochemical profile and blood count. Urinalysis for the presence of sugars and ketones is another way to diagnose if your canine is diabetic. The presence of ketones , a metabolic byproduct indicates a need for medical intervention.
Which are the common forms of treatment for diabetes? The most common treatment to combat this disease is insulin therapy. Insulin injections in proper dosages, does have a significant effect; however, while administering this therapy, the blood profile needs to be checked at periodic intervals to see the effect of insulin. This test is especially essential for long-term insulin-therapy.
Besides insulin therapy, the diets of large dogs need to be monitored by a vet. One large meal should always be substituted by two to three small meals. The smaller meals help in stabilizing blood sugar levels whereas one large meal can increase the sugar level in blood.
Additionally, instead of feeding your dog with commercial food, try feeding with raw and homemade dog foods or some high-quality canned foods. A teaspoonful of a natural chromium containing substance called Brewer’s Yeast helps to control blood sugar efficiently. Some amount of daily walking is also essential to control Diabetes mellitus in large dogs. If the condition worsens, sometimes, oral hypoglycemic drugs can be administered with a vet’s advice and they have proved to be quite beneficial. With proper care and strict monitoring, therapy allows diabetic dogs lead a normal life.