Finding out your dog has diabetes can be upsetting. However, with careful maintenance and regular vet care, your dog can thrive and live a long, healthy life. If you’ve never dealt with insulin-dependent diabetes in a pet, then you may be initially surprised at the amount of management involved. Once you get into a routine, though, your dog will feel much better and the treatment regime will become second nature.
What is diabetes in dogs?
Diabetes in dogs is like type 1 diabetes in humans. They cannot produce enough insulin to manage their blood glucose levels. This leads to dangerously high blood glucose that can be devastating to the body and even fatal if not managed. When your dog has diabetes, he or she will need to take insulin injections twice per day, and you will need to periodically check his or her blood glucose levels. Your vet will provide you with ample training, so you get comfortable with both processes.
What are the symptoms?
The two most obvious symptoms of diabetes are a major increase in your dog’s thirst and appetite, while also losing weight unexpectedly. If the disease progresses untreated, your dog will eventually refuse to eat and become lethargic. Long-term diabetes can cause complications in virtually every organ, so it is important to get your dog checked out if you suspect that you are seeing diabetes symptoms.
What is the treatment plan?
After diagnosis, your veterinarian will show you how to administer insulin injections for your dog. Usually, this involves two injects about 12 hours apart each day. Fortunately, insulin needles are small, and most dogs don’t mind them. Blood glucose checks are done using a glucometer that requires you to use a lancet to draw a small amount of blood. Your vet will ensure you are comfortable with these processes, which will quickly feel normal for you and your dog.
At Horizon Animal Hospital, we understand how challenging it is to get an unexpected diagnosis for your pet, but we’re here to help. Whether you just need a check-up for your pet or you are concerned about your pet’s symptoms, call us at 480-614-9500 to make an appointment with our vet in Scottsdale.