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Diabetes in Dogs
Diabetes is one of the most common hormonal conditions in our
beloved four legged friends, most frequently occurring in middle aged
dogs (very common in unspayed bitches). Diabetes can be diagnosed
as young as 18 months.
Diabetes Mellitus (it’s full name) occurs when the body stops making or
responding to insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas). Once
your dog has finished eating, his digestive system begins to break down
the food into various components, including glucose. Glucose is then
carried into the cells by insulin. A diabetic dog is unable to absorb and
use glucose effectively within his cells, causing an elevation of blood
sugar levels, which left untreated can cause serious health problems.
Symptoms of diabetes in dogs include: change in appetite, excessive
thirst/increase of water intake, weight loss, increased urination and
cataract formation. If you are concerned about any of these symptoms,
please contact you vet immediately.
There are 2 main types of diabetes – Type 1 (lack of insulin production)
and Type 2 (inadequate response to insulin). Both forms of diabetes will
usually require a daily or twice daily dose of insulin to maintain a steady
concentration of glucose in your dog’s blood, avoiding levels becoming
too high or too low. Your vet will be able to inform you of your dog’s
specific requirements once relevant blood tests/checkups have been