How To Care For A Dog With Diabetes
Category : How To Care For A Dog With Diabetes
Bruno is a big cuddly brown ball of fur.He is my favourite thing to cuddle up with especially on a cold winter’s night near our open fire, watching my favourite television programmes.
He is a big baby in that he cuddles me so close I can hardly breathe so I named him”Baby Bruno” when he was a puppy and the name has stuck because he still behaves like a young dog even though he is nearly twelve years of age.
Even though he is an old dog now I still love him the same as I did when he was a young mischevious pup!
I would be lost without my two dogs Hachi and Bruno!They are great company especially when I am working on this website as they often come into our office where our personal computer is!
Bruno is my dog really and Hachi is my husband’s Brendan’s dog it just turned out that way for some reason that’s life!Bruno is a lovely dog even if he is getting old and isnt as attractive as the dog in the picture above.
Caring for him is going to be more difficult soon as he cant walk as well as he use to because of his arithritis but that’s life isnt it we are all getting older!
He cant go for long walks anymore and is therefore inclined to put on weight!
Therefore we are afraid he might end up with Type 2 diabetes which would make life even more difficult for him and us!
Bruno had another friend called Keano who died when Bruno was eight years old.
Keano was a very placid and gentle dog as most golden retrievers are and always left some of the food in his bowl for Bruno!
Keano was like Bruno he had problems with his legs but in his case it was because of hip problems!
We bought him a cart online which cost a fair bit but it was worth it as it meant he could be more active!
I loved that dog very much more than I should have as I prolonged the envitable I should have got him put down months before I did!
Keano wasnt overweight like Bruno so we didnt worry too much about him getting Type 2 diabetes!
Diabetes in dogs is a complex disease caused by either a lack of the hormone insulin or an inadequate response to insulin.
After a dog eats his digestive system breaks food into various components which is carried into his cells by insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas. When a dog does not produce insulin or cannot utilize it normally, his blood sugar levels rise. The result is hyperglycemia, which, if left untreated, can cause many complicated health problems for a dog.
It is important to understand, however, that diabetes is considered a manageable disorder and many diabetic dogs can lead happy, healthy lives.
Why Dogs Get Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is usually found in young dogs, is actually quite rare in companion animals when they reach middle-age or senior years.
Your dog is much more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes around middle age or in his senior years, as a result of a lifestyle that leads to decreased production of insulin or the inability of his body to use it efficiently.
Obesity is far and away the biggest reason pets become diabetic.
You can help your dog stay trim by feeding him a portion controlled appropriate diet ,such as pedigree dry nuts consisting primarily of a variety of protein sources, healthy fats and vegetables.
Your pet has no biological requirement for grains or most other carbohydrates. Carbohydrates which can be as much as 80 percent the ingredient content of processed pet food, turn into sugar in your pet’s body. Excess sugar in dogs leads to diabetes.
Another lifestyle-related reason pets develop diabetes, one that often goes hand-in-hand with poor nutrition, is lack of physical activity.
Your dog needs regular aerobic exertion to help maintain a healthy weight and to keep his/her muscles in shape. Your pet should be getting at least 45 minutes of aerobic type exercise several days a week.
The most common form of the disease in young dogs is Type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes, which occurs when the pancreas is incapable of producing or secreting adequate levels of insulin. Dogs who have Type 1 require insulin injections to survive. Type 2 diabetes is found in cats and senior dogs and is a lack of normal response to insulin.
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs?
Click Here for Symptoms that should be Investigated as they could be indicators that your dog has Diabetes.
What Causes Diabetes in Dogs?
The exact cause of diabetes is unknown.
Which Dogs Are Prone to Diabetes?
It is thought that obese dogs and female dogs may run a greater risk of developing diabetes later in life (6-9 years of age). Some breeds may also run a greater risk, including Australian terriers, standard and miniature schnauzers, dachshunds, and poodles,. Type 1 diabetes can also be seen and is particularly prevalent in golden retrievers .
Treating Canine Diabetes
A blood test that measures your dog’s blood glucose level is the most common way.
Once your dog is diagnosed, his/her veterinarian will give you a diabetes management plan for your dog which will help you manage his/her condition.
Your vet will advise you on what insulin dose to give your dog,how often you need to inject your dog with insulin and the correct diet and exercise plan for your pet.
Click Here For Free Ebook that teaches you great tips when it comes to Caring For Your Dog.
Diabetic Dog Diet
The general guidelines for a healthy diabetic dog diet are:
1.Feeding the dog natural wholesome food in small doses, twice a day. Regular and small dosages will make it easier for the body to produce and utilize the sugar as well as the insulin.
2.Feeding time should be the same every day because dogs like routine and the security of knowing when and what time they will be fed.
3.The amount of food should also be the same every day.
Foods To Avoid
1.Soft or semi-moist pet foods – Usually they contain a lot of sugar, preservatives, and artificial colors.
2.Fatty meats and excessive oil – Enzymes need to be produced especially for the breakdown of fat, thus digesting fatty meats puts extra stress on the pancreas.
3.High carbohydrate foods – If a dog diet is high in carbohydrates, they will eventually be broken down into sugar. Excess sugar in the blood can lead to diabetes.
A regular exercise program is important as it has the effect of decreasing insulin needs. It is important for the dog to exercise regularly and have the same amount of exercise every day,exercise at the same time of day,have the same duration of exercise time every day.Dog’s love routine it helps them stay focused.
Diabetic dogs can become seriously hypoglycemic (dangerously low blood sugar level) when they are out for a walk. As a precaution, therefore, always carry some sugar source(jelly sweets and orange juice for fast acting carbohydrate and wholewheat dog biscuits for slow releasing carbohydrate) with you when you take your diabetic dog out for exercise.
If your diabetic dog is obese, gradual weight loss is highly recommended. Weight loss may help to reduce your dog’s need for insulin. However, the key is to lose weight gradually. Rapid weight loss should be avoided because it is hard to maintain a quick fix but slowly losing the weight is easier for your pet if you put him/her on a healthier diet.
Monitor Your Diabetic Dog
Keeping a logbook can help you monitor your diabetic dog’s progress. Every day, record blood glucose test results, any ketone test results, changes in your dog’s appetite, weight, appearance, water intake, urination frequency or mood, and any treatment changes your veterinarian makes. A simple notebook or computer spreadsheet works well.
Among the things to watch for on a day-to-day basis are low blood glucose levels(hypoglycemia)and high blood glucose levels(hyperglycemia).
It is very important that blood sugar levels are kept as close to normal as possible.
See the table below for the different blood glucose ranges:
Normal Blood Glucose Range: 4.0 to 5.9 mmol/l(72.0 to 106.2 mg/dl)
Hypoglycemia Range(low blood sugar level) :Below 4.0 mmol/l(72.0mg/dl)
Hyperglycemia Range(high blood sugar level): Above 7.0mmol/l(126.0mg/dl)
Hyperglycemia can lead to ketoacidosis (harmful levels of ketones in the blood), which qualifies as an emergency, and you should call your vet right away.
Symptoms include drinking lots of water, urinating frequently , loss of appetite, weakness, vomiting, lethargy, ketones in the urine and the most serious situation is when the dog goes into a coma.
Test strips are available to detect ketones in your dog’s urine, and you should report the presence of ketones to your veterinarian immediately, even if your dog has no other symptoms.
A range of symptoms may be present during hypoglycemia including restlessness, lethargy, confusion, weakness, wobbliness, lack of coordination, shivering, sweaty paws and the worst cases cause seizures and coma or even death.
Test your dog’s blood glucose level if these symptoms appear.
If it is below the recommended level, rub maple syrup,a high-sugar food that is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream on your dog’s gums and the inside of his/her cheek, then monitor your pet’s blood sugar level as per the following post Hypoglycemia Facts.
Natural Supplements for Diabetes in Dogs
Supplements can be added to a diabetic dog diet to help aid the dog’s condition especially if the pet has an autoimmune condition such as diabetes.
1.One important supplement is brewer’s yeast. The chromium in the yeast aids the body in using blood sugar more effectively. You can give one teaspoon to one tablespoon (depending on the size of your dog) of brewer’s yeast with each meal to your dog.
2.Vitamins C and E are also essential.
3.Herbs can also be used to help strengthen and support major body systems that have been weakened by diabetes. Dogs with diabetes are unlikely to be able to fully utilize nutrients.
Therefore herbs that aid digestion and nutrient absorption will be beneficial to diabetic dogs. Dandelion leaf, alfalfa, and calendula are such herbs.
Some herbs are effective in maintaining and moderating blood sugar levels, such as dandelion root and burdock root.
5.Aloe vera and fenugreek seeds have also been found to be able to reduce blood sugar levels and stimulate insulin production in diabetic animals.
6.Garlic is another useful herb for diabetes in dogs. Garlic stimulates the stomach and intestines and increases digestive organ function.
7.Cinnamon may also be helpful for dogs with diabetes as it may improve how the body uses glucose by enhancing the action of insulin. Since cinnamon is also an antioxidant and is good for dogs, it does not hurt to sprinkle some cinnamon on your diabetic dog’s food on a regular basis.
8. Kelp has antioxidant properties, may be capable of helping the body in secreting insulin, thereby lowering the blood sugar levels.
Life-threatening complications of Pet Diabetes
When diabetes goes undiagnosed, or when it is difficult to control or regulate, the complication of diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA) can occur.
How Can I Prevent Pet Diabetes?
In both dogs and cats, diabetes is tied to obesity and age. If your pet is over 10 years old and weighs too much, he or she is at a higher risk for diabetes. To decrease this risk, you can work with your veterinarian to increase your pet’s exercise level and decrease his or her caloric intake.
Just like with people, if pets consume more calories than they use they will gain weight. . It’s best to choose higher protein foods, and many pet parents find that a grain-free pet food with natural ingredients helps prevent their pets from gaining weight.
Because a higher-protein diet can be more nutrient dense (as well as calorie dense), you may need to speak with your vet about decreasing your pet’s portion size when you transition foods.
A higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet helps prevent diabetes.