Image Credits: Publicdomainpictures.net/
The prevalence of diabetes is increasing in dogs just as it is increasing in people all around the world. Studies have found out that approximately one in 200 dogs have a chance of developing the disease. This guide will help you gain more knowledge about diabetes and what you can do to help prevent your dog from getting it.What is diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is a hormonal disease that affects the pancreas and causes it to lose its ability to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps break down sugar into carbohydrates that can be used by cells, and underproduction can cause a dangerous accumulation of sugar in the bloodstream. There are three kinds of diabetes that affects humans, but experts have recognized only two types that affects dogs: the insulin-deficient type and insulin-resistant type.Symptoms
Diabetes is not easy to detect as it has many vague symptoms and requires a series of blood tests to confirm. Even so, you may become aware of some changes in your dog's behavior or routine that can be a warning. Dogs suffering from diabetes have a tendency to be thirstier and hungrier than usual, and may urinate more frequently. Lethargy, weight loss, vomiting or developing a urinary tract infection are some additional indicators.Risk factors
Studies have shown that mixed breed dogs have a higher chance of developing diabetes, while each breed has a unique susceptibility to the disease. It is also observed that dogs develop diabetes during middle or old age and that female dogs are more susceptible. Obesity and diet, just like for humans, are also major contributors to the chance of developing diabetes. Uncontrolled consumption of fat-rich foods can lead to an inflamed pancreas, while obesity can increase cell resistance towards insulin, both of which are risk factors for dogs.Prevention
While there are factors such as genetics which contribute towards contracting diabetes, you can control the diet and physical routine of your dog to help prevent the disease. Giving protein-rich foods instead of carbohydrate-rich ones, the pancreas will not be unnecessarily strained. Even avoiding the use of pharmaceuticals such as painkillers and antibiotics and excessive vaccination can help maintain a healthy pancreas.Diabetes is not a curable disease. But it can be treated with careful administration of insulin. If you think that your dog is showing symptoms of diabetes, visit an experienced and reputable veterinarian who can advise you on how to manage the disease. Although it is best to prevent the contraction of this disease, it is not the end of the world if your dog is diagnosed with diabetes. The medicines and other treatment procedures are now advanced enough to allow dogs to live a happy, fulfilling life even with diabetes.