Canine diabetes is a major health problem among the dogs. It is usually caused due to improper insulin production or insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the beta cells of pancreas, to maintain blood glucose level and ensure cells are provided with glucose from the blood as a source of energy. The blood glucose levels may change due to the lack of or lower levels of insulin in the blood. This happens in canines too leading to ups and downs in blood glucose levels in canines. High glucose levels may lead to diabetes in canines.
Blood glucose levels in canines
For the canines too there are certain levels that are considered as normal. The normal levels for the dogs are between the range of 60mg/dL and 120mg/dL. If the blood sugar is more than 200 then the dog is diagnosed as a diabetic dog. It is also known as sugar diabetes. There are two other types of diabetes in dogs, mostly caused due to congenital defects, disease, trauma or prescribed drugs. They are nephrogenic diabetes insipidus and diabetes insipidus.
High glucose levels are more common in obese dogs. However, other reasons like viral infections, low immune system etc may cause canine diabetes. If the body produces very little or no insulin it causes the cells to be deprived of a major energy source. This is type 1 diabetes. Sometimes the body’s cells show resistance to insulin causing the sugar to remain in the blood stream. This is Type II diabetes. The result is an increase in the blood sugar levels or hyperglycemia, a characteristic of diabetes mellitus. Without insulin the body may starve causing organ damage like blindness or nerve and muscle weakness. German shepherds, keeshonds, golden retrievers, poodles, schnauzers, dachshunds, cocker spaniels are at a higher risk of developing diabetes mellitus it more likely to be found in female dogs and older dogs. Canine diabetes is most common between ages seven and nine.
Symptoms of diabetes in dogs
Symptoms in dogs are similar to those in humans with diabetes. It is best to know what blood glucose levels in canines are safe and when it would be best to take the dog to the veterinarian. You may notice excessive thirst, frequent urination, and weight loss, loss of appetite, lethargy, weakness, dehydration, vomiting, and vision problem due to cataracts. If you see these signs in your dogs you should visit the vet immediately. Blood and urine tests can be conducted to find out the glucose levels. The glucose level for a healthy dog would be in the range of 60 to 120mg/dl. A dog suffering from diabetes may even have blood glucose as high as 400mg/dL or even more.
Treatment of diabetes
The vet may prescribe insulin to bring the blood glucose levels in you canines to normal. You should also ensure that you give them food which is high in fiber and low in carbohydrates supported by a regular exercise routine.
You should be aware and careful about the blood glucose level in your pets. Awareness about diabetes and its symptoms would ensure that you take good care of the blood glucose level in canines so that they can live excellent quality of life.
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