Diabetes among Dogs

Alike humans, dogs may suffer from diabetes too. There are two types of diabetes common in dogs.

  • Diabetes Insipidus
  • Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes insipidus is sometimes called "drinking diabetes" because it is a rare diabetes which often leads to failure in regulating body’s water content.

Diabetes mellitus or Diabetes in general is a common disease in middle-aged and older dogs. It’s a complex disorder of carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism in dogs. It can be the result of a relative or absolute insulin deficiency or of peripheral cell insensitivity to insulin which is characterized by high blood glucose concentrations such that the renal threshold is exceeded.

It is a disease of the pancreas. Diabetes typically occurs when dogs are between 4 to 14 years old. Unspayed female dogs are twice as likely as male dogs to suffer from diabetes.

The Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs

  • Change in appetite
  • Excessive thirst/increase in water consumption
  • Weight loss
  • Increased urination
  • Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting
  • Cataract formation, blindness
  • Chronic skin infections

Types of Diabetes Mellitus

There are two types of Diabetes Mellitus.

  • Type I is an insulin dependent diabetes which results from total or near complete destruction of the beta-cells. It is more common form of Diabetes mellitus among dogs. Most forms of diabetes can be managed with insulin, however, dietary and lifestyle improvements are also essential.
  • Type II is a non-insulin dependent diabetes because some insulin producing cells remain in the body, however, the amount produced is insufficient or the tissues of dog’s body is resistant to it. It commonly occurs in older obese dogs.

The breeds which are more prone to Diabetes are;

  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Dachshund
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Pomeranian
  • Terrier
  • Toy Poodle

When you know the cause, the vets can look into the diagnosis and possible treatment, however, the effective treatment is only possible during the early onset of the disease.