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Diabetes in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatment

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How Is Diabetes Diagnosed?

In order to properly diagnose diabetes, your veterinarian will collect information about your dog’s clinical signs, perform a physical examination and check blood work and a urinalysis.

How Is Diabetes Treated?

Diabetes treatment is based on how severe the symptoms and lab work are and whether there are any other health issues that could complicate therapy. Each dog will respond a little bit differently to treatment, and therapy must be tailored to the individual dog throughout his life.

  • Some dogs may be seriously ill when first diagnosed and will require intensive hospital care for several days to regulate their blood sugar.
  • Dogs who are more stable when first diagnosed may respond to oral medication or a high-fiber diet that helps to normalize glucose levels in the blood.
  • For most dogs, insulin injections are necessary for adequate regulation of blood glucose. Once your pet’s individual insulin treatment is established, typically based on weight, you’ll be shown how to give him insulin injections at home.
  • Spaying your dog is recommended, as female sex hormones can have an effect on blood sugar levels.

Your vet may also show you how to perform glucose tests at home.

 

What Should I Know About Treating My Diabetic Dog at Home?

As your veterinarian will explain, it’s important to always give your dog insulin at the same time every day and feed him regular meals in conjunction with his medication. This allows increased nutrients in the blood to coincide with peak insulin levels, and will lessen the chance that his sugar levels will swing either too high or too low. You can work with your vet to create a feeding schedule around your pet’s medication time. It is also important to avoid feeding your diabetic dog treats that are high in glucose. Regular blood glucose checks are a critical part of monitoring and treating any diabetic patient, and your veterinarian will help you set up a schedule for checking your dog’s blood sugar.

Please also consult your vet about a consistent, daily exercise program and proper nutrition for your dog to help keep his weight in check.

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