A growing number of dogs are suffering from canine diabetes, which is a serious condition. If you’re interested in learning more about canine diabetes and your veterinarian’s options for managing this metabolic disorder, read on. Dr. Melanie Puchot is an expert in veterinary internal medicine at NorthStar Vets and is a board-certified DACVIM specialist.
Diabetes is a disease that can be perplexing and debilitating for both dogs and their dog parents. There may come a time when you wonder if your diabetic puppy is truly living to the fullest of their potential or if they are in fact nearing their end of days. We will provide you with veterinary advice and demonstrate the warning signs of a diabetic dog’s impending demise. Find out what could happen to your dog as the disease progresses.
Is it possible that diabetes could lead to additional health issues?
Diabetes can have serious consequences for your health if it is not properly managed. Overdosing on insulin is a common cause of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Keep an eye on your dog’s blood sugar levels regularly because low blood sugar levels can cause brain damage and other life-threatening complications.
Hypoglycemia in dogs is characterized by the following:
- Shaking or trembling
- Palpitations in the heart
- Coordination or consciousness is disrupted.
- Appearing disoriented or befuddled.
- Weakness or exhaustion that appears out of nowhere
- Anxiety or a sudden onset of agitation
Your diabetic dog should be taken to the vet immediately if she exhibits any of these symptoms.
As a result of diabetes in dogs, cataracts are a common complication, which can lead to blindness quickly, often before pet owners realize their dog has diabetes. Unfortunately, up to 75% of dogs with diabetes develop cataracts, and 75% of those dogs will lose their sight within a year without treatment. Contact your veterinarian if your dog’s eyes appear cloudy or have a blue-ish gray tint over the pupil.
Finally, ketoacidosis is a dangerous complication of diabetes in dogs. When diabetes prevents the body from utilizing its own glucose stores, it turns to fat reserves as a source of energy for its cells. However, this produces “ketones,” which are a toxic byproduct that can quickly lead to serious health issues.
When it comes to dogs with diabetes, ketoacidosis is often a final stage. “Diabetes in its later stages is associated with significant weight loss, particularly muscle mass loss. Muscular and neurological changes can cause them to become extremely frail. Diabetic ketoacidosis, a complication that can lead to vomiting and diarrhea as well as a loss of appetite, is the final stage “Puchot clarifies the situation. Diabetic dogs may exhibit these symptoms, along with tremors or seizures and abnormal breathing patterns.
If you notice any of the following symptoms or signs, you should seek immediate veterinary attention.
What are the signs your dog with diabetes is dying?
If you’ve read this far, you should have a good idea of the seriousness of diabetes in canines. Even with proper treatment, dogs can eventually become unresponsive to insulin and require ever-increasing doses until it is no longer an effective method of controlling their blood sugar.
This can lead to a dog’s depletion of body fat, which can lead to malnourishment. Damage to the brain or nerves may occur, and major organs may begin to shut down. Alternatively,as if that wasn’t bad enough, these dogs may choose not to eat or drink, making the situation even worse.
As a result, the following are signs to look out for in a dog with diabetes:
1. Chronic Illness
Urinary tract infections are common in dogs with diabetes. As a dog nears death, it is more common to see it.
Infections are frequently caused by bacteria. Diabetic dogs, on the other hand, have more dilute urine.
Bacteria-killing chemicals are also diluted because of the lower concentration. Bacteria can thus establish themselves more quickly.
Furthermore, diabetic urine contains a high level of sugar. Bacteria thrive thanks to the sugar, which provides them with food and shelter.
Finally, the bladders of diabetic dogs enlarge. As a result of the bacteria persisting in contact with the bladder for longer than necessary, serious infections can develop.
Seizures can become a regular occurrence as people age.
The brain can suffer irreparable damage during a seizure. There are a wide variety of ways to inflict harm. They aren’t always characterized by violent physical reactions.
Sometimes, they’re a little subtler and difficult to discern.
Seizures can have a negative impact on your dog’s quality of life, regardless of the cause. The reasons they appear are numerous.
The insulin in your dog’s body may be out of balance, which could explain the problem. It’s also possible that it’s a side effect of kidney failure.
3. Renal Insufficiency
Diabetes can have a variety of side effects, including kidney failure.
The filtering organ is damaged by the high levels of sugar in the blood. It wreaks havoc on those delicate filtering units, leading to organ failure.
Dogs are unable to survive if their organs fail to function. In the later stages of life, it is a slow killer.
Extreme fatigue, nausea, and dehydration are some of the signs and symptoms to watch for. Kidney failure in diabetic dogs is not a good thing. This almost always results in death.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is one of the most concerning side effects. When ketoacidosis develops, it is a clear indicator that your dog is on the verge of death.
It can occur within a few months of being diagnosed with diabetes. When the body rejects treatment, even dogs that have received extensive medical care can show signs of ketoacidosis.
When the body doesn’t have enough insulin to keep blood glucose levels in check, ketoacidosis occurs. The body’s reaction to this is panic.
What is the average life span of the dog?
The average life expectancy of a dog with diabetes is seven to eight years
Many dogs who show symptoms of diabetes and are diagnosed with it do not actually die from diabetes if given the proper treatment. In fact, if your dog lives past the first 3 to 4 months of being diagnosed and is not left untreated, both you and your furry friend can still spend lots of time together.
There are many dogs with diabetes who live much longer than the median survival time of two years, thanks to good care and regular checkups with the vet.
As a result, dogs with diabetes can enjoy a long, healthy life if they receive proper treatment.
Patients with diabetes mellitus who do not receive insulin therapy run the risk of developing life-threatening complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis, which can lead to organ failure and death.
Many diabetic dogs lose their lives because they were detected too late or before the disease could be controlled.
Dog Diabetes: What Is It?
When a dog’s body is unable to produce or process insulin at a normal rate, it develops diabetes. The hormone insulin, produced in the pancreas, is in charge of controlling glucose absorption and blood sugar levels.
In a nutshell, glucose provides the body with energy, and insulin is the means by which it gets there. Glucose cannot enter cells in the body unless insulin is present. Because of this, the body produces an excess amount of glucose, which leads to health problems.
Dogs, like humans, can suffer from a variety of forms of diabetes. On the other hand, one is more common than the other, says Puchot. “Diabetic mellitus in dogs shares many characteristics with Type I diabetes in humans. As a result of the damage, the pancreas no longer produces insulin. When it’s like Type II diabetes, it’s caused by drugs or severe inflammation, but it’s extremely rare “she goes on to say Insulin is produced in this second type of diabetes, but the dog’s body is unable to utilize it properly.
It’s a serious health issue, regardless of the method. As soon as you notice any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate veterinary attention for your dog.
What are the types of dog diabetes?
Diabetes comes in two types. Both lead to the same life-threatening issues, but the exact cause is different for each.
Diabetic type 1
If your dog is suffering from Insulin-Deficient Diabetes, then he or she is not producing enough insulin. The pancreas isn’t working as well as it should, and as a result, hormone production has dropped significantly.
The pancreas can completely stop producing insulin in some people.
This is the most common type of diabetes in dogs. To keep the body’s glucose levels in check, it requires regular insulin injections.
Diabetic Type 2
Diabetics with type 2 diabetes are often referred to as having insulin resistance.
The body of a dog who has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes is not able to properly utilize insulin. Even if the pancreas stops producing insulin, the body may still store and use it. However, it is of no use if the body is unable to properly process it.
Type 2 diabetes is most common in dogs who are overweight or elderly. Although it isn’t as common as the previous, it’s still fairly common.
Can a diabetic dog be put to sleep?
In the face of strong emotions and a desire to do what’s best for your dog, it’s difficult for dog owners to determine when it’s time to put their pet to sleep.
Putting an animal to sleep is never a simple decision; most diseases progress slowly, making it even more difficult. If you have diabetes, you may not be able to make a timely decision. Diabetic ketoacidosis can strike a dog in a matter of minutes, causing it to become extremely ill. Some owners will choose to put their dogs down before their suffering worsens, knowing that the prognosis is poor depending on the severity of the disease.
As the disease progresses, the quality of life for many older dogs with diabetes will gradually deteriorate. Euthanasia may be an option if your dog is suffering from chronic vomiting, dramatic weight loss, extreme lethargy, and a lack of interest in the activities they once enjoyed. Some people keep their dogs alive because they care more about themselves than the well-being of their pets. If you’re still not sure what to do, make an appointment with your local veterinarian, who can guide you through the process.
Watch Treating your diabetic dog | Video
How long can a dog with diabetes expect to live?
If your dog was diagnosed with diabetes early and survives past the first three months, they are likely to live for at least a few more years. When it comes to dogs with diabetes, the average life expectancy is just two years.
Early death from diabetes in dogs is often due to the disease being neglected. In the event that your dog develops serious complications as a result of diabetes, their recovery may be difficult.
Is it okay for diabetic dogs to eat eggs?
Eggs are safe for dogs with diabetes because they don’t raise their blood sugar levels when eaten. Besides being an excellent source of protein, eggs also contain a variety of other nutrients such as iron, minerals, vitamins and saturated fat. There are 75 calories and 7 grams of protein in an egg, respectively. However, if your dog has diabetes, we strongly recommend that you keep an eye on their weight. Remember to keep a close eye on their diet, insulin levels, and physical activity.
How can I tell if my dog, who has diabetes, is in pain?
An uncontrollable desire for food. Depending on the dog, the water bowl may be emptied more frequently.
Urinary frequency has increased. It’s possible that the dog will start making “accidents” in the house if he isn’t allowed outside frequently enough.
Loss of weight.
An increase in hunger.
What are the signs of diabetes in dogs at the end stage?
Signs that your dog is nearing the end stages of dog diabetes may include the following: Blindness. Anorexia. Lethargy.
An increase in hunger.
Loss of weight (with increased appetite)
An uncontrollable desire for food.
Urination that is far more frequent than normal.
Possibly a urinary tract or kidney infection.
Do diabetic dogs lose their eyesight?
Cataracts, which can lead to blindness in diabetic dogs, are a possibility. A dog’s eyes will become clouded by cataracts, making it difficult for them to see. Cataracts are not life-threatening, but the quality of your dog’s life will be significantly diminished as a result of them. Dogs with diabetes are often put down for this very reason.
With proper treatment, dogs with diabetes can enjoy a long and healthy life. It’s always better to avoid diabetes in the first place, however. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help keep our pets happy and healthy, even if some factors like genetics are beyond our control.
If your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes, in addition to the insulin treatment that your veterinarian prescribed, you should switch to a diabetic dog food diet that contains fewer carbohydrates. Your dog will be able to enjoy a long and happy life with you as a result of this.