The inability to produce enough insulin causes diabetic pets to have high blood sugar levels and experience weight loss, cataracts, bladder infections, kidney disease, and kidney failure. Diabetes-related conditions include the inability to control blood sugar, cataract development, and kidney failure. Diabetes in dogs can be treated, but the earlier it is detected, the more effective it will be. Some dogs are more susceptible to diabetes and you need to be aware of the warning signs in your dog.
Diabetes in Dogs: Can You Spot the Signs?
Diabetes is more likely to affect overweight dogs
Canine diabetes can begin when your dog is overweight. The best way to tell if your dog is overweight is to run your hand along his/her rib cage. If you cannot feel the ribs by feeling them, your dog is most likely obese.
A good test is to feel for your dog’s back hip bones. If you can feel them by lightly pressing down, then your dog is probably not overweight. Some dogs have extremely long and thick coats, which may make it more difficult to feel their ribs.
Your veterinarian can tell you about safe ways to reduce calories and increase exercise if your pet is overweight. Special diets may be appropriate or you can achieve success with your dog by cutting back on snacks and treats and adding in a few more walks per week.
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If the dog is older than 7 (seven)
Usually, by the age of seven to nine your dog will develop diabetes. As your dog gets older, decreasing exercise can lead to weight gain. This is often a sign of increased glucose levels and insufficient insulin production, which may lead to diabetes.
Know what breeds are more susceptible
Miniature Poodles, Mini Schnauzers, Dachshunds, Beagles, and Cairn Terriers are all well represented on this list of breeds more often affected by diabetes. Mixed breed dogs cannot be isolated from this risk either.
The risk of diabetes is higher in females who are unspayed, or overweight females who come from predisposed breeds such as Dachshunds or Beagles.
A guide to detecting diabetes in dogs
Check if your dog is always thirsty
A dog with diabetes will consume a lot more water than usual because diabetes leads to dehydration. As glucose levels rise, your dog will become dehydrated and need a lot more water.
Therefore, your dog will urinate more frequently and you will notice that it is peeing in the house or on its own bed.
Water is essential for your dog’s health, so not limiting its intake is inappropriate.
Watch for signs that your dog sleeps more than usual
Increasing lethargy is one of the most obvious signs of diabetes since the sugar does not enter the cells and the dog becomes tired. Diabetes fatigue is the result.
Check your dog’s eyesight to detect diabetes in dogs
Moreover, diabetic dogs are at risk of developing cataracts and diabetic retinopathy (an eye disease that affects the retina) long-term.
If you see these signs, reach your vet quickly
The vet will check the blood glucose levels in your dog’s blood as well as make sure no other organs have been affected by diabetes. If the diabetes isn’t treated, it can lead to other health complications in your dog.
Run tests to detect diabetes in dogs
There are a variety of different tests needed by your veterinarian to determine whether your dog suffers from diabetes mellitus. Taken alone, any one of these tests could indicate a variety of conditions, but together, they’ll provide a detailed picture of your dog’s health.
An initial urinalysis is a dipstick test that determines if sugar is present in the dog’s urine. If sugar is present, blood tests are required.
An initial blood glucose test may be performed with a single finger poke. If the results are normal, diabetes is eliminated. A full blood panel is then necessary if the results are high.
If the vet finds higher levels of white blood cells in your dog’s blood, this may indicate a urinary tract infection. Low levels of red blood cells can indicate dehydration. Ruptured red blood cells may also indicate this.
It examines various blood components, including sugar levels, enzymes, lipids, proteins, and cellular waste. While any abnormality may indicate diabetes, vets tend to focus on the blood glucose level if elevated. This test is usually done after your dog has fasted.
The vet may also order a blood fructosamine test to obtain an overview of blood sugar levels for the previous two to three weeks. This is important because an elevated blood sugar result on a single occasion does not necessarily indicate diabetes. Stress may also cause temporary elevations of blood sugar. Hence, whether a glucose curve measuring the sugar levels over the course of a 24-hour period must be performed or a fructosamine analysis performed to confirm the diagnosis.
-  Diabetes and blindness: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-complications/diabetes-and-blindness.html
-  Time trends and risk factors for diabetes mellitus in dogs: analysis of veterinary medical data base records (1970-1999) By L Guptill, L Glickman, N Glickman: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12672370/