Does My Dog Have Diabetes?
People are not the only beings who suffer from diabetes. Any mammal with a pancreas can develop the disease through a lack of or impaired insulin production.
Diabetes is just as dangerous for canines as it is for humans; therefore, it’s important to monitor your dog’s health as well as your own.
Causes and Risk Factors
The exact cause of canine diabetes is unknown. Dogs typically experience type 1 diabetes and can no longer produce insulin. Some suggested causes include autoimmune disease, genetics, obesity, and certain medications. Female dogs are much more likely than male dogs to develop diabetes, for causes unknown. Overall, older pets have a greater risk, but some breeds do develop juvenile diabetes. In general, Australian shepherds, schnauzers, dachshunds, poodles, keeshonds, and samoyeds develop diabetes more frequently than other breeds.
Certain behaviors may indicate diabetes. You may want to take your dog to the vet if you notice one or more of these irregular behaviors:
- Excessive thirst
- Weight loss
- Increased urination
- Cataract formation/vision loss
- Change in appetite
Monitor your dog’s eating and drinking habits, as well as the frequency of urination so that you and your vet can look for patterns in symptoms.
The Next Step
If you believe your dog might have diabetes, don’t hesitate to take him or her to the vet. Blood and urine tests will determine a diabetes diagnosis, and the vet will be able to give you further instructions.
Source: ASPCA and VCA Animal Hospitals