Diabetic Dog Stop - Information on Dog Diabetes

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Help and advice on treating diabetic dogs in the UK

Symptoms Of Uncontrolled Diabetes In Dogs

If your dog experiences any of the following symptoms, you should see your vet as soon as possible

Excessive thirst, a change in appetite, sudden weight loss, increased urination, sweet smelling/ fruity breath, dehydration, lethargy, poor coat condition, urinary tract infections, weakness in the back legs.

These symptoms could also be signs of other diseases such as Cushings Disease (hyperadrenocorticism) which is a disorder of the endocrine.

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What Does Diabetes Mean For My Dog?

Dogs diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus get Type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the destruction of pancreatic beta cells by T cells of the immune system, leaving the pancreas unable to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone which unlocks the cells for glucose to enter for energy. There is no cure for diabetes in dogs. Untreated diabetes is a life threatening condition and poorly controlled diabetes can lead to cataracts, blindness, weakness of the legs (neuropathy), malnutrition, ketoacidosis and dehydration.

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How Does Diet Work With Diabetes?

Dogs with diabetes need a diet that works with daily insulin injections. Ideally, a diabetic dog should be fed the exact same meal, twice a day at the same time, 12 hours apart, before administering insulin. The type of food you feed will greatly influence your dog's insulin requirement and will need a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fibre and importantly, a low level of fat. Due to the risk of pancreatitis in diabetic dogs, your dog should ideally have a food that is no more than 12% fat on a dry matter basis. There are websites online that can calculate the dry matter levels for you.

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Insulin, Injections and Monitoring

After eating, carbohydrates from food are converted into glucose in the bloodstream. As the level of glucose rises, insulin is released from the beta cells in the pancreas. The job of the insulin is to carry glucose from the blood into cells in the body which is used for energy. A diabetic dog's pancreas no longer functions, resulting in glucose remaining and rising in the bloodstream. If the body cannot remove the glucose from the bloodstream in it's normal way, your dog will become Hyperglycemic. Hyperglycemia means to have high blood glucose levels.

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