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Diabetes In Older Dogs - An Owner's Guide

Diabetes In Older Dogs - An Owner's Guide

Home Health Issues Diabetes in Older Dogs Most often, diabetes in older dogs is identified as Diabetes Mellitus, and happens because your dogs pancreas becomes unable to produce enough insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Dog diabetes is similar to human diabetes in some ways, and different in others. If you want to make a comparison, youll find that canine diabetes is somewhat like Type I diabetes in humans. Canine Diabetes Mellitus is usually not seen in younger dogs (those less than 4 or 5 years old), and symptoms most often become noticeable in dogs who are considered to be middle-aged or older. Its also more common in female dogs than in males, and unspayed females are more at risk than spayed females. As with many diseases, some purebred dogs seem to have a predisposition to developing Diabetes during their lifetime. Dog breeds who have an above-average chance of developing canine diabetes include (but may not be limited to): Mixed breed dogs may be less likely to become diabetic, but they are not immune to developing the disease. Canine Diabetes is not very common, but it is on the rise (as it is in humans). Although there are no firm stats on the incidence of diabetes in dogs, estimates range from between 1 in 100 to 1 in 500 dogs being affected (at max that is 1% of all dogs). However, studies show that over the past five years, there has been an increase of over 30% in the number of dogs being diagnosed with diabetes. Fortunately diabetes is a very treatable condition and diabetic dogs can still live happy, active lives with the right veterinary care. Obviously some of these symptoms can point to other diseases or illnesses, so if you notice any of them in your dog its important to have a full veterinary exam so you can get a correct diagnosis. How Continue reading >>

Cataracts, Blindness, And Diabetic Dogs

Cataracts, Blindness, And Diabetic Dogs

Diabetic dogs can live healthy lives. Unfortunately, a common complication of diabetes in dogs is cataracts (cloudy lenses). In fact, 75% of dogs develop cataracts and blindness in both eyes within 9 months of being diagnosed with diabetes. The cataracts develop very quickly—sometimes overnight! If untreated, the cataracts cause intraocular inflammation called Lens-Induced Uveitis (LIU) that harms the eyes by causing glaucoma (increased intraocular pressure). If the LIU is uncontrolled and glaucoma develops, cataract surgery might not be possible. Glaucoma causes a chronic headache (similar to a migraine). In worst case scenarios, cataracts form rapidly in both eyes, the lens capsules split/rupture, severe LIU occurs resulting in glaucoma and severe painful intraocular inflammation (phacoclastic uveitis), and both eyes need to be surgically removed. This is a tragic outcome, and one to be avoided if possible. Thus, DO NOT WAIT until your dog’s diabetes is controlled, before seeing an ophthalmologist!! Another very important recommendation is that if your diabetic dog is started on a special canine antioxidant vision supplement BEFORE they develop cataracts, blindness can be prevented in many of these dogs. A 2012 clinical study in Great Britain found that diabetic dogs supplemented daily with this vision supplement did not develop blinding cataracts over a one-year period. This has also been Dr. McCalla’s clinical experience in diabetic dogs, as long as the diabetes remains well-controlled. If cataracts are developing in your diabetic dog, this is an ophthalmic emergency; you must have your pet examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist as soon as possible. To locate a veterinary ophthalmologist near you, please ask your family veterinarian or visit the ACVO website Continue reading >>

Diabetes With Ketone Bodies In Dogs

Diabetes With Ketone Bodies In Dogs

Diabetes Mellitus with Ketoacidosis in Dogs Diabetes is a medical condition in which the body cannot absorb sufficient glucose, thus causing a rise the blood sugar levels. The term “ketoacidosis,” meanwhile, refers to a condition in which levels of acid abnormally increased in the blood due to presence of “ketone bodies”. In diabetes with ketoacidosis, ketoacidosis immediately follows diabetes. It should be considered a dire emergency, one in which immediate treatment is required to save the life of the animal. This condition typically affects older dogs as well as females. In addition, miniature poodles and dachshunds are predisposed to diabetes with ketoacidosis. Symptoms and Types Weakness Lethargy Depression Lack of appetite (anorexia) Muscle wasting Rough hair coat Dehydration Dandruff Sweet breath odor Causes Although the ketoacidosis is ultimately brought on by the dog's insulin dependency due to diabetes mellitus, underlying factors include stress, surgery, and infections of the skin, respiratory, and urinary tract systems. Concurrent diseases such as heart failure, kidney failure, asthma, cancer may also lead to this type of condition. Diagnosis You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms, to your veterinarian. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination, as well as a biochemistry profile and complete blood count (CBC). The most consistent finding in patients with diabetes is higher than normal levels of glucose in the blood. If infection is present, white blood cell count will also high. Other findings may include: high liver enzymes, high blood cholesterol levels, accumulation in the blood of nitrogenous waste products (urea) that are usually excreted in the urine (azo Continue reading >>

An In-depth Look: Insulin Resistance In Diabetic Patients: Causes And Management

An In-depth Look: Insulin Resistance In Diabetic Patients: Causes And Management

Insulin resistance can occur secondary to many diseases in dogs and cats. The most common causes of insulin resistance in dogs are hyperadrenocorticism, bacterial infections, hypothyroidism, and diestrus. In cats, the most common causes are acromegaly; hyperadrenocorticism; renal, hepatic, or cardiac insufficiency; bacterial infections; hyperthyroidism; and use of diabetogenic drugs. Common mechanisms of insulin resistance include decreased insulin-receptor concentration, decreased receptor affinity, and defects in the postreceptor pathways. Management of insulin resistance includes a thorough search for an underlying cause and dietary changes. Insulin resistance is a condition in which a normal amount of insulin causes a subnormal response in blood glucose levels.1,2 Insulin resistance progresses to overt diabetes mellitus (DM) when the existing insulin-producing beta cells cannot compensate for the insulin resistance, thus allowing hyperglycemia to occur.1 Insulin resistance should be suspected in a dog or cat when more than 2.2 U/kg per injection of insulin is required to maintain adequate glycemic control.1,3 In addition, insulin resistance in dogs and cats should be considered in the presence of persistent, marked hyperglycemia throughout the day, despite insulin doses of more than 1.5 U/kg per injection.2,3 The differential diagnosis of insulin resistance is quite extensive, and some of the possible diseases cause previously subclinical diabetic patients to become clinically diabetic, whereas other possible diseases exacerbate preexisting DM.2 In dogs, the most common causes of insulin resistance are hyperadrenocorticism, bacterial infections, hypothyroidism, and diestrus.2 In cats, the most common causes are acromegaly; hyperadrenocorticism; renal, hepatic, or ca Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Dogs

Diabetes In Dogs

Sugar diabetes in dogs is common and is a result of inadequate production of insulin. Dogs with diabetes drink and urinate a lot and have a large appetite at the onset. Read on and learn more about the symptoms, possible causes, dietary change, and treatment of canine diabetes mellitus. Sugar diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is a common hormonal disease in dogs, characterized by an inadequate production of the hormone insulin by the islet cells in the dog’s pancreas. Insulin enables glucose to pass into cells, where it is metabolized to produce energy for metabolism. Diabetes mellitus therefore impairs the body’s ability to metabolize sugar, resulting in high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and high urine sugar (glycosuria). There are two types of sugar diabetes in dogs – Type I and Type II. Type I diabetes is congenital and can occur even in young dogs less than 1 year of age, similar to juvenile diabetes in people. Type II diabetes is an acquired type that occurs mostly in middle-aged dogs, similar to adult-onset diabetes in humans. This type is also commonly known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Most canine diabetes mellitus is Type II IDDM. Canine diabetes mellitus affects all breeds of dogs, but some breeds have higher incidence, such as Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Miniature Schnauzers, Keeshonden, and Poodles. Type II IDDM in females is three times as common as in males. The average age of onset is 6 to 9 years. Causes of Diabetes in Dogs There are several factors that may trigger sugar diabetes in dogs. They include: Genetic Predisposition: As mentioned above, some dogs have higher incidence of diabetes and appear to be genetically predisposed. Obesity: Similar to people, dogs who are overweight are more prone to develop Continue reading >>

Managing Diabetes In Dogs

Managing Diabetes In Dogs

Dogs can have diabetes just like humans - both Type 1 and Type 2. Diabetic dogs are increasingly common, but the disease is entirely manageable unless left untreated. MY DOG HAS DIABETES: OVERVIEW 1. If your dog shows symptoms of diabetes (described below), seek veterinary care at once. 2. Work with your vet to determine the right type of insulin and the right dose for your individual dog. 3. Take your dog for frequent veterinary checkups. 4. Learn how to give insulin injections and reward your dog for accepting them. 5. Consistently feed your diabetic dog the same type of food at the same time of day. 6. Report any unusual symptoms or reactions to your vet. For years public health officials have reported a diabetes epidemic among America’s children and adults. At the same time, the rate of canine diabetes in America has more than tripled since 1970, so that today it affects about 1 in every 160 dogs. But while many human cases are caused and can be treated by diet, for dogs, diabetes is a lifelong condition that requires careful blood sugar monitoring and daily insulin injections. The medical term for the illness is diabetes mellitus (mellitus is a Latin term that means “honey sweet,” reflecting the elevated sugar levels the condition produces in urine and blood). Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce sufficient insulin to metabolize food for energy, or when the body’s cells fail to utilize insulin properly. The pancreas’s inability to produce insulin is known in humans as type 1 (formerly called juvenile or insulin-dependent) diabetes. This is analogous to the type that affects virtually all dogs. Dogs can also develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Type 2 (formerly adult onset) diabetes, which is the result of insulin resistance often l Continue reading >>

Diabetes Complications In Dogs And Cats: Diabetes Ketoacidosis (dka)

Diabetes Complications In Dogs And Cats: Diabetes Ketoacidosis (dka)

Unfortunately, we veterinarians are seeing an increased prevalence of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats. This is likely due to the growing prevalence of obesity (secondary to inactive lifestyle, a high carbohydrate diet, lack of exercise, etc.). So, if you just had a dog or cat diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, what do you do? First, we encourage you to take a look at these articles for an explanation of the disease: Diabetes Mellitus (Sugar Diabetes) in Dogs Once you have a basic understanding of diabetes mellitus (or if you already had one), this article will teach you about life-threatening complications that can occur as a result of the disease; specifically, I discuss a life-threatening condition called diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA) so that you know how to help prevent it! What is DKA? When diabetes goes undiagnosed, or when it is difficult to control or regulate, the complication of DKA can occur. DKA develops because the body is so lacking in insulin that the sugar can’t get into the cells -- resulting in cell starvation. Cell starvation causes the body to start breaking down fat in an attempt to provide energy (or a fuel source) to the body. Unfortunately, these fat breakdown products, called “ketones,” are also poisonous to the body. Symptoms of DKA Clinical signs of DKA include the following: Weakness Not moving (in cats, hanging out by the water bowl) Not eating to complete anorexia Large urinary clumps in the litter box (my guideline? If it’s bigger than a tennis ball, it’s abnormal) Weight loss (most commonly over the back), despite an overweight body condition Excessively dry or oily skin coat Abnormal breath (typically a sweet “ketotic” odor) In severe cases DKA can also result in more significant signs: Abnormal breathing pattern Jaundice Ab Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Dogs And Cats

Diabetes In Dogs And Cats

I wrote this article some time ago, but search engines still default to it. So instead of reading it: If you have a diabetic cat, go here . If your pet is a dog, go here . Diabetes mellitus is a disease of your pet's endocrine gland system. One of these endocrine glands, the pancreas, is responsible for regulating your pet's blood sugar level. There are two forms of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is caused by a deficiency of insulin - the hormone that regulates how sugar is absorbed and utilized by the cells of the body. This Insulin is produced by the pancreas gland which is nestled among the loops of your pet's small intestines. A situation similar to Type l diabetes is the most common form in dogs. A situation similar to Type ll diaetes is the most common form in cats. Two things influence your pet's susceptibility to diabetes - its weight and its genetics. As in humans, pets that are overweight are more susceptible to developing Type 2 diabetes. Certain breeds also appear more susceptible to developing diabetes. These include miniature schnauers, toy and miniature poodles, samoyeds, australian terriers, elkhounds, dachsunds, westies, and pugs (ref) as well as burmese cats (ref). Other breeds, like german shephers, pit bulls and golden retrievers rarely develop the problem. Neutered dogs are considerably more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than un-neutered pets, quite likely due to the known tendency for neutered pets to become fat , but just being a female pet apears to add risk as well. The mean age that dogs develop diabetes is 7-9 years. with cats tending to develop the disease a year or two later in life. Your pet's many endocrine glands work in tandum, often relying on the hormonal signals of one gland to stimulate the activity of another. You Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

Diabetes In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

Diabetes is a chronic disease that can affect dogs and cats and other animals (including apes, pigs, and horses) as well as humans. Although diabetes cant be cured, it can be managed very successfully. Diabetes mellitus , or sugar diabetes, is the type of diabetes seen most often in dogs. It is a metabolism disorder. Metabolism refers to how the body converts food to energy. To understand what diabetes is, it helps to understand some of this process. The conversion of food nutrients into energy to power the bodys cells involves an ongoing interplay of two things: Glucose: essential fuel for the bodys cells. When food is digested, the body breaks down some of the nutrients into glucose, a type of sugar that is a vital source of energy for certain body cells and organs. The glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the blood, which then transports the glucose throughout the body. Insulin: in charge of fuel delivery. Meanwhile, an important organ next to the stomach called the pancreas releases the hormone insulin into the body. Insulin acts as a gatekeeper that tells cells to grab glucose and other nutrients out of the bloodstream and use them as fuel. With diabetes, the glucose-insulin connection isnt working as it should. Diabetes occurs in dogs in two forms: Insulin-deficiency diabetesThis is when the dogs body isnt producing enough insulin. This happens when the pancreas is damaged or otherwise not functioning properly. Dogs with this type of diabetes need daily shots to replace the missing insulin. This is the most common type of diabetes in dogs. Insulin-resistance diabetesThis is when the pancreas is producing some insulin, but the dogs body isnt utilizing the insulin as it should. The cells arent responding to the insulins message, so glucose isnt being pulled Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Dogs: How To Care For A Diabetic Dog

Diabetes In Dogs: How To Care For A Diabetic Dog

Believe it or not, the recent surge in the occurrence of diabetes isn’t limited to humans –diabetes is also being found in dogs in rapidly growing numbers. In fact, researchers now estimate that one in 160 dogs in America will develop the disease. While that might not seem like an alarming figure, keep in mind that this rate has more than tripled since 1970. While there is no cure for diabetes in dogs, there has been great progress in treatment options in recent years, and dogs with diabetes are now living longer, healthier lives. But it is treated differently than in humans, and requires careful blood sugar monitoring and daily insulin injections. What is diabetes? Diabetes is a chronic disease that can affect dogs and cats and other animals (including apes, pigs, and horses) as well as humans. In dogs, diabetes is a complex disease caused by either a lack of insulin or an inadequate response to insulin. Diabetes can’t be cured, but it can be managed very successfully. To fully understand what diabetes is, it helps to understand some of this process. The conversion of food nutrients into energy to power the body’s cells involves an ongoing relationship between glucose and insulin. When food is digested, the body breaks down some of the nutrients (mainly carbohydrates) into glucose, a type of sugar that is an essential source of energy for certain cells and organs in the body. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the blood, which then transports it throughout the body. While this is happening, an important organ next to the stomach called the pancreas releases the hormone insulin into the body. Insulin acts as the body’s “gatekeeper” that tells cells to grab glucose and other nutrients out of the bloodstream and use them as fuel. Think of glucose a Continue reading >>

10 Must-dos When You Have A Diabetic Dog

10 Must-dos When You Have A Diabetic Dog

Diabetic dog? Here are some feeding, exercise and life tips. Is your dog more sluggish than usual? You may have a diabetic dog. The first step toward your dog's good health is a great relationship with your veterinarian. "Having someone you know and trust can make the stress of a chronic and potentially debilitating disease like diabetes much less stressful," says Dr. Denise Petryk, the director of veterinary services at Trupanion. Start with the basics - walking your dog. Your dog should be walked early or late in the day. Walking your pet then avoids the heat of the day, which is especially important for diabetic dogs. "If the dog is not walking in front of you, it's time to come home, as this a sign that the dog is tired. You should go home if your dog is wheezing, panting, limping or otherwise showing signs of exhaustion or discomfort," says Dr. Carol Osborne, an integrative veterinarian and director of the Chagrin Falls Pet Clinic in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Keep that -- and these 10 tips -- in mind when caring for your diabetic dog. Feed Your Dog Healthy and Low-Fat Meals and Treats There are many types of healthy food available for diabetic dogs. "Commercial brands, whether they are canned or dry, are generally low in fat," says Dr. Osborne. But read the labels and look for low carb and high fiber, according to the American Animal Hospital Association. Bring on the Broccoli Have you considered giving your dog vegetables? "Fresh vegetables make excellent diabetic dog treats," says Dr. Osborne. Some choices dogs love include: broccoli, cauliflower, string beans, and cucumber slices. Veggies can be given to your dog fresh, cooked or frozen. Avoid Overfeeding Just like in humans, dog diabetes is best managed by portion control. Your dog may beg for more, but check with y Continue reading >>

Symptoms Of Diabetes In Dogs

Symptoms Of Diabetes In Dogs

Tags: Diabetes , Dog Health , dog-diabetes-symptoms , Dogs , Health , Overweight The main early symptoms of the disease are increased thirst, increased appetite, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss and sweet-smelling breath. Another sign of diabetes is high glucose levels showing up in your dogs urinalysis. Many veterinarians recommend that dogs have this general test once or twice a year. As a result, regular urinalyses especially in older dogs can be a method of early detection of diabetes and other disorders. Discovering and treating the disease in its early stages can prevent it from becoming worse. If diabetes goes undiagnosed and untreated, symptoms can become serious, leading to cataracts, enlarged liver, neurological problems and an increased number of infections. Signs that your dog may have an advanced case of diabetes include sluggishness and lethargy, loss of appetite, dehydration, weakness, coma and diabetic ketoacidosis. When diabetic ketoacidosis occurs, it means your dogs body is metabolizing fats rather than sugar for energy. Its caused by severe hyperglycemia, and its a life-threatening emergency. If you notice your dog has any of these symptoms paired with acetone on the breath (a smell similar to that of nail polish remover), take him to the veterinarians office or emergency veterinary clinic right away. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Dogs

Diabetic Ketoacidosis In Dogs

My dog is diabetic. He has been doing pretty well overall, but recently he became really ill. He stopped eating well, started drinking lots of water, and got really weak. His veterinarian said that he had a condition called “ketoacidosis,” and he had to spend several days in the hospital. I’m not sure I understand this disorder. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency that occurs when there is not enough insulin in the body to control blood sugar (glucose) levels. The body can’t use glucose properly without insulin, so blood glucose levels get very high, and the body creates ketone bodies as an emergency fuel source. When these are broken down, it creates byproducts that cause the body’s acid/base balance to shift, and the body becomes more acidic (acidosis), and it can’t maintain appropriate fluid balance. The electrolyte (mineral) balance becomes disrupted which can lead to abnormal heart rhythms and abnormal muscle function. If left untreated, diabetic ketoacidosis is fatal. How could this disorder have happened? If a diabetic dog undergoes a stress event of some kind, the body secretes stress hormones that interfere with appropriate insulin activity. Examples of stress events that can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis include infection, inflammation, and heart disease. What are the signs of diabetic ketoacidosis? The signs of diabetic ketoacidosis include: Excessive thirst/drinking Increased urination Lethargy Weakness Vomiting Increased respiratory rate Decreased appetite Weight loss (unplanned) with muscle wasting Dehydration Unkempt haircoat These same clinical signs can occur with other medical conditions, so it is important for your veterinarian to perform appropriate diagnostic tests to determine if diabetic ketoacidosis in truly the issue at hand Continue reading >>

All About Dog Diabetes

All About Dog Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that impacts lots of mammals including humans and dogs. It occurs when the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired. Canine diabetes is incurable, but it’s a manageable disorder. With proper treatment, diabetic dogs can lead long, healthy, happy lives. How does canine diabetes work? The most common form of diabetes in dogs is diabetes mellitus, or “sugar diabetes.” As its name implies, sugar diabetes is a condition that affects your dog’s blood sugar level. A small organ near the stomach, the pancreas, is responsible for regulating blood sugar by producing insulin. Here’s how it works: when your dog eats, her food is broken down into tiny components including carbohydrates. Carbs are then converted into simple sugars, including glucose. The pancreas releases insulin go help turn glucose to fuel inside your dog’s cells. ADVERTISEMENT If there’s not enough insulin available, glucose can’t get into cells. This can lead to a dangerously high glucose concentration in your dog’s bloodstream. Two forms of dog diabetes In a healthy dog, the pancreas produces insulin to moderate the sugar in their system. In a diabetic dog, the pancreas either can’t produce enough insulin, or the dog’s body can’t effectively use the insulin it does produce. These are the two forms of diabetes: Insulin-deficiency diabetes: the most common type of canine diabetes. Occurs when the dog’s body doesn’t produce enough insulin. Dogs with insulin-deficiency diabetes need daily insulin shots to replace what their body can’t produce. Insulin-resistance diabetes: when the pancreas produces some insulin, but the dog’s body doesn’t use the insulin as it should, causing high blood sugar levels. This type of diabete Continue reading >>

8 Things You Need To Know About Aahas Diabetes Management Guidelines For Dogs And Cats

8 Things You Need To Know About Aahas Diabetes Management Guidelines For Dogs And Cats

8 things you need to know about AAHAs Diabetes Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats Theres no question: Managing diabetes in pets requires a high level of commitment. For starters, theyll need daily injections of insulin at regular times of day to help regulate glucose (or blood sugar) levels in their body. But its better than the alternative: When diabetes is left untreated, poisonous compounds called ketones can make a diabetic pet very sick and may even cause death. While controlling diabetes is a challenge, its not an insurmountable one. By working closely with your veterinary team, you can help your pet thrive. To help make this collaboration as successful as possible, AAHA created the Diabetes Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. Here are the top things you need to know about these guidelines: Control is the goal. Diabetes affects pets in a similar way that it affects humans: The body cannot convert glucose into energy due to issues producing or regulating the hormone insulin. Your veterinary team will develop a management plan to keep your pets glucose levels in a safe range without getting too low (hypoglycemic). Your team will tailor a care plan based on the severity of the disease. When detected at the earliest stage, lifestyle changes such as diet can help stabilize your pets diabetes. Risk factors for diabetes include obesity, diseases (like the hormonal disorder acromegaly in cats and Cushings disease in dogs), and medications like steroids. Advanced cases might require treatment for complications, such as cataracts in dogs and weakened hind legs due to nerve damage in cats. Homework is required! Caring for your pet at home is an important part of diabetes management. You will be administering insulin once or twice a day, monitoring blood glucose le Continue reading >>

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