Dog Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

Dog Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment

Author WDF Staff


Diabetes mellitus is a disease that our dogs can suffer from and that is a disease in which the beta cells of the pancreas stop producing insulin or produce it insufficiently enough for the body's needs.

Getting a diagnosis like that can certainly make us feel very scared for the wellbeing of our furry best friend but should we be scared? How dangerous is dog diabetes actually? How do we treat it and are meds easily accessible?

Find out in the text below.

How can I know if my dog has diabetes?

There are many symptoms that can indicate diabetes in dogs and some of them are frequent urination, increased appetite, increased thirstiness, and inactiveness. Those are the easiest to spot and owners usually have no problem in detecting a change in their dog’s behavior. If you see that your dog has any of these symptoms take them to your vet as soon as possible and have them make a thorough examination and blood test.

After the disease is diagnosed, you should regularly check your dog’s body weight and blood sugar level. The easiest way is to use a glucometer which isn’t expensive and is an effective way to monitor the dog’s health and disease.

How do I treat a dog that has diabetes?

Treating this condition is difficult and can be successfully done by implementing insulin therapy, special diet, and constant monitoring of your dog’s state.

Insulin therapy

Insulin therapy is fairly known and the usual therapy is an intermediate-acting basal insulin. The regime you and your dog should stick to is - food and insulin every 12 hours, with the insulin injection following the after the meal.

Regulated diet

The diet should be regulated and the prescription diabetes foods should have high fiber value, be rich in complex carbohydrates, and these commercially available foods have proven therapeutic results.

How much does it cost to treat diabetes?

The biggest “cost” in the beginning will be the change in your lifestyle and getting used to new habits. Some of us might not be the most active and to help your dog with diabetes you will need to ensure them with regular physical activity and a healthy life schedule. Sleep and rest are important as well.

Insulin therapy will cost you approximately 90$ per month. An average-sized dog can go through 3 bottles of insulin in a span of one month and one bottle is about 30$, depending on the brand of course. Smaller dogs might need a bottle and a half and bigger dogs can go through 5 or 6 bottles in the same time span.

Industrial dog food that is specific for dogs with diabetes can be a bit pricey but average bags from well-known pet food manufacturers can be found anywhere from 50$ to 80$. We would certainly recommend you ask your vet for advice and what type of food might be the best fit for your particular dog.

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Is there a natural way to lower my dogs blood sugar?

There is actually! The best way to naturally keep under control of your dogs blood sugar levels is regular exercise. Find out how active your dog actually is and what intensity and duration is the best for your dog. Keep in mind not to overwork or overexercise your dog because that can have a counterproductive effect and cause their blood sugar levels to drop too low. Keeping a regular exercise schedule can do wonders for your dogs health and for yours.

Is dog diabetes curable?

Unfortunately, no. Once a dog is diagnosed with diabetes, just like humans, it is a condition that will follow you for the rest of your life. If you do implement treatment methods we mentioned earlier, you and your dog can have a great and healthy life and diabetes will not affect them too badly. The key to that is consistency. You cannot let your dog eat unhealthy foods or let them live an inactive and unhealthy lifestyle.

A diagnosis like this can come as a shock to us and certainly is something that should not be treated lightly. There have been many scientific studies that have not shown any significant effect on a dog’s lifespan or quality if it is treated right. If diabetes is left untreated, it can lead to cataracts, malnutrition, ketoacidosis, increasing weakness in the legs (neuropathy), dehydration, and death.

Just like in humans, dogs are also capable of developing diabetes but thanks to the evolution in science, medicine, and veterinary medicine, this illness can be treated and you can ensure your dog with a healthy, happy, and long life.

World Dog Finder team