Our Honolulu Veterinary Staff Treat & Prevent Dog Diabetes
Man's best friends are unfortunately susceptible to many similar illnesses affecting humans, including the globally endemic diabetes; data suggests that as many as one in 200 dogs are afflicted. At the Honolulu Pet Clinic, our veterinary staff has worked with many canine companions suffering from this often silent illness.
How Diabetes Can Affect Dogs
Diabetes is a type of autoimmune disease which results in the body being unable to appropriately regulate the levels of sugar in the blood. Chronically elevated blood sugar can lead to significant cell damage, inflammation, and even lead to weight gain, joint pain, cataracts, kidney disease, gum disease, atherosclerosis, and a host of other issues.
In dogs, diabetes can happen when the hormone insulin (which controls blood sugar) stops being produced or if it stops functioning appropriately. This can happen due to genetic defects, immune system dysfunction, pregnancy, and endocrine disorders. Certain dogs are more at risk for developing diabetes, including mixed-breed dogs, older dogs, females and neutered males, dogs with a prolonged treatment involving steroid medications, and dogs with inflammation of the pancreas or small bowel.
Signs & Symptoms of Dog Diabetes
It's not always obvious if your dog has diabetes. The following signs and symptoms can stem from a number of causes, so proper diagnosis with a veterinarian is key:
- Excessive thirst and hunger
- Excessive urination (dogs may start suddenly having accidents)
- Weight loss
In some cases, diabetes can result in a medical crisis known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). As in humans, this can become a life-threatening situation in dogs. In addition to the above symptoms, a dog in DKA may exhibit vomiting, abdominal pain, mental status changes, slowed respiratory rate, sweet-smelling breath, fatigue, weakness, and collapse.
What Our Honolulu Veterinarian Team Can Do to Treat & Prevent Diabetes in Dogs
A Honolulu veterinarian can run tests including blood and urine work on your dog in order to determine the presence of diabetes. We may elect to run additional tests to rule out other diseases that may be causing the symptoms.
If your dog is diagnosed with diabetes, it's important to know that the condition can be managed through several interventions: medication (including insulin), proper exercise, proper diet, and home monitoring. Our team will take all the time necessary to educate you about home management of your dog's diabetes, and we may also recommend bringing your animal in to see us twice per year or more so we can more carefully monitor the disease.
Are you Concerned that Your Dog is Showing Signs of Diabetes?
Looking for help managing your diabetic canine? Contact the Honolulu Pet Clinic today at (808) 593-9336 to schedule an appointment with a staff veterinarian. Our hospital is accredited with the prestigious AAHA, and our entire Honolulu veterinarian team is educated, experienced, and committed to providing excellence in veterinary care. Call us now!