Research has estimated 1 out of 100 adult dogs develop diabetes before they reach the age of 12. In other words, canine diabetes is much more common than we think it is.
However, early signs of canine diabetes are not that easy to recognise. Subtle changes like an increase in urine output and/or water intake and a gradual increase in appetite can easily go unnoticed if we don’t actively keep a watchful eye, and when diabetes in dogs go untreated, it can lead to other grave health conditions like cataract formation and urinary tract infection.
As such, it’s important that our furry friends go for their routine health check-up yearly to ensure early detection of ailments, if any, including diabetes.
But first, what is canine diabetes?
A syringe of insulin solution
A medical condition that is caused by a hormonal imbalance, diabetes is when your pet’s body cannot produce or utilise insulin. Insulin is necessary for carrying glucose (that has been absorbed from the intestine into the blood) into cells to be converted into energy, so when this process doesn’t happen, the glucose builds up to a high concentration in the bloodstream.
This is called hyperglycemia, and it can lead to diabetes. For a more detailed article on the symptoms and treatment of diabetes in cats and dogs, hop over here.
So, why should you test your dog for diabetes?
Now that you’re all caught up with the types, effect, risk factors, and symptoms of diabetes, here are four reasons why we recommended checking your pet for signs of diabetes diligently and regularly:
1. Ensures a longer lifespan
Although there is no cure for diabetes in dogs, it can be managed to ensure that your pooch lives a long and happy life regardless. Early detection of diabetes will provide more treatment and management options, and the sooner treatment begins, the better the chance your pet has at a normal life.
If diagnosed late, your pet may already be suffering from other complications and acute infections associated with diabetes, such as:
- Cataracts (leading to blindness)
- Enlarged liver
- Urinary tract infections
- Kidney failure
- Ketoacidosis (a potentially life-threatening acute condition).
2. No accidents within the household
Dogs with diabetes may start devouring bowls of water and urinating very frequently, which can lead to more potty accidents in the house. This is because your pet’s body is trying to get rid of the excess sugar by sending it out through urine, hence the excessive thirst and increased urination.
On top of that, hyperglycemia can also cause urinary tract infections, which in turn, causes your pet to have even less control over its bladder. When you start treating and managing diabetes, you will be able to avoid having to clean the numerous accidents on the carpet.
Taking care of a pet entails undivided attention, dedicated care, and sufficient finances for pet grooming, quality food, and healthcare. While routine check-ups may seem costly, treatment for late-stage ailments such as diabetes can be many times more expensive, so it’s always more cost-effective to invest in preventive care as opposed to reactive care.
4. No suffering in silence
Dogs can be masters at hiding their pain; sometimes, your beloved friend may be suffering in silence without you knowing! Making sure that your pet is genuinely healthy and feeling well via a health examination is therefore imperative, because it’s entirely possible that your pet may already be experiencing symptoms of diabetes before you even notice them. Though your pet may look and act fine, don’t take the risk — get your pet checked and tested for its wellbeing.