Diabetes is a disease that results in too much sugar in the blood. It's typically seen as a medical condition that only people get, but other animals get diabetes, too. In fact, it's a growing problem for dogs. Like humans, dogs may get different types of diabetes. If you think your canine companion may have diabetes, look for these common signs and symptoms.
Eye Problems Like Cataracts and Blindness
Vision problems that range from mild issues like cataracts to severe ones like blindness may be the result of diabetes. Some dogs may get hazy vision early in the progress of the disease. Cataracts may be the first sign of diabetes in your dog, so be sure to get your dog checked out as soon as you see cataracts. Catching diabetes early can typically prevent blindness.
Unexplained Weight Loss
If your dog has lost weight without a reasonable explanation for the weight loss, that may be a troubling sign. Dogs who have diabetes may have extreme hunger that is also accompanied by weight reduction.
Peeing Much More Than Usual
Increased urination is sometimes a symptom of diabetes. This happens when blood sugar levels become way too high in the blood. The kidneys then work extra hard to filter the excess sugar and absorb it in the dog's body. When it gets too much for the kidneys to handle, the sugar and fluids from tissues is then excreted in urine, causing a dog to pee more often.
Some pets who may not be used to dealing with the increased urine production may have accidents in the house. If your dog is normally great about going outside to go, be aware that peeing in the house doesn't necessarily mean that your pet is acting out. Get your dog examined for possible diabetes or another underlying health condition after repeated accidents.
Drinking Much More Than Usual
When a dog pees more than usual, they will also be more thirsty than usual. You may not notice that your dog is going more frequently if they have a dog door that they use to do their business. However, if you notice that your dog's water dish is more frequently empty, consider whether the increased thirst could be a sign of diabetes. Only your veterinarian can tell for sure.
Unusual or Excessive Lethargy
Most dogs are often consistent with their energy levels. If you have a high-energy dog who suddenly seems to lack energy all the time and becomes increasingly tired, your pet may have diabetes. High blood sugar can directly cause fatigue.
If your pet has had undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes for a long time, they can experience damage to their organs that also causes fatigue. Early in the disease, the tiredness is often simply caused by uncontrolled blood glucose levels and can be controlled with treatment.
Chronic Skin Infections
If your dog gets chronic skin infections, they may have diabetes. Dermatitis often occurs in dogs with this disease. Necrolytic dermatitis, which is the death of superficial skin tissue, most commonly happens in older dogs. Don't ignore the situation if your dog's skin has redness, oozing, or crusting. Also, consider whether your dog has had any unexplained hair loss.
Finally, don't freak out if you think your pet has diabetes. Diabetes can be managed with insulin therapy, and dogs with diabetes can still live long, happy lives. So don't hesitate to talk to your veterinarian about any concerns you have about your pet. Your veterinarian may perform both a urine test and a blood test if you suspect that your canine companion has diabetes.
Contact Family Pet Clinic today to set up your dog's next veterinarian appointment. We are happy to partner with you in prioritizing your dog's wellness. Our caring team treats every pet we see like a member of the family.