You notice that your dog has three distinct symptoms. It is drinking water like a camel. When it has to urinate, it goes and goes and goes. Now, you see that it is losing weight while still seeming to eat plenty of food. Whether it is a human being or a dog, the signs of the onset of diabetes are hard to miss. If you choose to keep the dog, you must also choose to help the dog manage this disease.
Nearly all diabetic dogs require insulin.
You will more than likely have to deposit your pet with the local veterinarian for a few days. It could require a week or so. During this time, the doctor will determine how much insulin is needed to regulate the dog’s condition. The veterinarian will also work with the animal until it is able to maintain a reasonable blood glucose level. When you take the dog home, you will be expected to give it daily injections. The doctor will tell you how much insulin to inject into your pet each time.
You will see immediate improvements in the dog’s appearance and behavior.
Your pet should have much more energy that it did when it was getting sick. The dog should begin to gain any weight back that was lost. Its drinking and voiding should return to near normal levels. These are all indicators that the disease is being reasonably controlled. With dogs, you do not take a finger or paw stick before giving an injection. You are sort of flying by faith in the words of the veterinarian. It normally works out alright.
Try not to make big changes in the dog’s diet or routine.
Because you do not get a daily reading of the dog’s sugar level, it is important to keep the dog eating a similar diet in type and quantity every day. Always feed the dog somewhere around the time of its daily injection. If you do not feed the dog when giving the insulin, it can have a sugar drop just like people do and go into shock or a diabetic coma. You really do want to maintain the right glucose level for your pet to act and feel good.
Plan regular visits to the veterinarian.
At first, the vet may require you to return weekly or bi-weekly to monitor blood sugar levels. After a while, it will be monthly. As more time passes, the vet may suggest that you do not have to bring the dog in except for annual check ups and when it appears to be ill. At this point, most dogs will visit the vet 3 to 6 times per year.
Keep the dog getting enough exercise.
Exercise helps bodies burn the excess sugar. However, too much exercise when the dog is not use to it can cause dangerous sugar drops. Use some common sense. If you can up the exercise level during the regulation period, try to maintain it. The activity will be pleasurable for your pet and help keep it healthy, too.
Watch for the eyes to turn gray.
This will signal that the sugar has affect your dog’s eyes with cataracts. Eventually, this will lead to blindness in the animal, but with some care and advice from your vet, it can be delayed for quite some time. As the animal’s vision declines, try to monitor it more closely around steps and other hazards to protect it from harm. You may notice that other dogs become more aggressive toward your pet during this time. It is not pleasant, but it is a natural way for dogs to behave.
Expect your pet’s life to be shortened.
No pet owner wants to hear this about their dog. However, most dogs have their life severely shortened by diabetes. It is common for a dog to reach the end of its life within about 2 years after contracting diabetes. If you are aggressive in working against the disease, you might stretch this a little, but do not expect too much. Discuss this with your vet to know what to expect for your specific breed of dog.