Canine diabetes symptoms often develop gradually, and dog owners may not notice the symptoms of diabetes mellitus until it is in an advanced stage.
Diabetes in dogs can be controlled with treatment, and knowing the signs of canine diabetes can help you catch it early and get started on treatment.
Age of a Diabetic Dog
While diabetes mellitus is most commonly found in geriatric dogs, dog diabetes is the most common hormonal disorder found in puppies. So don’t discount the symptoms of diabetes, if you have a new puppy, thinking that diabetes is only found in old dogs.
That having been said, the most common age for canine diabetes mellitus is middle-age, around 6-9 years old.
And females are more likely than males to become diabetic dogs. In fact, female dogs are affected twice as often as males.
Early Dog Diabetes Symptoms
If you discover that your dog has canine diabetes when she is in the early stages, you have a huge advantage for treating it. The sooner you start treatment, the better your dog will do.
However, because signs of diabetes in dogs tend to develop slowly over time, you may not notice them, at first.
These are the early stage symptoms:
- Frequent urination – Your dog may ask to go out more often than he used to.
- Accidents in the house – A dog that was house trained may pee in the house. This is not bad behavior. Your dog simply can’t hold her urine until she gets outside.
- Drinking excessive amounts of water
- Increased appetite
- Weight loss – even if she eats more food
- Increased susceptibility to infections – she gets sick easily and may have infections that don’t heal.
- Lack of energy – tired, not as peppy as before
- Poor wound healing – or chronic or repeated infections.
Advanced Dog Diabetes Symptoms
If you don’t realize that your dog has diabetes right away, your dog will develop other signs. If untreated, diabetes in dogs does get worse.
Eventually, you might see the following symptoms:
- Cataracts – blindness can result.
- Coma – this can occur if diabetes is not controlled.
So, if you notice that your dog becomes more hungry, drinks more and has to urinate more frequently, make sure you make an appointment with your veterinarian to have your dog tested.
Tests for Canine Diabetes Mellitus
Your veterinarian may screen for diabetes mellitus with a blood level glucose test and a urine sugar test.
If your dog tests positive for canine diabetes, your vet may suggest that your dog be hospitalized for a day or two. This is so they can work out a feeding schedule and get your dog stabilized.
During that time, the staff will take multiple blood samples to determine how serious the diabetes is.
If Your Dog has Diabetes
If your dog is diagnosed with canine diabetes, you may want to keep track of his blood glucose levels, using a Blood Glucose Monitoring System designed for pets.
Your vet will recommend a diet, and a schedule for your dog’s meals. They will also decide on a dosage and schedule for insulin injections.
Consider providing your dog with special dog treats for diabetic dogs, so she can still enjoy getting treats.
And add a “diabetic dog” tag to her collar, so that others will know that your dog is diabetic, when she is boarded or if she should wander away from your yard.
Diabetes kind of sneaks up on you, because canine diabetes symptoms appear gradually, instead of suddenly. You can learn more about diabetes in dogs here.
Since diabetes mellitus is a serious disease, it is best to have your dog tested, as soon as you suspect that she has a problem.