Monday, November 9, 2009

Diabetes in Young Dogs

By. Kelly Marshall

Diabetes is a major concern no matter what gender, age, or even species you are. In addition to more children being diagnosed as a diabetic, it is also being found that some dogs, and puppies alike, can suffer from the lack of insulin as well. It is believed that some pups develop diabetes due to an autoimmune disorder or damage caused to the pancreas of the puppy from having parvovirus. It also seems to be an inherited trait most commonly passed along in the breed of Gold Retrievers. Larger dogs are often more prone to diabetes than small breeds of dogs. Overweight dogs are also at higher risk. While the disease once mainly attacked older dogs, pups and younger dogs are now more commonly being diagnosed also.

As with people, there are two types of diabetes that dogs may experience. Those two types are Diabetes insipidus and Diabetes mellitus. Diabetes insipidus is formed by the lack of a certain hormone that aids in water absorption of the kidney. Diabetes mellitus is commonly divided into two subtypes: Type I and Type II. These types are characterized by the lack of insulin. Diabetes mellitus is the more common type.

Diabetes in dogs can be identified in pups by several different factors. Inadequate growth is probably the most noticeable symptom of a puppy with diabetes. The puppy fails to continue growing although it is hungry and eats heartedly. The pup will lose weight and may even become paralyzed, often in the hind quarter, to an extent. As with humans, dogs with diabetes may be thirsty and drink more often and also urinate more often than typically expected. If your pup or dog appears weaker, thirstier, is losing weight and urinating more often, then diabetes is a strong possibility.

If it is suspected that a dog or puppy has diabetes, there are several health complications that could result from no treatment or lack of proper care. High levels of sugar in the blood are potentially toxic to certain organs in the body. Diabetes may reduce the number of years of life that the dog lives and cause organ failure.

In most cases, injections are the only treatment that is effective at controlling diabetes in canines. Control through diet or pills are often ineffective for use in dogs. The pet owner must administer daily insulin injections. In addition, the level of sugar should be examined through blood testing and testing of the urine periodically and to determine the correct amount of insulin to give through shots. It is also important to monitor the feeding amount and schedule of the pet.

It is possible to have a dog with diabetes that appears as healthy as dogs without the disease. With the proper monitoring and care, the dog may live as long as or longer than the expected life span of any healthy dog. However, diabetes must be detected, diagnosed, and carefully treated. This takes much dedication, love, and attention on the behalf of the dog's owner.


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