Dogs can suffer from diabetes just as humans do, and diabetes mellitus is the most common form of the disease. After your dog eats, its digestion breaks down nutrients and turns some of them into glucose, which is released into the bloodstream. In a healthy dog, the pancreas produces insulin to tell the cells to use the glucose for energy. Insufficient insulin or insulin resistance prevents the animal from metabolizing the glucose, which can lead to starvation despite being fed and/or organ failure.
The first thing you should do if you suspect your dog has diabetes is to assess its behavior for underlying symptoms of the disease. Indications of the beginning stages of diabetes include:
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss
- Increased appetite
Advanced cases in canines will demonstrate:
- Appetite loss
- Decreased energy
- Nausea and vomiting
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Diabetes is a very complex condition that requires proper testing to ensure an accurate diagnosis. If you observe any of the above symptoms, you should take your dog in for a full veterinary examination, which will include urine and blood samples and a glucose test. If caught early, diabetes can be managed, and your dog has a good chance of living a full and healthy life, so don’t place your canine’s health at risk – contact Riverfront Animal Hospital.