How Your Dog May Become A Diabetic?
For most dogs, diabetes is usually caused by too many carbohydrates in the diet mixed with an inactive lifestyle, which of course leads to obesity, and ultimately - diabetes.
However for certain dog breeds such as the golden retriever, miniature schnauzer, and the standard poodle, it can also be a genetic problem.
The Lowdown On Carbohydrates
Just like what happens when humans consume too many carbohydrates, a dog's blood sugar level will rise tremendously after eating a meal that is high in carbs. It happens extremely quickly as well. As a response to this, the body than uses insulin as a way to push the blood sugar back into the cells. Each of these cells have insulin receptors which open and close like a doorway in order to regulate the flow of blood sugar.
Through years and years of high carbohydrate eating, these "doorways" begin to break and eventually shut down. Your dog's body then produces more insulin resulting in sporadic cycles of insulin resistance. Eventually the body will no longer be able to create the insulin needed to push back the blood sugar into the cells. The final result of this action is diabetes.
Other Ways Dogs Get Diabetes
Dogs that are overweight and old with age can also get diabetes from a very unique way. In some cases, these dogs come down with diabetes after they were given corticosteroid medication.
Whether it was by injection or tablet, the corticosteroids given to overweight pets seem to have caused the disease to set in. Researchers claim that these dogs were already genetically susceptible to diabetes and that the medication was just the trigger it needed. The good news for these types of diabetes cases is that with proper diet and medication, the disease may go into remission and the dog may be able to have his insulin discontinued indefinitely.
Treatment Options For Your Diabetic Dog
If your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes, early treatment by your veterinarian will help prevent further complications from this disease. Your pet may be saved from the painful experience of nerve damage as well as avoiding blindness. Conventional treatments will go a long way to keeping your dog healthy.
Depending upon your dog's needs, insulin injections will be given one to two times daily. The amount of insulin used for each dose and how often these doses are given will depend upon your veterinarian. Some dogs will be able to take tablets instead of being given shots.
Insulin doses are typically given in smaller amounts at the start of treatment so that the blood sugar levels can slowly stabilize. Under extreme circumstances this may require your dog to be treated in the hospital for a few days. If his diabetes is more stable, then your dog may receive outpatient treatment.
During this period, your dog's blood sugar will be monitored every hour in order to determine the exact dose of insulin he will need on a regular basis. Once the correct measurement of insulin has been reached, your veterinarian will instruct you to monitor your dog by testing his urine and/or blood.
With diabetes, there is nothing more important to increase your dog's life expectancy than with a strict diet. In fact, it is so important to your dog to eat accordingly when he has this disease, that there is a chance that his diabetes can go into full remission just from the change of diet alone.
You should be feeding your diabetic dog meals that are high in fiber and low in carbohydrates. Now is the time to start cooking your dog's meals from the home with meats and other raw ingredients.
Before you decide what to feed him, it would be wise to consult with a holistic veterinarian who has education on nutrition. Your goal should be to utilize food as "medication" so that hopefully one day your dog can stop taking "official" medication.
It is sad to see so many dogs out there who develop diabetes that should never have in the first place had they been active and not become overweight. This of course is the direct responsibility of you, the dog owner. If your dog is inactive and gains weight, he can develop diabetes even if he is not a breed that is genetically at risk.
It doesn't take much to help prevent diabetes in dog. 20 minutes of brisk walking two to three times per day is all your dog needs for optimum health and to keep him in good shape. If you can go jogging or swimming with your dog, then that is even a better option for helping your canine friend to stay healthy.