National Pet Diabetes Month – It’s Time To Talk Doggy Health

Hello everyone, and welcome to another River Dogs dog blog on National Pet Diabetes Month! How have you been dealing with the cold weather; have your dog walking rainy day essentials been out in full force, or have your Yorkshire Doggy Daycare outings been shrouded by scarves, hats, gloves, and furry boots? I know a doggy daycare near me that has been keeping its customers nice and toasty. There hasn’t been much dog swimming near me recently, but then again, we’re glad that we don’t have to walk icicle-pups along our favourite dog walks in Tadcaster! I am of course talking about the River Dogs crew, and this week they’ve been learning lots about doggy health checks and how to keep on top of signs of pet diabetes. 

National Pet Diabetes Month has been put in place to help pet owners spot symptoms of diabetes and to learn how to treat and keep on top of them. As always, this article is meant as an informative post only and is designed to teach rather than to replace a trained diagnosis. Always contact your vet if you’re unsure and seek medical advice before starting any treatment! Now that I’ve covered the boring points, let’s get all four paws into the classroom and get learning about doggy health!

National Pet Diabetes Month – Signs, Treatment, & Tips 

Diabetes can occur in dogs and cats just as it can in humans, and it can be just as dangerous. The signs can be quite hard to spot if you don’t know you’re looking for, but hopefully, after this blog, you’ll have a better idea. So what is diabetes? Well, diabetes occurs when people (or pets) cannot produce enough insulin, or their bodies work in such a way where they can’t produce enough naturally. Pets can suffer from both Type 1 & Type 2 diabetes, and the complications are similar to what we as humans also have to deal with. 

What Are the Symptoms?

So, what are the things that you need to look out for? It’s hard to diagnose diabetes straight away (it’s not as though it’s something obvious like a broken leg or anything), but if you notice the following signs, then we would advise booking in for a check-up at the vets straight away.

  • Reduced appetite
  • Bad breath with a strong chemical smell
  • Loss of weight, even though your dog might be eating more than usual
  • Increased thirst and need to urinate more frequently
  • Breakdown of body fat and development of ketoacidosis (that last bit refers to the uncontrolled production of ketone bodies that cause a metabolic acidosis – bet you didn’t know that!)
  • Other complications associated with both types of diabetes

But this is where things start to get a little tricky. Your pet might be looking under the weather, but the problem isn’t just as straightforward as diagnosing diabetes. Don’t worry folks, this is what National Pet Diabetes Month is all about! If your dog has too much insulin in their system, then they could be suffering from something called hypoglycaemia, otherwise known as low blood sugar. Extra symptoms to look out for are dullness, restlessness, seizures, and increased weakness. 

How Do We Treat Diabetes?

National Pet Diabetes Month is all about educating people as to how bad diabetes can be if not treated, but we’re not suggesting that you lay awake at night worrying about the contents of this article day-in-day-out. As long as you become aware of what you need to look out for, then we’ve done our jobs! Untreated diabetes can lead to cataracts, loss of sight and nerve damage; these are things that we want to avoid at all costs!

Just like with humans, Insulin is the main treatment for both types of diabetes. Your vet will have all of the necessary information to prescribe special insulin for your pet. You’ll be able to work together to find out how to prepare the insulin and how much is needed for your animal depending on his or her size. It’s important to keep insulin in a refrigerator when not in use and to handle it with care. Don’t use it if it has gone past its expiry date, and make sure that the area where you inject your pet is free of long hairs to make the process easier. It’s also important to monitor your pets glucose levels too. That’s a lot to remember, but this is why National Pet Diabetes Month exists!

Blood Sugar Tips

Controlling your pet’s blood sugar is easy once you have the know-how. By following a pre-planned diet, exercise, and glucose monitoring regime, you should be able to give your pet a healthy and happy life just like the rest of his or her four-legged friends

  • Pets with diabetes should have a diet of dried or canned foods, but you need to watch out for foods with high sugar content. As always, your vet will have the necessary knowledge to let you know which foods are safe and which ones to stay away from. 
  • Blood Glucose Monitoring is a big part of National Pet Diabetes Month as it’s the part that people forget about the most. By keeping an eye on your dog’s glucose levels and noting down readings and fluctuations, your vet will be able to accurately change your dog’s insulin intake for the best results. Conquering pet diabetes can be tough if you don’t have these processes set in stone, so do your prior planning and make life easy for yourself. 
  • Exercise is important as both a preventative measure for pet diabetes and also to maintain good health during treatment. Overweight dogs are more likely to suffer from diabetes as they develop insulin resistance due to their excess fat. Try to get at least one good walk in a day; it’s good for you and your pet and can help with both physical and mental health!

Wow, that was a massive fact-fest! We hope that you’ve found this blog post useful and that you now know a little bit more about pet diabetes! We promise we’ll go back to a light-hearted blog next week, but it’s important to know these things if we’re going to keep our furry pals healthy and happy for years to come!

Don’t head anywhere yet! It might be getting colder, but check out how our pups cope with the heat on a hot doggy day! Then you can learn all about why dogs are good for our health! Don’t forget to join the River Dogs team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!



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