Dogs can also suffer from elevated levels of glucose in the blood i.e. diabetes mellitus. If the early indications are recognised, however, the dog can receive treatment at an early stage, it can still reach old age despite having this disease.
Dogs with diabetes drink more and, accordingly, need to urinate more frequently. They often also have an increased appetite. These signs, which are often the only indications for a long time, do not necessarily mean the dog has diabetes but they should always be taken seriously. Increased water consumption, in particular, is nearly always a serious indication.
A vet can run a simple blood test to determine whether a dog has diabetes. If the disease is already at an advanced stage, a urine test can also provide the diagnosis. It is then necessary to lower the blood sugar level using medication as otherwise various organs, including the eyes and mucous membranes of the mouth, could be harmed and, sooner or later, if the problematic sugar metabolism is uncontrolled, life threatening complications connected with this disease may ensue.
Drinking a lot can be a sign of diabetes in a dog
Therapy for a dog with diabetes involves regular doses of insulin which, after a short adaptation period, can usually be administered without any difficulty by the owner. The vet will explain how it is to be administered. What is crucial is that doses are given regularly and followed directly by feeding. Occasionally, after some time, dogs can manage without any treatment at all e.g. if they have lost excess weight or when female animals have been castrated. Even if lifelong treatment is required, however, life expectancy is not affected by the disease provided that insulin is administered regularly. As the dog is fed after the insulin is given, an easy routine usually develops in which the animal itself also comes to “expect” the treatment. Diabetes, therefore, never has to be considered a death sentence.