Diabetes in Dogs
Much like their human owners, dogs are also susceptible to metabolic disorders, including diabetes. This disorder involves the inadequate production of insulin by the pancreas, leading element levels of glucose in the blood, which can in turn lead to severe health consequences, including fatigue, frequent urination, malnutrition, loss of vision/hearing, kidney damage, neuropathy/weakness, coma, and death, depending on the severity. The type diabetes that affects dogs is the same as Type I or juvenile diabetes in humans, which means that it is treated primarily with insulin injections, using a vet syringe of which u-40 insulin syringes are currently the preferred type.
Like humans with Type I diabetes, the underlying cause of the disease is poorly understood and likely involves a combination of genetic factors, auto-immune issues, and possible environmental factors. Insulin resistance can be triggered by medications; however, this is much more rarely seen than diabetes associated with low insulin production. In fact, Type II diabetes is not found in the canine species, although for humans, this is the more common type.
Current estimates indicate that about one dog in four to five hundred will be diagnosed with diabetes in his/her lifetime; however, diabetes is more common in some breeds than in others. The Cairn Terrier and Samoyed are both high risk breeds; however, diabetes is more common in many Spitz-type dogs as well. This should not dissuade potential owners of these breeds as diabetes remains relatively rare, even in higher risk groups. In fact, for families with diabetic children or teens, having a dog with the disorder may provide quite a benefit in terms of learning about diabetes and how to make the best of life after diagnosis.
Some studies indicate that females may be more vulnerable to the disorder than males or are at least diagnosed with diabetes more frequently. The mechanics of this gender disparity are largely unknown, but pregnancy may play a potential role.
While changes in diet and exercise can bring about improvements in the condition, the only long-term treatment for diabetes in dogs is through insulin therapy. This involves injecting the dog with a vet syringe containing the right amount and type of canine insulin. For syringe type, u-40 insulin syringes are popular choices. The insulin type is generally prescribed by a veterinarian who will provide dosage and injection instructions as well. Most owners find injecting their dog relatively easy, although practice may be required to perfect the technique. Most dogs require injections at meal times to offset the carbohydrates and other macro nutrients present in their food.
For the most part, if diagnosed quickly, many dogs go on to lead full and comfortable lives with diabetes through careful management and treatment by their loving owners. They do not necessarily have shortened lifespans nor less quality of life than their unaffected counterparts. Early diagnosis is a key factor in preventing complications.
Treatment costs are generally not exorbitant. Compared to many other medications, insulin is relatively manageable in terms of overall expense. The same goes for the price of a vet syringe packet. Many owners find creative ways to take care of their diabetic dog, including regular exercise and medical care that ultimately strengthens the bond between them.
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