November is Pet Diabetes Awareness Month and is the perfect time to educate owners on the causes and signs of diabetes. Diabetes mellitus, or sugar diabetes, is caused by the failure of the pancreas to regulate blood sugar in a dog's body. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, Type 1 Diabetes - in which a dog’s pancreas does not produce enough insulin - is the most common type of diabetes in dogs.
The most common clinical signs you may notice if your dog is having a problem with diabetes include increased thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger and weight loss. Should your dog develop any of these signs or act differently than normal, you should contact your veterinarian for a full pet health exam. Diabetes is diagnosed from both blood and urine samples and at this visit your veterinarian will evaluate your dog’s overall pet health.
Treatment for Type 1 diabetes typically calls for giving a dog insulin injections to help regulate blood sugar levels. Dogs may sometimes require a special diet in order to be successfully managed with their diabetes. As with most medical conditions, early detection and treatment of diabetes is recommended for the best possible outcome for your dog. Dogs with diabetes can live happily and healthfully with the proper treatment and monitoring by both you and your veterinarian.