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Published: Jul 26, 2012

Canine diabetes can be a scary condition for pet owners to deal with, but the first step is accurately diagnosing the disease. The dog will need to be taken to a veterinarian in order to get an official diagnosis, but first an owner will need to be on the lookout for common dog diabetes symptoms.

Diabetes in dogs refers to the body's inability to regulate blood sugar, and this leads to four main clinical signs. The condition frequently causes increased urination in dogs, which may include the dog having "accidents" in the house. The dog will also be more hungry and thirsty than usual, but this increased appetite may not lead to significant weight gains. In fact, even dogs that are eating and drinking more may lose weight if they have diabetes. Finally, cloudy eyes, cataracts, or sudden vision loss may be signs of diabetes as well.

It's important to note that a dog may not necessarily exhibit all four of these clinical signs. If the dog has any of these issues, have her checked by your veterinarian right away. Blood and urine tests should be able to definitively diagnose diabetes in dogs.

Once it is confirmed that your dog has diabetes, some changes will need to be made to her daily lifestyle. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend changes to her diet that will help her get healthier and help manage her diabetes most effectively.  If your dog is overweight, the diet will likely be tailored toward helping her lose some weight. Increased exercise may be recommended as well.

The other major aspect of this condition is insulin treatment for dogs with diabetes.  Your veterinarian will give you information on how to procure syringes and insulin. It is likely that your dog will require two insulin shots as part of her daily routine.  If you ever go on vacation or need to leave your dog alone, you'll have to keep in mind that she will need someone to give her the daily insulin shots.  You'll likely have regularly scheduled appointments with your veterinarian in order to ensure your dog is responding well to the treatment.

It may take some time to get your dog's diabetes under control, but the good news is that most canines with the disease function normally once they begin treatment. The general prognosis for a dog with diabetes is very good once the owner spots the clinical signs.